We feel proud to introduce our athlete, gold and bronze medal winner in US Open Championship 2022 - Supriya Jatav.
Born in Dahod, Gujarat, she has won national championships from 2010 to 2020 back-to-back (Wow!!). With so many legendary achievements stated below, she is also a contemporary and hip-hop dancer who gives self-defense classes to girls.
- First Indian to win the US Open Karate Championship in the elite division in 2019.
- Kumite Karate athlete to achieve a medal in the three consecutive Commonwealth Karate Championships in Kumite Event.
- Won the national championship from 2010 to 2020.
- Won the highest state awards for sports from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
Q. When did you start your journey? Was your family supportive of your career?
My father, Amar Singh Jatav has always been the most supportive person throughout my journey followed by my mother. This is only because, like every mother, she has been more worried about my physical health. The sport I have chosen makes me prone to serious injuries and being a girl makes things even more complicated in terms of getting married and starting a family. However, with time, her mindset got evolved thankfully.
Q. What were the challenges you faced at the beginning of your career? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is a challenge I face in every tournament. Martial arts or karate can give you lifelong injuries that have the potential to not only take away your career as a sportsperson but also affect your personal life. However, I chose to take that risk. I played nationals with stitches on one leg and won a gold medal! Another task was to convince my family, especially my mother, to continue in this field despite the risk which I eventually did and I never turned back after that.
Q. How did you feel after your first victory? Any advice to your juniors?
My coach is a firm believer that one doesn't become a champion after winning single medal or tournament, hence my first national medal was more of a responsibility than an achievement, a responsibility to prove I am a fighter by winning the International Championship.
Further, when it comes to advising my juniors, the first thing that comes to my mind is to tell them to never give up on their dreams, no matter what are the obstacles. In India, many girls can't even dream to pursue a sport as their career which really saddens me. The second thing will be to ask them to take care of themselves by learning self-defense.
Q. Have you ever tried a crash diet? What do you feel about them?
As a Karateka, I have tried several diets, however, I always go back to a balanced diet to feel energetic, hydrated, and fully myself. I believe my body communicates with me and all I have to do is listen closely to what it wants in terms of proteins, carbs, and other micronutrients. I have tried keto, however, it didn't work for me as I lost muscle while on it. Any doctor, no matter how qualified, cannot recognize or listen to this form of communication or connection you have with your body so one should always listen to it.
Q. How often do you work out and according to you what are the qualities of ideal activewear?
I religiously work out four hours a day excluding martial arts-specific training, two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. These four hours include training for my physical and mental health such as balance techniques, stretches, mobility drills, agility drills, etc.
In my field of sports, activewear should have a grip on the body, leggings should typically support my calves and knees, it should be breathable since I wear it all day long, and easy to clean. Whereas, when it comes to a sports bras, it should be mildly padded and have a little push-up to ensure high support. My skin is highly sensitive and sweat makes it even worse. When the thread work rubs on my skin it creates a rash in that area, however, the experience with Skyria was completely opposite and unreal as the thread work is extremely fine. It did not make a rash and had an incredibly good grip and support. If I were to rate it out of 5 I would give it a good 4.6. I have tried activewears from various reputed brands but Skyria has managed to make a special place in my heart by delivering extraordinary quality and finish.