Rachna Chaurasia is the vice-chairperson for women committee at ITF and chair person for Taekwondo Association of India. Her journey started in 1986, and it took her almost 22 years of hard work and commitment to win the 6th Dan black belt. Rachna encourages women to learn any martial arts for self-defence and believes that by learning so, it gives you the power to protect yourself from an impending attack.
From where did you start the journey? Did you ever think that you would reach to the place where you are now, winning the 6th Dan Black belt?
I started my journey from Nagpur, Maharashtra. No, I hadn’t thought of it in my wildest dreams but I tirelessly worked hard to reach the top without expecting the rank and the position.
Being a sports person, were you interested in studies at school? If yes, which was your favourite subject?
Studies were not my first preference, of course even though out of everything Maths was my favourite subject.
How did your family support you through the journey? Were they supportive?
My father and both my brothers were against it at the starting, but my mother supported me throughout. They even objected when I shifted to Delhi to learn and teach Taekwondo under Senior Master RajendranBalan. But now when I have succeeded and made them also a part of my success they are the most supportive and happy.
What were the hurdles that you faced in these 30 years? Please share some of the incidents.
One of the major difficulties that I faced was not having a support from my near and dear ones. I do not remember having any friends at all. I really had to face critics in every corner especially from other Martial art groups; some looked at me as an object and some wanted me to work for them. All the girls in my colony shied away from me claiming that I was no good. But I ignored them and went on looking for a brighter future for myself and for my mom who had total faith in me.
What is the attitude of your children towards your sport? Do they also seem interested in Taekwondo?
I have only one son and he is also a Black Belt and still practicing regularly. He is very proud of me and supports me in all my activities.
What do you think is the future of Taekwondo in India?
Besides being a self-defence art, Taekwondo has become a sport. But I still wish that Taekwondo stay as a self-defence art which inculcates self-discipline which will give more boosts and help the future generation to have a perfect physic and mental health. As other sports in India, Taekwondo also is yet to receive the attention of the government. And few people with connections are holding on to the posts and are doing nothing for the betterment of this art. Until and unless the sports in India are headed by sportsmen and the sports persons are considered on the basis of their talent rather than their affiliations, there is no future.
How important do you think is self-defence for girls these days?
It is very important for each and every girl. Besides self-defence, Taekwondo helps in physical fitness, concentration and self-confidence. As crimes against women are increasing day by day, it is imperative that every woman learn and master some of the techniques to ward off immediate dangers of an attack before help or police arrive.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue to teach and propagate this art. And also other associated Martial Arts. I am in the process of holding an “International Martial Art Games” in New Delhi in the month of December 2015 where I have invited Martial artists the world over to perform. As every country has its own Martial art, I hope one day there will be a Martial Art Olympics where one can see different styles of martial art under one roof. I also wish to hold a Taekwondo World Championship to bring more awareness of this art in India. I have invited many Female Taekwondo exponents from other countries for the “Second Women ITF Taekwondo Conference” in July 2015 to New Delhi where we will be discussing on self-defence for women which is effective and easy to learn.
Where do you see yourself in next 10 years?
I see myself as a Master of this art one day and hope that I am able to impart the confidence I have gained by learning this art to every female of our beloved country.
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