Thursday, 20 November 2014

Interview: Sensei Srikrishnan Ramamurthy


            Sensei Srikrishnan Ramamurthy has been associated with the Seibukan Bangalore Association for many years now and his contributions to our karate family have been profound. He is our inspiration, our backbone and the spark that keeps this group ignited. But the most important characteristic that makes him all the more lovable is his utmost humble nature.
            Having known him for four months now, I must say that he is the kindest and gentlest teacher I have ever met. Age is no barrier, nor is the distance. A few days ago he agreed for a brief online interview for our blog. Here it goes:

When did you start learning karate? What prompted you to start off with this art?
             In 1968 I learnt a little bit of Shotokan karate from a friend of mine, but that was discontinued after a few weeks. It was only much later, in 1990, that I happened to meet Sensei Bala in a gym and he helped me overcome a severe back pain. Ever since then I’ve been hooked to Seibukan karate!

 Twenty four years! That’s a really long time. And that surely shows your dedication towards this art! Who was your first karate teacher?
            Sensei P.R. Ratnapala, the chief instructor of Seibukan Karate in India. He is a genuine teacher of the philosophy and practice of karate.

Wow. You were indeed very lucky to have him as your teacher. So who is your favourite martial artist?
            Bruce Lee! I'll always remember what he said-
           “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

Yes, we sure can learn a lot from him. How has the journey so far been?
            It’s been beautiful. I have met some amazing people; it has helped me understand my weaknesses and has given me the strength to overcome them. There is still a long way to go though. You can never learn enough!
I second that! You can never learn enough karate!
So what is the one thing that you consider to be the biggest achievement in your life till date?
            To be associated with Seibukan.

What is your biggest dream/wish in life?
            To visit the Honbu Dojo in Okinawa, Japan and work to develop Seibukan karate in all states of India.

So we share a common goal then!
Tell us something about your personal life. What do you do when you’re not training?
            Well, what can I say? I am retired!

Tell us how you feel about karate. Why do you love it so much?
            Karate has given me good health and confidence. There is always so much to learn and the development is continuous.

Until a few weeks ago, you were working very closely with the Bangalore dojo. How do you feel about the class? What, in your opinion, are our strong points and weak points?
            I enjoyed working with the team. The Sunday classes were primarily to help develop uniformity in practice and a uniform understanding of the needs of the Association.
       Strong points: I would say... good team spirit, dedicated & disciplined karatekas, and their loyalty to the Seibukan Association.
       Weak points: Implementation of decisions taken democratically is lacking (for example, every black belt to start their classes individually or in groups; other methods to consciously spread Seibukan activities; regularity, etc)

We would surely keep that in mind Sensei. Lastly, what advice would you give to budding young Karatekas?
            Attitude is as important as learning skills. Only focus can enhance skill, only humility can develop good attitude.

Thank you so much for your time, Sensei. We hope to see you soon in the Bangalore dojo.