Studying Chinese at night and winning sports championships during the day
How did you start sports?
I was inspired by my dad who was also my coach. Since 4 years old I have been doing martial arts. Now I'm 23. I started with gymnastics - traditional wushu to develop abilities. At the age of 13 I switched to applied martial arts - combat sambo, kickboxing, hand-to-hand fighting and mixed martial arts.
When I was little, training only caused tears, but now sports have become my job. My dad managed to involve me in the process, he set an example from childhood. Good physical data and victories in competitions convinced me to train professionally.
I came to hand-to-hand combat by chance. I decided to take part in the Moscow championship, and won - and this is how the process started: Russia, Europe, the whole world!
How do you deal with falls?
In training, people are taught to fall correctly so as not to damage bones and muscles, so I am ready for falls in every sense. I meet defeat with a smile. It can be unpleasant, but here you need to find motivation in them. Poor preparation means I will be more responsible for the next competition. I prepared well, but did not win, which means that you need to train more and harder. Not now - so next time. Don't ask too much of yourself. You don’t always win, and that's okay. Moreover, martial arts is a sport where one blow can decide the fate of a competition.
What was your first feeling after winning the World Cup in hand-to-hand fighting?
Success is not surprising when you have daily training and the experience of participating in many other championships behind your back. But I was definitely happy. Another victory is motivation to work further.
There was a live broadcast at the World Cup, so my dad immediately called with congratulations.
What are your plans for the next championships?
Mixed martial arts attract me the most of all sports. MMA is developing now, it is an opportunity to make a professional career. I plan to make my debut in MMA and get into a good organization. I will not abandon other martial arts, I will continue to perform.
Does everyone have willpower or do you need to worked on it?
Willpower needs to be developed over the years. I still cannot say I have enough of it. And you need to start with simple things - wake up early in the morning and have time to do more today than yesterday. And do this every day. Start with a small step and gradually fight laziness in all its manifestations.
How do you manage to combine study with professional sports?
To be honest, this is very difficult. I study at night doing my homework. In the afternoon there are many hours of training. Lack of sleep, of course, affects my physical condition. Either I train a lot, and this affects my studies, or I study a lot, and this affects sports. Therefore, sometimes I have to sacrifice something, but even in this mode I get good marks.
What is your advice to novice athletes?
- Decide what sport is for. There is professional sport, and there is sport to keep fit, and each has its own approach.
- Professional sports take a long time, you need to be ready to combine it with study and rest.
- Stick to consistency - don't skip workouts, even if they are amateur.
Why did you choose the master's program at RUDN University?
Here I received a bachelor's degree in Management, after which I realized that the joint master's program of RUDN University - Shandong University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is an opportunity to go to China. I chose the program for a reason, life connected me with this country. I went to Wushu performances in Hong Kong and Beijing. I realized that learning Chinese is promising. Russia is cooperating with China in the economic sphere, and besides, I go there to competitions and discover big sports.
Are you planning to work in your major in the future?
My major "Management" and "Political problems of the globalizing world" will help me combine work with sports. In our realities, much that surrounds us is management. I can do sports management, event organization with the Chinese side. I already know how the system works from the inside.
The two-years’ dual-degree master's program "Political problems of the globalizing world" is conducted on the basis of two universities - RUDN University and Shandong University (China).
The first year of study takes place at Shandong University (China), where masters are trained in Chinese and English. The second year of study is spent on the basis of the Department of Comparative Political Science of the Peoples' Friendship University of Russia. Training for two semesters is conducted in Russian and English. In the last year, the work of students in the magistracy is shifting towards research and practical activities.
Pushkin’s fairy tales, love for children, launching of a new educational program and a future dissertation at Oxford. How childhood affections influenced the choice of University? What role did the prestige of the RUDN University play in Sri Lanka? And how does student Kasuni Pokunegoda see her future?
The university has always been top-of-mind for him 24/7. They have become inseparable. We do not know anyone who loves RUDN University as much as he does, anyone who has invested so much strength, soul, mind and energy in the development of the University. And this love is mutual.
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