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Sky is not the limit for Kalpana

Bishnu Sharma, BALTIMORE: Here’s how someone who has come a long way has shown sky is never the limit if you work with determination.

She is Kalpana Karki, a taekwando master hailing from Nepal, and who has now firmly established as one in America too. What’s more, she has turned her sporting skill into business entity.

From Rima of Shantinagar of Gulmi, Kalpana is seventh child from among 12 in the family. In society where education for girls is not yet fully common, she however got to attend school.

With schooling came sports activities which soon saw her taking up taekwando later on. She belongs to an era when extra curricular actities did not extend to girls. Boys played volley ball or ran races with the objective of joining the army but she chose taekwando.

She demonstrated her commitment to sporting activities when still in her native village. There was a time when she used to hide behind the bushes or climb trees to watch proceedings at sproting camps organized in the village that culminated in recruitment in the Indian army.

The reason behind hiding behind bushes or climbing tree being to avoid paying necessary ticket charges that was whopping Rs.500. And what’s more it was not open to members of the fairer sex.

A climacteric turn came on a visit to Kathmandu after she had got thorugh high school examination. That was when she happened to be at Dashrath Stadium in the capital, Kathmandu. There she saw girls burning themselves out on the sports field, which literally put her on overdrive.

Subsequently, she grew up as national player in taekwando and the journey continues.

But establishing oneself as national player was not a cakewalk even by her standard. Her new schedule was attending RR college in the morning, practice taekwando in the afternoon and work at Hotel Soaltee in the evening. She slept well only twice a week. She was household name in taekwando through 2002-2007.

She has some bitter experiences to share, too.

Kalpana narrates saga when she was denied the post of Taekwondo Martial Arts instructor in the National Sports Council. She insists she was denied just because she had no political connection. She became the victim of bias and the tendency of recruiting one’s man instead of good one in the job.
Despite winning several national tournaments she was denied chances to take part in the international events as political blessings did not come her way.

She had no guru while learning Taekwondo Martial Arts, she practiced in groups and was able to cement her place in the national arena due to her own individual effort.

Subsequently she emigrated with her family to the United States where she has won silver medal in 2008 and started working as a Taekwondo Master at HK Lee Academy of Taekwondo in Northern Virginia from 2010 to 2014.

She has not taken part in any competition after her doctor suggested not to play after she broke her left leg during USA open competition. Since the past two years, Kalpana has established her own Everest Taekwondo training Academy in Maryland, Baltimore.

She has 90 Taekwondo trainees now. Master Kalpana is a 5th Degree Black Belt and she is a certified International Masterfrom World Taekwondo Headquarters. Kalpana and her family want to give continuity to their occupation and expand it professionally.

Published Date: Tuesday, July 19th, 2016 | 09:41 PM

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