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Ishika Thite details her combat sports journey, title aspirations and much more

Renjith Ravindran
30 August 2020

It was at the age of 4 that Ishika Thite first stepped into the martial arts world. Though she did not know what or why she was doing Martial Art at that particular time, soon, it ended up being the biggest part of her life.

Early life and growing up with Karate:

Born in Gujarat, Ishika had a very supportive family. Her mother was a scholar who loved to study when her father was a martial artist who even got Ishika a custom made Karate Gi when she was born. As a kid, she grew up seeing her father coaching his students and he used to take her to the training sessions as well.

Although it started out as a mandatory routine for Ishika, she soon fell in love with it and started winning medals in competitions. And it was at this time that her friends and relatives also started taking notice.

Ishika Thite: Initially not many knew I was training martial arts, as I never even shared much about it. I was an introvert kid and preferred to keep things to myself. It was later, when I competed in Amateurs and got medals, it was in newspapers, and they got to know. My friends feel proud and they kind of cherish me. They always knew that I was training Kung-Fu or something... They always used to say hee-haa to have fun.

Ishika soon transitioned into Kickboxing from Karate and competed both at the state level and national level where she picked up multiple medals. While the medals were certainly something that boosted her resume as a combat athlete, it was the values that she got from martial arts that she cherished the most.

Ishika Thite: It has definitely made me a calm and patient person. Especially karate, which spreads the Japanese lifestyle and virtues. It made me more respectful towards people, even living creatures, and also towards things. I never threw my bag, gloves, or shoes. It's the dojo etiquette. Also in the situation of crisis I have fought my way out without panic. It made me disciplined, stronger as a person, determined.

Her time as an English Teacher and signing with MFN:  

After completing her studies, Ishika started teaching English in school and college. The job, however, was a hurdle for her combat sports career which in turn, forced her to quit the same and follow her dream. She is now glad that she made that decision.

Ishika Thite: I’m, glad I took that decision. I stared my own small gym where I used to teach karate and kickboxing. I got into MFN. I started my own venture, small dojo where I train kids and elders.

Intrigued by Mixed Martial Arts after seeing the fights in UFC and SFL, Ishika slowly transitioned from kickboxing to MMA and started competing domestically. She competed and won in the National Open and also had her mark in the first ever Women’s Fight Night in India by X1 International.

And soon, she also became the first-ever female fighter to be signed by Matrix Fight Night.

Ishika Thite: I just love the feeling of this! To be the first female fighter MFN signed. I could never forget this moment life. 1st pro fight, 1st pro offer these things are very special for fighters. I was ecstatic! I feel blessed and grateful to be on board with MFN.

In her first fight at MFN, Ishika suffered a close decision defeat to Aarti Khatri but she came back stronger in the second fight when she picked up a win against Naipunya Sunil in Dubai. And now, Ishika wants to slowly climb up the ladder and get hold of the MFN Women’s Title.

Ishika Thite: In the near future, I want to hold the MFN Women’s Strawweight Title Belt.

Training in Bidang MMA and her future plans:

One of the major factors of Ishika’s MMA career has been her time at Bidang MMA and Fitness which was founded by Indian MMA star Bhabajeet Choudhury. She notes that she gets to learn a lot from the team and also notes that she travels to Phuket at times for her training as well.

Ishika Thite: He [Bhabajeet Choudhury] is an epitome of discipline and is highly skilled. When I’m at Bidang, I try and do whatever training sessions I can and I love to see how technically sound even the beginners are. Training with him is hard but so technical. His grappling is as brilliant as his striking. There's so much to absorb and practice. Even my training partners are supportive and super helpful. Ahead of my fight, sir designs my training, and other trainers and fellow fighters try and help me out as much as possible.

Coming back to her Dojo, Ishika loves the whole process of training and teaching students and hopes that her fighters will be able to grow and get opportunities to fight soon. The dojo and the MFN title is where Ishika sees her immediate future.

Ishika Thite: I don’t know what else I would do, because training is what I have done all my life. Teaching, training English, karate, kickboxing. I don’t know how something else would ever feel. This is what it is. It's all that I got. It's a proud moment for me to see them win. I want my students to grow and get opportunities and fights.

Image Courtesy: Facebook/Ishika Thite


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