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Kolkata's Rishika, born to two black belts, brings glory to India in Europe

Just 15 years of age, Rishika Banerjee from Kolkata triumphed in Europe in a Karate Championship.

Kolkatas Rishika, born to two black belts, brings glory to India in Europe

Rishika Banerjee (left)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 11 Jun 2023 4:27 PM GMT

Rishika Banerjee from Kolkata, West Bengal participated in the 11th European Championship of karate Kyokushinkai organised by I.K.O. Matsushima - 2023, held in Santa Susanna City, Spain on the 13 May 2023. She defeated Denmark, Canary Island and Spain to win the Championship.

Moreover, Rishika was the sole candidate from India to participate at the Championship. She was accompanied by her father and coach, Mayukh Banerjee, the Founder of Mike’s Martial Arts, Kolkata.

Rishika atop the podium

At the young age of 15, Rishika stands out as an exceptional talent in the world of karate. Born on February 5, 2008, she currently attends La Martiniere for Girls, Kolkata. Rishika's karate journey began at a remarkably young age of 4.5, embracing the revered Shotokan style as her foundation.

Through seven years of unwavering commitment, she earned the esteemed black belt, a testament to her dedication and perseverance.

Banerjee's passion for karate was sparked at a tender age, with her father serving as a prominent source of inspiration. As a martial artist himself, Mayukh Banerjee, Rishika's father, played a pivotal role in nurturing her interest and encouraging her to embrace the sport.

His diverse training in various martial art forms and his decision to leave the Merchant Navy to establish his own dojo, Mike's Martial Arts in Kolkata, exemplify his unwavering dedication to the sport.

At the forefront of promoting martial arts-based fitness in South Kolkata, Mike's Martial Arts Fitness Studio stands as a premier establishment committed to delivering top-tier training solutions.

The studio, founded by Rishika's father, Mayukh Banerjee, offers a comprehensive array of programs tailored to both adults and children. These programs encompass a diverse range of disciplines, including various forms of Kyokushin karate, Shotokan karate, Jiu Jitsu, MMA Conditioning, and Kickboxing.

The family's dedication to karate extends beyond Rishika and her father. Rishika's mother has also achieved remarkable milestones, boasting of a black belt in Shotokan and a green stripe in Kyokushin karate.

About Full Contact Karate – IKO Kyokushin

Kyokushin Karate (IKO) was founded by a great Japanese Master – Sosai Masutatsu Oyama in 1964. It has millions of practitioners worldwide and is hugely popular in West Bengal and India with thousands of students practicing it.

In Kolkata, schools like Garden High and South Point, include Kyokushin in their curriculum. After Sosai’s death in 1993, there were several law suits involving inheritance of the style by the stalwarts and it resulted in fragmentation of the style into 3 IKO’s from the single IKO that Sosai had established.

The three principle IKO’s (numbered chronologically as per founding) are: IKO 1 (Shokai Matsui), IKO 2 (Kenji Midori) and IKO 3 (Y Matsushima). It is IKO 3 from where Rishika Banerjee from Kolkata was invited to participate.

Although there are three principle groups and several smaller factions operating from Japan, the rules of Kyokushin Karate, including Kata and Kumite are the same across the board.

About the 11th European Open Kyokushin Championship

The 11th European Championship to which Ms Rishika Banerjee was invited to participate was organised by IKO 3 (Matsushima). IKO3 has 24 member nations in Europe and the participation was therefore from these 24 European Nations as well as India.

It has been made OPEN to all the factions of Kyokushin Karate (IKO1, 2 and the other smaller factions) and therefore participation was on a larger scale.

Not being a European Nation, it was therefore an exception and an honour that Rishika had been invited to participate. The championship was held in Barcelona, Spain on 12th and 13th of May. 14th of May was reserved for international instructors training and examination for black belts and above.

The team from India comprised her father/coach and country representative and Rishika Banerjee as the participant.

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