Sometimes, a usual summer holiday when you are a kid can change your life completely. That happened to Serogina Anita, an Ukrainian karate athlete from the city Chernomorsk on the shores of the Black Sea. When she was 11 years old, one typical summer holiday, a friend took her to karate training. The rest is history:
“Usually in my childhood, I visited the summer children camp every year in July after school. But that year something’s changed and I went to the camp in August. That’s where I met my karate coach.”
The first thing she learned was combat position, after which she started learning punches and kicks. One and a half years later, she took part in her first competition where she won a bronze medal. From then to now it’s been almost 20 years and she won many more medals but it’s necessary to emphasize the most important ones – bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships, individual gold, two silvers and three bronze medals from European Championships, gold from the European Games and silver from the World Games. All in her category -61 kilograms.
Anita’s first European medal happened in 2012. It was a special moment not only for her but her whole country: “I remember this day like it happened yesterday. Before I won this medal no one in our country had a medal from the senior championship. For me, it was very important to be the first who did it. It was an unforgettable day in my life. After that event I became more confident in myself as a karate player. This medal gave me faith in further victories.”
Also, that medal was the start of her routine she always does before competitions: “My usual ritual has been to imagine in my head how I win all the fights from the first to the final. Then I imagine how the national anthem is played, how I get a medal and I hold it in my hands. Then I realize that the victory has already happened in my head, in my thoughts, I have already accepted it, and then I do everything on the tatami to make it happen in real life.”
Since then, she has competed in the last eight European Championships and climbed the throne on six of them. Is the routine the secret or something else?
“As the coach of our national team says: «If you want to achieve high goals, your friend should be discipline, not motivation». Looking back I realize that these words are about me, I have always been disciplined, starting from school to adulthood.”
That means she has 5 karate training sessions and 5-7 physical training sessions in the usual training week. Also, that means preparing mentally. Under one of her pictures Anita wrote: «Don’t play safe, take a risk». Does that describe her way of Karate?
“I think it more characterizes my style of fighting. It’s both the positive side and the negative side of my fights simultaneously. I left this quote on my Instagram to remind myself that you need to take more risks to win.”
And does Anita plans on winning at #karateporec2021?
“At important tournaments, I always want to win a gold medal, never think about silver or bronze. So the goal for #karateporec2021 is to win a double gold medal in individual Kumite and team Kumite.”
Except being one of the top Ukrainian and European karatekas, karate brought her so many things:
“I think my best achievement in karate is a strong character. This sport taught me to overcome life’s difficulties, move on and look positively to the future. But the most important thing is that thanks to karate I met my husband, a man much stronger than me, a man who looks at life in the same direction with me.”