Some people are born fighters and it looks like that sure was the case with Tanvi Jhaveri. Tanvi is the first daughter of Arif Shaikh and Radhika Jhaveri Shaikh who are the founders of the National School of Combat Arts in Mumbai, India. They founded the school after training under the Doce Pares style of Eskrima. NSCA teaches Eskrima and Self Defense in various schools, conducts self-defense seminars, trains students in stick fighting, knife fights and hand to hand techniques which is the very base of Eskrima Kali Arnis. Eskrima Kali Arnis is a martial arts for which originates from Cebu, Philippines and it was pioneered in India by Tanvi’s parents in the early 1980’s.
An Early Start to a Challenging Journey
Given her family’s story, it is of little surprise that Tanvi started her training in Eskrima at the tender age of 5. At the age of 6, when a normal student is trying to learn grammar in 1st grade, Tanvi was busy representing Team India at the 2001 World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation International Championship. She even won the silver medal while at it. Obviously, that didn’t come easy. For a 6-year-old, her parents were really strict when it came to the training of the young martial artist. No ego or pride was allowed in the way of her growing to her own best ability.
Despite her parents being Grand Masters, she got no exam or session easy. Instead, she faced an added expectation of growing into a replica of them and every stepping-stone to that was a difficult one. For an entire year, she was sent to their close friends’ classes so that she could go through the rigours and understand the importance of the art in its truest form. She says this experience also taught her to not take things for granted.
Making India and her Parents Proud
The grit and perseverance surely paid off though. This young woman has been a part of Team India, at The World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation International Championships, since 2001. She even went on to become the World Champion in 2008 and 2010. Last year, in the 2nd GSBA; Global Stick and Blade Alliance, in Hawaii she won 1 Gold, 3 Silvers and 1 Bronze.
Though for her, the happiest moment was when her mother, a Grand Master, conferred her, with her personal first black belt to carry on the legacy. She should have gotten the belt at 16, but her mother held it off, to ensure she understood the actual importance of the knowledge she was carrying and loved the art. It was just a month before turning 21 that she actually earned the belt.
Tanvi says her parents have been her biggest inspiration. Her father was the president of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation for 2 consecutive terms, before unfortunately passing away during the last semester of his term. Since then her mother is working even harder to build the dreams they wanted to carry out together. Her mother is also her biggest cheerleader she says. She is the Team India coach and also a 6th-degree black belt. Tanvi says that she has stood by her side in every single match she has played, and all her success is only due to the hard training and guidance given to her by her mother.
I believe that if you want something, go out there and grab it with all the passion and courage you have filled inside of you. Don’t stop yourself from being different, it pays off!
Making a Career Out of Martial Arts
Today, Tanvi is an integral part of the NSCA. She has gotten the privilege to teach at various schools and spread the glory of this martial art, that her parents worked extremely hard to bring to India and make a sport recognised by our government. She also trains in MMA; Mixed Martial Arts and is extremely proud to be the youngest official working member at the at All India Mixed Martial Arts Association an an official at the first Super Fight League season on Sony ESPN.
If that wasn’t enough, she also devotes her time to teaching young girls and boys who belong to Mumbai’s slum areas. She believes that they live the roughest lives and really need the knowledge for self-protection. Along with this she has graduated with a B.Com from Jai Hind College and wants to study law. In whatever spare time she did manage with all this, she interned with IIMUN, worked with AIESEC and started teaching dance classes in a bid to be adventurous and broaden her horizons.
Editors Note: We at CareerNinja really hope that we, as a society, can have more parents like these and support more such Tanvi’s in their adventurous and unique pursuits.
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