Renshi Pradeep is accustomed to fierce bouts in the karate training hall. But the leading martial arts instructor is now facing a tougher challenge as he fights to raise awareness of the sport among UAE youngsters.
The sixth-dan black belt in Karate Budokan International and the founder of the popular chain of Golden Falcon Karate Centres in the emirates, strongly advocates the principles of the ancient Chinese art that he says helps develop a complete individual.
"Karate is good for the mind and the body," he says. "I would honestly like to see more youth get involved in this martial art, which has several benefits.
"Budokan karate embraces the best principles of martial arts. It helps build up strength, confidence and character among other things."
Renshi Pradeep personally supervises classes at all the Golden Falcon brances in the UAE to ensure that high training standards are maintained by all his instructors imparting advanced techniques to his students.
"If we are to transform our students into good karat-ekas, then we require good instructors who have high principles in courage, courtesy, integrity, humility and self-control," he stresses.
"Budokan karate, formed in 1966, is one of the most popular karate styles in the world today and the Golden Falcon Centre is affiliated to its governing body. We are one of the few centres officially authorised to award the various belts to our students," Renshi Pradeep reveals.
Stressing the principles that have made Budokon Karate extremely popular, he says: "karate essentially teaches discipline and imparts self-confidence. Though the katas (exercises) it helps discipline both the mind and body while striving for spiritual and physical perfection."
Renshi Pradeep says that the principle of karate is often misunderstood.
"It has nothing to do with being violent and aggressive, quite the contrary," he points out. "It is a unique martial art based on courtesy and understanding with a core of self-defence."
Renshi Pradeep, who says his life-long ambition is to become a Grand Master in Budokan karate, set up his first Golden Falcon Karate Centre in Fujairah in 1988 before opening branches in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.
He equates continuous training to a pot on a fire: "Put the fire out and the water gets cold. You should never let the fire die."