Kamlajit Singh Aujila
Kamlajit Singh Aujila is a nineteen year old, martial arts champion from Derby. Recently he was crowned 'Asian Sports Personality Of The Year,' he’s got a talent he desparately wants to share, but lacks the support of a sponsor. At eighteen he won the grand championships, as a light weight fighter, which has never been achieved before. Combining his sporting life with a full time job, can take its toll and Kamaljit is all too aware about his realistic chances in the professional arena.
How did you get into martial arts?
My father used to do martial arts, when he was a young lad, he started when he was nineteen. He got his black belt and went to the world championships in America, and so obviously when I started, I wanted to follow in his footsteps as well. So when I was seven years old, I got into martial arts, and now I’m representing England in tournaments.
Now your in the field of law as your full time job, how difficult is it to combine that with sport?
It's very hard, because I like to think of myself as a professional sportsman, without actually being professional, because I don’t actually get paid for doing martial arts, but if you want to reach the top you have to act like a professional. Your diet and lifestyle have to reflect this especially when working full time.
So, ideally you’d like to go professional in martial arts, and make that your full time career?
If I had the opportunity to go professional, yes I would. I would have to get a good sponsor first. If I had a good sponsor, who could support me, that would be the way forward.
Are there many Asians within martial arts?
On a general scale there aren’t many, you only ever see one or two when we go to tournaments. It's not a very big sport for Asians, its doesn’t attract a lot of attention.
You're currently 19, how long will you continue to be part of the martial arts scene?
There isn’t a major future in martial arts, particularly if you're from an Asian culture, you have responsibility, you're not just feeding yourself but you will have a family to look after. I could carry on for the rest of my life doing martial arts and feeding my self, but at the end of day, I will have responsibility, and other mouths to feed. If I could turn professional, and earn money from it, then it would be a real consideration, but realistically at the moment, it wouldn’t be an option. I respect my culture, and I understand why it holds me back.