My first contact with Ruslan Shogenov took place at the 2012 World Championship in Serbia. I was in the heating area waiting for the finals to start broadcasting, and with my team (with Daniela Vîrză instead of Laurenţiu Iliescu) was to open the gala with a synchronous kata, being in the position of world champions for the second consecutive time (click here for video). Then, the Russian athlete hobbled, and Adrian Vlăsceanu asked if he was going to fight, and he answered yes, being somehow surprised not by the question, but rather by the option to abandon that match. Ruslan Shogenov, one of the world’s best Ashihara-Karate practitioners, a multiple champion, tells us about a small part of his world.
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Ruslan Shogenov started his sporting career at the age of 7, with boxing, then freestyle wrestling and soccer. In January 1998 (he was 9 years old), he entered for the first time in an Ashihara-Karate dojo and in February competed in a competition in which he took the second place, winning in front of more experienced opponents. This was the moment when he had felt in love with karate. “Other than Ashihara-Karate, I play soccer in the team of our city’s university, I do kudo and boxing. Kudo because is a very dynamic sport, with elements of struggle, boxing, grappling, karate and the rules are closer to a real combat. And boxing because is fun! Boxing is like chess, involving a lot of thinking in combat and this helps me in karate and kudo. Thanks to boxing, the percussion and the strength of my hands’ techniques are high and I think I’ve demonstrated this many times at the championships”, said the Russian athlete.
He is from Nalchik, a very small city in the south of Russia (the North Caucasus). “Our climate is one of the key of success, being engaged in high altitude conditions. Our school is the best in Russia. About 20 world champions (which everyone knows) are training in one gym. We constantly exchange experiences and help each other. This is the reason why I show a high level of fighting in the competitions. For me there is only one goal: the first place; any other result is a failure. Sometimes is difficult when you step on the tatami and the most important thing is to show willpower, strong spirit, courage and patience if you want to win”, mentioned the Russian champion.
All the results from his sporting career wouldn’t have been possible without discipline. “I don’t smoke or drink alcoholic beverages. I don’t waste my time in vain! All my free time from work I spend in the gym. When I’m preparing for tournaments I train three times a day. My coaches taught me many secrets to which I add my own achievements and tricks. I train constantly my sabaki technique and I devote a lot of time to power training, but the main guarantee of success is the desire“, explained him.
For the development of Ashihara-Karate style, Ruslan Shogenov considers needed new directions, one being presented at the last World Championship, in Brașov (Romania), in 2016. And also is needed more prepared judges and a carefully selection of them. “This is evidenced by the incident that happened to me in the finals, when two inexperienced young side referees made a mistake. Everybody who saw the fight said I won. Even my opponent and his coach admitted this. Such incidents repel athletes and spectators, which negatively affects the popularity of Ashihara-Karate. At that time, I was upset, and the emotions led to the fact that I thought to finish my career in this martial arts style. But I continued to work, because I love Ashihara-Karate. Now I’m preparing for the World Championship from Kazakhstan, my goals being the first place and the Best Fighter trophy“, concluded the Russian karateka. He also thinks that the world championships should follow the “design” of fights from MMA or K-1.
In the next 10 years, he plans to continue training and perform at all possible competitions in Ashihara-Karate, kudo, K-1, MMA etc., wanting to win the championships of Russia and the world competitions in Ashihara-Karate and kudo. Also, because he trains children and adults, he hopes that soon in the future he will be recognized not only as a good fighter, but also as a good coach.