SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – A nine-year-old girl living in Indian-administered Kashmir has created history, Tajamul Islam won the sub-junior World Kickboxing Championship in Italy in November.
Islam has spent the last year winning all of the local championships she’s fought in, and now has her sights set on fighting in the Olympic Games. She hails from a village in the Bandipora district, some 40 miles from the main city of Srinagar.
Islam’s father works as a truck driver for a construction company, earning a monthly take-home pay of 10,000 rupees, or $146, per month. But that didn’t stop him from getting his daughter involved in the sport of kickboxing early on in her life – Islam won her first gold medal in the Jammu state championships last year.
She moved on to defeat a 13-year-old opponent to capture gold at India’s national kickboxing championship as well.
“I was a little afraid when I saw her [my opponent]. But then I said to myself that age or body structure does not matter. I will remain focused and give it my best shot,” she said, after her win.
Islam’s introduction to kickboxing came after she began attending classes at a local martial arts training academy. “I was walking near the stadium here when I saw many young boys and girls training. I saw them punching and all that and told my father that I wanted to join them and he let me,” she was quoted as saying by BBC.
According to her trainer, Islam spends 25 hours per week training. Some of her training sessions may involve using good quality water punching bags; something that many professional athletes are starting to use to help with their punching and kicking technique.
Her historic November victory at the sub-junior tournament came after winning six bouts in five days. The tournament included participants from 90 countries, Islam defeated opponents from China, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and the United States.
Since her accomplishments, Islam has become an inspiration for not just the children in her village, but its keepers, too.
She doesn’t just excel in the ring -as a student of the Indian Army’s Goodwill School, Islam frequently tops her class and participates in all extracurricular activities at school.
She says she hopes to one day become a doctor.
“It will have its own benefits. I will first break my opponents bones and then treat them.”