Bandipora: Don’t be misled by her innocent smile and small size; mess with her and she can break your bones with her powerful little fist.
Meet Tajamul Islam, 6-year-old kickboxing sensation from Kashmir ready to represent India in an international championship to be held in Italy in November.
Islam, who has five gold medals under her belt, will be the first Kashmiri to participate in the world kickboxing championship.
She learned the sport at Faisal Ali’s Marshal Arts academy.
For the last two years, she has been practicing two years daily on a small patch of ground behind the SK stadium at Bandipora. And Ali, her coach, has been shaping her skills.
“Her aggression and fearlessness keeps her achieving the milestones,” Ali said. “Put her in front of anybody in the ring and she will give her best. The word ‘loss’ doesn’t exist in her dictionary.”
At four years of age, Islam happened to visit the academy with her sister Razia and brother Mohsin, who too have been learning kickboxing.
“While watching them practice, she starting copying the moves. Her speed and perfection made me believe that she was up for something big. So, I took her into the academy for training,” Ali said.
Islam proved her coach right.
She earned herself a place in a national championship, held in Jammu, by defeating an opponent who was 7 years older and 8 kilos heavier than her.
Subsequently, the little champ bagged gold in Sub-Junior category at the 2015 kickboxing championship held at Talkatora stadium in New Delhi.
Islam excels in Wushu and Taekwondo too. And she has won gold medals in both sports at the district and state levels.
She is brimming with confidence.
“Come inside the ring and I will make your chutney,” she challenged, with a clenched fist and a wide smile.
Islam, whose father is a truck driver with a construction company, is all set to take on anyone in the international championship.
She is eying victory, with her siblings readying her for the challenge.
“I want to make my parents and my hometown proud by returning from Italy with a win,” she said.