8-year-old Kashmiri Girl wins World Kickboxing Championship

"I spotted Tajamul from the distance. She wasn't yet completely conversant with the rules of the game but she had the speed. I found her instinctively aggressive."

The same day ceasefire violations continued in the valley, social media went abuzz with success story of eight-year-old Kashmiri girl creating history of success in Italy.

The news circulated when Kashmir’s former chief minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference congratulated her on Twitter.

Tajamul Islam won gold medal in world kickboxing championship in the sub junior level, which was held in Andria, Italy. She is the first kickboxer from Kashmir to achieve this feat, and came to limelight when she won sub-junior category of national level kickboxing championship in New Delhi. Reportedly, Coach Dar was impressed with her skills instantly. “I spotted Tajamul from the distance. She wasn’t yet completely conversant with the rules of the game but she had the speed. I found her instinctively aggressive,” Dar had said earlier.

The reports have informed that she defeated her opponent from the USA, with 90 countries participating in the championship. Her coach and mentor Faisal Ali has claimed that this achievement has made her the world’s youngest kickboxer to win an international gold. In talk with Hindustan Times he said, “The sub-junior level closes at 14 years of age. Tajamul was the youngest in the category.” He added, “The finals were on November 9. Overall, Tajamul won six games.’’

Ali finds her achievement all the more commendable, considering the volatile situation in Kashmir for a quarter century now. “We lack even the basic infrastructure. Yet, she won gold.”

The stand-up combat sport, which involves kicking and punching, originated half a century ago in Japan — and, within a decade, became popular in the West as well. Tajamul Islam is a class 2 student and a resident of Tarkpora village in Bandipora district, 65 kilometers from Srinagar. Her father is a driver for a construction company, and makes enough to make ends meet, but the reports claim that Islam along with her two brothers and two sisters has been well trained in Martial arts.

Ali has been coaching her for two years in the backyard of his house. “The girl came to me when she had just passed her upper kindergarten,” he says. In an earlier report, Tajamul Islam has been quoted as saying, “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 want to join them and he let me.”