| Sharique and Zainab Ahmad practise their moves. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Siblings Sharique Ahmad and Zainab Ahmad have brought glory to the state.
In the just concluded All India Independence Karate Championship held at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, on August 16 and 17, the duo won medals. While Sharique won a silver medal in the 11-year category, Zainab got gold in the eight-year category. It was the 10th edition of the championship.
Eleven-year-old Sharique said he was not very confident initially but his younger sister was very positive from the start.
It was only during the contest with players from states like Punjab, Rajasthan and others that Sharique felt he could win. Sharique said: “I find the sport interesting. I like it because it involves courage, energy, strength and speed.
When The Telegraph asked him why he chose this sport instead of something else, he said: “It’s different and once we reach college, we would have already earned a name for ourselves. It would be a moment of pride for us.”
His sister, 8-year-old Zainab believes the sport would be useful in her daily life. She said: “Learning karate can help a lot. We can use it anywhere in self-defence. I also like kumite because we get to learn a lot more skills. We get to know quite a few things in this form of the martial art. It also helps to judge your opponents better.”
Kumite literally translated means grappling hands and is one of the three main sections of karate training, along with kata and kihon. Kumite is the part in which a person trains against an adversary, using the techniques learned from kihon and kata. Kumite can be used to develop a particular technique or a skill (such as judging and adjusting one’s distance from the opponent) or it can be used it competitions.
The siblings are huge fans of kung fu legend Bruce Lee. On their biggest support, the kids said it was their parents, Mohammad Shakeel Ahmad and Nikhat Fatima. They have always been encouraging their children in every walk of life.
Both the karate kids are students of Don Bosco Academy. While Zainab studies in Class III, Sharique is in Class VI. Shakeel, a lawyer by profession, said: “My children have been training for the past six months at the Institute of Martial Arts run by Pankaj Kambli. Apart from my kids’ hard work and dedication, I would also like to give credit to Kambli who has nurtured them so well.”
The proud father added: “I am looking forward to some international championships where I hope my children would be able to prove themselves. They are promising, sincere and hard working. That boosts my confidence as well.”