The kickboxing kid: Rare photos of 8-year-old kickboxing champ Tajamul Islam

In 2014, when Tajamul Islam joined Ali's Academy of Sports, few would have guessed what would come of it. However, Tajamul took to martial arts like a fish to water. While she was clearly gifted at kickboxing, she's no slouch at Wushu and Taekwondo either, excelling at both.

Trained by coach Faisal Ali Dar, she began participating in district and state level competitions and was awarded the best fighter of the year award in the 10th Jammu and Kashmir State Wushu Championships at Jammu that very year. Clearly, the little girl had a lot of fight in her. The best though, was yet to come.

After two years of intense training, Tajamul was all set to participate in an international championship! Held in November, the World Kickboxing Championship in Italy, was to be the site of Tajamul's most famous success yet.

During the five-day long tournament, Tajamul, a class two student, won six matches to walk away with the gold medal in the sub-junior category at the event where 90 countries had participated. In the finals, she defeated an opponent from the United States.

A resident of Tarkpora village in Badipora district, 65 kilometres from Srinagar, her achievement is now an inspiration to many in Kashmir and, indeed, India.

 
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