AT News Report-KABUL: Hundreds of the youth come enthusiastically to the newly opened martial art center to see and learn the Shaolin after they have heard about from their friends or relatives.
The branch of the Chinese Kung Fu was brought and introducing to Afghans by Hussain Sadiqi, an Afghan-Australian martial artist, who has defied the unsafe situation in his homeland to serve his people by teaching them the art.
“I left Australia and came to Afghanistan to help the youth of my country in art, education and sports,” the world champion in Wushu, told Afghanistan Times during the official inauguration of the school.
Martial arts have found their own positions in Afghanistan. Foreign masters in their visits to Afghanistan attracted the interest of the youth to these sports decades back. Several training centers of Boxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Judo and other martial sports are active across the country in which young people learn these arts.
Afghan martial artist have pictured their country to the world inhabitants who have the images of a country of war in their minds. Ruhollah Nikpa, the Tae Kwon Do champion is an example who gained two silver medals in the Beijing and London Olympic games in 2008 and 2012, a first-ever honor for Afghans from Olympic matches.
“I founded the Shaolin School for the first time in Afghanistan by my own finance,” said the former Afghan Wushu captain of the country, who has starred in foreign martial art films including Hollywood movies.
Most of Sadiqi’s students are girls who work hard to learn this new and interesting art.
He said that his aim for founding the martial art school was to encourage girls. “Girls can attend the school for free as women are forgotten part of our society.”
Girls, who were banned from school, sports and other social activities during the war years and particularly during Taliban’s rule, have got the chance to show their talents. Many girls are exercising different sports.
He added that boys and girls attend the school. “Some of the boys are national champions and used to be part of Afghanistan’s national Wushu team.”
Now the Shaolin School has four branches in the provinces and as Sadiqi says, the Herat girls are “the best martial artists in Afghanistan”.
Sadiqi and his martial art school however, have their problem that hope the government helps them overcome. “It’s too hard. I pay the rent for the building, equipment, uniforms… for the girl athletes,” he said, calling on the government and foreign aid agencies as well as foreign embassies to help them.
“I went to a few of them and asked them to help the girl athletes, but I was told that sport is a luxury thing for Afghans, while they need food and other essential.”
Sadiqi who left Afghanistan during the Taliban regime and applied for refuge in Australia, says that he would work to bring peace and co-existence in the country through the sport.
“Sport is an element that brings joy and friendship to Afghanistan and we should spread this beautiful piece of friendship and peace among all Afghans.
Chinese Ambassador to Kabul had attended the inauguration of the Shaolin martial arts school which had begun activities last year, and according to Sadiqi, the embassy would help the girl trainees of his school.