By LB THAPA FOR ONTOTHEROAD.COM
Nepali martial artists have always made country proud by winning medals in various international competitions. Among the branches of martial arts, the performance of Karate in international level has been outstanding for years.
Karate is not only a sport but it is also a way of self-defense. At a time when life has become increasingly unsafe, the best way to protect ourselves is the use of karate. This is the message Pokhara based Fatta Bahadur Gurung and his wife Sushma Gurung, both are professional karate coaches, spread around.
Fatta Bahadur Gurung, Black Belt 5th Dan, is a karate coach and Asian Karate Federation (AKF) judge. He has spent over one and half decades enriching karate in Nepal.
“My wife and I have dedicated our lives to the service of karate. By teaching karate, we want to make our students able to defend themselves from bad people. However, our special focus is always on girls. I want more and more girls should learn karate so that they become able to defend themselves.
“My daughter Amus Gurung is only 6-year old but she is already doing very well as she punches and kicks much harder than a child of her age. We want all karate learning girls to become physically tough enough to fight back the bad people and we have been largely successful in our efforts,” said Fatta Guru.
Rubiska Tamang is only 18-year old but she is already a National Karate Champion. She has won several medals in various karate competitions held in Nepal and abroad.
“I can use my punches and kicks more like lethal weapons. My one punch or one sidekick is enough to break anyone’s bone for sure. Karate has given me enough self-confidence to feel myself safe and secure in every critical situation. My tough karate training has made my entire body much stronger and agile. I want today’s young girls should not live a miserable life and helplessness rather they should be tough enough to beat the offenders”, said Rubiska Tamang, a National Karate Champion in junior level.
In the past, Fatta Guru had already trained Nepal Armed Police (NAP), Nepal Police, Nepal Army among others. Being a senior authority in Shito Ryu Karate, Fatta Guru’s contribution to enrich karate in Nepal is immense and praiseworthy.
“We have dedicated our lives to the service of karate in Nepal. By teaching karate, we want to meet two purposes. First, we want to produce quality karate players who can win medals for the country in international tournaments. Second and most important aim of us is to teach karate to as many girls as possible.
“We feel very sorry about the news of how young girls are being targeted by some devils in society. Therefore, we want to make our daughters strong enough to fight back to defend themselves from the offenders”, said Sushma Gurung, black belt 4th Dan and a senior karate coach.
About two years ago, Fatta Bahadur Gurung and his wife had purchased a piece of land at Chauthe, Pokhara to run a karate academy. At present, about 150 karate students are enrolled in the karate academy.
Karate training is conducted in two shifts: morning and evening. All students are qualified to join the academy except who have serious medical condition.
Fatta Bahadur Gurung’s karate academy has already produced many national and international level karate players and now a new batch of young karatekas are being groomed.
Fatta Bahadur Gurung and his wife Sushma Gurung have extended their karate academy as far as Palpa, Tanahun, Syangja, and Myagdi.
“There are hundreds of karate students in these karate Dojangs where young boys and girls get regular karate training in morning and evening shifts. Moreover, I regularly visit primary and high schools and meet with teachers and principals. I explain them why they should encourage girls to learn karate. As a result, nowadays many teachers and principals recommend their students to join our academy. I want to empower young girls by teaching them lethal karate techniques. So that they can successfully protect themselves from any assault on their lives”, said Sushma Gurung proudly.
While speaking with this scribe Fatta Bahadur Gurung said that he has received no help of any kind from the state.
“Despite my dedication to the service of karate, the state has never paid any attention to my contribution. Most of the time, I take my students for karate competitions on my own expenditure. To set up a karate academy in Pokhara, I sought financial help from the state but what I received was merely assurances, nothing else.
“However, Yagya Lal Shrestha, a US based Nepali businessman and a philanthropist, provided me some financial assistance to build karate academy in Pokhara. I am always grateful of his generosity”, said Fatta Guru rather emotionally.
According to Fatta Guru, there are many karate trainers in the country, who have capacity to groom medal-winning karatekas for the country. However, the government has neither given any support to those hard working karate coaches nor to promising karatekas. Due to lackluster attitude of the government, the country is not being able to win a medal in the major events one like Olympics.
“Capable people one like us will never join any political party to get political leverages. Opportunists and incapable people follow political leaders for their vested interest and they succeed as well. Honest and dedicated people are always ignored, neglected and sidelined”, said Fatta Guru and his wife Sushma Gurung.
Truth has it that nepotism, favoritism and corruption have eaten away the vitals of our nation. Politics and corruption have entered in all levels of development sectors, which have affected country’s overall development.
Political leaders must stop playing double game. On the one hand, they say they will fight against corruption; on the other hand, politicians are the main culprits as they directly interfere in sporting sector by placing their own people in higher positions.
Now it is an open secret that how political leaders and high-ranking bureaucrats shamelessly ask for their part of commission in most of the development projects. If commission is not provided them then they create obstacles to run the projects.
Fatta Guru even told this scribe that how high-ranking bureaucrats ask him to take their men abroad to participate in international tournaments.
If we want to see Nepali sports grow steadily then no politics should be allowed in sports. All appointments in the sporting sector should be made on merit basis. This is the only way to bail out Nepali sports.
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