KULSOOM HAZARA: THE ULTIMATE KARATE CHAMPION OF PAKISTAN
Women are nowhere less in any field, especially in regards to making history, they are moving mountains and doing the impossible in every domain of life. No matter what background you have, your spirits and will power makes you stronger as well as an achiever.
Hello! in conversation with the Karate Champion of Pakistan, Kulsoom Hazara, found out some interesting perks of Karate, and how she made herself a champion to take her this far, let’s get straight to it.
How do you define karate?
Karate is like doing your defense without using a weapon. It makes you physically and mentally fit, and gives you confidence to move in the society.
Which karate technique you are good at?
Face punch is my favorite, I am confident that when I take it up I would win a point for sure.
What does a black belt mean to you?
You get it when you are a senior, when you are perfect at it; people think it is easy. But for a player it is an achievement, it is time consuming, once you pass the test then you are promoted to the next belt when you are expert at it.
I would rather be a doctor, I was fond of it, my brother in law wanted me to be in this field to win medals for Pakistan, and make name for Pakistan. But my focus was on education at that time, moreover after his death I wanted to pursue his wish and took it up dearly.
What is the difference between you wearing a white belt and you wearing a black belt?
White belt is so basic when you start, and when you are a beginner. Black belt is when you are a master/expert in the domain.
What would you like to improve in yourself as a person and as a karate player?
I am very sensitive, I want to overcome it, besides, I want to enhance my techniques, I want to act perfect in my performance and be more quick in my speed, so in my international tournaments when I go to compete with them I am improved.
How many Gold/Silver medals have you reserved for yourself?
Allahumdulilah, as many as I could not even count.
Can you mention some good exercises to do?
Burpee(s) are good for weight reduction, also squats and planks. Being a player to increase stamina, to be fit, I try a couple of exercises. Stretching exercises, yoga exercises for mental health and so much more.
What is the hardest challenge you overcame on your way to black belt?
I had tremendous issues since my childhood, my parents passed away when I was too small, my guardian raised me up, motivated me, inspired me but after he passed away my life came full circle and I never gave up. People used to ridicule me that what I am doing in karate, and it is not a good sport for girls.
Who has helped you the most along the journey?
My brother in law, and after his death, both of my sisters.
What is the scope of women Karate in Pakistan?
It has a scope if you take it up as a profession, I represent Pakistan WAPDA, I have a government job, and WAPDA pays me off. So it has a scope and you can support your family as well.
What message would you give to women athletes in Pakistan?
Don’t get demotivated, people might ridicule you. Just work hard, do something for Pakistan, create good image of Pakistan internationally by achieving medals.
How to approach the right person if a woman opts for Karate?
Is there a particular diet you follow and what is your training routine?
I eat healthy, I avoid spicy food & I don’t follow a diet. Usually and most of the time I avoid soft drinks, I take fresh juices, and diet that helps me in training; food that is beneficial for an athlete does good with me. I am not fond of junk food, I don’t eat it at all. I do gym in the morning, then in the evening I go to the club, these days I am living in a camp for my physical fitness training. It is a hard training for competition.
How do you deal with training having an injury which requires rest?
Injuries are part of Karate game, we take rest when necessary & needed. Also we do try techniques where movement is restricted and use different technique to help recovering quicker.
How many countries have you already represented Pakistan?
I have represented Pakistan in Asian games, Iran, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, karate Premier League, Azerbaijan, Islamic games and South Asian Games.