Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Martial Arts in Nepal No Longer Illegal

We faced a lot of problems at its beginning,' said Taekwondo coach Sitkar Raj Bhandari

Demonstration of a kata

Martial art schools of taekwando karate and kung fu now wildly popular in Nepal have come a long way since the days of being an outlawed activity in the country.

These martial arts arrived in Nepal in the 1970s. Participants had to practice in secret or risk punishment if they were seen by the police. Instructors and classes went underground, much like training for Maoists these days.

"We faced a lot of problems at its beginning," said Taekwondo coach Sitkar Raj Bhandari. "I used to give training to players escaping from the police. So we didn't have proper place to practice. We did keep moving so they wouldn't find us."

"The society of that time also treated us badly. They thought we were criminals. So it was quite difficult," said chief master of Nepalese kyokushin karate Jagat Gauchan.

"But we never stopped and as a result, martial arts in Nepal is now enjoyed by everyone," he said.

Slowly and gradually martial arts became accepted by society and people became interested. Also, authorities felt pressured to make it legal.

Gauchan was instrumental in making it legal. In 1983, the Patron of National Sports Council His Royal highness semi-crown Prince Dhirendra Shah gave the green light to make martial arts legal.

Karate, now famous in Nepal

After it was legalized, many people were interested. Parents also forced their children to practice. Slowly martial arts became part of people's daily life.

Today more than 14 karate associations are functioning. Thousands of players from different parts of Nepal are playing different karate. Taekwando is also very famous among Nepalese as well as other marital arts

Nepal has very bright future in martial arts. Nepalese players are performing very well on the international level. The Nepalese government needs to continue to support martial arts so its competitors can boost the nation's reputation.


Blogger website builder said...

I hope taekwondo will also become popular there

8:00 PM  

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