Anita Karim, who hails from Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan, is Pakistan’s first and only female Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter to have played internationally. Ms. Karim has also bagged multiple awards and medals for her country.
The MMA player believes that this sport is extremely important for girls as it not only keeps their mind and body active but also teaches them self-defense techniques. By pursuing this sport professionally, she wants to be an inspiration for other girls to encourage them to come forward and participate in such healthy games.
Karim is so good at this sport that she earned herself an epithet of “Arm Collector” after she broke her opponent’s arm in a ground game called Jiu-jitsu. Later, she also won two gold medals and the best athlete award in that competition.
Anita Karim on training and fighting in Pakistan
Since MMA is not an ordinary sport for women in Pakistan, it is a little difficult for Karim to play it here in the country. The 24-year-old told how she had to face negative criticism from people in Pakistan for pursuing this profession, as they believe this is only a “fight” and nothing else. Karim conveyed how she didn’t let the criticism get to her and kept going strong only to prove the naysayers wrong. She also ardently believes that this is not a mere fighting game but another life skill altogether that helps you fight mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
The Arm collector also conveyed that she’s trained with her brother, Ali Sultan from the beginning of her career due to the lack of training facilities of this sport for women in Pakistan, and a low percentage of female candidates to fight with.
Anita says that what keeps her going is the constant support of her parents and her three brothers. Whatever she has been able to achieve thus far is all because of their undeterred support and encouragement.
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