Muhammad Farooq, a Taekwondo champion in Afghanistan and Iran, has sold his gold medal to teach his students in Pakistan.

Muhammad Farooq, Taekwondo gold medalist
Muhammad Farooq, Taekwondo gold medalist (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)

Muhammad Farooq, of the Khyber Agency, is a Taekwondo champion who’s won gold medals in Afghanistan and Iran. He’s eager to bring the Korean martial art home to its young people, so he opened an academy in Khyber, one of the seven tribal agencies in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). 

The Taj Education Complex is the only academy in the Khyber tribal area to offer Taekwondo. Around 25 boys from grade 1 to college level are learning the martial art, and three have won gold medals at the 2nd Governor FATA Youth Festival. 

Farooq is clearly committed to his sport and his students. “I sold a gold medal to purchase 16 mats,” he said. Another 16 mats were donated by the Political Agent of the Khyber Agency, but he still needs 28 more. And due to lack of space, Farooq trains boys at Jamrud Degree College in the evenings. He’s happy to do whatever it takes to bring Taekwondo home.

Trainer is coaching ‘Pomsa’ which is a type of Taekwondo.
Trainer is coaching ‘Pomsa’ which is a type of Taekwondo. (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
Coach along with 3 students practising ‘Saekok Youjaen’ a type of Taekwondo.
Coach along with 3 students practising ‘Saekok Youjaen’ a type of Taekwondo. (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
Some students learning ‘self-defence’
Some students learning ‘self-defence’ (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
Two young boys posing as Taekwondo masters.
Two young boys posing as Taekwondo masters. (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
Combined class practise.
Combined class practise. (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
The class with their coach, Muhammad Farooq.
The class with their coach, Muhammad Farooq. (Saba Rehman / TRTWorld)
Source: TRT World