With the progression of time, many learnings and concepts that were valued and adhered to in the earlier times have died. In this fast-paced world, people who work smarter and more appreciated than those who work hard. The speed with which the world has evolved has left behind the golden concepts of honesty, hard work, dedication, passion, and perseverance. Today, people lack the spirit of following their goals and dreams and settle for something they do not like. With each passing day, the number of people striving hard for their dreams decreases, and this merely because of the lack of dedication and hard work. The past is full of inspirational stories that motivate a young soul not to lose hope at such an early stage and never stop working for passion, come what may. Among the many stories is Muhammad Tariq Khan’s story.
“Anything That Gets Your Blood Racing Is Probably Worth Doing” – Hunter S Thompson
Being true to the quote Muhammad Tariq Khan passionately followed his dream to play badminton and is a notable Pakistani sports personality today. Due to his persistence and dedication, he has been recognized by many reputable national sports institutes and platforms for his valuable contribution to badminton.
Muhammad Tariq Khan had a very different and eventful childhood. As a child, he witnessed how gruesome and cruel people and life can be. He was a child born in the subcontinent and experienced the horrific and historical partition and independence of the two states India and Pakistan.
The badminton champion opened his eyes in Bharatpur, in India, on the 14th of August, 1942. Muhammad Tariq Khan spent his first five years in this Rajasthani city and has vivid memories of him playing through the narrow alleyways with his friends. It was in 1947 that unforeseen chaos had been called upon with the announcement of partition.
The partition of India and Pakistan was a historical and victorious moment for the Muslim majority in India, who have now gotten an entire country to practice, and preach their religion without hesitation and restriction. Muhammad Tariq Khan, along with his father, Mr. Abdul Hameed Khan, and his mother, Mrs. Akhtari Begum, and seven siblings parted ways their loved city and headed towards a new life awaited them in the new state.
With great difficulties and tiresome traveling, the family reached Karachi first and later moved to Rohri, a city in Sindh. The family took their time to settle into the new environment. Soon, Tariq and his siblings were admitted to schools to resume their studies. At school, Tariq developed an interest in playing badminton. At first, he took it as a hobby, but with the passage of time and his parents’ support, he began practicing it regularly. Initially, he practiced badminton by hitting the shuttlecock against the walls of his home. Seeing his increasing passion and love for the sport, his family bought him a net, a few wooden rackets, and a pack of shuttles to practice at home.
Badminton, His First Love
Tariq’s consistent practice and quick learning ability made him an ‘Under 12 Pakistan Champion’ within the first year of playing. As the family had recently migrated, they had to struggle a lot to stabilize themselves. Tariq’s parents worked day in and day out to provide their children the best they could. As a growing kid, Tariq was compassionate and admired his parent’s efforts, so he did not want to burden them with his expenses.
His passion was enough to keep him going. Tariq practiced badminton without a coach. Mr. Masood Khan and Mr. Irshad Ahmed, former Pakistani Badminton Champions, were his inspirations. He often visited the badminton courts only to watch these legends practice and perfect their craft. Tariq picked up a lot of techniques of the game just by watching it.
The self-trained player often played with the Khairpur Division Team. Tariq had perfected his craft so much that he openly challenged the senior players for a friendly match and faced their ferocious attacks with a warm smile.
Although badminton took up most of his time, Tariq never stepped back from his studies. He continued his studies, graduated from Sindh University in 1964, and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
The journey of badminton had just begun for this talented boy. In 1964, he was awarded by the Farhat Nishan Club Rohri for ‘Holding Double Grounds.’ In 1965 he was titled ‘Winner’ for a tournament organized by the Islamia College of Sukkur. In the same year, he was given an award for being a runner-up by the Hyderabad Division Badminton Association. Mohammad Tariq was attached with sport for forty years and achieved many titles in this era. He was a national badminton champion for 10 years.
It’s A Family Thing
The love for sports ran in the family. It was not only Tariq who was inclined with badminton, but his brothers were too. Mr. Shakir Abdullah, and Mr. Gulam Abdul Qadir Jillani, both played the sport exceptionally well. Combined practice sessions under Tariq Khan’s guidance made them skilled players too.
Tariq’s cousins, three cousin brothers, Khaliq-Ur-Rehman, Ateeq-Ur-Rehman, and Farooq-Uz-Zaman, were also great players. Badminton became the recognizing and uniting symbol of the family, and the brothers were known as the ‘Six Brothers’ in the entire province.
Restricted to Transform Dreams into Reality
Tariq Khan was ten when he first played badminton. At a very early age, he had decided what he would do in the future. The young player had a lot of potentials to build a strong career in this sport, but due to financial issues, he could not continue it further.
As a developing country, the chances of him earning by playing the sport were blurry and scarce. Opting for a safer and reliable option, Muhammad Tariq Khan joined Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in 1967.
Although now he had a full-time job and a family to look after, Tariq never deviated from his love for badminton. After the duty hours, he often went to KPT hall to play badminton and made it a regular practice.
His undying love for badminton became even more evident when he won the Pakistan Gym Khana Badminton Championship in 1979 and received a singles trophy.
Badminton was a huge deal at that time in Asia; Tariq’s company often organized matches and encouraged their employees to play. Tariq participated in all the games and won each time. In 1975, he was recognized for his exceptional playing skills in a tournament organized by PIACEU. Muhammed Tariq Khan was the first person to be sanctioned two extra increments by the PIAC Management in 1976. This was just another addition to his long list of achievements.
Today Tariq stands tall with all his achievements under his belt and serves as an inspirational figure for all those who have given up on their dreams or are not motivated enough to do so. He says, “At a young age, parents are a huge influence. My mother has always been supportive; luckily, my entire family has stood beside me through thick and thin. Life becomes so much easy when you have a supportive family. I owe my journey to them“
The Soccer Master Who Became MMA Legend – Pawel Kozlowski
Pawel Kozlowski was born in 1992, in Gniezno, Poland. The footballer-turned-MMA fighter was born to rule the ring. He was destined to achieve greatness, and he did that in style. Early in his life, at 17, he played soccer to mesmerize the world with his natural talent, but his love and passion for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) never faded. His life took a significant turn during a break from soccer training, triggering an unrelenting interest in MMA. Taking advantage of his football break, he enrolled in a club with facilities for boxing, Thai boxing, wrestling, and Jiu Jitsu. It was a decisive moment in his life. After playing soccer for nine years, he decided to make a professional career in MMA.
The Shift – Training For MMA
When preparing for a professional MMA fight, Pawel takes a strategic approach, planning all the tactics eight weeks ahead of the event. Usually, he trains 2-3 times a day and maintains a balanced and nutritious diet for this purpose. Before going into the ring, he follows a special diet to maintain weight.
The MMA Early Days – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
In 2010, Pawel Kozlowski started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. After a year of toil and hard work, he finally tasted success at the Austrian National Championship. Since then, he has never looked back, winning the World Pro Jiu Jitsu Trials and the European Championship. In 2016, Paweł Kozłowski became the national champion of Poland and Austria in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. At the WKF World Championships in Italy, he won the runners-up medal in the Sanda category and a Bronze Medal in the MMA category. He also won the Qualification for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championship, which took place in Abu Dhabi. BJJ Fanatics website lists Pawel among the three best BJJ players from Poland for 2016. In 2014, he joined the Vienna edition of the charity action “You will not keep the Master – Sportsmen for Children.” In July 2016, he established the Alpha Jiu-Jitsu Academy to train aspirant individuals.
Pawel’s most significant career moments came at the WKF World Championship, where he won Silver in Sanda and Bronze in MMA. He is a multiple Austrian and Polish National Champion and has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam twice. In MMA, he has 5 professional bouts, all of which he won in the first round and all by Submission. Pawel has also defeated the 2012 European champion twice.
The Pride Of His Parents
Pawel’s father always wanted him to become a soccer player, and he was not very happy with him not playing football anymore. Still, he continued to make a name for himself in MMA, making his parents proud of his unprecedented achievements.
Fighting with an injured knee
The most challenging fight for Pawel was the fight in the final of the Open Championship, held in Croatia in 2012. It was his first fight after sustaining a knee injury, and he only had 10 days to prepare for it. In the final, he was leading his opponent with a 2:0 score line. Unfortunately, his stamina was running out, and the opponent took full advantage and won back-to-back points to lead with a 2: 6 score line. However, he got two more points and eventually won the fight with a 7:6 score line, with only 10 seconds to go for the final whistle.
Pawel Kozlowski – The Legend
At pro-MMA, Pawel Kozlowski is unbeaten with a record of 5-0-0, securing all his wins in the first round. He is also a six-time European Championship medalist in Jiu Jitsu, having won over 400 matches with another 500 Jiu Jitsu fights worldwide. He has won three European titles and the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi, the most prestigious tournament in this sport. Pawel released an instructional DVD about a technique he has developed called the “GremlinLock,” thus becoming a legend of the sport.
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