December 24, 2013

Jahangir Moghul’s glowing tribute to Grand Master Ashraf Tai


By Syed Khalid Mahmood
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Renowned social figure and philanthropist, Jahangir Moghul, has paid glowing tribute to the iconic figure of Grand Master Mohammad Ashraf Tai, acclaimed as a living legend of martial arts.

Jahangir Moghul, having headed the Sports Coordination Committee of the Karachi Gymkhana with distinction for a number of years, has reckoned that the accomplishments of Grand Master Ashraf Tai serve as a source of inspiration to the people in general and the youngsters in particular.

Grand Master Ashraf Tai had introduced Bando, the Burmese style of martial arts, in Pakistan way back in 1971. 

His awesome performances against the top martial artists of the world earned him greater fame and recognition at a young age. He didn’t look back and went from strength to strength as the years went by.

“He has been synonymous with karate for more than four decades now. He has not only excelled himself but more significantly he has spread the flame with his continued coaching to the trainees at the Tai’s Karate Centre. He must be eulogized for his untiring efforts in training thousands of young boys and girls over the years many of whom are now themselves engaged in teaching the game to new students,” Jahangir Moghul, also a famous Rotarian, remarked.

He complimented the Grand Master for continuing to do the job with the same intensity for more than four decades, overcoming various issues with bravery and fortitude.

“It’s quite remarkable that Grand Master Ashraf Tai remains as passionate about the sport of karate as he was at the time of setting up his centre in 1971. He has lost none of his intensity and even today he teaches his trainees with the same level of dedication and commitment as decades ago,” Jahangir Moghul, added.

“Such personalities, who are role models for the society, should be promoted and highlighted at every forum. Let the others derive motivation from the likes of him. He thoroughly deserves the accolades coming his way,” the sports patron observed.

It may be recalled Grand Master Ashraf Tai had created a sensation by overpowering Stanley Michael of Malaysia in the final of the Afro-Asia Championship in 1978. He had confirmed his superiority in the continent by outwitting Japan's KohaYash a year later.

After having emerged triumphant in a tournament staged in Sri Lanka in 1980, he had dared fighting the reigning world champion, Don Wilson of the United States of America (USA), in 1981. The creditable performance against the world champion elevated his ranking to the ninth place in the world.

The Grand Master then founded the Pakistan Karate Federation (PKF) and succeeded in having the body affiliated to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) as well as the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

Having received numerous awards in various continents of the world during his illustrious career, he was declared the International Grand Master of the Year in 2000 by an institution based in the USA. He was also conferred the coveted Pride of Performance award by the President of Pakistan.

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