13 year-old Mumbai girl becomes world’s youngest third degree black belt holder

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13-year old Khushi Ankur Punj, a resident of Mumbai, has attained the rare distinction of becoming the youngest 3rd degree karate black belt holder in the world. She achieved the record at a camp held at Kolad, Maharashtra recently.

A student of Holy Cross Convent, Thane, Khushi was felicitated on February 23 by noted actor Anuj Sharma who has playedd key roles in Crime Patrol (India’s longest running reality crime television series), Savdhan India and movie Padmawat.

“Self-defence techniques should form an indispensable part of modern-day school curriculums. Not only does it instill discipline & confidence and enhance self-esteem in students but is key to self-protection for girls in emergency situations. Parents should urge their daughters to emulate the example of Khushi who has made us extremely proud,” said Jennifer Ferrao, Principal of Holy Cross Convent School.

youngest third degree black belt holder

“Khushi’s resounding success at a young age is the result of hard work, passion and perseverance. She has been a diligent child right from the start and has been regular in her practice sessions. Given the way the world is changing there is a growing need for increased focus on self defence and fitness,“ said Ankur Punj of his daughter’s achievement.

He also deeds that self-defence should be taught to girls from a young age for their safety and protection, which will, in turn, help them evolve into more stronger personalities. “Regular practice helps build determination, confidence, maintain physical and mental balance. It also helps overcome the high-stress children face in their studies, gives strength and focus for an independent life,  contributing to making our society better. Our vision is to make efforts and focus them in bringing more proud moments for our country,” he stated.

youngest third degree black belt holder

Sensei Sandeep Surve, who has been training Khushi commended her for her hardwork, “Khushi is a bright example of girls beating the odds and emerging triumphant in a society with a conventionally male-dominated mindset. She is proof of the fact that discipline, hard-work and a professional approach to one’s chosen field of endeavor is key to scaling greater heights of success.”

Surve also hopes that Khushi will bring greater pride for the country by participating in international karate competitions and playing a key role in putting India on the global martial arts map.