Letting women be known in the world of martial arts, martial arts player Bhim Kumari Gulayao from Nepal established her own training sessions in the Philippines to motivate Filipino women to engage in such male-dominated sports.
When she was younger, Bhim shared that she had limited access to martial arts because she lived in a province called Dang, Nepal, and was discouraged from participating in such a sport by her parents because men are the typical individuals to play the Tong il-moo do.
“I really love to play martial arts, but I am from a province where the resources are limited, which makes it impossible for girls to play martial arts because, in our hometown, this kind of sport is only for men. My parents also prohibited me from engaging in such a sport because they knew that martial arts were only for men,” she said.
Hence, these hurdles did not discourage Bhim from doing what she loved but became an inspiration to strive harder as she became the first woman in their province to play the Tong il-moo do.
With this, she became a role model for the girls in her province, following her milestones in the sport. “I became an example to the women in our province, as when I began to play this sport, a lot of women were inspired, resulting in more girls engaging who want to practice and play martial arts now,” Bhim said.
This has driven the martial arts player to develop her skills in the said sport so that she can help other women join in their dream sports without thinking about discrimination because of their gender.
“I want to hone the skills of girls who want to play Tong il-moo do especially those who experienced the same scenario as me with limited resources and hesitancy about their gender because of society’s perspective,” she said.
Following her goal to expand the presence of the said sports for women, Bhim is currently teaching Tong il-moo do in Caloocan City, where she personally trains individuals, especially women, when it comes to martial arts sports.