The Lions Hearts Academy in Hazara Town in the outskirts of Quetta has a decent collection of girl fighters regularly meeting to hone their skills in Wushu martial arts.

The Hazara teenage girls clad in black, green and white clothes work hard to improve their skills.

The walls of the building, in a well-guarded part in the outskirts of Quetta, reverberate with karate grunts of the score of girls training in Wushu. The girls are all passionate about learning the arts, which started in ancient China with the aim to develop self-defence, hunting and military training.

“I love Karate and want to put my country on the map through sports. It was my dream to fight for the country in a foreign land,” 22-year old Jamila Mirza a student at the academy disclosed.

The girl fought in Iran earlier this year, winning a Peace and Friendship Karate Championship after fighting off competitors from India, Iran, Afghanistan and others.

Parisa Sultan, a fellow Karate champion at the academy, claimed she has been in the game for three years. The 15-year old, who already has championship titles in her belt, said: “I have been unbeatable un Balochistan. Nobody can fight me. I learnt martial arts for self-defense.”

The academy trains boys and girls, and has been in existence for the past decade. However, the officer Master Najeeb disclosed that the ratio of girls to boys has been sharply increasing in the last five years. He added that the academy charges Rs300 in monthly fees from the students to run the place. Najeeb deeply believes that the students have a very bright future in the sport going by their level of talent, commitment and passion.