M A Ali is a lifelong martial arts practitioner, and has dedicated his life to propagation of Karate and other forms of martial arts to students. His influence as an instructor and educator now reaches from his home base in Kolkata all over the world. He is India’s one and only highest graded Thai Martial Artist holding 6th level gold belt in Thai Martial arts. He has devoted himself to the martial arts for over 40 years. He has been honoured with several awards from the International karate associations and others.
Back in 1987, M A Ali was the first person who propagated for the introduction of karate as a subject in educational institutions in India. He realised that Martial arts would give students another choice besides the regular physical activities (for example, basketball and football).He suggested that karate teaching should be on a par with sports and physical education. It would provide a new, creative experience for them, helping to boost their self-confidence, dedication and perseverance. He approached schools in Kolkata to incorporate martial arts in curriculum.
“Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens and unless they are strong and empowered, India cannot be a super power. I have requested principals of all schools and colleges to regularly train students.” said MA Ali. Nowadays schools have implemented karate as a subject and taken it seriously.
Shocked by the horrific Nirbhaya gangrape case, M A Ali decided to do something about empowering men and women with ideas and moves to protect themselves and others and to avoid scuffles if such a situation arises. Women and young girls continue to be mistreated, harassed, and raped. The society at large still doesn’t fight for them, even though the publicity about this has increased in recent years. For poor girls who live in the slums, just walking around their streets puts them at risk for harassment and much worse.
So Ayesha Noor, student of M A Ali began training girls and young women from the slums the art of karate. She gives away her black belt prowess to over 1000s of girls at a time. Ayesha started karate at the age of 6. Though she lost her father when she was 13, her mother continued encouraging her after Ayesha’s coach M A Ali saw potential. Her epileptic seizures might have affected her health and in turn, her studies at school, but this did not stop her from taking up the karate challenge.
“We want women and girls to be able to know what to do when faced with assault, be it at the workplace on the streets or even at home” said M A Ali.
The United States of America has honoured Ayesha Noor and M A Ali as “Hero of Gender Equality” at American Centre in New Delhi on 17th March 2017. A documentary about Ayesha’s journey from the slums in Kolkata to winning gold at the international level despite her health condition called, “ Girl connected” was made by the International Television series (ITVS) and screen globally. It was also telecast by Doordarshan (Delhi).
M A Ali has organised several martial arts championship in India and abroad. He is the first person to promote full contact karate in schools of Thailand such as Ramkhamhaeng University, The Benjamarachalai School ,Bharat Vidyalaya etc.
Grand Master Nisar Smiler (UK),President of The World Mixed Martial Arts Council appointed him as the Director of World Cup 2020 UK and World Meet 2020 Thailand.
For the last 22 years , M A Ali is organising Universal Peace Rally at Kolkata in honour and memory of Mother Teresa at Mother House (Missionaries of Charity). Also being a sufi pir(guru) of Chishtiya order M A Ali says “I feel everyone should do meditation. It increases the flexibility of body and mind. ”
His multiple roles do take away a lot of time that M A Ali could have spent with his family, but the man has no regrets.It is individuals like M Ali who are setting an excellent example for not just his students but also the society as a whole. We salute the indomitable spirit of the man, who happily juggles between several different roles every single day, and is still raring to go.