South Africa’s five-time karate world champion hasn’t turned twenty


South Africa is a five-time karate world champion. And our fighter hasn’t yet turned twenty. At a time in life when most kids her age lack the fortitude to focus in class, Tasneem Cozyn is up at 4am training for martial arts.

Bullied as a child, she started karate at the age of nine as a way to defend herself. Under the guidance of her coach Dylan Hammargren, she discovered, harnessed and unleashed a fierce competitive zeal. The teenager has accomplished some remarkable things, travelling the world and winning gold at multiple world championships in her age category. She is the first South African woman to win gold on the World Karate Federation Premier Circuit.

With all of that already accomplished, Cozyn still wants more. Her next objective is representing South Africa at the Olympics in 2020. In the meantime, she is working to train children living in disadvantaged communities, giving back by teaching others.