Despite difficult conditions throughout the country and persisting security problems, as well as a lack of relevant programmes and sporting facilities, two girls from restive Afghanistan have managed to master Japanese martial arts.
"Ninja" literally translates as "hiding". Japanese spies who participated in various kinds of secret missions, such as espionage, fraud, sabotage, contract killings and samurai fights, where they displayed a mastery of disguise and ninjutsu, were called ninjas.
In addition to exercises, this martial art includes using different types of weapons, such as swords, spears, bows and arrows.
Dressed in special black Ninja costumes, Fatima and Fereshta hone their movements and improve their self-defence skills. Fatima started practising jiu-jitsu and ninjutsu two years ago after seeing some films about ninjas.
"For two years we have been promoting these martial arts in Afghanistan. I became interested in Japanese martial arts after watching films about ninjas. The main difference between this sport and any other sports is freedom and the fact that it's not limited to any place; we can show it everywhere."
Fatima and Fereshta practice six days per week in the Fajr complex at hours scheduled specifically for women. They hope to be able to take part in competitions outside of Afghanistan.