Shillong, Jun 13: Luthre Lohar, a 7th Dan black belt in taekwondo, passed away here yesterday.

The 75-year-old was one of the first serious practitioners of the Korean martial art form in Meghalaya, if not India as a whole.

He had been introduced to the sport by a Malaysian 2nd Dan, Chun Fu (or Sonny) Chong, in the early 1970s. Lohar had then gone on to train many others in Shillong over the decades and rose to 7th Dan, one of the most senior grades in taekwondo.

Lorenzo Warjri was among those who first paid their respects to the departed, doing so on behalf of the kickboxing, kurash and mixed martial arts associations of Meghalaya.

Meanwhile, today, the Meghalaya Taekwondo Association, of which Lohar was one of the founders, recalled the unmatched contribution of the late martial artist.

“In his passing away, the taekwondo fraternity and the state has lost a master, a teacher, an exponent and practitioner of taekwondo of a very high order. In fact, he is the founder of taekwondo in the state and the Meghalaya Taekwondo Association,” MTA President S Swett said. “During the years when Shillong was the educational hub of North East India, many students from Meghalaya and the North East learnt taekwondo under the mentorship of grandmaster Luthre and those students become masters themselves and spread taekwondo to their states in the NE. He was a well known figure and highly respected in the sports fraternity of the state and the North East in particular and the state in general. He is also highly respected within the taekwondo fraternity at the national level. With his passing away, grandmaster Luthre has left a void and an imprint to be emulated by future generations.”

The Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma, also expressed his condolences to Lohar’s family through social media.

(Photo: Lorenzo Warjri/Facebook)

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