Ready to defend themselves

empowered Women think self-defence is the best way to protect oneself.  (for illustration purpose only)

Several women may avoid late nights or travelling alone to escape potential threats. But there is also a group of women, who, tired of being perceived as the weaker sex, have taken matters into their own hands and learnt how to defend themselves. Metrolife speaks to a few of them to understand whether this has made a difference in their lives.

Manisha, a mother of two, who is learning taekwondo, says that she joined the class in order to spend more time with her children and maintain a sort of fitness regime. “After all, this is a one and a half hours session of rigorous exercise,” she says. However, she soon realised that the techniques she was being taught were actually extremely useful.
“We are made to practice our kicks on real pads, and work really hard. Despite the fact that some of us are 30 year old women, we’re trained in the same way that my sons are,” she says.

Bindu Sastry, mother of five and a half years old Avani, had a brief stint with martial arts herself. Although she didn’t pursue it, she enrolled Avani in a taekwondo class and today, she is one of the youngest Green 1 belt holders in Karnataka.  “She was an aggressive child, and I wanted to channelise her energy into something productive. I believe women should have the confidence to step out whenever and wherever,” says Bindu, who had a very protected childhood herself and doesn’t want the same for her daughter.

Siddarth Abraham, a kickboxing teacher with four years of experience, says that most of the women in his class take the lessons seriously, although it might not always be in the interest of defending themselves. “They are very clear about what they want. Some are looking to maintain fitness, others to learn the martial art, but either way they’re extremely interested in the techniques I show them,” he explains. Naveen believes that his classes enable women to feel much more confident and secure when it comes to travelling alone. “I give them practical training, and help them understand what they need to do if they’re being attacked. When the time comes, women feel prepared and capable of defending themselves,” he says.

Siddarth agrees with this view, explaining, “A lot of these women come to me and tell me that my classes give them more confidence. I try to teach them to be aware at all times, since not being alert is a chief factor when it comes to being attacked.”

While some women, like Manisha, feel that learning a martial art gives them a sort of mental satisfaction, not all agree. Apeksha, who has been learning taekwondo for more than a year, believes that the lessons at these classes might not actually help her when it comes to real-life scenarios. “We definitely spend a lot of time polishing our technique. But it’s completely different when it comes to practical application. I don’t know how much it will help,” she admits.

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