Whacking him right!

THRASH QUEEN

Whacking him right!

Looking forward to train in self-defense, my lady? Krav Maga is for you, says Mark Rasquinha

You are walking on a lonely street, the number of street lights on the road are few, and from the shadows emerges the figure of a man. A sense of fear begins to take control of you. There is no help around. How would you react? It would be fantastic for all women to fist their way out of a situation such as this, but we must understand that not every woman is a Mary Kom. Women are conditioned and expected to be soft. But, when a woman is subjected to danger, she must react, for which she must have controlled aggression. The good news however is you don’t have to be wrestlers. A good number of women all over the country are now beginning to train themselves in ‘Krav Maga’. This is an art form which like the other martial arts teaches you self defence, but what makes Krav Maga unique is the fact that it is a martial art form designed for situations faced for common people on the streets.

 Krav Maga is today taught to women, kids, law enforcement agencies and even the military. The course for women in particular is carefully designed keeping in mind the various strengths and weaknesses of a woman. 

The first thing that instructors do when training a batch of women, is to instil in them a sense of self confidence. The next thing the women are taught is something known as the pillars of Krav Maga. This will include technical, tactical, mental and physical training. In technical training sessions students are taught the necessary skills to fight, evade, and dodge attacks from opponents.

Tactical training sessions seek to make students aware of the situation, improve reflexes, mind their surroundings and look to arm themselves with objects that can be found in a real world situation, for example a chair. Mental training session teaches women to never give up and continue fighting till help arrives. Physical training sessions help women in strengthening different parts of their body. This, in turn, also makes sure that women undertaking the course stay healthy. 

One of the important lessons that a woman will pick up in a course such as this is aggression. Hence Krav Maga prescribes ‘controlled aggression’ by giving ‘determination drills’. 

A determination drill is similar to sport aggression drills, similar to what footballers or basket ball players are taught. Controlled aggression is very important for it affects how a woman uses her fighting or defensive skills. 

They say carrying a pepper spray can defend a woman. But imagine she is in a public space and a man tries to touch her inappropriately. She could remove a can of pepper spray and spray it on the face of the man. 

But there may be other people around, maybe even children. Remember pepper sprays are highly potent; they can even lead to permanent blindness. So this act of self defence can blind a child near you. And with that, you could land yourself in trouble too. Therefore women need to know when to act and when not to, and also how to act and how not to in a situation of real danger.

Tanya Vegas, a Krav Maga trainee explains,“The usual manner in which a woman would react to such situations is by panicking. A Krav Maga trained woman would first turn and walk away if she anticipates trouble coming her way. If you are followed the best thing would be to get something in between yourself and the person following you. Remember if he cannot reach you, he cannot harm you.

 If the situation is such that turning around and walking away is not possible, try and get a pillar or a table in between you and the person. Try and talk to the attacker if it can help de-escalate the situation. At the same time keep an eye open for anything that you can equip yourself with. De-escalation is a great way of avoiding a situation, especially if you know help is on its way. So krav Maga teaches all this and more.” 

“The number of reported rapes in India is high; women’s safety has been discussed extensively in the country. Yet, I do not see any change; the result of this is that a good number of women do not step out of their houses at night. It was the same for me. I could not go out at night. But, that changed after I started training in Krav Maga. Now I am a lot more aware of my surroundings and that has made me a more confident person,” says Charlotte D’souza, a working professional.

In a routine Krav Maga training session, women are exposed to different real world simulations, such as a situation where someone can lock you and take you to the ground, a bear hug from an attacker, and the likes. Krav Maga instructors teach women how to release themselves from the hold of their attackers. The simulations also help students understand and practice what must be done in certain situations that spell danger. A Krav Maga course will teach a woman to deal with various advantages and disadvantages. Take, for example, fashion accessories. They are usually considered a disadvantage. But Krav Maga trains a girl to stamp the attacker’s foot if she is wearing her stilettos. The stilettos can really cause enough pain to let her run away from the attacker! Therefore, Krav Maga teaches women to use many disadvantageous situations to their advantage.

The idea of Krav maga is simply to equip women so as to prevent anything unwanted from happening. A course such as this is perhaps one of the best ways to equip women against harassment and cruelty towards them. 

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