The art of combat

The art of combat

Self-defence techniques

The art of combat

In these turbulent times, self-sufficiency is becoming synonymous with physical capabilities for women. The unfortunate incidents that took place in the city recently have once again turned the spotlight on the need to be able to defend oneself.

With the present air of fear that has enveloped Bengaluru, which was once known as the safest metropolitan city for women, being physically strong has become the primary aim of almost every woman.

Learning moves that are fast, simple and impactful, are seen to be highly useful for women of all ages. And like the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, and preventing an adverse event is definitely the smartest move.

Swetha Subbiah, a personal trainer who also works as a Nike trainer, says, “It is unfortunate that we have to learn to defend ourselves from people in this so-called civilised society. However, to feel safe and confident, it has become a necessity for women to learn a few techniques. There are many spaces in the city that teach self-defence and learning this art will give the courage to fight an obstacle.”

She opines that, though women are standing on par with men in almost all fields today, being self-sufficient and being able to protect oneself is a skill that has not been embraced by most women. “I had learnt karate till I was 14-years-old. However, I still remember all the techniques and moves, and have used them as well. I have been attacked three to four times on the road but I was successful in defending myself and getting out of the situation. Having knowledge about the techniques has enabled me to go anywhere or do anything I love. I am also always aware of my surroundings,” says Swetha.

Of the opinion that psychological awareness is extremely important and is the first thing that is taught in a self-defence class is Ramya Ramachandran, an HR manager with an IT firm.

She has been learning self-defence at ‘BadAzz Krav Maga Self Defence’ and says that there are many women who work late hours these days and this tends to make them feel unsafe. That is one of the situations when an awareness of self-defence can come into the picture. It is not just important for women but for everyone.

“It makes one more alert, strong and can make them mentally prepared for any circumstance, which is always better than going blank in a situation. In self-defence, we are taught three important things — prevention, avoidance and escape. Criminals always come prepared and they can be a lot more experienced. So there should always be an attempt to avoid a preventable situation. Getting out of an event without involving oneself is the first thing we learn. And it’s only if a situation becomes alarming and unavoidable, should one fight their way out,” she says.

Ramya points out that carrying something that is easy and quick to use as a tool, like an umbrella (which is pointed and can act like a claw), is very effective. “Offenders always eye those who look like easy prey. So walking in a smart posture, looking confident and being proactive is the first thing one should do. ‘Krav Maga’, the Israeli military combat technique, teaches one to fight in a real time scenario,” she adds.

Living in a patriarchal society deems that self-protection becomes a priority for every woman; not just in India but around the world.

“Be it in the gym, on the road in the daylight or in a crowded bus, women are always under constant threat. Being active and knowing a few self-defence moves not only gives one the ability to fight back but also lets them take charge of the situation,” says Shweta Mehta, a fitness athlete.

So what are some of the easiest self-defence moves that one can look forward to learning in a jiffy? “Kicking the private parts, punching on the eyes rather than on the face and targeting other delicate areas like twisting the wrist helps maintain a distance between the accused molester and the victim. Carrying pepper spray in the pocket (which will be quicker than taking it out from a bag full of other things) can be of help too, however, carrying a knife can sometimes backfire especially if the accused gets a hold of it,” shares Shweta.