Martial art institutes see sharp increase in female enrolments

'Mass molestation' may have prompted women to learn self-defence

Martial art institutes see sharp increase in female enrolments
More and more women in Bengaluru are learning unarmed self-defence techniques following the “mass molestation” on New Year’s Eve. Martial art institutes have reported significant increase in female enrolments in January.

Okinawa Shorin Ryu Shorin Kan Karate-Do Federation of India has seen at least 35 female enrolments in January alone, as against 15 in the corresponding month last year, said Suresh Kenichira, a martial art trainer at the institute. “It’s mostly working women who are joining the classes. Parents of girl children are also making enquiries. This can be attributed to increased public awareness on rising atrocities against women and girls. Working women mainly opt for weekend or evening classes,” he said.

Franklin Joseph, a women safety empowerment specialist, who conducts the ‘power to women’ self-defence workshops, said enrolments had gone up by 30-40 % this year. Ranjini Ganesh who, along with her husband, runs Nirbhaya Self Defence Academy, said that following the public outcry against the “mass molestation”, many students — both girls and boys — were coming out to share their experience.

Ranjini, who counsels students by visiting educational institutions, recalled a recent instance. “One of the girls started crying and said some boys were verbally abusing and teasing her. People are becoming aware, which is good, but the stress should be on preventive measures,” she said.

Manjula M, additional professor of psychology at Nimhans, said attending self-defence classes boosted confidence and improved mental awareness to some extent. “Learning self-defence helps to deal with emergency situations and empowers women.”

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