An account by @itsFreelancer of the First self defense workshop organized by @JusticeForWomen in Chennai:
The first self defence workshop for women was organised by JusticeforWomen in Chennai on Sept 1 and 2.
It was the first step towards a greater good, towards creating awareness that you, yourself are responsible for your well being. In a country like India where we are taught to respect women from an early age, the contrary to it is much more rampant. Women are molested in public, in houses by their husbands or family relatives, raped, killed, teased everytime a girl walks down a street. And this will continue. No matter how many laws the government sets up, its not going to be completely eradicated. Today you’re safe, tomorrow you won’t be able to look at yourself in the mirror.
Its time to be prepared for such an eventuality.
Justice For Women’s first ever self defence workshop was held at 17th Avenue, Salzburg Square, Chennai. And 3 courageous women stepped up to take matters in their own hands. I salute them for their bravery, I applaud them for their determination.
Uday Dhanda, was the anointed instructor in the discipline of Krav Maga. For those who do not know what Krav Maga is, it is the only non-competitive martial art in the world. That means, there is no world tournaments held for this discipline. Its deadly and it gets the job done.
What was taught in the two days was just the beginning of what you can achieve. It’s time women realised they are not just a shadow in the world of men anymore.
Day 1 consisted of learning what to do with the situations every girl faces daily. What to do when a man advances on you, what to do when you know you’re about to be in danger. When you’re in such a situation, the first thing that comes is shock. Overcome that. Take control. And we’re here to show you how.
Weeping and crying out for help will not help you enough. These workshops teach you how to fight back. You do not need to be martial arts champion to save yourself. A clear mind and a good reflex is all you need. Plus the determination to not be used by others. What do you do when someone grabs your hands? No matter how much you try to break yourself free, you’re powerless when the attacker is a man with a better body strength. They teach you how to use your assailant’s body force to break free. You learn where to hit, what to do. One action may be the difference between life and death.
The girls who showed up were more than eager to learn. They listened and practised with such an intensity knowing that yes, this will actually help them from preventing an unpleasant scenario. Most of you, one way or another has been in such a place. The next time you find yourself in one, you can actually get the better of it. Uday taught how to hit the assailant and where to hit. You do not need to be a superwoman to make his ribs crack and break free. Remember, they’re not going to play nice. So hit back with as much as you can with a clear mind. The harder they fall, the better control you’re in.
The girls who took part in this workshop heard about it from Twitter and Facebook. I just wished others were brave and concerned enough to take part. Girls seem to have this mentality that nothing bad would happen to them until it actually does. Only then do they wake up.
What do you do when you’re being forced upon? Do you simply weep and hope that its over soon? Once you gave it, you can be pretty sure it will happen again. Uday taught the girls what to do in such a situation. How to use your body and prevent this scene. Its simple and its effective. And you do not lose your dignity. Sadly, Uday chose me as the puppet to be trained on and I can tell you, it hurts. Imagine how much the assailant would be hurt when you take control with force.
Day 2 involved about what to do when you’re choked or when someone comes at you with a weapon. Practice, practice, practice. A simple 1-2 day workshop will just give you an idea. I urge you to learn it properly.
Its sad to know that it took a girl being molested in Assam to wake up. Nevertheless, you’ve realised that its time to be stronger. If you want to be equal, you need to get a move on. I am a guy. And I’m sad to say that I’m more concerned about this than most girls for whom this workshop was meant for.
It is your life, do not give up so easily. Today you’re safe with your brothers, your father, your boyfriend. But they cannot be with you 24*7. I ask you to ask yourself, Are you really safe or are you still in your dream world thinking nothing bad would ever happen to you.
Remember, you’re not alone as long as you carry your strength with you.
PS: Uday Dhanda is in talks to set-up bi-weekly self defense workshops. Those interested in joining, kindly call him at: +919884342334 or drop a mention @themadcurator