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VIDEO: Girls, here's how you can protect yourself!

Last updated on: January 30, 2013 14:42 IST

VIDEO: Girls, here's how you can protect yourself!

S Saraswathi

In Chennai, S Saraswathi attended a workshop on self defence and returned empowered. Read on!

Survival Instincts is a Chennai based non-government organisation (NGO) that conducted a one-day workshop on self defence techniques for women on January 12.

The workshop is part of their women's safety drive programme.

"We have conducted many such workshops in women's colleges like Stella Maris and Women's Christian College (WCC), we even had a session at NIFT, Tharamani.

There is no point in waiting for the society or the government to protect you, your security is in your hands," says Anoop Madhavan, founder of Survival Instincts.

Anoop talks about the one day workshops that have become increasingly popular among the women in Chennai, especially now after the gang-rape and brutal attack on the 23-year-old medical student in Delhi.

"We designed this one-day military-grade training program to introduce women to some of the basic self defence techniques required to protect themselves.

Martial arts or other training programmes on the other hand require many years of practice, dedication and discipline. Our module for this particular program was designed based on the hand-to-hand combat training program used by military personnel.

These are a set of some very simple, but extremely effective moves that have been incorporated from several different martial arts like Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, Karate, and Kalari."

Many women from different sections of society enrolled for the program. There were college students, working women and homemakers.

"The Delhi gang rape has been a wake up call for us. Luckily I have never faced any kind of abuse, but why take chances. Why wait for something to happen. I often have to stay out till 9.30 or 10 at night, I will feel more confident if I can defend myself in case something goes wrong," financial analyst Deepa says.

Another participant, a doctor who works in one of the top hospitals in Chennai says,

"Often in our field of work we have to deal with victims of rape and sexual abuse. Sometimes we have to work with patients who are drunk and misbehave.

Also, I have had some really bad experiences while travelling. I frequently take the bus and I was once groped when the bus was very crowded.

It was so disgusting that I slapped him and made him get off the bus. But what was pathetic was that nobody came forward to do anything about it. They just sat back and watched. In today's society we have to protect ourselves, nobody is going to help you".

College student Aradhana too shares her sentiments, "Today we can no longer depend on anyone to protect or save you.

Earlier it was felt that if you were out with your boyfriend, husband or brother, you would be safe. But now we know that no matter who we are with, we could still be attacked. Today everyone is vulnerable. We need to have at least some basic skills to defend ourselves."

When asked about the effectiveness of such workshops, Anoop says, "One-day workshops may not sound very ideal, but it is the most practical. For most of us, time is the biggest constra#8747 no one has time for months of training. Besides we are not teaching them how to win the fight.

Our moves are handpicked using laws of physics and can easily and effectively be used by a physically smaller victim to dominate over a larger assailant. A few quick punches and kicks in the right area could easily incapacitate or disable your assailant for a few vital minutes in which you can get away.

An attacker never expects you to retaliate, he is too confident. We teach our students to use this element of surprise, everything can be over in just seconds, you just need to be quick and fight hard," he says.