Bangalore Mirror Newspaper
Crash course shows citizens how to stay safe on the streets
There was just one rule at the Krav Maga session organised by Bangalore Mirror on Saturday: Don’t hesitate to kick butt if you want to be safe.
Krav Maga is the fighting technique developed by the Israeli armed forces. The Hebrew phrase means ‘contact combat’.
[Krav Maga Bangalore] [Post] As the city’s streets are becoming increasingly unsafe, the Krav Maga session was just what the doctor ordered. Even the torrential rains could not dampen spirits as people of all ages and sizes turned up for the crash course in self-defence.
During the two sessions of two hours each, Franklin Joseph, a member of the International Krav Maga Federation, taught participants techniques to deal with situations ranging from chain-snatching to a headlock.
Joseph explained, “We are not training you to be vigilantes or attack machines whose first reaction is to beat somebody up. We are training you to be able to defend yourself in a situation and also get away without getting hurt. You can be thin, tall, fat, anything and still manage to defend yourself.”
He explained the psychological theory behind Krav Maga before moving on to the practical demonstration with 20 of his volunteers. Groin kicks, nose punches, thumb twisting, arm twisting – everything that was effective without being technically challenging – can be used in Krav Maga.
The ladies lapped it up. From school girls to middle-aged housewives, everybody wanted to know how to be safe. Fourteen-year-olds Sanjana Khinvasra and Tanisha Harsha wanted to be prepared for all the horror stories they had heard from college-going seniors about eve-teasing. Saroj Kunda, a 46-year-old home maker, wanted help to defend herself from road rage. She said, “I have had many instances, where people have walked up to my window and threatened me. I need to be able to defend myself.” Even Jalpa Joshi, a 6’ 1″ tall techie, said she needed help on the streets.
“It is not about how tough you look. These guys just won’t stop,” she said as she practised getting away from a choke hold. For Tracy Yach and her daughter Gabriella, this was an essential skill. The South African family, living in Bangalore for a year now, doesn’t have complaints about the safety of women on Bangalore’s streets. “But you can never be too careful,” Tracy said.
Surprisingly, a majority of the audience were men. Anil Naidu, a 52-year-old stock broker in the city, said he wanted to learn Krav Maga as he was being followed for the last year by different characters. Gorde Ganesh was equipping himself against a repeat of a previous incident. The techie said, “I was attacked on Bannerghatta Road about five years ago and robbed. I don’t want that happening again.”
Whatever the story of each participant, the unifying thought was that they wanted to feel safe.
You can be thin, tall, fat, anything and still manage to defend yourself
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