Bangalore women gear up for self-defence

June 3rd, 2009 - 11:02 am ICT by IANS  

By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, June 3 (IANS) Attacks on women seem to be haunting India’s IT hub Bangalore once again, with a recent attack on two sisters by motorcycle-borne miscreants in an upmarket neighbourhood.

Many women have now decided to take matters in their own hands and attend a workshop on self-defence here this coming Sunday.

The workshop will be conducted by Melissa Soalt, the Amercian national known to have pioneered the art of women’s self-defence, along with her co-instructor Michael Haknack. Fifteen participants will undergo training at the workshop titled “full force scenario based adrenaline stress training” at the campus of the Indian Heritage Academy.

Each participant will be charged Rs.1,000 to attend the four-hour workshop.

“The methodology adopted by Melissa is the best in the world. The self-defence tricks are very effective and ensure severe injuries to the assaulter,” Ashwin Mohan, the founder of city-based martial arts and self-defence training centre Independent Shootfighters Inc. and organiser of the workshop, told IANS.

In August, Mohan is planning to conduct a month-long training programme in the city under the guidance of Melissa, who is popularly known as Dr Ruthless.

“The training programme will target participants from across India,” said Mohan.

Melissa and her co-instructor conduct training sessions in an innovative way. Michael attired in full armour to avoid any injury plays the role of an assaulter and provokes his ‘victims’ by verbal abuse.

“The idea is to trigger anger and help the participant use full physical force to answer back the assaulter,” said Melissa, a former psychotherapist.

“Women should remember that they are stronger in the lower portion of their body. They should try and use their hips and their legs to fight back. I would never ask a woman to enter into a fist fight with her attacker,” added the 54-year-old petite expert.

Melissa and Michael have already held a seminar on self-defence here May 31. Fifteen women took part.

“It was a learning experience for me. Now, I am confident to take care of myself and if someone tries to mess with me, I know how to deal with the molester,” said Sangeeta Nair, a college student who participated in the seminar.

Welcoming the concept of the workshop, Jagdeesh B.N., one of the founding members of Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka (FKNK) said: “Like any other city of India, Bangalore too is not safe for women. We have witnessed a series of attacks on women early this year. Last week, two sisters in Jayanagar, Bangalore, were molested and beaten in full view of the public.

“Women should empower themselves to protect themselves. Such workshops on self-defence will go a long way to help women become confident and strong.”

(Maitreyee Boruah can be contacted at

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