Enrolling herself in a self-defence class tops Aseema Gupta’s list of New Year resolutions. She and several of her peers have been scouting and making enquiries about the best trainers in the city.
“My job is quite demanding and I am out in the field all day. I usually get done late in the night,” reasons the media professional who wants some basic martial arts training in t’ai chi or karate.
Gupta and her friends aren’t alone. Several women cutting across age groups are showing a keen interest in such classes.
Sadashiv Mogaveera, head of Krav Maga, a self-defence training centre that has branches in Bandra, Vile Parle and Malad, says phones at his centre have been ringing off the hook since the December 16 gang-rape. “There has been a 50% jump in the number of enquiries from women and enrolments.” Krav Maga is an Israeli self-defence art that combines boxing, Muay Thai, jiujitsu and wrestling with realistic fight training.
The Academy of Combat Fitness in Andheri conducts defence against rape and eveteasers, a tailored programme that teaches Jeet Kune Do — a martial art system founded by Bruce Lee that involves kicking, punching, attacking with knees, elbows, sticks and knife. The centre has seen a 20-30% jump in the number of enrolments.
Javed Khan’s Fighting Arts Academy International in Mazgaon runs a similar programme — women against rape and domestic abuse, which aims to make women physically and mentally stronger than men.