Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Survival is the Key : My experience with Self Defense Workshop

Last week, thankfully, my office facilitated the most important “Self Defense Workshop” for women employees. Although it was planned for some day in March as per the theme of Women’s day, however, it took a whole month to finally organize this most awaited workshop. At least I was looking for it.


I don’t know how women employees (of my office) feel that only attending a few hours session can’t help them so unexpectedly the presence of attendees was very less, despite the fact that it’s been announced multiple times. Honestly, I had a little relaxed day for myself so I was determined to attend this. I couldn’t understand why others didn’t turn up. They must be having a busy FRIDAY( I am being so optimistic here)  Even when you type self-defense, google automatically gives the very first suggestion “self-defense for women”. Strangely very few ladies were there to understand what literally self-defense means.



Our teacher that day, Mr. Ankur Sharma from “Invictus Survival Sciences” kind of opened my eyes and I am sure others would also be thinking the same. Why women take their protection for granted, is the biggest question of our country! We squawk about crime increasing day by day, molestation cases, snatching attempts and acid attacks; we condemn all such offenses and dump on the government for not maintaining the law and order. I am no different. I also put my good share in reprehending our society and lawmakers. But when Ankur asked how many girls have any safety app in their SMART phones and how many have pepper spray with them, none of us could nod our head.

Ankur discussed many things around being ALERT, being abused and being trapped. He gave us a much-needed insight around pepper spray, its use, its intensity and the damage it can cause. I never knew that pepper spray is considered as a strong weapon and in many of the countries, it is illegal to have. And see, OUR country has given a legal pass to carry pepper spray and use it for the purpose of self-protection.

Another interesting topic was materialistic crimes. Purse/gold chain/mobile snatching. Even though I had very closely seen my friend fighting with the purse snatchers and the injuries she got during that juggle, I used to think it's okay to try pulling your belonging from snatchers. But during the session, I realized that it’s foolishness to try getting things back from snatchers who mostly come in groups over bikes. There were many other awakening points that Ankur put in front of us and most of us were like “You are right (and I was always wrong)”. In three hours, we discussed understanding criminal’s psychology, conflict avoidance and verbal techniques to relax situations, handling emergencies and what can be done to detect threat or mishappenings around us.

After a few physical pieces of training to handle circular and direct attacks, Ankur came into the topic how heinous crimes like acid attacks, rape and honor killing get to happen with someone. He was so correct when he said that such crime starts with petty incidences and because of our ignorance and apprehension; they eventually trouble girls in the most horrifying form. Even I have overlooked the abuse incidences that happened to me during my initial days of work. I never reported them to police and not to my parents. I used to think that these talks only disturb them. This was actually giving confidence to the person who used to tease me (or others).

Take away from the session:

     1. If you are confronted with snatch/ theft, COOPERATE! Give the    criminal what he/she asks for.  Your life is more valuable than replaceable possessions.
    2. Keep emergency numbers on speed dial.
    3. Safety apps should be installed and updated with your details.
    4. Pepper spray is MUST TO HAVE thing for women.
    5. Report even the petty crime incidences. This will avoid making the foundation of a future bigger crime.



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