I came across an interesting story recently. There has been a history of serious attacks against women in India for a long time. A group of colleges in Kolhan, Jharkhand, India has made it a mandatory requirement for its female students to graduate to take Martial Arts. The colleges are female colleges. They made martial arts training compulsory for graduate and post graduate students in five of its women’s colleges and is all set to introduce a course in January 2017 aimed at training girls in self-defense.
The Vice-Chancellor of Kolhan University is named Singh and said that female students trained in martial arts would be able to defend themselves against attacks and physical harassment that are very prevalent in the area and entire country. Singh obviously sees the benefits of Martial Arts and knows that informed and trained women will be able to better defend themselves. Martial arts teaches us that even though on average men are larger than women it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage. In most real life scenarios women are at a disadvantage due to their physical size and strength in the eyes of a perpetrator. That being said, this is not something that should discourage you from training.
Many Martial arts disciplines are specifically designed to help someone smaller overtake a larger opponent.
For example, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Aikido all highlight the power of leverage over strength. Knowing this, a triangle or rear-naked choke doesn’t take a lot of strength to administer or successfully incapacitate a would-be attacker.
There is a lot of camaraderie in Martial Arts as well. As a Martial Artist, you will be joining a club, class, or dojo where strangers will become your teammates. You will build strong relationships because you will see these people almost everyday. Also, there is a certain amount of trust involved in letting someone hit you. Repeatedly. You will be on a journey together and you will learn to depend on each other’s advice, support and encouragement. You will learn to practice with people your size and larger, both men and women, who will push you to your limits because they want to see you succeed. Everyone is there for different reasons, but you will all be working towards similar goals.
The 8,000 students, who are likely to benefit from the training, will not have to pay any additional fees for the program. The course, that would be covered over a period of six months, will also lay emphasis on yoga and theoretical studies. The girls will be given a certificate after the training. Grades obtained in the course, however, will not be added to their degree course examination results. Students would not be permitted to sit for their degree examinations if they fall short of attendance in the martial arts class. The university has taken a major step towards empowering girls to deal with anti-social elements. The overall hope is that it will curb the crimes against women in their society. I think that is a great hope.