Showing posts from 2012

Will self-defence work for a girl being raped?

Since the Delhi gang-rape, so far 18 people have asked me -  
" Will self-defence techniques actually work
for an 'average girl' against a group of men.?! "
My answer is - 

" Those who keep asking "Will this work?!" die without finding out whether it will." ...................................................................
Learning provides you the tools.
Practice makes you an expert.
Pushing yourself out of the comfort-zone makes you superior. and above all..
Introspection makes you realistic
That's too true of all arts.The same hierarchy applies to learning to fight also. So, every input in learning has an output in application ...
... which is reasonably proportionate. Whether its Singing, Tennis, Medicine, Drama, Astronomy or KravMaga. If you have a natural aptitude to that field, the progress will be better than your peers.

Decide at which level you want to play..and put in the required effort .
You will find out "Will this work?!". .


Self-defence Workshops for Women - Part I

Self-defense Workshops for Women - Part I
I am sharing the learning from the many workshops for women on 'self-defense and personal safety', I conducted in the last 4 years. Please don’t hesitate to comment if you feel I am wrong. I also look forward to your suggestions to improve the content and presentation.
What I learnt during these workshops to women -
(Disclaimer - The following are my own broad observations. Of course some women are exceptions; but they are very few.)

1. In daily life, women face more problems than we men can ever visualize or comprehend. Women face persistent stares, uninitiated talks, lewd comments, unwanted touch, vulgar taps and so many unsavoury acts which we men don't experience.
So, they should be keener on learning martial-arts than men. Right?
No, it’s wrong.
Oh! Why?  Because...

2. Women don't see themselves beating up men
Even though women acknowledge they face constant harassments, they assume they can't handle it at a physical level.

The police & fake encounters - Tip of the iceberg

The Dynamics of Police encounters - Part III After the recent police encounter in TamilNadu, furious debates are happening in every media channel; in some of which I also participated. Instead of analysing this specific encounter and getting into shallow arguments, I want to talk on the larger aspects like - How does the public view Police?The ills of Indian policeHow equipped / skilled are our police?     Infrastructure & TrainingWhy encounters happen?What the public wants and how it can be realized?
How does the public view police? Sheep dog and wolf analogy - According to Geoff Thompson , Police are the 'Sheep dog'. which protects the 'Innocent herd of Sheep". The criminal is akin to the "Wolf"
When there is no threat; the sheep hate the presence of the sheep-dog... He is bossing around and intimidating... The moment the Wolf appears on the scene, the sheep loudly bleat for the sheep-dog to come to their rescue.
In essence, a citizen recognizes the utility…

Why I practice Violence as a vocation


Warning - This analysis may NOT be very crisp like my other posts. But still I will highlight the key definitions in bold, so that you can have at least a net-take if you don’t have the time.
In Part I we started looking at issues which had to be understood before one takes up training in fighting arts.  Having stated that violence is mostly NOT an intelligent solution to confrontations, lets now try and answer  "Then why should one learn fighting, especially the most violent system of KravMaga!?" The answer is simple.
"So that the good can do their work"
This is the base line of KravMaga, attributed to Imi Lichtenfeld  who is considered as the founder of the combat system. This line captures the essence of KravMaga.
Why I practice Violence as a vocation
Once while talking to my friend, who was living in London, she asked me "Why of all things you practice violence, like a thug? You are supposed to be cerebral guy,…


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SreeRam is a KravMaga self-defence instructor at Chennai, South India. He teaches Civilians, Chennai City Police and Security.
SreeRam has started W.A.H.R (Women against harassment & Rape)an NGO devoted to increase personal safety awareness amongst women and equip them to handle sexual harassment at public and work places.
SreeRam conducts KravMaga personal safety and self-defense workshops at corporates, especially IT/BPO companies where many women work late. He has also conducted workshops, for rural women.
On 8th March 2012 ( International Women's Day) KravMaga SreeRam released a small handy booklet for women titled " 10A-s of Personal Safety for Women"


Warning - This analysis may NOT be very crisp like my other posts. But still I will highlight the key definitions in bold, so that you can have at least a net-take if you don’t have the time.
In KravMaga, I have noticed some basic principles around which the techniques are built. I am attempting to decipher them for my trainees benefit.
Part I deals with issues which has to be understood before one takes up training in fighting arts.
To every fresher who joins my KravMaga class I start my class with the statement ,"Violence is the most stupid way of addressing a problem." Their reaction is generally a look of amused confusion " I am paying good money to this guy and he is saying the whole class is learning to be stupid!" Its just that I want to the trainee to understand there is cost to pay for each action and he can't avoid it once the act is done. Violence is the least civilized or sophistic…

Effects of Sexual Harassment (5 of 5 on Crime against Women)

Being sexually harassed can devastate your psychological health, physical well-being and vocational development. Women who have been harassed often change their jobs, career goals, job assignments, educational programs or academic majors.
 In addition, women have reported psychological and physical reaction to being harassed that are similar to reactions to other forms of stress. They include:
Psychological Reactions

Depression, anxiety, shock, denialAnger, fear, frustration, irritabilityInsecurity, embarrassment, feelings of betrayal Confusion, feelings of being powerlessShame, self-consciousness, low self-esteemGuilt, self-blame, isolation
Physiological Reactions

HeadachesLethargyGastrointestinal distressDermatological reactionsWeight fluctuationsSleep Disturbances, nightmaresPhobias, panic reactionsSexual problems
Career-Related Effects

Decreased job satisfactionUnfavorable performance evaluationsLoss of job or promotionDrop in academic or work performance due to stressAbsenteeismWithdraw…

How to respond to work-place sexual harassment (4 of 5 on Crime against Women)

There is no one way to respond to harassment. Every situation is different and only you can evaluate the problem and decide on the best response.
Friends, affirmative action officers, human resource professionals and women's groups can offer information, advice and support, but only you can decide what is right for you. The only thing you can be absolutely certain of is that ignoring the situation will not cause it to go away. Above all, DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF FOR THE HARASSMENT. It is not your fault. Place the blame where it belongs--on the harasser. Self-blame can cause depression and will not help you or the situation.
Many Women Have Found These Strategies Effective: Say NO to the harasser! Be direct. Write a letter to the harasser. Describe the incident and how it made you feel. State that you would like the harassment to stop. Send the letter by certified mail. Keep a copy.
Keep a record of what happened and when. Include dates, times, places, names of persons involved and witness…

Types of Sexual Harassment (3 of 5 on Crime against Women)

Gender Harassment: Generalized sexist statements and behavior that convey insulting or degrading attitudes about women. Examples include insulting remarks, offensive graffiti, obscene jokes or humor about sex or women in general.
Seductive Behavior: Unwanted, inappropriate and offensive sexual advances. Examples include repeated unwanted sexual invitations, insistent requests for dinner, drinks or dates, persistent letters, phone calls and other invitations.
Sexual Bribery: Solicitation of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by promise of reward; the proposition may be either overt or subtle.
Sexual Coercion: Coercion of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior by threat of punishment; examples include negative performance evaluations, withholding of promotions, threat of termination.
Sexual Imposition: Gross sexual imposition (such as forceful touching, feeling, grabbing) or sexual assault.
Of these five types of behavior, gender harassment is by far the most common, followe…

Sexual Harassment: Myths and Realities (2 of 5 on Crime against Women)

MYTH: Sexual harassment is rare. 
FACT: Sexual harassment is extremely widespread. It touches the lives of 40 to 60 percent of working women, and similar proportions of female students in colleges and universities.

MYTH: The seriousness of sexual harassment has been exaggerated; most so-called harassment is really trivial and harmless flirtation.  FACT: Sexual harassment can be devastating. Studies indicate that most harassment has nothing to do with "flirtation: or sincere sexual or social interest. Rather, it is offensive, often frightening and insulting to women. Research shows that women are often forced to leave school or jobs to avoid harassment; may experiences serious psychological and health-related problems.

MYTH: Many women make up and report stories of sexual harassment to get back at their employers or others who have angered them.
FACT: Research shows that less than one percent of complaints are false. Women rarely file complaints are false. Women rarely file complai…

Are women safe on the Indian streets? The ugly truth revealed by statistics. (1 of 5 on Sexual Harassment)

After the Guwahati incident, wherein a girl was sexually molested by around 30 men, I have been getting calls from concerned parents and IT/BPO companies which employ women; all enquiring about self-defense courses. Suddenly here was an ugly reminder of the safety of women on Indian streets. 
“Oh..come’s the same all over the world. .tell me..if the girl is walking outside a bar at that time, what does she expect?!”  shrugged one middle aged man, while another waved the whole the thing away with a generic dismissal , “She is a victim of the angrezi pub culture”
But the truth is more ugly and accurate, as these facts below point out. The security of woman in India is amongst the lowest, globally ( Source - The more startling fact is, even war-torn Somalia is rated a better country in terms of safety of women! India is at the bottom 4 along with Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan. (Source
In India , Andhra and Bengal seem to be the worst state…