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...

Woman power ! 
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.
They do participate in the workshops with enthusiasm and do the techniques with gusto; but I get the feeling they are saying to themselves 'OK.. that's was useful and fun.. but.. will I ever be able to beat up a man so easily!?"
Why are women so sceptical? Because...

3. Women are afraid, since the average man is bigger and aggressive than the average woman.
The uneasy fear is felt by men, only when facing a bigger or more aggressive man. For the woman, EVERY man is bigger and aggressive than her!
It took some time for me, to realize the seriousness of this issue.
I initially assumed that if I address this fear, more women will opt for martial-arts.
It didn't happen. Why? Because...

4. Women don't visualize themselves as martial arts practitioners
By nature women are put-off by physical violence. So even if they accept that they can actually do something in a crisis, they are not keen to learn martial-arts in a consistently prolonged manner.

Some women assume wrongly that they will become muscular and manly. Many women also are apprehensive of getting hurt in practice, especially on the face.
Kali - role model ?
Even though I get lots of enquiries from women, I don’t actually see them following it up. Probably they made the enquiry in a burst of anger after an ugly episode with some man. Once the anger cooled down, the priorities naturally change.
So these are my major observations. I have realized that taking KravMaga to women is a challenge.
After reading and discussing with women (some of them are experienced martial arts teachers), I tweaked the teaching content and methodology to women. I will share that in a future blog

Related articles -  
Videos -
KravMaga - safety tips for Children & Women - NDTV Hindu Chennai
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" 
Mobile - 0-934 000 66 00 , Email -
Chennai Site -
TWEET - @kravMagaSreeRam


  1. When we're faced with an ugly situation, we don't really think about standing and fighting him down. We're paralyzed with fear or the shock which dissuades us from reacting. What we should learn perhaps is to involuntarily throw out a kick or a punch in such a situation. It's easier said than done but we'll have to if we need to learn to protect ourselves.

  2. Thanks Anjali for your feedback ..
    I could sense the frustrated anger in your blog post.
    My daughter went thru the same frustration some years back.. later, thanks to KravMaga she has kicked ass quite a few times!
    Coming to your comment on the 'freeze" , here are my observations -
    Take care .. Regards

  3. Very informative blog. Thanks for sharing with us and please keep posting.
    Self Defense Classes Newbury

  4. Participants are aware of the self defence technique and its applications They learn how to develop spontaneity and reflexes to handle physically threatening situations. than u for sharing an informative blog


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