Commando trainer Shifuji uses kathak and sports to teach all you ladies about defending yourself
A few years ago, Grandmaster Shifuji legally changed his name to one that most will associate with the wise, red panda from the film Kung Fu Panda. The Chinese title translates to `skilled worker’.
Pune-based Shifuji, who spent 29 years in the military, training Hawk Commandos, Special Armed Forces, Counter Terrorist Group, Special Task Force and the Anti Terrorist Squad, has been teaching women self-defence for the last 15 years.
Through his programme, Situation Reaction Technique (SRT), he teaches women survival tactics to respond to any kind of attack. He has taught 37 lakh women to date, he says. “The biggest challenge is altering women’s mindsets.Society assigns a certain role, and they’re made to believe that they are inferior, weaker and vulnerable,” says Shifuji, who was in the city to conduct a workshop at Byculla.
We sat in on a session where women practised moves to break holds, block attacks and perform onetouch strikes that render the assailant to the floor. “My programme draws inspiration from art forms like yoga, kathak and volleyball,” he says.
For instance, he says, think of the kathak mudra pataka in which your palm remains open, with all fingers closely held together. If an unarmed person tries to slap you, break it with one hand while hitting them with the hand formed in the pataka mudra. This is an ideal response when the attacker is wearing a helmet as striking the face of the helmet would be enough to push the head back backwards. His workshop focuses on using presence of mind and training oneself to stay calm during an attack. “In most cases, the attacker doesn’t expect the victim to fight back,” he says.
Here are the highlights from the class that look at sticky situations and tell you how to fight back:
If your attacker grabs you by the waist from behind, try to take one of your hands behind, grab his groin and squeeze the testicles.This will be painful for the assailant, and he will let go instantly.
UNLOCKING YOUR HANDS
If your assailant grabs both your hands with his and tries pulling you towards him, battle the situation by kicking him in the rib cage. Just raise one of your knees to do this. It will ensure he is hurt enough to loosen his grip, giving you an opportunity to escape.
UNLOCKING A JAW HOLD
Being in a jaw hold can seem like a helpless situation. But the best way to break out of this hold would be to join your hands together to attempt a forearm pass, like you would while playing volleyball. Break the hold by striking your hand from underneath. Another option would be to strike the assailant on the nose with the back of your wrist, which will leave the attacker disoriented and break the jaw hold.
FENDING A HAIR PULL
If someone were to pull you by your hair with both hands, raise both your hands like you would to shoot in a basketball game. If your assailant is attempting to grab your hair with one hand, try to break his move with one hand and slapping him with the other.
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