Every day for the last six months, Grace Sunil, 17, has been attending one-hour self-defence classes. Grace stays in Churchgate and makes the train journey to her school in Bandra alone, which is what prompted her parents to take this decision.
“With the increase in crime in the city, my parents felt I should learn techniques to defend myself. A delay in defence can take away lives. What’s the harm in carrying a self-defending kit?”
Self-defence institutions across the city have witnessed a rise in the number of women enrollments over the past two years. According to Amit Khatri, karate master at Shotokan Karate institution, Kandivli, there has been a 40% increase in women seeking self -defence techniques as compared to previous years.
“We have a restricted entry of 150 students in our institution out of which 35% used to be women from 2008 to 2010. Today, we have 75% women,” he said.
“The increase in crime against women across the globe has created a fear in the mindset of women,” he added.
MJ Academy of Martial Arts, Chowpatty, has witnessed a 40% increase in women enrollment – from 15 in 2007 to 40 this year.
“A student sought admission because she was tired of being harassed at railway stations. One year of kick-boxing training can help her defend herself,” said Mahendra Mohan, master of kick-boxing at the academy.
Self-defense experts are conducting seminars on various techniques in educational institutions. Shihan Sharif Bapu, master, Academy of Self Defense, Bandra, conducted a seminar, where 140 of the 150 participants were girls.