New Delhi: The knowledge of self-defence is a basic human right that everyone should have access to, especially women, believes 'The Indian Tigress' Ritu Phogat, a wrestling champion and a superstar from India. From a young age, she was taught how to wrestle by her father, Mahavir Singh Phogat. Since then, she has gone on to garner countless accolades in the sport. In these modern times, Phogat said women should have the capability and skills to physically defend themselves as well as those around them from threats and attacks. She believes that, through the power of martial arts, women will gain more confidence and learn how to protect themselves from anything. Here are five essential self-defence tips The ONE Championship female atomweight star shares.
Learn martial arts: Being a lifelong martial artiste, Phogat is inclined to advise women to pick up martial arts, whether that be her base discipline of wrestling, or striking disciplines such as Muay Thai and boxing. Today, Phogat is one of the fastest rising mixed martial arts (MMA) talents in the world, which combines different martial arts disciplines together in a seamless fighting style. According to Phogat, martial arts is important because it has a host of benefits to offer in our lives. "Other benefits of martial arts include increased sharpness and focus, enhanced reflexes and athleticism, physical strength, a stronger immune system, and a more positive outlook on life," she said.
Practice in the gym: Of course, you're going to want to put your newly developed skills to the test. There's no better place to try them out than in the safe and controlled environment of the gym. "Learning how to fight is 80 per cent in the gym, and 20 per cent in an actual fight. The preparation is more important than the fight itself. If you work hard on your skills in the gym, fights are easy," said Phogat. "You can practice certain self-defence situations with your gym mates, friends, and instructors, so that when it comes time to actually put those skills into use, you know exactly how to utilize them. You know that when your attacker is charging at you, you can use his momentum against him. If he has you in a hold or in a choke, you have the right technique to break free and reverse the situation."
Get help from authorities: Phogat, however, stressed that even with self-defence capabilities, the first response to any situation that could potentially become physical should be to diffuse. If you can walk away from the situation with a cool head, it is certainly the best option. Another option to diffuse a volatile situation is seeking help from authorities. Authorities are there to keep peace and order, and can certainly help protect you and your attacker from any unnecessary altercation.
Build your strength: If you must fight, however, Phogat said you need to also be physically strong enough to apply the skills you've learned in the gym. The stronger you are, the faster you are, and the more powerful you are, the better your chances of success. "Martial arts and physical fitness are synonymous to each other. You have to be physically fit and capable if you want to apply your martial arts skills. At the same time, martial arts will see to it that you do get your health in order, and that you unleash your full physical potential," said Phogat.
Seek the fastest end: In any fight, Phogat explained, you must always seek the fastest end that causes the least amount of damage to all parties involved, including your attacker. Remember that the objective is to incapacitate your attacker and then seek safety immediately. You don't want to draw out a fight when you don't need to.