Need Base India Rainbow Home, Bengaluru
iTeachiPower.in Girl Safety Empowerment & Military Girl Self Defense Education Workshop
Teaching young girls is always a challenge as well as a learning experience. Kids get distracted easily and it becomes a fun challenge to keep their eyes on you as well as make them understand what you are teaching. I got a chance to work on this skill in Need Base India Rainbow Home, Bengaluru. I started the session with a short introduction about myself followed by a story. I told them the story of my first pushup and how hard it was for me in the beginning and my gradual improvement to doing 40 pushups. My father, Guru-ji Franklin Joseph told me to do a pushup as a demonstration of what I was talking about. One of the reasons why I think it is important to demonstrate me doing a push up is to break the myth that a skinny girl like myself cannot do a simple pushup. Also to help the girls understand the struggle inside their minds that they too can do it.
Let me share something I remember – the first time was told to do a pushup. In simple words, I didn’t want to (I was stubborn!). One of the excuses I gave to get out of it was that I was too skinny and tiny to be able to do a pushup. I struggled (literally) to do one pushup and when I finally did it and though my dad would leave me alone, he didn’t. He asked me to do another pushup. When I did 2, he told me to do 4 and so on. Over a period of time I did 40 pushups. When I finally thought “haa I have done it!”, my dad said “sike!” and told me do a knuckle pushup on a marble floor. I cried because it hurt my knuckle. Again, over a period of time I could do 20. So, if you think you cannot do physical or painful activities because of your physique, you can do it with practice and perseverance. I am still skinny & still look smaller than my age, but still I am psychologically & physically strong.
Coming back to the iTeachiPower.in workshop, when I did the push-up the girls gasped and were eager to try it for themselves. Some attempted to do a push-up, of course it was not perfect as it was their first time, but it was their initiative & confidence that made me feel proud that they tried & pushed their limits. I was requested by the girls to speak in Kannada as it was the local language. I was surprised by my ability to teach in a language as I was not used to teaching in Kannada.
We did an activity where we taught the girls how to punch the punching bag. They could not contain their excitement of punching the bag, which is a common occurrence I have seen among girls in my iTeachiPower.in workshops. According to me, this is because girl are usually not encouraged to do physical activities or sports even if they are willing & able to. So, when they get to challenge their physical limits, they get thrilled & seize the opportunity. After the first round, most of the girls were sneaking back into the line so they get another shot of the punching experience.
The next lesson we taught them was self defence tactics of hand grab release. After they had learnt it, we asked some girls to come on the podium & showcase what they had learnt. My dad and I took turns grabbing the girl’s hands simulating an assault situation. When the girls were able to release the grab, they giggled with excitement which made us feel proud. We finished with a group activity where we divided the girls into two groups – Group A & Group B. Group A girls were asked to go grab the hands of Group B girls and they had to release their grabs & vice versa. We did this activity to simulate a real life crime situation where both psychological & physical limits of the girls are tested. Some girls who got stuck in the tactics were given a revision of the self defence tactics.
Finally, we concluded saying ‘Jai Hind’ in sync as a respect to the nation as well as military background of Krav Maga Self Defense. Overall, this experience taught me how to teach kids & bear their shrill screams !!! It taught me how to balance between being a teacher & also being a big sister/mentor so they feel comfortable & approachable.