My first solo workshop with girls

Krystal Joseph teaching Baale Mane Girl

Baale Mane, Gopalapura – Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defense Wellness Education Workshop

It is important to start somewhere. I started my journey as a solo instructor/mentor with Girl Safety Empowerment & Self Defense Education through an online workshop with the Baale Mane, a non-profit organisation in Gopalapura. It was my first solo workshop because my dad Mr. Franklin Joseph was in Bengaluru taking his Krav Maga Israeli Military Self Defense classes. Despite taking many Krav Maga Israeli Military Self Defense classes in the past, I was a little nervous starting out, since this was the first time I was the teacher and mentor for a group of teens and kids. My syllabus and my years of training told me what I needed to teach. But at the beginning, I was a bit concerned that the girls might not enjoy my training. Despite this, I drew strength from the fact that all great teachers were amateurs once.

Baale Mane iTeachPower’s Girl Safety & Self Defense workshop began. My dad watched the workshop briefly on Zoom. I told him to speak a little, but he had connection problems. While he talked without any audio, all of us awkwardly waited for him to finish -_- . Then I started the session while my dad had to log out due to bad connection. The girls at Baale Mane made me feel very welcome with their enthusiasm. They were very responsive and energetic which made me feel more motivated.

The Baale Mane girl’s called me “Akka” – big sister in Kannada language. This was the first time anyone in a workshop or class had called me Akka! I was very happy and pleased with the respect I was receiving. 🙂 When I was a kid, I used to play teacher-teacher with my family especially my father, who used to sleep while I taught him ABCD! I am a teacher who teaches girls how to deal with real crime and possibly save a life by educating and empowering them. I am so proud of myself !!!

This experience made me feel that every duty seemed difficult at the beginning. I realized, however, that the apprehension I was feeling was nothing more than my fear of failure. I was fearing something that hadn’t even happened yet, thinking of all the things that could go wrong. Fortunately, I wasn’t influenced by it. I committed to doing my best and not letting pressure get to me. I think it’s important to recognize & acknowledge our struggles so that we can emerge from them stronger. The workshop was outstanding. The girls enjoyed the session and I, too, enjoyed it. When we, the teachers, observe how girls learn from the knowledge we provide them and see how it can save their lives / dignity, despite their insecurities, small stature, and physical weakness, we see a job well done.

The faces of the Baale Mane girls that I saw were innocent & curious. One part of me wanted them to remain innocent and out of harm’s way, but the other part of me wanted to transform their innocence into knowledge about what the nature of crime is, where it happens, how it occurs, who does it, and so on. Kid’s knowledge & vision is confined to the world around them, such as their family, school, friends, social media, and television. While good & bad are funny in cartoons, the kids are rarely taught about good touch, bad touch, strangers or known predators, self defense, etc. So, I made sure they learned all of this, in a way that was fun and in a way they could understand.

There is an interesting part of my observations of the Baale Mane Girl Safety Empowerment & Girl Self Defense Wellness Education workshop along with the feedback from the Baale Mane participants on the website – The post is titled – ‘The Baale Mane, Gopalapura – Girl Safety & Self Defense Workshop’