TWICE UGANDA equips ladies with self defense techniques
By Anita Kayongo, published on July 18th, 2018
Women are victims of different forms of violence on a daily basis. For this reason, many women are interested in learning how to protect themselves against violent situations but may not know how. Martial arts is one of those arts that can enable women to develop the mental and physical skills to defend themselves against physical abuse or attacks.
Taekwondo originated in Korea and is one of the world's most popular martial arts. The term Taekwondo is translated as "the way of kicking and punching."
It is particularly well suited for women because of the art's emphasis on kicking. Men generally have more upper body strength than women and making women more vulnerable in an attack.
Taekwondo equips women with an arsenal of devastating kicks that can help combat the strength of male attackers.
A self-defence class was held for the TOTAL Ladies in Uganda on the evening of 27th June 2018. The session organised by Total Women’s Initiative for Communication and Exchange (TWICE), was intended to equip the ladies with basic skills to protect themselves especially in the wake of the recent rampant kidnappings and murders in the country targeting women.
The women were skilled with different types of kicks and punches, as well as the basics on how to quickly disengage, protect themselves and escape in the event of an attack, or counter any threat of violence.
Charyut ("Chari-yut")! Loosely translated as “attention” in Korean, the birthplace of Taekwondo was a phrase that monopolised the evening, calling the ladies to attention as they practiced the different taekwondo techniques.
The techniques shared included the Front Kick, where the knee is raised to the waist, toes pulled back and the foot is quickly extended at the target. There is the Push Kick which is used to create space, or throw off-balance an attacker if too close. The ladies were also taught how to throw punches, use quick jabs with the fist for defence while keeping distance from the attacker, and the use of the elbow to strike targets. The instructors also demonstrated to the ladies what to do when faced with strangulation from the front and rear angles.
Regularly falling back to what was termed as “fighting position” (2 fists close to ones jaws for protection of the face and throwing jabs), the women practiced the kicks and punches with great passion and a lively energy that gave the assurance that they were indeed prepared for whatever attacks may come their way.
The team of instructors included the leader Master Ahmed- a Taekwondo Black Belt level 4 the others, regional and international champions at various Taekwondo mastery levels. To the ladies delight, in the team was Brenda a female instructor and regional champion who upon introduction sent a thunderous applause among the ladies. She shared a couple of techniques which were received with enviable attention. To the ladies this proved that they can be and do whatever they set out to, regardless of gender stereo-types.
As a final word of caution to the ladies, Master Ahmed warned against the use of Taekwondo for anything else other than self-defence; the premise upon which all Taekwondo engagements are based unlike other martial arts that are more aggressive.
He also revealed that Total was the first corporate company in Uganda to contract them to equip the ladies with the much required essential skills in self-defence given the country situation in the country.
As the Vice Chairperson TWICE Uganda Chapter, I said that “Safety and Security should be a priority for every woman, not only today but even in our daily lives. We need skills to be able to defend themselves from physical abuse and that's why the TWICE Committee has sponsored this activity,
Knowing how to defend yourself gives you an upper-hand and may buy you enough time to escape to safety. We hope this training enables you all to feel potentially capable of managing dangerous situations to the best of your abilities.
Due to popular demand, more sessions are being planned to further equip the TOTAL ladies with more techniques and skills to enable them take personal responsibility for their own safety at home, work and on the streets".