Published: 06th April 2019
At 45, Kiran Uniyal is teaching people how to defend themselves with some killer moves
Martial artist Kiran Uniyal drives home the point that self-defence is the need of the hour. Trained in both Taekwondo and Krav Maga, Uniyal is now training others, including students
Almost every woman today carries a can of pepper spray in her bag and makes it a point to tag along with a male friend in case she gets home in the wee hours of the night. But do women really know what to do when confronted by men with cruel intentions? To get a little more insight into defending oneself in such dark times we got in touch with Kiran Uniyal. Trained in both Taekwondo and Krav Maga, Uniyal is now training others, including students of school and colleges, corporates and others, so that they can defend themselves in the right way. She has already impacted about 2,000 people and yet, the 45-year-old believes that this is just the beginning.
She also has several records to her credit like Most Full Contact Elbow Strikes (Female) in three minutes. She holds six Guinness World Records and 11 World Record in Martial Arts. She is a mother of two and is the wife of an army man serving in Secunderabad
First inspired by the likes of Bruce Lee and then moved by the Nirbhaya case, Uniyal opted to tread the path of martial arts. "Girls should train themselves mentally such that they should be ready to tackle anyone attacking from anywhere. In today's day and age, schools should include this kind of training early on," says Uniyal. And why just girls, she asks. "No one is exempt from molestation, everyone needs to be prepared," she establishes. One of the first things she informs us about is that it is important to be calm and collected when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Hit and run is the key. "Use whatever you find around like a tool; strike and run as fast as you can. Another point to remember is don't challenge your harasser. You don't have to take revenge, you first need to get out of there," advises the instructor.
Looking forward: 'Hit and run as fast as you can' says Kiran Uniyal, martial artist and self-defence instructor | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
And as for the role parents play, Uniyal says, "Parents should not discourage girls from doing heavy duty tasks, saying that they are weak. This creates mindsets and eventually, women grow up believing this. If Mary Kom can be a champion even after having two children, we can all be tough too," she shares. The demonstrations she gives, apart from focusing on techniques, also stress on the importance of mental strength. "Physical strength is secondary, first you need to be strong mentally," she explains.
Power-packed: Uniyal shows how it's done | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
Uniyal has held workshops at HSBC, Qualcomm and other such MNCs as well as colleges like Swami Vivekananda College and a few government schools. Her sessions, which are usually two hours long, involve participation from the audience and go into the nitty-gritty of different situations, like how to attack in a saree and how to use common objects around as weapons. But her vision for self-defence itself is long term. "It's muscle memory, one needs to practise. Even after the session, one must take the time to practise it so that their reflexes improve," she says. Till now, she has been going to places where she has been invited to teach, but from this year on, she wants to identify places that could really do with such training, so that the fists of fury land on all those who molest.
Learning to defend
Elbow strike: When the attacker holds you from the back, shift a little, hold their wrist, hit hard on their chest or stomach to get out of their clutches and neutralise them | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
Reverse elbow strike: If you find that your attacker has suddenly grabbed you from the back, hit him with your elbow, stamp his feet and make a run for it | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
Roundhouse kick: This is a common kick in martial arts. Twist the arm of your attacker, swing your leg and use your foot to hit them hard on the face or any other part of their body | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
Groin kick: Take aim and hit hard between the legs of the attacker, the most sensitive part of any male. Once he loses his balance and falls, run as fast as you can | (Pic: R Satish Babu)
For more, reach out to Kiran Uniyal on firstname.lastname@example.org