The knowledge of self-defense 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.
Here are five essential self-defense tips The ONE Championship female atomweight star shares with IANSlife.
Learn martial arts
Being a lifelong martial artist, 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.
“You will one hundred percent gain the confidence of knowing how to defend yourself. You won’t have to rely on anyone to protect you in the most volatile of situations. You will have the skills and the knowledge of how to handle even attackers who are bigger and more physically imposing. You’ll also be able to protect the people you love,” said Phogat.
“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.”
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.
In order to enhance your martial arts skills, you need to put in the hours at the gym, honing every single technique, going through every situation in your mind, and preparing yourself both physically and mentally to apply your skills in the right manner.
Get help from authorities
Phogat, however, stressed that even with self-defense 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.
Building strength and conditioning is essential to every martial artist. “Don’t sell yourself short. Your attackers may be big guys. They may appear more imposing. But with technique, knowledge of leverage, and experience, you can be much stronger, even if it doesn’t look like it at first. People will be surprised with your strength and speed.”
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.
“Obviously, if you have to fight, then fight to win. A fight to the end matters quickly and decisively. This could mean knocking someone out, or incapacitating them with a choke or with a joint lock. The goal is to get them to stop attacking you,” said Phogat.
“That’s when you can run to safety, or call for help.”