The importance of learning martial arts for women

The training empowers you to take the right steps. It could be moving away from an uncomfortable situation or standing up to the situation and not feeling vulnerable, scared or stressed about the outcome
Lavanyaa Gladston teaching the art
Lavanyaa Gladston teaching the art

It’s International Women’s Day, and what better way than empowering women through martial arts? To celebrate women’s strength, accomplished martial arts’ instructor, Lavanyaa Gladston will be speaking and teaching the art of Kalaripayattu meithari, Silat and Verum Kai.

A professional architect and Bharatanatyam artiste, Lavanyaa founded Neokalari along with Gladston to promote martial arts of South India. With over 20 years of practice and experience in Vadakkan Kalaripayattu, Alankara Silambam, Nagam pathinaru, kuthuvarisai, Silat, Chuvadu padam, Adimurai, which are all indigenous forms prevalent in various parts of Tamil Nadu, she explores the relevance, diversity and significance of these forms.

Lavanyaa Gladston teaching the art
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We ask her how martial arts can empower women, and she tells us, “Training in martial arts brings the awareness and inner strength to deal with threats, challenges and unpleasant situations. Women face difficulties in different environments and most often, they are not able to gauge, cope or respond effectively. When you learn martial arts, the training empowers you to take the right steps. It could be moving away from an uncomfortable situation or standing up to the situation and not feeling vulnerable, scared or stressed about the outcome.”

Lavanyaa Gladston teaching the art
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She also lets us in on the various forms explaining that Kalaripayattu meithari is a choreographed sequence which incorporates punches, kicks , leaps, jumps , leg lifts. This sequence is a capsule of self defence which is systematically practiced in Vadakkan Kalari form. Silat is an indigenous form prevalent in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. The South East Asian Silat is an offshoot of this form which was introduced by the travelling Buddhist monks. Here, the movements are swift and powerful helping the practitioner to get the situation under control quickly.

Verumkai is a technique from different martial form where a simple movement of the limbs frees the person from a hold or clutch.

Only for women. Entry free.

Mandatory registration.

March 9, 3 pm to 4 pm.

At Alliance Française of Madras, Nungambakkam.

Email: rupam@newindianexpress.com

X: @rupsjain

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