Katherine Muay Thai expert, David Flood, has recently returned from a teaching trip to India where he taught hundreds of young girls self-defence in order to protect themselves against the prevalence of assault.
The two week trip to the Dhote Bandhu Science College in Gondia, as part of the annual Women’s Empowerment and Leadership conference, saw the trainer teaching about 950 girls between the ages of 14 and 18.
While the self-defence moves were basic, the skills learnt will empower the young students to fight crime against women.
“From the reports and reactions from participation, I feel the girls gained confidence in being able to stand up for themselves,” Mr Flood said.
“They could put the skills I was trying to teach into real life situations, because some of the students actually had experiences of being grabbed from behind.
“The moves were basic, but everything I taught could be utilised if an unwanted situation were to happen,” he said.
Mr Flood said the experience validated his 30 years of being a Muay Thai instructor.
“Teaching for so many years I am thankful I haven’t had much feedback that my self-defence training has come in handy, but when someone does get attacked and they say you have really helped, well that is absolute justification for what I do,” Mr Flood said.
Following the success of the conference, Mr Flood has been asked to return next year, incorporating more schools.
While he said the offer is a welcome opportunity, he needs to gain further skills to pass on to the students who live in a vastly different culture.
“Group attacks are very prevalent in India,” Mr Flood said.
“Hopefully, when I go back next year I will have more education around and insight into the group mentality, so I can teach the appropriate moves to combat that.”
Mr Flood held five sessions every day of the conference in similar heat to Katherine, in order to teach the skills to all of the female students at the school.
“I thought I would really have to work at them to get them to participate, but they were so engaged and got right into it from the get go,” Mr Flood said.
“Before I went over I thought a lot about what the common forms of attack were in India and how best to pass on skills to effectively help in a situation.
“I taught the girls how to get out of a head grab, as well as a frontal choke and a rear choke hold.
“I kept the skills basic and they picked the moves up relatively quickly,” he said.
Mr Flood said he is hoping to return next year to instill confidence and empowerment in more young Indian girls.
David Flood has a sixth-degree black belt in martial arts and Muay Thai and owns Blue Eagle Training and Fitness in Katherine.
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