The barbarous gang-rape and killing of 23-year-old para-medical student in New Delhi has left many young girls ponder over their own safety.

The thought- what do I do when an unknown guy approaches and tries to get nasty, still creeps into the mind. Either you get scared and make yourself vulnerable to the situation or defend using some techniques, say mixed martial art skills. Yes, it is possible to hit the offender if you mentally prepare yourself for it.

Brushing aside the fear factor, being conscious and anticipating the situation will make self-defence training quite handy, said chairman of AP Judo Association Technical Committee coach Ch. Devadanam. “One can either dislocate the joints or lock the shoulder or paralyse the victim or all at once using simple techniques,” he explained. Right now he heads a team of three - R. Sailesh Varma, joint secretary of Association of Mixed Martial Arts India, K. Israel (Karate black belt) and Lakshmi (boxing coach)- who train young and middle-aged women on self-defence techniques free of cost.

The pilot batch of self-defence camp at YMCA had a group of 40 girls including a six-year-old Juhi. They found the session help regain their strength and self-confidence.

Initially, we were sceptical about the whole concept, but the 15-day camp has changed our outlook to stand up for ourselves, said 19-year-old Darshana.

“You don’t need supernatural powers to fight against men. You just have to know few weak points and hit the offender when he tries to abuse. I now walk with my head held high after the camp,” she said.

Adding on the same line, a young mother Hema said: “I was always under the impression that women are physically weaker compared to men.

Mixed martial art techniques help you come out of the shell and step out confidently making you psychologically prepared for the worst situations.”

Aiming to equip not less than 3,500 girls through free self-defence camps, the team has their own Facebook account (Vizag Women’s Self Defence Camp group) where a closed group can interact, share links and videos and get their doubts clarified on the applications of commando and other techniques. Corporate offices, schools and colleges can also provide similar training by contacting coaches on 9985999590 or 9949865991.