SRIKAKULAM/GUNTUR: Children, especially girls, have started evincing interest in learning martial arts for self-defence as well as for their physical fitness and mental health. After the relaxation of partial curfew in the state, the number of children enrolling themselves in martial arts coaching institutes is on the rise in Srikakulam and Guntur districts.
Taekwondo has become the most sought after martial art as it is included for sports quota in education and employment, besides figuring in Olympics.“After the Disha incident, several girls have started learning taekwondo for self-defence,’’ said AP Taekwondo Association vice-president BSS Prasad Kumar, popularly known as Taekwondo Srinu.
He has been conducting taekwondo classes in schools and colleges in Srikakulam district free of cost. At present, 2,500 children are learning taekwondo in the district. About 350 children, including 170 girls, are undergoing training in taekwondo at the Town Hall in Srikakulam.
Speaking to TNIE, Srinu said, “Taekwondo is a good social activity and it gives physical fitness and mental health, besides being a martial art.” “Taekwondo boosted my self-confidence to protect myself as well as others. In the present scenario, every girl should learn martial arts for self-defence,” said V Jashmini, who is learning the martial art.
In Guntur, the number of young girls learning martial arts has increased in recent times. Taekwondo instructor Chaitanya said she used to train just 5-10 girls six years ago. “Now, out of 150 students we have, 70 are girls. The main reason for it is increase in awareness among parents about the need to enable their children face challenges in real life boldly. In today’s busy life, parents cannot be with their children all the time, so it is necessary to make sure girls are capable of defending themselves,’’ she said.
Nandini, a medical student who is learning taekwondo at the age of 25 years, said, “I came across a situation that completely shattered my confidence. So in the process of rebuilding it, I realised it is necessary to learn martial arts.” Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, students are completely confined to attending online classes now. Several students are suffering from depression and anxiety as there is no scope to mingle with other students. In order to prevent this, parents are showing keenness to admit their children in martial arts classes.
It is a perfect activity to get the most out of life physically and mentally, said an instructor of martial arts. Mohammad Samdhani, a karate instructor, said after the first wave, the number of enrolments increased in their training centre. “We are strictly implementing Covid rules during training sessions,’’ he said. Rajani, a parent, said, “Soon after the first wave subsided, I joined my son in karate classes. As a result, he has become more disciplined and conscious about maintaining good health and following a healthy diet.”