Attacks on Indian women seem to be on the rise. Groping, harassment, molestation, or for that matter, even something as horrendous as rape has increased in the past few years. It’s imperative that women here do their best to keep themselves safe from harm. Carrying pepper spray, small knives and other such products do help, but if you don’t know how to use them, you could be deep trouble. 

Women here need to adapt to bolder and more fool-proof techniques to keep themselves safe on the streets of India. There are various martial arts that women can learn, that will not only provide them with the necessary skills to survive an attack, but will also endue them with a sense of confidence to help them fight off their attackers. 

You should definitely try and pick up one of these martial art forms, and to put you mind at ease, we’ve also included the links and whereabouts of each academy. 

1. Taekwondo

A blend of Karate and Chinese Martial Arts, Taekwondo originated in Korea. It focuses on speed and agility and helps strengthen your core. It also helps with flexibility as the techniques require you to torque your lower body when kicking. Apart from the obvious benefits, you’ll also sculpt a rock hard body and we guarantee you that most rapists and the like will not want to mess with you once they get a glimpse of those biceps. 

Places to learn:

 Vipin Kalra’s Taekwondo Academy

Korean Combat Martial Arts Academy

Judo dates back to 1882 and originated in Japan. It is an extremely useful martial art as the aim in judo is to toss your opponent to the ground in the most violent way possible. In fact, a lot of judo competitors have suffered broken ribs because they were thrown with that much force. Judo also teaches you various submissions such as arm-locks, chokes and many more and will help you incapacitate your attacker. 

Places to learn:

Judo Federation of India 

Global Institute Of Self Defence And Martial Arts 

Aikido is the art of using your opponents strength against him or her. It is an ancient Japanese art that has recently made a comeback into the world of martial arts. It concentrates on joint locks, arm drag throws and pressure points. Throws and trips are also a huge part of the Aikido curriculum. 

Places to learn: 

Aikido Aikikai Foundation Of India

Aikido of Mumbai 

Pune Aikikai

This art form basically originated in Varanasi and is very similar to a lot of South Asian kickboxing styles. You learn how to strike with your fists, elbows, feet and knees. If you are ever caught in a clinch, which means that the person has wrapped their hands around your body, you can always elbow the crap out of him or her.  That will definitely work. 

Places to learn:

Indian School of Martial Arts

Academy of Training & Research on Indo-origin Martial Arts

Ace Foundation 

5. Silambam

Originally conceived as as a weapon-based martial art in South India, ‘Silam’ means hills and ‘Marhat’, bamboo. You’ll learn how to use a stick to fend of attackers and how to attack using a weapon as well. It also stresses on certain acrobatic movements that will help you improve your agility and reflexes. 

Places to learn:

International Silambam Foundation 

Minnesota Praying Mantis Kung Fu India 

6. Wing Chun

Wing Chun was invented by a woman, Ng Mui, and possibly was first used in combat by another woman, Yim Wing-Chun, who trained directly under Mui. It teaches you a close-range combat system, which is effective for women since the nature of attacks on them are usually close-range. 

Places to learn:

Samuel Kwok Wing Chun Martial Art Association

India Wing Chun Academy 

Wing Chun In India

7. Lathi

Here is the Indian police’s most favoured crowd-control device! The lathi is apparently the world’s oldest weapon. It can be used as a shield and a perfect weapon to inflict lethal blows to anybody who tries to mess with you! You’ll learn exactly how to hit someone using the least amount of force but still inflict a lot of damage. 

Places to learn:

S. K. F. India

Krav Maga India

8. Karate

Karate uses a lot of straight punches and kicks to break down opponents defences and allow you to land with frightening accuracy. In fact, one of the best fighters on the planet, the UFC’s Georges St Pierre is a Karate black belt. It teaches you to land punches and kicks without sacrificing your distance management. And apart from self-defence, it also helps with weight loss and stress reduction.

Places to learn:

Delhi Karate

Karate Do Nobukawa Ha ShitoRyu Kai

Indian School of Martial Arts

Kushti is India’s traditional wrestling art form and is an ancient sport that is revered by Indians. Wrestling will teach you to control your opponent using various throws, take-downs and pinning techniques. You will also get a lot stronger because you are going to be tossing around human beings like they were bags of rice. 

Places to learn:

Here Are The Akharas Where India’s Very Best Wrestlers Are Born

Krav Maga is a brutal martial art that teaches you to use anything around you as a weapon. Be it a pen or a frying pan, you’re going to have to use it to batter your foe. It stresses on conditioning and spatial awareness so that when you are cornered you’ll have the confidence to break some fools face. 

Places to learn:

Kravmaga India

Krav Maga Global

Originally an art form used by Sikhs in the field of battle, this martial art teaches you to fight using a sword and a shield. It will help you defend an attack and counter it with proper technique and skill. Sparring in Gatka is done with the help of sticks replacing swords for safety purposes. 

Places to learn:

Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji Gatka Academy

Gatka Federation of India

Panjab University 

A traditional martial art from Manipur, Thang-Ta teaches you to master the sword and the spear. This martial art stresses on physical control and precise movements. The rhythm of your breathing acts as a metronome for your attacks, so you’ll be timing each hit with every breath you take. 

Places to learn:

Thang Ta Federation of India 

Delhi Thang-Ta

Huyen Langlon Thang Ta Academy

Muay Thai is also known as the art of eight limbs because you use your fists, feet, knees and elbows to inflict a ton of damage. Known for their resilience and sheer toughness, the people of Thailand developed Muay Thai after noticing that the previous style, ‘Muay Boran’, was a little to brutal with even headbutts thrown in the mix. Muay Thai has now been refined into a martial art that all professional fighters include in their arsenal.  

Places to learn:

MMA Chennai


The ‘Mother of Martial Arts’, Kalaripayattu is almost 3000 years old and teaches you to fight like an animal. You can also use this technique in dance forms as a source of self-expression to depict majestic animal forms. You will use a blade and shield as your main weapons. The blade is incredibly flexible and will cause a lot of damage when used properly. 


Places to learn:

Indian School of Martial Arts

Kalari Gurukulam

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that doesn’t require you to be a professional bodybuilder to get good at. By using leverage and technique, a smaller person can incapacitate a much larger attacker. This martial art uses arm-locks, knee-locks, foot-locks and a lot of chokes to make it one of the, if not, the most effective martial art there is today. In fact, back in 1993, when the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) was first organized, the person to win the whole thing was a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. 

Places to learn:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu India

BJJ India

Pick your place and art form and give it a shot! You never know, you might find what exactly you were looking for. Remember to stay safe, people! 

Masthead Image Source: | Feature Image Source: