For 18-year-old Shivani Sisodia of Rajasthan’s Bharatpur, teaching self-defense has been an extension of her life since the past two years. A second year student of BA, Shivani has so far taught at least 1,500 women and girls the art of self-defense that will help them to defend themselves from the eve-teasers and harassers. But the inspiration to turn to teach women and girls like her in martial arts too had a significant story behind it.
Shivani and a few of her friends who were back then in Class X had once faced a couple of boys who started passing lewd comments and harassing them. The girls were able to scare away the boys after they screamed but this made Shivani realise the importance of being able to defend oneself against anyone. She spoke to her friends and everyone had a similar story to tell and they all said that nobody knew how to fight them off. This instilled in Shivani the grit to overcome the hurdle and learn to fight, the New Indian Express reported.
Shivani soon after enrolled at the Rajasthan Karatians School in Bharatpur and quickly learnt the ropes of the martial arts and managed to impress her trainer, Onkar Pancholi who is also the director of Karatians School Rajasthan and a certified NIS martial art trainer and a black belt holder.
Pancholi reportedly marvelled at Shivani’s grasp at learning the martial art so soon. She also won a silver medal two years back at a national tournament in Punjab. Shivani is also a national level judo player.
Pancholi and Shivani now even run women self-defense campaigns in the city regularly to inspire other women to learn.
Shivani’s inspiring tale has also motivated her siblings to take up martial arts and excel in it. They have built on their confidence and one of them is a judo champion while another sister is a black belt in taekwondo.