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Nigerian women learning martial art for self defence


In Nigeria, sexual abuse and harassment is rife and no current statistics as many women are quiet for fear of pervasive victim shaming.

A 2013 report by Nigerian opinion poll (NOI Polls) showed that 30 percent of Nigerians know someone who has been raped, with most of the assaults going unreported due to stigma and a lack of confidence in the justice system.

Martial art which is seen as a means to keep fit by most people is now been viewed as a way for self defence from molestation of any kind.

A sport initially seen as a male sport is taken on by Nigerian ladies for self defence purposes.

John Anene, was motivated to teach martial art after he discovered a close friend was raped.

“I am not teaching people how to fight, I am teaching them how to defend themselves. So far so good I can say that this year is very successful year for us. We have been able to teach some girls how to apply this secret. You need not to be in the martial art class for years before you start applying these things. You can just be in the martial art class for 30 minutes, you get to learn one or two things you can apply and start using it. As you can see others applying it even in class today. I also have some one who just started class today applying something and you are like is this possible? Its reaI. I feel this is what everybody needs to learn.”

The black belter teaching practical sessions on how to defend oneself from attackers or rapist says struggle is a motivating tool for a rapist.

Martial art helps build confidence and puts people in better situation because its makes them more alert and more aware of other people and their environment

Temitope Akinyomi, a participant says nobody plans to be raped but knowing how to defend oneself is key.

“The kind of work I do I go to site a lot, I am in a business where there are more guys than women so I just want to like have this confidence that in case anything happens I can defend myself.”

The instructor says many women victim are shy to speak up but at the same time they have given report on how the moves learnt in the training have helped stop future occurrence of molestation.

Igbinoba Osare, a first time participant is excited about the moves and went all out to try them out. The student feels she is ready to defend herself at anytime.

“I like to do exercise and aerobics or and anything similar so. I always tell myself I should be able to defend myself when I come across situation or when a gut wants to hurt me or when I am put in a situation where I need to defend myself.”

Ladies are advised to run from their attacker when they have gotten themselves free from the tight grip.

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