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January 19, 2020
Krav Maga is a world-known self-defense and strength training program that encourages awareness, fitness, and strength in people of all ages. Its origins lie in 1910 when founder Imi Litchenfeld learned self-defense from his father and was inspired to begin teaching Israeli Militia. Several years later, Krav Maga is now one of the premier institutions for self-defense, offered for all ages.
The students that pioneered the training session at South Forsyth High intended to create a seminar for the female population at school. Juniors Sukrutha Suthari, Ananya Uday, and Vibha Mohan were driven by the immense research they had done regarding violence in cities like Atlanta, and how a specific Krav Maga curriculum targeted towards women can possibly change their lives.
In regards to the women’s program, the Krav Maga website states:
“Krav Maga Worldwide™ is all about promoting awareness, strength, and self-defense skills for the women in our community. We offer effective, informative women’s self-defense classes to build the skills and confidence women need to protect themselves. Our self-defense classes for women discuss rape prevention techniques and tactics, focusing on both inner and outer strength.”
Awareness is a dire issue at South Forsyth. The affluence and safety of the area have made children and teens largely unaware of the dangers that exist both inside and outside of their county’s lines. With Atlanta being ranked the #1 city for sex trafficking, it is alarming that everyday students lack the necessary skills to defend themselves in the face of conflict.
This problem became a fixation for a group of South Forsyth students, and the subject of a project in the school’s FBLA club as well. Juniors Ananya Uday, Sukrutha Suthari, and Vibha Mohan worked with the passionate Krav Maga Forsyth to organize a self-defense seminar on campus. At this seminar, professionals will instruct students on the proper techniques of self-defense in multiple situations, in hopes to ensure safety in the future. This particular seminar will be directed towards the female student population; however, if it is a success, the possibility of diversification is likely. Their hopes are overall to create a safer, more aware campus.
To further understand why South students are so passionate about a global problem, I spoke to Ananya Uday, a junior at South Forsyth High School, about why she believes self-defense targeted towards real situations can change a student’s life:
Q: What inspired you to target this issue at South Forsyth High School?
A: South Forsyth High has the blessing and the curse of affluence. We think that issues of kidnappings, assault, and other dangers are so foreign. This is highly incorrect: the dangers are here, and they are prominent. The ability to defend ourselves is one that we all should work to gain.
Q: What is Krav Maga? And what exactly can it do for our school?
A: Krav Maga is a specific type of self-defense technique that includes real-life applications rather than sparring, found in other forms of self-defense. The studio we are partnering with, Krav Maga Forsyth, specializes in teaching this technique. Learning these techniques will allow students at South Forsyth High to be more alert of their surroundings in their everyday lives and know how to defend themselves if ever needed. This is important for students as they start making their way to college and into the real world.
Q: What do you hope to achieve through this seminar at our school?
A: Through this seminar, we hope to provide students with rudimentary self-defense, as well as a heightened awareness of the dangers that are present in our everyday lives. This is in hopes that we can create a safer South Forsyth High School, and empower its students.
Q: What went into organizing an event like this? Do you have any future plans after the seminar, regarding the issue?
A: The seminar itself took coordination with not only our South Forsyth FBLA Chapter but also with Krav Maga Forsyth. We have numerous events planned for the future in order to aid in educating our community as well as raising awareness. We have our Women’s Self-Defense Seminar on January 29th and our future events will soon follow. A few future events include a Teachers Self Defense Seminar and a Marketing and Design Workshop.
Q: Is there anything you would like to say to parents or students who are concerned about their safety at high school?
A: We hope to ease the tensions and worries of parents by aiding their children in gaining knowledge of the horrors that occur everywhere, even in Forsyth county. By educating the students we hope to spread awareness, and ultimately make the students more alert and cautious of their surroundings. This aids the children in strengthening their safety.
The Krav Maga Self Defense Seminar will be held in the cafeteria during IF on January 29th. SOFO hopes to inspire and teach several students valuable lessons about how to take care of themselves when needed.