Not many know what the soft-spoken Aditya Sanyal, Manager – Online Marketing, does after he logs out of his corporate precincts on a typical workday. Adi, as he is popularly known, takes on bullies single-handedly after work hours. And you thought Clark Kent turning Superman or Peter Parker showing up as Spiderman was exciting!
Confused? Well, Adi’s been training in Krav Maga, a martial art form, for three years now under teacher Capt. Ajit Varma, an erstwhile army man. He is part of Krav Maga Hyderabad which is, in turn, part of the International Krav Maga Federation, a body that imparts training in this particular form of combat.
For starters, Krav Maga is a form of hand-to-hand self-defense technique that was developed for the military in Israel during the 1930s. It is a blend of techniques picked up from other combat forms such as Aikido, Judo, boxing and wrestling. Adi says: “Krav Maga works in realistic situations, such as episodes of road rage. It is also a boon for women as a system of self-defense. In this system, we are taught to subdue the attacker by going for vulnerable parts of the body such as the groin. Then, you can well run away.” He adds: “It’s a form of contact combat.”
In fact, Krav Maga is known for its focus on everyday situations and its patrons say that it’s extremely efficient. Brutal counter-attacks are a prime element of the combat system. Krav Maga came to be when Israeli martial artist Imi Lichtenfeld built on his prowess as a boxer and wrestler to defend the Jewish quarter against fascist groups in Czechoslovakia in the mid-to-late 1930s.
“It’s very useful for women and the not-so-young. Often, women these days need to go out for work late at night. The girls in my class also take on men efficiently during mock sessions,” says Adi. Talking about how the martial art form can prove to be extremely beneficial, he reveals: “I have a 50-year-old male classmate who defended himself effectively on the road. A bunch of five youngsters who were in their twenties or early thirties tried to beat up his driver in the middle of the road for a mistake that wasn’t his. They also tried to block and get physical with my classmate. He fought back and diffused the situation. You see, once you show bold body language, the enemy usually backs out. Bullies sense fear.”
Adi was introduced to the combat system when he was on a visit to Kolkata to meet his in-laws. He was so intrigued by it that once back in Hyderabad, he figured out where and when classes were conducted in the city and joined them post haste! Today, Adi is, admittedly, physically fitter and is able to keep a calmer head during pressure situations in his daily life. “I was not particularly athletic during my student days. So initially, I found Krav Maga sessions tiring. I would come home and just doze off after all the kicks and punches. But later, my body and mind tuned into the practice,” he says.
Let us hope more ValueLabs employees find an efficient way to creatively beat stress like Adi has !