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Got a few hours? It can save your life

 | July 23, 2012

Many people don't have the time to learn martial arts. Which is why one person has come up with a short but effective way for people today to defend themselves.

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PETALING JAYA: With crime seemingly on the rise, many Malaysians have adopted measures to protect themselves from being caught in dangerous situations.

Other than a stronger demand for local security, some citizens have taken to martial arts in the quest for personal safety.

However, fighting skills may be too much for some, who may not have the years at hand to commit to regular classes.

Addressing this concern is practical self-defence specialist Shamir Rajadurai, 26, who runs Breakaway, a course that teaches people how to break free from would-be criminals without having to throw punches.

A former taekwondo exponent himself, Shamir said that it took a lot of time for people to learn martial arts and apply it.

“[Some] martial arts can take people years to develop and execute it right. Also, [some] martial arts may not work in a real-life experience, especially those that are made for sports, because there are no rules and no referees to stop a fight from going on,” he told FMT.

He added that it was also risky for some people – if unprepared – to fight armed assailants, because of the possibility of grevious harm.

Shamir added that some assailants, such as those who were high on drugs, could even be angered when their potential victims fought back, which may cause them to go “all-out”.

This, he said, led him and some associates to form the Breakaway programme, a course that combines both social awareness and physical techniques.

And the best part? They only take one session, or a few hours to learn.

“We teach about seven different techniques, which will help you to escape from 14 different scenarios,” he said.

He added that seven was a good number for most people, as not everyone was able to remember too many techniques.

Shamir added that his course was not meant for personal training, and that it was better geared for large groups. He added that his course has trained over 1,000 people so far.

Some of the awareness tips he shared with FMT included:

  • If you’re in a carpark and you think you’re being followed, circle around the area.
  • If you enter your car, lock it immediately instead of turning the car on and then stepping on the brake.
  • Every car has a blind spot, so reverse park your car when you’re driving into your house.
  • If you’re walking alone and you suspect someone is following you, run to a group of people and tell them that you’re being followed.
  • Don’t take the staircase. There are too many blind spots, and they’re too quiet.
  • If you’re stuck with someone in a lift, lean against all the buttons, so the doors will open.

But the most important part of his course was teaching his students how not to become a victim.

Shamir said that when in a situation, people had to remember to surrender themselves to it, adding that people who did not, tended to resist mentally.

By the time people realised the position they were in, he said, it was too late.

When asked if any of his students had come back to him with experiences, he admitted that there were none.

“We have never received a call saying that they [our students] have gotten out of a situation, but I call that a success. If we cover this right, then we shouldn’t get these calls at all,” he said.

For more information on Breakaway, visit their homepage (http://www.kickout.com.my), their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/kickout.breakaway), or call Shamir at 014-9053442.

Also see:

Self-defence video 2


Self-defence video 3


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