With violence against women on the rise, it’s high time more women get involved in self-defence courses
Abdullah Mohammad Hossain started his career in the field of martial arts in the early ’90s. Initially starting off with Bando, a Burmese defensive form of the sport, he soon learned there was an opportunity to learn Kyokushin Karate and that’s when he got involved with the full contact form of the sport. The ’90s were the early years for Karate in Bangladesh, and there was little scope for people to get into the martial art lifestyle. In 1995, Abdullah participated in his first international tournament that took place in Iran. Later, he became the only two-time unbeaten national champion in Bangladesh and gradually, in 2012 he set up KO Fight Studio which is now authorized by WKO (World Karate Organization).
With incidents of violence against women on the rise, Abdullah took the initiative to train women for self-defence and the response from women wanting to participate was staggering, breaking taboos surrounding women getting themselves involved with the contact sport. In 2017, he realized many women did not know where to go to in order to receive proper training, many depended on online courses and YouTube to learn self-defence tactics. “Learning Karate from YouTube is not only ineffective but potentially dangerous as one might easily get injured or even face a problem they are not really prepared for,” he added. Warrior Women is a two-month-long course consisting of sixteen classes, which Abdullah assures to be sufficient enough for basic protection against any situation if needed. After the sixteen classes, the students are handed over different kinds of training that they can do in order to remain in shape.
“One of the biggest problems the sport is facing is the lack of regulation from the government. Anybody can open up a gym and start teaching Karate or other forms of martial arts, which can lead to serious consequences in hindering the growth of the sport in the long run,” added Abdullah. Its high time Karate is brought among mainstream sports as more and more people are interested in it. Not only is it helping people to stay in shape, but also has the potential to protect both men and women from many unwanted incidents.
Speaking to people of various age groups, one common misconception about getting involved in a combat sport is that people presume the sport requires one to be fit in order to start, which is not the case. The training is designed to help people improve their strength and overall physical capability. The other misconception is that the training is very expensive, which is also not true. The registration fee at the moment for the Warrior Women course is Tk 8,000.
Currently, KO Fight Studio has two branches, one in Gulshan and the other in Dhanmondi, with currently eight instructors working under Shihan Abdullah. Courses like this are now more important than ever before, with rape and violence against women are at an all-time high. KO Fight Studio is doing their part in trying to bring more women under their umbrella by providing discounts and sponsoring many to join.