Former Nigerian taekwondo champion, Anita Aluya, says taking part in combat sports can help girls in defending themselves against rapists.
There’s been a rise in rape cases in Nigeria, with the rape and murder of Vera Omozuwa, a student of Microbiology at the University of Benin, the most high-profile case in recent times.
Barakat Bello was also raped and murdered in Ibadan on June 1.
Aluya, who currently runs a taekwondo academy in Lagos, believes that having a knowledge of martial arts will give girls a better chance of fighting the menace globally.
Having the knowledge of combat sports like taekwondo, judo, karate, wrestling, kung fu and boxing is an advantage for girls compared to someone without the knowledge, especially in the area of precision and accuracy when fighting back,” she said.
“With this knowledge, you think faster, you are more security conscious. As a martial artist, while walking you check your shadow and you get to see someone sneaking up on you even without looking back.
“I will advise every girl to take up martial arts. It will definitely build their mental alertness and reflex. For example, if someone sneaks up on you, you can easily take the person down. It gives you self confidence and keeps you sharp.”
Aluya, a taekwondo black belter and the 2004 and 2006 National Sports Festival silver medalist, added, “Knowlege of martial arts doesn’t make you macho against a predator, but it makes you fearless, and you can think of the first easy things to do before getting out of the place.
My advice is don’t fight a guy. What you must do is, go for the vital spots where you can hit the predator and he will quickly lose strength and composure. What you should do after hitting the vital spot is to run away from that vicinity.
“The vital spots to target are, the bridge of the nose, you can attack the eyes, try and pluck it with your fingers, or kick him in the groin.”