Quest towards a Warrior Mindset – Ms. Priyamvada, Advocate

Review Priyamvada Power To Women Self Defense Workshop

PROLOGUE by Guru-ji Franklin Joseph

Founder & CEO of Indian Institute of Strategic Threat-Intelligence Analysis & Combat Tactical Science (IISTACTS)


Ms. Priyamvada has been training in Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defense for few week at the time of writing this article. This is her experience in the outside world with the knowledge she acquired in just a small period of time along with dealing with her fears & insecurities. Power To Women Self Defense workshop has similar process to help empower the women in a short duration of time. Please read and enjoy the brave process.

To read her first article on KravMagaBangalore.in Website – “Beginning of my Warrior Mindset” Ms. Priyamvada <<< Click here.

by Ms. Priyamvada. J, Advocate.

A SURPRISING TWIST – KRAV MAGA AND SOLO TRAVEL

Honestly, I did not expect that 3 sessions of Guru-ji Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Israeli Military Self Defense training would bring a 180 degree shift in my mindset. I had just thought it would take some time and even then, it won’t be this big of a transformation. For those who have the question of how long do you have to train in Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defense to change your mindset, my answer from my own experience would be “IN JUST ONE GODDAMN SECOND”. I couldn’t believe this myself until I realised it experientially that I was applying what I had learnt in real life unconsciously by instinct and reflex.

This is me sharing my experience of about a week of solo travel to the Nilgiris, covering Coonoor, Ooty, Pykara, Kotagiri, Yelenahalli and Edapally, Tamil Nadu. I travelled by bus, stayed in a hostel at Coonoor and for local sight seeing, I travelled by auto and I hired a taxi for one stretch of about 5 km. Major focus of this write up is the drastic change in my mindset.

Day 0 – Travel by bus from Bengaluru to Coonoor

I have travelled solo many times before by night bus, but this time it was totally different. And it was completely unplanned and instinctive. I scanned the bus for the number of people, observed the body language of the driver and conductor as soon as I entered the bus. I engaged in small talk with a few people, which I never used to do before. And I was not completely paranoid. Just observant. I did not even realise how instinctively it just happened until I actually thought about it.

Day 1 – Arrival in Coonoor and local sight seeing.

I arrived in Coonoor by about 11am. I had to take an auto to reach my hostel. I used to freak out before when I travelled by auto, particularly in unknown, isolated or less crowded places. This time I did not have to think too much about it. I even engaged with the auto driver in small talk with whatever broken Tamil that I knew to gauge his mindset. Again I did this without even thinking. I observed the body language, particularly the eyes. I noticed how many localities were around that place on the way. The driver was a nice person. He did not make me feel uncomfortable.

Now the challenge was the local sight seeing of a few places in Coonoor. I had done enough research on the kind of roads and distance, population, etc, which detail I would never have checked before. I found an auto driver who agreed to take me for local sight seeing. I knew I would be travelling on isolated roads. I was sceptical but not scared as before. I told him I’ll confirm the booking in 5 minutes after a call, pretended to call and observed who he spoke to, how he spoke, body language etc. Then I agreed. I was still observant. I did not plug in my ear phones to shut my brain up like usual. I noticed I had carried a small bag, unlike before where I used to carry a lot of stuff. I was sitting on the edge of the seat, close to the auto entrance, unconsciously leaning forward, and ready to jump out. I looked at the mirror in frequent intervals to observe his eyes and was glad that he was not making me uncomfortable by glancing back or whatever stuff like people usually do. I asked him how many tourists come to these spots, how far the places are, what is there on the way, how many vehicles pass, can I enter the estates? Random questions like these and observed how he answered. Even as I was talking and enjoying the nature in the ghat section, I was so surprised that unconsciously I was remembering heel of the hand punch, single hand grab release, to protect my face, principles, force, thrust, his probable weakness, my strength, my posture, how ready I was without seeming obvious, where to hit in case it came to that, that I had learnt in class and was also periodically looking out for ways to run if it came to that. Mind you, all this was completely unplanned and unconscious thought and happened in a matter of a few minutes. My conclusion about this person was that he would not try to hurt me, and even if he tried, I could manage with my eye contact and in the worst case, a punch and I would run. This conclusion gave me peace throughout that day trip and I even took his number and arranged for pick up and drop to hostel everyday of the trip. I would never ever have done all this before and I would have missed out on a lot of places where bus does not reach.

I am really glad I learnt all this. Totally glad for the Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defense training.

Day 2 – Yelenahalli and Ooty

On the second day, a similar situation happened as the first day with the auto driver I found at ooty. The tactics and more so the principles never went out of my head. Best part was that I did not even have to remember them consciously. It came as if it was a natural thing to do. For the first time, I was not paranoid about isolated roads but I was observant and alert to even minor changes. I noticed his phone calls and body language. I did not know I could actually be this observant. I realised then that it is not about the actual fight, but knowing you can do something about it if unfortunately it comes down to that is what matters.
I made acquaintances in the hostel as well, who became good friends in a few days, which again, I would never have done in an unknown place before. It was such a pleasant change within me and I was totally surprised. I was not paranoid. I was just observant.

Day 3 – Pykara and Doddabetta Peak

One of the guys I met at the hostel joined me half way through the 3rd day for sight seeing. For the first time, I went on a bike with a guy who I had only met, in an unknown place to the Doddabetta peak which was about 7 km away from the main city. I realised how much the training had impacted me by then when I researched every bit of information I could get about the place, the number of people, timings when I could expect travellers on the road, frequency, etc. I just wanted to know everything about the place and the way to the place. I had learnt one more thing experientially. Knowledge is power. I had observed the guy also for sometime, and had understood that he was not that used to physical exertion, and worst case, I could outrun him without escalating the situation. If not for all this, I would have missed out on visiting such a wonderful place, and I would have missed making a friend.

Day 4 – Kotagiri and Catherine falls

Kotagiri is a place which is not known to many people and less commercialised than Ooty or coonoor. There are only a few buses to this place and not many people travel to this place. I had researched and had asked the localites about all this before. The best time to get onto the bus since the bus would be taking an isolated route with no localites on the way for the last stretch. As luck would have it, I was the only passenger in the last 2-3 km of stretch. Krav Maga hit me instinctively again. I shifted my seat to near the door and ensured that the door was open. I kept an eye on the driver and conductor, and even on the speed of the bus, to know if it looked like they would stop where there were no people. I had taken the semi passive stance equivalent while sitting. And the tactics were going on in my mind. By now, I was used to it and it had become a reflex. I observed that the conductor was wearing a chain. My thought – “Worst case, if he comes close, I can pull that chain and either choke him or injure him”. I am fortunate that they were nice people and nothing untoward happened in the 10 minutes that I was the lone passenger. But having an idea and anticipating probabilities gave me the confidence I never imagined I would have. I was also enjoying the scenic beauty of the ghats and also managed to click photos while these things were going on in my mind. I realised that now it is instinct and does not require much usage of my brain.

The drive to Catherine falls from the last point of government bus is about 5 km where only taxi service is available. No autos or buses reach that place. I almost turned back due to my fear of closed spaces. Auto is one thing but taxi was pushing it a little too much due to my fear of cars and closed spaces. That combined with isolated roads with strangers, it was a big no. That is when the training kicked in. I observed the drivers in the taxi stand, spent about 20 minutes asking the localite girls how safe these taxis were, and I even offered to pay 100 rupees more if they dropped me early so that I would not have to spend much time. I would reach in 15 minutes but the thought itself was a nightmare to me. After such a long time, I sat in a closed car with 2 unknown people, whose language I did not know. First thing I checked was if the window and door was manually operated. I was glad it was. I had kept the door unlocked. I did not wear the seat belt. I looked at the driver and the person who came with him. The other person was old. I was pretty sure that I could escape or punch him if necessary. The driver I was not sure. So I just engaged him in small talk and I did not let them talk amongst themselves. I still do not know why I did that, it just felt right at that time and I trusted my gut feeling. They were really nice people and did not even once make me uncomfortable in spite of my history with cars and people. This was one of the major limitations that I broke after many years. I would never ever have dared to do this if I had not experimented with a few punches in class and if it had not been for the situational awareness.

On the way back, I found a Kannadiga family and I asked them to drop me to the nearest place. I would not dare to do this even in my dreams if it were not for my training. Turns out to my luck that the family and I had a mutual acquaintance and we are in the same profession. However, before knowing that, I just went with my gut feelings.

THE GREATEST LESSON :

Your lessons and training are your saviours. Hold on to them. Trust your gut feelings and instincts. Be alert and observant but not paranoid. While enjoying, be watchful and aware. Notice minor changes. Have as much information and knowledge as possible. Situational awareness. Knowing that you know some tactics go a long long way. Never give up even if odds are against you. Never decide based on fear.

This trip was one of my best ones so far. I feel like a different person. This, for me was the point of no return in many aspects of life. I realised I had become a much better, stronger individual and honestly, I have my training with Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defense to thank me, and of-course, my luck that I found such nice people and nothing bad happened to me.

“Travel to get out of your comfort zone and rediscover yourself”.

I would recommend Nilgiris to girls who would want to travel solo, since it is a safe place, and of course, I would recommend them to go through real life scenario & reflex action tactics based training like Krav Maga Self Defense before travel and see the changes in themselves.

These are minor things, but make a hell lot of difference. This has been the experience of a lifetime.

PROLOGUE by Guru-ji Franklin Joseph


Ms. Priyamvada has been training in Franklin Joseph Krav Maga Self Defense for few week at the time of writing this article. This is her experience in the outside world with the knowledge she acquired in just a small period of time along with dealing with her fears & insecurites. Power To Women Self Defense workshop has similar process to help empower the women in a short duration of time. Please read and enjoy the brave process.

To read her first article on KravMagaBangalore.in Website – “Beginning of my Warrior Mindset” Ms. Priyamvada <<< Click here.

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