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Andhra’s martial arts woman star trains girls and cops

Alla Radha the karate instructor who believes that women should be taught self-defence in action

With the rise in crime against women and girls, there is a growing view in society that they must be trained in self-defence to make them safe and independent. Doing this is 30-year-old Alla Radha who is from Eluru district in Andhra Pradesh as she not only teaches young men and women but also trains police personnel.

Today she has a bagful of medals and awards from national and international level competitions and organisations but her journey which started when she was 15 was tough as she faced a lot of opposition. Initially her parents were reluctant to allow her to learn martial arts. Yet, Radha persisted and when she won her first gold medal at the district-level event, they changed and started encouraging her.

Sharing details about Radha, her father said that she was very inspired by popular Hollywood film stars, Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee in her childhood and to learn martial arts she started training under B. L. Narayana and Ibraheem Baigh.

At present she boasts of 20 gold medals in national and seven in international-level competitions.

In 2012 after getting married at the age of 19, she continued learning and teaching karate. This 4th Dan black belt holder was recently appointed as referee, after successfully clearing the Karate India Organisation test. She now wants to become an Asian lady referee.

At her institute in Kovvur town, Radha trains more than 120 girls and boys regularly. That is not all. She has also imparted training to 100 women constables in Rajamahendravaram. She wants the Government to appoint instructors in schools to teach martial arts to girls. This is necessary as she said as there is a rise in the number of crimes against them and self-defence is an important component of protecting them.