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In the Himalayas, Kung Fu Nuns Teach Young Women How to Defend Themselves

LADAKH, India — On moveable foam mats on a northern Indian plateau in view of the Himalayas, rows of women and younger women kick their legs in the air concurrently. One. Two. Three.

Nuns stroll all through the rows, eyeing the women’ type and providing constructive criticism on their newly discovered expertise.

The women are participating in a self-defense workshop, the first such coaching placed on by the Drukpa Kung Fu Nuns. Since mastering the martial artwork, the nuns at the moment are educating a era of women and younger women how to defend themselves.

“Self-defense is very important because of rape cases and other bad news,” 26-year-old nun Jigme Migyur Palmo informed NBC News. “They have to have confidence.”

According to India’s National Crime Record Bureau, there have been roughly 34,000 rapes reported in the country in 2015 — the newest yr knowledge is accessible — up from approximately 25,000 in 2012.

The five-day workshop for freshmen was held in India’s Ladakh area in early August and was sponsored by the U.S.-based Live to Love International, a nonprofit that focuses on serving the individuals of the Himalayas.

Live to Love was based by the Gyalwang Drukpa — the head of a department of Tibetan Buddhism — and in 2009, he launched kung fu to the department’s nuns as a approach to enhance health and self-defense.

Before the nuns have been shy, stated Palmo, however now they’ve extra confidence.

“I, myself, can say I have lots more confidence than before,” she stated.

Palmo, who used to watch Jackie Chan films as a younger woman, turned a nun when her father informed her about the Gyalwang Drukpa and the give attention to women’s empowerment.

“If I became a nun it would benefit other girls,” she stated, later including: “Before I was thinking kung fu was just for fun.”

The kung fu workshop, which catered to almost 100 women ages 13 to 28, included these from close by villages and even some Muslim women and younger women, stated Carrie Lee, a former president of Live to Love, which has 13 chapters round the world.

“It’s our first time,” she stated. “We had no idea what the reception would be.”

Girls in India’s Ladakh area training kung fu.