When we come across the word ‘commando trainer’, it triggers our brain to think only about a male trainer but we don’t necessarily bat an eye about ‘females’ as we think that only men are assigned to do a specific task. For so long,’ commando trainer jobs’ were only meant for men as they were highly-involved in doing heavy-duty tasks while women were kept away from doing such jobs.
However, trainers like Dr Seema Rao is changing the way people think and makes us want to realise that even a woman can succeed in the male-dominated society. Dr Seema Rao can proudly say that she is India’s first and only female commando trainer.
Possessing 7th deg black belt, 47-year-old Seema holds the honorary title of being Asia’s senior-most woman black belt holder. She is well known for the knack of training the Indian armed forces for over 20 years.
Sema’s father was Professor Ramakant Sinari, who was a freedom fighter. Her husband is an army officer. Carrying her family history ahead, Seema trains close combat to the Indian Armed forces. Seema has a wide range of experience in this field and she is a trainer at shooting, mountaineering, and firefighting. “My father narrated bedtime stories of his participation in the freedom struggle. Somewhere, patriotism grew in me,” Seema told Asian Age.
Interestingly, Seema is among the 10 women in the world who are versatile in Jeet Kune Do, a special martial art form which was first invented by Bruce Lee. Seema has also produced a movie, captioned “Hathapayi”, which is also India’s first mixed martial art film. It won the Dadasaheb Phalke film festival jury appreciation award in 2014.
Not just men, Seema has also been teaching women self-defence through a programme called DARE (Defence Against Rape and Eve Teasing). The programme has gained popularity in Mumbai. Seema told The Times of India, “I think the DARE programme is very important as it equips women, both mentally and physically, to face adverse situations posed by potential eve teasers, molesters, and other sexual assaults. This is very easy to learn and it is all about women empowerment.”