Women who conquered men like no one else- Seema Rao

Seema Rao

Women are creating stories like never before, be it in a field of arts to even going to the moon, ‘She’ seems to be shattering all. But contrary to this, the world today also witness the darker reality according to which women are subjected to molestation, rapes, and violence every day somewhere around the world. Men on the other hand doesn’t seems to be doing much to combat this issue. Thus this cycle again points at a women to become her own warrior, maybe that’s why the story we are going to tell you today is full of bravery, courage and heroism! Witness the tale of Dr. Seema Rao who for years have been training Indian army which is said to be the third best army in the world. This is her story.

Dr. Seema Rao, India’s first female combat trainer – ‘The Man’

Nearing the age of 50, Dr. Seema Rao is India’s first female combat trainer who have been doing so for 20 years. Dr. Seema Rao has already spent the last 20 years of her life at training, over 20,000 soldiers of Indian armed forces in close quarter battle. This includes an armed and unarmed battle between the 30 yards of area. She has received several accolades including 3 Army Chief Citations, a US President’s Volunteer Service Award and a World Peace Diplomat Award for her incredible service during her tenure. Being a doctor by qualification, Rao decided to take up a different path and gave up her financial stability that she may had achieved if she continued with her doctor career. Instead she choose her life to be around training the armed forces and had spent major part of the same in scorching deserts, snowy mountain peaks and dense forests training the young men of the army. With her sharp skills to combat methods, from her physical to metal stability and an undying love for the country, Dr. Seema Rao has paved way for several women to enter this male dominated world! She trains young men from different areas such as police forces, air force, navy, Indian army, anti-terror squads and also the national security guards along with her husband, Major Dr. Deepak Rao. She masters at the innovations in close quarter combat and the reflex shooting techniques. From last last 20 years, there isn’t any elite Indian armed personnel who Rao hasn’t trained.

Seema Rao

“We were just two enthusiastic youngsters trying to make a difference. Some forces found our work to be worthy and it just worked out.” Said the brave soldier.

Dr. Seema Rao is a trained boxer, taekwondo champion, firefighter and a master at riffle shooting where as her husband is Major in Indian Army. The duo met when they were in medical school together and tied knot few years after that. Rao journey hasn’t been that great in start as when it came to military training programs, not everything goes as it is planned. By its nature only the military is averse to civilians who just are up to join it. Also taking suggestions about army and combating the techniques from a civilian is not a common phenomenon, it’s even harder to break into the male army world for a woman. Becoming a trainer is indeed a great achievement!   

The very first assignment given to her was the Pune City Police in the early 1990s. Since, it was her first after her joining, Rap faced many challenges but finally was able to prove all the stereotypes wrong with her skills and techniques. However her first national assignment came in 1997, where she was asked to train a bunch of National Security Guards. Ever since then, Rao has been conquering the field with loads of courage and determination. But this courage doesn’t came out of nowhere instead has a story attached which still gives Dr. Seema Rao goosebumps.

It was early 1990’s, just after the couple was married. Dr. Seema Rao and her husband Dr. Deepak Rao got in a fight with goons, one morning when they were out for a morning walk. Upon seeing the goons Major Rao didn’t panicked and said to his wife, “This is your fight, deal with it.” Dr. Rao with her swift moves and sharp techniques which came from years of training was finally able to win the fight. This fight proved essential for her overall transformation from a hell bound shy bullied girl to a grown up rebellious women.

“I still get goosebumps. But after that, I felt like a different person was born, I knew I had finally moved from weakness to strength from being controlled to being in control.” Remember Dr. Seema Rao.  

With growing assignments back to back Rao developed into an ace shooter experts at dealing with the AK-47! She was very good at her reflexes since the very start and the couple majorly worked on improving this feature essentially. She was vigorously trained at shooting which resulted into great outcomes as Rao today is able to shoot five rounds of a 9mm pistol in just 2 minutes! She proved to be a great asset for Indian Army when there isn’t any time to target the subject, more like in a do or die situations. Apart from it being a 7th degree black belt in unarmed fights, she trains army men to tackle the enemy at close quarters without any ammunitions. This is very important when the terrorists take up local civilians as hostages.

These achievements fed on many sacrifices, Rao gave up having any children due to her dedication towards her work and later adopted a baby girl. She has been injured uncountable times which even include a gun shot and amnesia for several weeks. Dr. Seema Rao is one among the only 5 female trainers of JKD (Jeet Kune Do) in the world, as well as an expert in scuba diving and rock climbing. She is also an excellent author, one of her book is ‘Aspects of explosive and IED recognition’, which had found recognition in the Indian forces, CISF, police forces, security units of Infosys and Isro. Her story of bullying, love, courage, sacrifices and bravery is a tale that inspires several and raises an important question- ‘What have we done so far?’       


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