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Jayati Godhawat

JWB Blogger

JWB Girls KickBoxed The Valentine’s Blues With Mandakini Sharma This Weekend

  • JWB Post
  •  February 8, 2016


It was the pre-valentine weekend and we the JWB Girl Clan decided to make it special in our way. For ensuring self-dependency and safety without waiting for the ‘superheroes’ to rescue us, we determined to be our saviours in difficult times.

We all went to Prayaas where Mandakini Sharma taught us the basics of Kick-Boxing as a form of self-defense as well as strength-building exercise. Eeee-hawww!!! Oops! That’s a karate sound.

It’s an all girls’ body and soul fitness centre, so, Sanchit, our photographer looked the most excited. For him, it was a fantasy that came true of entering a forbidden kingdom of women and capturing them at their best. Only if I had the camera, I would show you how amused he was. *winks*

Mandakini Sharma

Ayushi complimented, “You have a beautiful studio. Especially, the red colored walls add to the feel.” Mandakini thanked and said that red was her favourite color, and we couldn’t miss noticing her beautiful red lipstick.

Oh yeah, I am all amped up for Kickboxing. Yoo man, Let’s Slay it!

left to right- Ayushi, Komal, me(Jayati), Priya

Mandakini-in front Left to Right- , Ayushi, Komal, Jayati, Priya

Back to basics, we began our session with a warm up.

Mandakini- in front Left to Right- Ayushi, Komal, Me and Priya

Oh lord! That was one high energy warm up. Look at Komal’s and Priya’s face, all panting, and sweating.

We rushed to drink water, and Komal said, “Water is the most precious thing after all.” Ha-ha!

Left to Right- Komal, Ayushi, Priya, and me

We were given a pair of boxing pads and were paired in two, Komal and Ayushi, Priya and me.

Mandakini and me

Mandakini showed us various kicks that would help in defending ourselves from different angles. She also taught us many of the punches, elbow movements and other techniques that can come handy if attacked by someone.


Mandakini: See, the whole concept of any form of self-defense is first, to make you vigilant, alert, and prepared for any situation. So many girls walk on the roads, full focus on their mobiles or with earphones on. They should stop doing that; Indian roads are not a safe place to be lost in your world.

The attackers may vary in their physical size, number, and may approach from anywhere. The foremost thing is to show you can fight and not stand mum, regardless of the techniques or angles.  Knees, eyes, head, stomach and groin are the weaker areas. One should target them.

Priya and me

I tried the straight kick! Modestly, That’s one high, power kick. Bechari Priya. Ha-ha!

That’s Komal trying to kick higher than me. For you Komal- Tumse naa ho payega!

Mandakini and Komal, Ayushi

We all thought that Ayushi had some protein shake or some other energy booster drink in the morning, for she was on fire. Komal be like, “Chill, don’t hit my face, dude.”

Komal and Ayushi


Ayushi: But men have more physical strength than us. How can we counter them?


Mandakini and me

Mandakini: Once, a student of mine, Shruti was coming back from an event in Delhi. She was with her friends, and it was late, say around 1:30 a.m. Out of sudden,  three boys on a bike came towards her and one of him held her hand. She instantly twisted his hand with her free one. All of them lost their balance as a result, and they fell to the ground with the bike. The moral is, you may not have the equal physical strength, but your swift and unanticipated move can take the attacker by surprise. Use your nails, elbows, knees anything and everything. Don’t hesitate to shout for help. We don’t know how strong we are until we use our strength.

Wow, we said and nodded our heads in unison.

Well after the power-packed and much sweating session everyone rushed back to the office while Komal and I stayed and chatted with her.

Komal: Tell us how did it all begin and how the idea of Prayaas came along? We have heard that you teach a lot more forms here. We would like to know about them.


Mandakini: To tell you honestly, I had a lot of medical issues from the very young age, so initially I was doing it for my fitness and well-being. But soon, I realised that this is what I wanted as my career, and it required creativity that suited me. That’s when in 1994, I started Prayaas. It’s been 22 years, and there are so many varieties of forms that I learn and then teach my students. Here we’ve aerobics, pilates, boot camp, resistance training, weight training, agility training, yoga, circuit training, trampoline workouts, kickboxing, swiss ball workouts, and so many more.

Komal: Wow, that’s fascinating. So, why a fitness centre exclusively for girls?


Mandakini: smiles, there are many reasons for that. First, as I said I started very young, I was raised alongside an elder sister, went to an MGD Girls’ school and then graduated from Maharani College. So,  I wanted to start with what I was comfortable with. Also, when I tried seeking help for my medical conditions through exercise, I realised there was no centre or institution for females. As limited as they were, still existed a few gyms for men. And, I took it as a challenge and went with a female-oriented centre which was very well received by Jaipur females.

Me: Incredible ma’am. You mentioned in our session that you also conduct and take workshops in self-defense and exercises. Tell us more about it.


Mandakini: Yes, from time to time I take up workshops alongside my regular classes. I conduct workshops for hospitals, corporate, physically or mentally challenged children, medical patients, doctors and trainers. Sometimes, it’s challenging but I take it. For instance, there was an orphanage where I had a 20-day workshop. But, I got to know that their manager had raped a girl and ran away. So, when I reached there, girls were so scared that they didn’t want to come out and had locked themselves in the rooms, and it took me 2-3 days to enter their rooms and just talk to them. I took the 58 girls out in the garden and paired them in groups of 2. And I said, “You all have to fight with your partners and have to protect yourselves at the same time. There’s no rule, nothing.” And, that is when they realised, they are not helpless. They have the strength which needed to be unleashed. I am confident that now they will slap anyone who even tries to misbehave with them. *smiles proudly*

Me: Wow, that’s empowering. As a fitness instructor, what is your take on Size-Zero body and lean figure?

Mandakini: Sadly enough, everyone is concerned how you look on the outside, your physical appearance. People are concerned only with weight reduction or as you say super slim bodies or Zero-size. No one thinks of fitness, healthy body, strength or stamina. I have no issues if someone wants a size- zero body. It just requires discipline and dedicated mindset. But, here at Prayaas, I train my students to achieve a healthy body, confidence in self, emotional and mental well-being. My motto is Eat Clean, Train Hard and Sleep Well to add more life to your years.

Me: Superb thought! One advice to us and our women readers.

Mandakini and Me

Mandakini: Take care of your body concerning strength, stamina, and energy. Respect your body. Have confidence and appreciate your identity. If you are happy and satisfied, only then can you keep your family happy. So be happy!

Claps and Cheers!

BTW, like all of us, if you too are yearning to join her class and learn the mentioned fitness forms, you may contact her on 9829031243/ 9983673152.

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