A 7th-degree black belt holder in military martial arts, Seema Rao is India’s only female commando trainer. A prominent expert in close quarter battle, Seema has been giving commando training to various armed forces in India for 20 years, without taking any monetary compensation in return! Seema is also a combat shooting instructor, a firefighter, a scuba diver, an HMI medalist in rock climbing, and a Mrs India World pageant finalist.This incredibly multifaceted lady is also one of the only 10 women in the world certified in Jeet Kune Do, a unique martial art form created by Bruce Lee in the 1960s.Seema Rao is the daughter of freedom fighter Prof. Ramakant Sinari, who helped in the liberation of Goa from the Portuguese. The deeply patriotic Seema grew up listening to stories of India’s struggle for independence and always wanted to serve her country.in 1996, she approached the Service Chiefs of Army, Navy, BSF & NSG. The chiefs were impressed with her dedication and decided to try out her training programme. There was no looking back after that. Seema has since spent 20 years as a full-time guest trainer of the Indian armed forces.
The journey wasn’t easy.She had to face several financial hardships in the initial years but she stuck to her decision of not charging a single rupee for her work. Also, since Seema was constantly travelling to hostile locations, through harsh weather and inhospitable terrain, she could not even attend her father’s funeral.In the course of work, Seema also suffered multiple injuries that included a vertebral fracture and a severe head injury that made her lose her memory for months.She was also shot at by insurgents but her determination to serve her nation never wavered.
Seema has provided training to almost every elite unit of the Indian Forces, including the NSG Black Cats, MARCOS, GARUD, Paracommandos, BSF, the Army Corps Battle Schools and its Commando Wing. She has also trained officers of the National Police Academy, the Army Officers Training Academy and the Police Quick Response Teams of almost every major city in India. In 2009, after training the GARUD commandos, Seema was invited by the Air Force Chief for the official IAF Para Jump course. Here, she earned her IAF Para Wings, another rare achievement. Seema is also the only external combat training resource appointed by the Indian government to date, and, she has received 4 Army Chief citations, a record unparalleled by anyone. To date, Seema has trained more than 15,000 soldiers in modern close quarter battle and has no intention of hanging up her boots anytime soon. She has proved that ordinary citizens can do extraordinary work for their country and that a woman can do anything she puts her mind to. As this bold and courageous woman, who calls herself 47-years-young, says:
“It’s not easy. It never is. But who likes it easy anyway. Bring it on!!”