Buddhist nuns performed martial arts at a conference in London yesterday (November 16) to show a Western audience how they teach women self-defence and empowerment in the Himalayas.
They showed off their high kicks, somersaults and punches at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Conference, according to The South China Morning Post.
One of the nuns, Jigme Wangchuk Lhamo, said: “Some people make comments. They say we should just sit and pray and meditate. But a nun’s duty is more than that. We have to better society and do good for others.”
She also said that girls and women face issues every time they go out in public and particularly in the evening. “Kung Fu can help them…Kung Fu makes you confident,” she added.
Government figures suggested the number of recorded rapes in India rose by 43% between 2011 and 2015, and some claim there were many more incidents than the figures suggest.
The nuns teaching martial arts are from a group called the Drukpa lineage and there are only roughly 700 members across the world.
The Drukpa lineage is the only order in which nuns are equal to monks. Previously they were forbidden from taking part in sport, but the leader of the order changed this 10 years ago and actively encouraged members to learn about Kung Fu.
Watch a video of the nuns performing below