The story of India’s only woman commando trainer! The wonder woman Dr Seema Rao

“The higher the rocks in its path, the greater the wave” a proverb goes. It perfectly explains the life of an extraordinary woman.

This is the  story of a girl who spent her childhood in Mumbai being fearful and timid, but she grew up she confronted all her fear head on and overcame those to become one of her kind woman.

Born to a freedom fighter of India, Professor Ramakant Sinari, Seema always wanted to serve her country. She became doctor in conventional medicine. And did her MBA in crisis management.

Seema got Married when she was just 18, to Major Deepak Rao, who encouraged her in every step of the way.

Dr Seema Rao has been training the Special Forces of India for almost two decades without compensation and

He’s the person who pushed her to complete her martial arts and combat training, to study alternative medicine, immunology and leadership from international universities, and to learn fire-fighting, jungle survival, mountaineering and scuba deep-sea diving.

Together with her husband, Major Deepak Rao, she has trained more than 20000 soldiers in modern close quarter battle.

As she says, her journey was not at all a easy one. she has broken practically every bone in her body. Once, she fell from a height of 50 feet and suffered vertebral fracture. Another time, during a grappling bout with a fellow soldier, she lost her focus and balance after hearing the news of her father’s sudden demise. It led her to fall on her head, causing severe injury with loss of memory for months. She credits her family for being there for her throughout.

Dr. Seema Rao is an expert in many field. She has earned Para Wings by skydiving in the Indian Air Force course.

She is a combat shooting instructor,

She is an Army mountaineering institute medalist, and

She is a 8th degree Blackbelt in military martial arts. She is one of the very few instructors in the world authorised to teach Jeet Kune Do. her lineage traces to Richard Bustillo, original disciple of the legendary Bruce Lee’s art of Jeet Kune Do.

She has been a Mrs India World beauty pageant finalist, too.

Dr. Seema Rao has been instrumnetal in modernizing combat shooting. She has  researched combat shooting methods  extensively and invented a new method of shooting called The Rao System of Reflex Fire — an innovative method of shooting at close quarters. This method is patented and via trials has been found better than conventional shooting.

After a thorough analysis, the method has been incorporated into relevant Indian Army commands with due credits.

Dr. Seema Rao and Major Deepak rao, have trained every elite Indian force including Indian Para Special forces, Commando wing, Corps battle schools, Academies & Regiment centers, Navy MARCOS marine Commandos, NSG Black cat, Air Force GARUD, ITBP, Paramilitary, Police units.

Awards and recognition:

President of India Ram Nath Kovind awarded India’s highest civilian award for women, Nari Shakti Puraskar to Dr. Seema Rao on International Women’s Day, 8 March this year.

She is the recipient of many other awards, World Peace Award by World Peace Congress, Malaysia, awarded by the Prime Minister of Malaysia for contribution to the country in 2008.

US President’s Volunteer Service Award. three Army Chief Citations.

Home Minister of India Letter of Commendation in 2009 for the selfless National service in the field of close quarters battle training.

She has more than1000 felicitations from Indian government.

She has authored several books, including the world’s first encyclopedia of close combat operations, and used her life’s earnings to gift 1000 copies of the book to the Home Ministry and Indian Army. She gave copies of her book Commando Manual of Unarmed Combat to FBI and Interpol libraries.

As a role model, she says she has responsibility towards fellow women. As much her story inspire them she says her aim is to motivate them in pursuing their dream and she is a strong believer that there is no field women can’t make their mark in. In her own words-

“My core is close quarter battle training. But my passion is women’s empowerment,”

Dr Sindhu Prashanth