Falling under that neat umbrella of “Only in Russia,” a company has opened a studio to teach the art of self defense with no more than a selfie stick.
Finally, a proper excuse for a selfie stick
I’m certain that I’m not in the minority when I say that selfie sticks are an abomination and perhaps even the acme of vanity. And in the interest of full-disclosure, I’ve never seen one first hand but still hate the idea of them. I’m actually quite surprised as I live in a town (Antigua, Guatemala) that sees nearly 15,000 tourists pass through it each week. I’ve seen them being sold but never used. My guess is that people have just heard that you don’t really want to be standing out in Guatemala, it is a bit dangerous here, with an expensive smart phone. And now that I’ve typed this, I fear I will see a weekend where someone is holding a selfie stick in front of every photogenic ruin in town.
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But the selfie stick is real, and a Russian company is now offering a five class training program in the “art” of selfie stick fighting. Many countries are steeped in the traditions of stick fighting such as Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Brazil, Venezuela among others. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see selfie stick fighting as something that Russia will be famous for in a couple of centuries.
Expensive smart phone on a stick
It’s a bit of a chicken versus the egg argument on the surface. If you don’t have your phone on a stick essentially luring thieves or would be attackers to you. That said, if you’re going to put a $600 phone on a stick, why not learn the art of “Monopod Fighting?” The martial arts studio M-PROFI is billing itself as the best place to learn the art of silly behavior on stick with a focus on tourists and those that travel a lot.
The “dojo” opened a little over a month ago and according to the owners has been nearly full since its doors opened.
Spokesperson Daria Lapshina said: “Unfortunately very often a selfie-stick is the only weapon a tourist has when traveling abroad, and it has the advantage of often being at hand.” That again is the problem as well as the solution.
“A pepper spray or a stun gun in the handbag might also be effective, but by the time you’ve dug them out it will already be too late. A selfie stick on the other hand can be used instantly.”
I’m not sure a fragile smart phone makes the best weapon given its fragility, but I guess if faced with the option of having my found stolen or breaking it over the head of a would be attacker and thief, I suppose I would prefer the latter.
But apparently, the organizers of the school have this bit of obvious covered.
“It presents many challenges because if you have a selfie stick in your hand, and an expensive mobile phone on the end of it, it might achieve the desired effect to beat the attacker with the phone end, but you smash the phone,” says Lapshina.
“We teach people to use the handles if the selfie stick has a phone attached, and it is a very effective defensive weapon.”