Seema Rao is India’s first female commando trainer holding the 7th degree in military martial arts. An expert in close quarter battle, Rao has been training commandos in various armed forces in India for 20 years, without charging any fee. Seema is also renowned for being a combat shooting instructor, a firefighter, a scuba diver, an HMI medalist in rock climbing, and a Mrs. India World pageant finalist.
Seema Rao is one of the rarest people in the world who have mastered the art of Jeet Kune Do, an eclectic and hybrid martial art founded by Bruce Lee in 1967.
She got authorised to teach this art. Seema is the daughter of ex-freedom fighter Prof. Ramakant Sinari, who helped in the liberation of Goa from the Portuguese. Seema grew up hearing stories of India’s struggle for independence and had a strong desire to serve her country. She finally got the opportunity to live dream when she met Major Deepak Rao who had been practicing martial arts since the age of 12. It was he who introduced Seema to this empowering field. Both of them got married to each other later on.
Major Deepak Rao and Seema Rao have been pioneers in the field of close quarter battle training. Even after marriage, both of them continued to learn and excel in martial arts, shooting, and weapon defence while they simultaneously pursued an education in medicine. After becoming certified doctor Seema did her MBA in crisis management. They now started thinking about how they could do something constructive for the country. Then they decided to train the soldiers of the Indian armed forces free of cost. They wanted to remain engaged in combat and martial arts. So, in 1996, they approached the Service Chiefs of Army, Navy, BSF & NSG. The chiefs were impressed with their dedication and gave them a chance to start their training programme. There was no looking back after that. Seema since then has passed 20 years as a trainer of the Indian armed forces.
Seema Rao has received World Peace Award by World Peace Congress, Malaysia awarded by the Prime Minister of Malaysia for contribution to the country in 2008. She also got US President’s Volunteer Service Award. Rao in India has received three Army Chief Citations, Home Minister of India Letter of Commendation in 2009 placing on record the selfless National service in the field of close quarters battle training, and 1000 felicitations from Indian government. Seema Rao also produced and acted in lead role in India’s first mixed martial arts movie, Hathapayi. This is the first Indian film that show cases martial art of Jeet Kune Do.
Seema Rao shows what a modern Indian woman can do if her talent is nourished and nurtured. With right training and support she shaped her skills and dedicated them to the service of her country. Every Indian woman is proud of you Seema!