Littering every tourist-y place, selfie sticks are among the most hated gadgets, so much so you could almost see users of the "wand of Narcissus" being taken out of action. Now, a sports center in Moscow, Russia, is offering self-defence classes on how to fight using a selfie stick.
Starting from around $10 per session, you can get acquainted with the art of "mpd-fight" (monopod fight), learning how to react to an attacker with different ways of striking with a camera extension pole.
Instructors at the M-Profi martial arts center have based their course on traditional fighting methods with techniques that employ the selfie stick’s adjustable length, with tourists as a principal clientele.
"This program was devised to help people who are keen travelers. If you are taking a photograph in front of a famous sight, you are an easy target for muggers. We teach you how to respond when your only means of defence is a selfie stick,” Daria Lapshina, of the M-Profi centre in the Russian capital, told Metro.
This Metro reporter got to grips with the basics of mpd-fight, with the center’s martial arts coach Timur Dudaev putting through the paces.
“A selfie stick can’t be used in the same way angry drivers wield a crowbar,” the steely-eyed instructor tells me, twirling around the camera accessory. “The upper part of the device is made of aluminium, so it could bend out of shape. It’s more probable you’ll just make the attacker even more enraged if you strike him at this end.”
We now start acting out a mugging scene — I’m armed with my monopod. “Let's say you’re grabbed,” the coach begins. “The mugger tries you to hold your neck, hug, kiss or whatever. Now, take a stab at him with the bottom end of your selfie stick, into the area between his jaw and neck.”
At this point, I’m enacting the decisive blow to my opponent. “He’ll be hurt, but will not die,” Timur continues deadpan. “Then give me a kick to the groin and quickly run away.”
After three attempts, I master the standard mpd-fight move on my instructor. Reddened, Timur beckons me on to to his students for further training.