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The Kranji Rape Case

May 22, 2019

The Kranji Rape Case

I don’t like to talk about self-defense. The responsibility is heavy, because when it really matters people hurt, bleed and die from bad advice. But the recent Kranji Rape Case brings up important points to women ought to consider in order to keep themselves safe.

{warning – long post ahead!}

News Article –

Disclaimer – It is NOT my intention to say what the victim in the Kranji case could have or would have done to save herself. I don’t know the specifics of that exact situation. I am only just sharing key points from here that can help other people.

Key points from this case

1) “The student reportedly attempted to defend herself but was overpowered by the man, who retaliated by attacking her.”

Generally, predators look for victims who are unable to put up resistance. This means even SOME resistance by a woman has a decent chance of throwing the predator off and making him abandon the attack. In one study, a 4 session course (3 hours per session, total 12 hours) was shown to reduce rape and attempted rape cases by 46.3% and 63.2% respectively.

You can barely learn to play the guitar in 12 hours, and yet such a short self-defense course could have such a positive impact on women’s safety. This tells us that what it comes to rape, even some resistance, some action, might just be good enough to allow the woman to escape.

But what if one meets a determined predator, like in this case? He could be drunk, high on drugs, naturally aggressive or just belligerent because of successfully attacking other women before. If that happens, what does a woman need in order to actually keep herself safe?

At this point, all the salesmen and evangelists jump in with their spiel on why ABC martial art or XYZ course is the best for women’s self-defense. Let’s cut through all the bull here. Marc MacYoung puts it very simply:

“Whether you study a traditional martial art, a modern martial art, a self-defense system, defensive tactics or close quarter combat, all must meet one basic criteria: They must teach you how to control force.”

He goes on to say

“Categorically, it is the effective body movement of any system that is what makes it work.

Let me put that in simple terms: It’s NOT the style that has power. It’s how well they can teach you to move in a way to generate power.”

I am a Bujinkan instructor. And if you are expecting a blanket endorsement of Bujinkan training as being effective for women’s self-defense, nope, you ain’t gonna find it here. Not every Bujinkan instructor actually can generate power or properly teach others to do so. If they are teaching guys, the consequences may not be as severe, but once you are teaching women, it is an entirely different ball game entirely. When push comes to shove, guys can try to muscle their way out of problems and have some (small) hope of success.

Women can’t.

“Men are physically stronger than women, on average… Women also exhibited about 40 percent less upper-body strength and 33 percent less lower-body strength, on average, the study found.”

“And a 2006 study in the same journal revealed that men had much stronger grips than women — the difference was so big that 90 percent of the women scored lower than 95 percent of the men. The team also looked at highly trained female athletes who excelled at sports requiring a strong grip, such as judo or handball. Though these women did have a stronger grip compared with other women, they still performed worse than 75 percent of the men on this task.

In general, men are also faster than women. The fastest woman in the world, Florence Griffith Joyner, ran the 100-meter dash in just 10.49 seconds in 1988, and that record remains unbroken. Yet her fastest time wouldn’t have even qualified her for the men’s 2016 Olympic competition, which requires competitors to finish the 100-meter sprint in 10.16 seconds or less.”


Strength, grip strength and speed. Any martial art depending heavily on these 3 factors is not suitable for women’s self-defense. And, more importantly, self-defense for women HAS to emphasize (teach, train, drill) effective movement to the point the woman has SOME hope of overcoming a predator with strength, grip strength and speed advantages.

Also, effective movement is demonstrate-able. We cannot demonstrate the effectiveness of certain techniques in training; for example eye gouges. Unless we are willing to damage each other’s eyes during training, we have to just take it for granted that eye gouges can be effective if we can execute them. But if I say coordinating your feet, knees, hips and arms in a particular way allows you to deliver force into a target larger and heavier than you, not only should I be able to show it myself, the student should be able get similar results if she moves her feet, knees, hips and arms in the same way.

2) “He then dragged her into a nearby forested area between the Singapore Turf Club and Kranji War Memorial, where he raped her, according to the report and court documents.”

Technically, this is referred to as moving the victim to a secondary location. Any place where the predator can find a victim is also a place where there is a chance a passerby can notice what is happening and interfere with the crime. So predators will want to move the victim to another place instead.

This secondary location can be a more secluded part of the place, another part of the building or even a car or van. Mr MacYoung says ” generally estimated number of rapes and/or murders of adults who allow themselves to be moved to secondary locations is about 90 to 95% depending on who you ask.”

Since the predator wants to bring the victim where he can give his victim undivided, uninterrupted attention, fight like nuts to avoid being taken there. Nothing good can ever come from giving in on this matter. Was the victim in the Kranji case able to resist being taken into another location? I cannot say. But if she was beaten severely first, she might have thought compliance might have saved her a further beating or even being killed. That, by the way, is a dangerous gamble. Any male who can rape a woman is capable of murdering her. His inhibitions about using violence on women are not present. By that time, the target has no good options, only varying grades of horrible ones. She has to either do horrible things to the predator (to stop him) or accept horrible things being done to herself.

3) “A foreign worker will appear in court next month to face an aggravated rape charge after a female university student was attacked and raped in Kranji.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not here to stoke xenophobia. Truth be told, Singapore has raised up home-grown predators and criminals too. But the fact that the accused is a foreigner HAS bearings on the issue.

Bear in mind – Singapore has a culture very heavy on conformity and compliance. From childhood up we are raised with a lists of things we ought not to do. We are especially taught not to use violence ourselves to solve our problems. This assumes that:

  1. a) other people will follow those rules too;


  1. b) there is a police/military force to execute violence on our behalf to enforce such rules.

Our home-grown predators will look at our reluctance to use violence to solve problems they create by ignoring our social and moral rules. They look at how likely the police will be called or will take action on them immediately (non-seizable offences, anyone?), and gauge their chances based on that.

But what if the predator comes from a background without such a culture of conformity? The predator might have grown up in a culture where social and moral rules are not followed or enforced by a police force of some sort. That way he’d have even less inhibitions against preying on others, and can therefore launch into an attack even faster than we expect.

More importantly, if we are used to dealing with potential attackers by reminding them of the police, that would mean nothing to someone from a culture where the police are not as effective. Yes, the predator might be caught later after the crime, but I am certain that is not much comfort to the unfortunate victim in this case. The conviction, jailing or subsequent punishment of the culprit is not going to un-rape the victim, right?

And that is why we aim for prevention.


No easy 3 point answers to self-defense and crime prevention here. I just want to give you a sense of some of the issues involved, so that we can have a better idea of how to prevent such attacks from happening next time.

Thanks for reading! And do share this post if you find it helpful. Be safe, everyone!

Junjie 俊傑
Bujinkan Ninjutsu

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