Okay, so a hot topic in the news (and trending articles) lately is the growing number of women who have successfully fended off attackers and harassers thanks to their training in Martial arts. Even though this really makes us proud, it is also somewhat disconcerting. On the one hand it shows us that more women are training in martial arts and are thus better equipped to defend themselves. On the other hand, it tells us that physical attacks against women are occurring and at an alarming rate. Not to mention that these are only the ones that get coverage. We do not hear about all of the women who perhaps were unable to defend themselves and who did not report the incident.
Recently we read about a 25-year-old woman in Australia who fought off a would-be rapist using her karate skills. She then took to Facebook to urge women to take up martial arts training. She was attacked in broad daylight and the man surprised her from behind. She stated that without her karate training and the teachings of her sensei she would probably not have survived.
If we haven´t convinced you yet, here are 5 reasons all women should learn a martial art.
- You will be able to defend yourself
Okay, lets make one thing clear. Learning a martial art will not make you invincible. You will not be able to take on ANYONE. Thus, your first approach to defense if attacked or robbed should always be to get out of the situation. A knife or a gun will almost always win. However, it will teach you how to successfully defend yourself and counterattack should you find yourself in a situation you cannot get out of.
- Your size may be an advantage
We know that on average men are larger than women and in most real life scenarios women are at a disadvantage due to their physical size and strength. That being said, this is not something that should discourage you from training. Many Martial arts disciplines are specifically designed to help someone smaller overtake a larger opponent. For example, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Aikido all highlight the power of leverage over strength.
- You will get into great shape
While this may not be the be all and end all to start training in a martial art, it is certainly an incentive! Any martial arts discipline will help your overall cardio, strength, and endurance. To keep up with your fellow classmates you will need to ensure that you are eating right and hydrating which will improve your overall long-term health benefits.
- You will gain a community
You will be joining a club, class or dojo where strangers will become your teammates. You will build strong relationships because you will see these people almost everyday. Also, there is a certain amount of trust involved in letting someone hit you. Repeatedly. You will be on a journey together and you will learn to depend on each other’s advice, support and encouragement. You will learn to practice with people your size and larger, both men and women, who will push you to your limits because they want to see you succeed. Everyone is there for different reasons, but you will all be working towards similar goals.
- You will stand out in the crowd
Martial arts are a very male dominated environment. However, it is true that in recent years we have seen the rise of professional female Martial artists and more women in dojos and gyms. But, it is still true that in just about any gym or tournament you go to, you’ll most likely be one of the only women. This can be somewhat intimidating, but also empowering. You have the opportunity to pave the way and spread the word for other women to follow you!
Overall, we know that people of all shapes, sizes, and ages can be successful in martial arts. Many often end up excelling at it! Because there are so many disciplines that fall under “martial arts” there’s bound to be one that will work to your liking.
Unfortunately, in today´s world public places, even in broad daylight, are still unpredictable for women. Equally unsettling is the fact that there is a large part of the female population who do not know self-defense techniques, despite perhaps going to the gym to work out. In today’s world, the only option left for women is to be self-equipped to defend themselves!
Do you agree that more women should train in a martial art? If you are a woman who trains in martial arts, what made you start and what are the benefits you´ve seen?