Martial arts are for everyone, young, middle aged, old, male or female. I always get a “wow” being somewhere between young, middle aged and female when I tell new people I’m a martial artist. Being a humble soul I often tell them I’m not that good, they then ask what belt I am, I say “red” two belts away from black and what follows is a gasp of impressment.
Truth is I’m not that good, but I’m not that bad either, getting to my red belt in TaeKwon Do has been a four-year journey. A battle with my body and mind from the time I first walked in to the male dominated Dojo and I was so shy to exercise in front of a group of people as initially I was so unfit. To gradually gain confidence to stand in front of senior instructors and perform what I know at each grading.
To realise I can push my body to limits I didn’t know I was capable of and to realise (like at that time of the month) to go more gently if I need to. To feel the joy of completing a pattern well and winning a medal or two at a competition. To attain what I thought was impossible breaking two boards with a side kick. To meeting some of the best friends I have ever had who have supported me on this journey.
It’s a journey I recommend all women take it will open your eyes to a new world and here are some reasons I think you should join me on my light warriors path.
You will learn to defend yourself
It’s a dark night a woman is walking home from a night out then suddenly a mugger appears from nowhere and tries to snatch her handbag. Boom the mugger is lying on the floor pleading with the woman as she kicks him real hard. He doesn’t get her handbag.
OK, that’s a best case scenario but should something happen to you like that, you will be in a better place to defend yourself or fit enough to run like the wind away. Its empowering to know that you stand a better chance to defend yourself should you need to.
You’ll love and respect your body
The human body is amazing and it is capable of amazing things, you will find yourself doing things like flying kicks that you thought were only in the movies. You will develop a deep respect for your body (none of this size zero crap) you will learn how amazing it is to have a strong body rather than a skinny one.
You will look in the mirror and gradually see fat stores turning to lean muscle as you continue your training, you will notice how once you couldn’t touch your toes you can suddenly reach your full hands on the floor, you will start automatically eating the right foods as you realise that what you eat matters to get the best out of your performance. You will learn to love your body the way it should be loved as a temple for what it can do rather than just fitting in a pair of jeans from 5 years ago (though your’ll be able to do that too).
You’ll become stronger, faster and fitter
Physically you will become strong as you practise the body warm up exercises, the shuttle runs and sparring will make you faster and your reactions will quicken. Overall you will become fitter and fitter with every session you take and with what at first seemed difficult will become a breeze.
Not just physically but you will mentally become stronger and be able to handle stressful situations with ease, your daily living will pick up pace as you feel more motivated to go out and have the confidence to get what you want.
It’s a unisex sport and we need more women
Aside from tag rugby I can’t think of any main sports that are unisex, basketball, football etc are generally male or female orientated. Martial arts gives you the opportunity to train alongside the men and understand the difference in strengths that other sports can’t.
We need more women in martial arts, there’s just not enough and its crazy with all the benefits that martial arts offer women from a great body to self defence skills come on girls!