In the words of UFC superstar, Ronda Rousey, “Strong and healthy is the new sexy”.
It is White Ribbon Day on 25 November. This is Australia’s campaign to prevent men’s violence against women, one in which Quantum Martial Arts actively supports. Women’s self-defence, as we can all admit, is an important subject. We have all heard the statistics in regards to attacks on women. There is a 1-in-4 chance you will be seriously attacked in your lifetime. If not you, it is likely happening to people you may know.
Having heard that, now what? Do you simply shrug your shoulders and hope it does not happen to you or people you care about? The truth is, as a woman / mother / daughter, you should know basic self-defence. You must acknowledge that you can become a target of bullying, domestic violence, sexual assault or worse. I feel uncomfortable writing about it, but it is unfortunately a reality in today’s society.
I believe that every woman has thought about being attacked in their life, however a lot still have not taken action. I am not saying that learning martial arts is the only answer, however it is a pretty good solution. You should also take classes with instructors that not only understand the physical movements, but also the emotional framework, such as being aware, remaining calm, quick decision making, when to fight back, etc.
But why do women neglect to train if the stakes are so high? Studies have pointed to the following reasons:
- Some women have grown up with negative associations, such as age, weight, fitness level and body image. This has played into their thoughts of doing a martial arts class or fending off an attack in a real situation;
- Violence is a terrible thought. Ergo, many women go into denial that violence can happen to them;
- Some women believe that they will always be incapable, no matter how much they learn;
- Some women have already been victims. A class will simply dredge up those feelings of fear and hopelessness;
- Some women believe that martial arts is not lady-like;
- Some women do not believe they have the time. I believe you should make the time to protect you and your loved ones. Otherwise, you are being foolish.
If any of the above are reasons that you not learned self defence, you must find a way to overcome this. The first step towards learning something is always the hardest, but it must be taken. Negative associations, denial, incapability, past experience with violence, etiquette, or “no time” will not save you or your loved ones from a future attack. So take positive action!
If the above has not convinced you of the importance of being able to protect yourself from violence, I have also included some other terrific benefits that women may gain if they do commence martial arts:
- Learn self defence – this can be a life-changing experience. How empowering would it be to have the confidence, knowledge and determination to be able to safely defend yourself in most real-life situations? Surely, this confidence can positively impact other areas of your life as well.
- Build confidence – confidence is built by doing something regularly and seeing yourself improving. Martial arts syllabus is built around gradually improving one’s physical skills. With confidence comes positive self-esteem, which will be noticed by you and others. Speaking of others, you are in constant contact with your instructors and fellow students. This will help develop social skills with people from all walks of life.
- You will get into shape – if you train hard and consistently, there is no doubt you will tone up and replace the flab with muscles. But you will not only get in shape physically, but mentally as well. As you learn to confront the many challenges in the dojo, you will grow comfortable in embracing the many challenges that life brings.
- You will make awesome friends – the more time in the dojo, the more people you will meet. They will help encourage you to go beyond your “perceived” limits. Who knows, your next “best friend” may be in waiting in the dojo.
- Develop mental toughness – persistence is one of the greatest qualities you can cultivate in martial arts and life. Every time you fail, dust yourself off and keep trying to improve. Martial arts is a never-ending journey of self-improvement which will help you keep striving to be the best YOU.
- Learn to love yourself – in martial arts and life, your body is both a weapon and an armour. Over time, you will learn to respect your body and treat it well (exercise, diet, rest, sleep). These good habits will lead to a healthier you.
- Become a happier person – martial arts classes boost your endorphins. This makes you feel great while you are getting into incredible shape and learning great self-defence moves. Not to mention the happiness you will experience as you achieve your goals.
Now what? Do not shrug your shoulders, but instead pick up the phone and trial a martial arts class. The winner will be you!