No doubt about it, individual’s way of thinking and training many of the old traditions have been omitted to make way for the new ways. But one thing cannot be denied which is the attitude by and towards women wanting to train in the martial arts. And it goes to show how changeable the martial arts and women are.
The result, more women are looking to take up karate or some other martial art, either of their own accord or because their partner or husband is already training. Also, more often than not the world has become a much more dangerous place for women compared to men. Women are usually the target of assaults such as: domestic violence and other crimes.
Let’s look at the record, generally, most assaults happen in a split second and although the most common reaction of people when confronted is to run. But what if you have nowhere to run too or unable to call for help. This is just one factor why more and more women are seeking to learn how to defend themselves.
It’s accepted, that any women big or small can learn to defend their self without years of dedicated training and expense. What they need to remember that there is no magic answers. There are just good, better and best ways of doing things.
Furthermore, women have long been considered the weaker sex, much to the protestations of feminists everywhere. Unfortunately this stereotype exists even today. Perhaps that’s why violent crimes against women are at an all-time high.
There is no doubt most women can benefit from learning some form of self-defence but many don’t seem the need at all. Moreover, they should consider whether or not they need to know at least a few self-defence measures what’s more, self-defence isn’t karate or judo etc. It involves knowing how to avoid situations that put them at risk then coupling them with awareness and evasive techniques that can help keep themselves safe and sound
In brief, the relationship between victim and criminal is such that it is going to be unusual to see a 6ft 4inch male being attacked by a 5ft 3inch women for obvious reasons. However, your best weapon is common sense, strength is less important in self-protection than most people believe. Avoidance of violence is a much better starting point than the physical backed up by something verbal or at least vocal. The old saying holds true here; always use your brain before brawn. That said, if all the civilised methods fail they must be prepared to fullback on other skills and neutralise the attack.
Be soft but not weak, be firm but not hard.
Unfortunately, some women are still being put off joining karate or other martial arts classes by some instructors and students attitude towards accepting women into their dojo/club. It’s true, attitudes are changing martial arts are not just the preserve of macho man, muscled bound so-called tough guy. After all, fighting is a man’s thing and no place for women. I’m sure we have all come across at least one of these types one way or another during our personal martial arts journey. In fact, women have been involved in the martial arts for many centuries in one way or another, many martial arts techniques were hidden in dance, songs and yes, even poetry, significant methods of preserved battle tested fighting tactics unrecognisable to the naked untrained eye of visiting dignitaries from other regions of Japan or countries.
In the past there are reported incidents at tournaments where male competitors have refused to fight when they saw their opponent was a woman regardless of the fact she had been picked by the trainer of the opposing team for her fighting ability today, woman fighting in tournaments is an accepted part of competition karate.
Women, tend to be particularly strong in kata competitions, pre-arranged fighting patterns influenced by those who came before us. They developed the various martial arts systems influenced by their societies, views and ethics pre-arranged fighting patterns (katas) to transmit proven techniques from one generation to the next thus, transmitting battle tested fighting tactics through the ages. No wonder, today, women are amongst some of the toughest bodyguards, bouncers, boxers, martial artists and MMA fighters.
That said, however, what women lack in strength and power they must make up for with accuracy, speed and guile. Calmness in the face of adversity is one of the qualities a karate student can cultivate. She should have confidence in herself from karate training, and this in itself can do a great help in an awkward situation. Where a women with no training might go into a panic wondering what she can do.
Sport or self-defence
In short, it is important that any women thinking of learning a martial art should make careful comparison of the many now available, and pick the right one for her and not merely drift into one just because there happens to be a club teaching nearby. The first question is whether to take up a sport or learn self-protection?
One things for sure, in recent years there has been an increase in the numbers of women wanting to learn some form of self-defence. To this end, karate clubs have seen an upsurge in women joining in order to learn the art of the empty hand which is a good thing as long as they don’t mind a few bruises here and there.