5 Tips Girls Should Know about Martial Arts

Are you a woman who has questions about the martial arts?  Are you a daughter who wants to learn self-defense but are afraid you’ll learn how to be aggressive?  Are you a wife who is hesitant to learn self-defense because you might need to yell?  Are you a girlfriend who is worried that you will become less feminine just because you are learning karate?  Well, let me ease some of your worries.  Here are five tips every girl should know about trying a martial art or self-defense class.

1.  You can do it

Girls, ladies, moms, grandmothers….You can learn karate, Tai Chi, and any other form of Martial Art.  I can be your example.  Starting later in life, at 26 years of age, I managed to train for several years, even through pregnancies, all the way to a first and second degree black belt.  As an instructor now, I’ve taught women in their 60’s and a girls as young as 4.  You may think a martial art would be too demanding, difficult, or even scary to learn.  I understand all that because I’ve felt that too.  Let me just stress one thing.  Even if you take a self-defense class or one karate class, you are a giant step closer to protecting yourself.  There’s nothing super tricky about learning how to break a hold or how to fall the right way so you don’t hurt yourself.  If you can tie your shoes, comb your hair, kick a can on the street corner, you can learn some of the very beneficial aspects of martial arts.  If you can yell, spit, or stomp on someone’s foot with your shoe, you can learn self-defense.  There are self-defense classes available around the town where you live.  Look into one.  Don’t let fear hold you back, because the truth is you need it.  Even more importantly…you can do it.

2.  It works

As a female martial artist, I’m often challenged about if what I know actually works.  Shy of asking some stranger to grab me to prove a point, I often show in class how a very basic skill works against an attacker.  Unfortunately, women and children are the most vulnerable when it comes to attacks, so its essential to know at least a few ways to break a hold.   When your neck is grabbed from behind, for instance, there is a point where the attacker’s thumbs will meet in the back of your neck and his fingers in the front.  You don’t need to free yourself from a large 300 lb attacker; rather, you need to free yourself from his hands, and more specifically, where his thumbs or fingers meet.  When you learn how to break through these weak points you realize that not every grab is one that can detain you.  You will learn that freedom is possible even from the strongest of attackers. If you give away what you are going to do, it won’t work.  But, if it comes as a surprise to the attacker, you will break the hold and have the chance to run away.

One other word of caution and my own personal advice.  Don’t stick around to try to fight back. Once you break away, run, run, run.

3.  It’s worthwhile

Going to exercise class tonight or walking on a treadmill while watching a movie?  Why not exercise and learn something at the same time?  We are all so into multi-tasking these days that a work-out without a purpose seems lacking.  While even kickboxing classes are not tip-top in true martial arts form, they at least give you the benefit of learning to move your arms and legs in a martial-like fashion.  There are even videos on-line where you can follow along at learning a martial art, or dvd’s you can order that will teach you some of the skills.  How else are you spending your time?  Time is a commodity and should not be wasted.  Is learning a martial art worth it?  Yes it is, and many times over.

4.  Girls have an advantage

So, we’ve been categorized at times as the “weaker sex.”  I’m smart enough to know that in some instances that may be true.  Smaller.  Shorter.   Less physical. Less likely to shout, to hit, to break things, to fight.  Yes, we are all of these things. Until we learn that we can be more.  Once we learn we can be more, there is no stopping us.  If you are a guy who is 6’5″ but don’t know what I know, then you are the weaker sex.  Bigger, perhaps, but protection-wise, weaker.  If you don’t know that I know how to punch or that I can kick your shin like nobody’s business, then I have an advantage.  If you don’t know that I can tuck my chin into the pit of your bent elbow to help me breathe when you are trying to headlock me, then I have an advantage.  And, being female, I’m actually quicker at movements than you.  A large man’s bulk and body mass is not an advantage against a smaller, physically fit, martial arts woman.  Girls, we have an advantage.  Even throw a blindfold on us for a board break and we will rise to the challenge.

5.  You can still be feminine

If I didn’t openly exclaim that I  am a martial artist, people would not suspect.  I’m not super-duper muscular or threatening looking.  I have long wavy hair and wear dresses every day.  I don’t walk around shouting commands or acting demanding and I don’t drop to give ten push ups just because I want to be seen as an unbelievable karate girl.  In class, guys and girls should train the same, but that does not mean a girl will become more like a guy.  It does not mean that a girl will look like a guy.  And, best of all, it doesn’t mean a girl will become some masculine creature just because she learns a little bit about fighting, defense, and traditional skills.  Be you.  Wear a pony tail or let the hair down.  Show up in make up or wash it all off before class.  Hug your favorite classmates or give them a high-five.  Who cares?  There is never a point that femininity is forced to diminish because you are a martial artist.  In fact, martial arts should magnify who you are in a positive light and allow every inch of you to shine.

A Message for Guys and Girls

Girls, don’t ever compromise who you are.  Don’t ever let people change you.  That does not mean that you should not continually make good and positive changes in order to better your life.  I’m not trying to scare you, and I always tell  people how  I have lived 51 years without ever getting attacked or threatened, but that does not mean it won’t happen some day.  I want to be as prepared as I can be.  Under stress and pressure, I’m still not sure what I would do.  I know one thing.  I will NEVER give in or give up without a fight.  That’s what martial arts gave me.

Guys, if you love your wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, and nieces, encourage them to learn more about protecting themselves.  Maybe a self-defense class or a karate class would work.  Although there are techniques shown on YouTube, they are hard to follow or practice without some hands on training.  While you are searching for a great class, seminar, or program for your special lady, look for yourself too.  Men need to know all the benefits of self-defense and martial arts also.

Apply some of these tips and learn to protect yourself just a little bit better.  Then we all Win at Life.

Original article:http://www.themartialartswoman.com/5-tips-every-girl-know-martial-arts/