Training martial arts is fraught with challenges. There will always be people bigger, better, stronger than you. So, the question remains: Are these challenges greater for women, and does it affect their ability to learn a martial art?
Training martial arts is fraught with challenges. There will always be people bigger, better, stronger than you. There will be fights you can’t win, and sometimes no matter how hard you practice a move you may find you still haven’t quite grasped it. So, the question remains: Are these challenges greater for women, and does it affect their ability to learn a martial art?
It’s true that the primary goal of knowing how to fight is basically knowing how to survive and defend yourself. For some, winning will be the be-all and end-all of fighting- if you can’t win a fight then you are a complete failure. But for me there is also another purpose for learning martial arts. From my own experience, I can say that training martial arts has helped me to engage the better part of me into what I do. I have always been determined, but thanks to training at the London Wing Chun Academy I have been able to learn a discipline and the focus it takes to act despite discomfort.
In fact, in order to fully overcome the challenges that exist within training, you have to be willing to embrace change. You have to be able to adapt. During the course of training a martial art, you will knock down your own preconceptions in order to learn a more effective method of combat. You have to leave your ego at the door in order to understand what you really are able to do. Seeing oneself for real is a challenge in itself, but there are also other challenges.
There are many situations during training where you make choices to continue or to give up. To attack or to defend. Whatever you decide you have a direct affect on the outcome and your chances of applying your technique. Making these choices increases your confidence to assert what you believe and what your limits are. So any situation where you have to be assertive and learn ways of being assertive trains your mind to be tougher.
And this is when we come to an important point.
Knowing how to defend yourself means also knowing how to lose in the gym. When you start training a martial art you won’t always win. As a woman I’ve learnt that losing a sparring match doesn’t mean being defeated. Quite the opposite, you are still a winner because you managed to conquer your fear of facing up to men who are often stronger and bigger opponents. In this sense, your opponent has not conquered you, but only a staged situation in the gym.
As a woman, dignity, confidence and self esteem is something that you can develop in martial arts. You understand fighting for self defence as you’ve fought in the class, you will know discomfort because you have overcome those things in a safe environment. You can train your mind to accept vulnerability; you can learn to fight without being defensive. You learn how to be brave. Once achieved you can never be beaten again, for if I can survive, then I can win any struggle put before me.
In this sense, martial arts are for those who dare to change.
The London Wing Chun Academy is a martial arts and functional fitness gym based in North London. Open 7 days a week with gym and functional fitness equipment. Our gym provides group fitness and martial arts classes in Wing Chun, San Shou Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Functional Fitness, and non contact Fitness kick Boxing. Visit our gym today for a taster class. Get Started Now >>