Martial arts training is great for women, both physically and psychologically. However, we often talk to women who would like to try martial arts, but never actually give it a go. Our experience has shown us that there are generally five reasons or “buts” holding women back.
1. But I am not fit, strong or co-ordinated enough. Very few people are when they start training in martial arts and no one expects you to be. Martial arts requires a specific type of physical conditioning which you only gain by doing it. You get fitter, stronger, and more co-ordinated as you train.
2. But I need to lose weight first. If you go into most martial arts schools, you will find people of all different physical shapes and sizes, including instructors. We are not all young and skinny. You don’t need to be lean and toned to train and benefit from martial arts. Over time, your body will get stronger and better conditioned, and you may even lose some weight as a natural part of your training.
3. But I’m not confident enough. It can be intimidating walking into a martial arts school for the first time. There are schools around like ours that try to make this process much friendlier for new people from the moment you first make contact. Take a friend or family member with you for company and support. If you persist through this initial phase of feeling uncomfortable, you will find your confidence dramatically improves. It is part of the many benefits of martial arts training.
4. But I don’t want to fight. Many women are put off by the thought of fighting as part of martial arts training. I know I was. There are though, many martial arts like ours (Kuk Sool Won™), that are self-defence focused and do not involve fighting for belt gradings or as a regular part of training. You don’t need to fight or get hit to learn martial arts.
5. But it’s too blokey. Martial arts is one of the few sports where men and women actively train together. This can be a little intimidating for some women at first. However, there are plenty of schools, like ours, with women instructors and women students. These are a good option for women who feel uncomfortable in a male-dominated environment.
Are one of these “buts” unnecessarily holding you back from something you have always wanted to try?
JKN Jane Hurst
First degree black belt and school owner
Kuk Sool Won™ of Onewhero
Caroline is a 5th degree black belt and Jane is a 2nd degree black belt in the traditional Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won™ . They run 2 Kuk Sool Won™ martial arts schools in New Zealand.