Women In The Martial Arts
Do You Know Any Women Martial Artists?
Welcome to my page about martial arts and combat sports, especially for women. I've trained in martial arts for more than twenty-five years, and teach at a great club. We get many enquiries from women, so here I attempt to answer some of the questions we are asked regularly.
Most of our enquiries have been about finding good martial arts and kickboxing clubs to train with. Some women ask about different types of martial art, or different ways of training.
Do you want to get fitter? Be more confident? Learn a new skill? Have a look at this page, maybe you could try martial arts...
This great photo was taken at a Savate (French boxing) event I took part in for International Women's Day 2010, by my friend Wing Tat Shek , a photographer living in Paris. See more photos on his website
All other photos on this page were taken by me, or of me, with my camera.
and understanding what they offer
There are many thousands of martial art clubs around now, but not all of them seem to welcome women. So how do you find the right one for you?
1) Check with your local library - there may be posters or a reference section with addresses of local martial art and sports clubs
2) Find the yellow pages and look through the adverts
3) Visit your local sports clubs and community centers
4) Ask your friends, family and work mates
5) Obviously, you are already checking the internet.....
Finding local clubs, offering a selection of martial arts, will be probably be easy - the tricky thing is picking the right one for you. Not all styles of martial art / types of club / instructors will be right for you. Some instructors, or students in their classes, may not treat you (or anyone else for that matter) with respect / appropriate care / appropriate attitude.
So, What Then?
First, you should ask yourself what you want to achieve by training in the martial arts:
Do you want to Improve fitness?
Confidence and self-defence skills?
Just to try something new?
To meet new people?
Are you looking for a new hobby? or a way of life?
You want to enter competitions?
You want to be a black belt or test for high ranks in a system?
Or, do you have other reasons for trying out martial arts?
Styles Of Martial Art
Around the world, there are thousands of different styles of martial art available. They can be split in many ways:
1) wearing uniforms or not wearing uniforms
2) styles where "grading" is compulsory and styles where it is not
3) styles that claim that their art is the ultimate form of self-defence and those with more common sense
4) competition-based styles and those that allow you to train for leisure
5) 'traditional' styles and non-traditional styles
6) styles that ban you from training with others and styles that actively encourage you to cross-train or find out what suits you best
Names you may hear:
Boxing - sometimes called English Boxing, is a combat sport that most people have heard of. Fighters wear gloves and try to hit their opponents head or body
Savate - French boxing, a combat sport with more kicking than punching. Fighters wear gloves and boots.
Muay Thai - thai-boxing, a combat sport which includes knee and elbow strikes. Fighters wear gloves.
Kickboxing - a combat sport, originally based on Karate, and often called "American kickboxing". Fighters wear gloves.
Kali, Arnis and Eskrima - these are different names for the filipino arts, with empty-hand and weapon training
Combat Sombo - russian military fighting art, emphasizing strikes, throws, holds, locks and more
Sombo Wrestling - the sporting version of Sombo, emphasizing throws, similar to judo
Wrestling - there are many types, from many different countries, including freestyle, Greco-Roman and others
Jeet Kune Do / Jun Fan - Bruce Lee's art - he saw this as the way forward in martial arts (Jun Fan was Lee's chinese name)
Kung Fu - chinese martial arts - many types available including Wing Chun, Wushu, Shaolin and hundreds more
Silat - a family of martial arts from the far east, including indonesia, philippines, malaya......
Karate - japanese martial arts, emphasizing striking skills
Judo - japanese sport, mainly throws and holds
Aikido - japanese traditional art, mainly locks and throws
Ju-jitsu - japanese traditional art, including strikes, locks, throws, and sometimes grappling
Hapkido - korean locking and striking martial art
Taekwondo - korean martial art emphasizing kicking, also now a combat sport
Tang Soo Do - korean, a bit like Taekwondo
Finding A Good Instructor
Will respect you, encourage you and guide you towards your goal. Generally, they will have a syllabus, some structure to their classes, and your best interests at heart.
Other women students
If you want an idea of how a woman will get on in a particular martial arts club, go along and watch a class. Check what proportion of students are female, and how long they have been training. Do the women stay? Do they make progress? Are they happy with their classes? How do they get on with the instructors? Are there any female instructors?
If you have found a martial art that suits you, or a great instructor, let us know!
Get In Training
Whether you are interested in the "soft arts", like tai chi and yoga, or the "hard arts", like karate or kickboxing, there are some great DVD available to help you get started. Cardiovascular combinations involving upper and lower body really challenge your endurance and burn those excess calories.
A non-stop 56-minute cardio kickboxing workout for fat-blasting, calorie-burning toning and slimming, which will leave you relaxed and energized.
For more information...
- Cambridge Academy of Martial Arts
The finest in martial arts, personal defence and kickbox training. Cambridge, England
- Great Britain Savate Federation
Great Britain Savate Federation : Promoting the sport of Savate - French Kickboxing - and Associated Disciplines in Great Britain
Info on Savate and Canne de Combat around the world
- WASP on facebook
The Women's Awareness and Self-Protectection group facebook page
- Women in Savate and Canne
- List of martial arts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are a large number of distinct styles and schools of martial arts. Sometimes, schools or styles are introduced by individual teachers or masters.
- Types of Martial Arts - What Is the Best Type of Martial Arts
Each type of martial arts possesses its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it's really about the type that suits what you're looking to do and learn, rather than a global best kind.
- Martial Arts Basics | Types, Styles & Techniques | Self-Defense Training
No matter their origin, code of ethics or moral foundation, all martial arts are saturated in a repertoire of similar techniques and skills that can be classified as martial arts basics
- Martial Arts for kids - Netmums
From karate to kung fu and ju-jitsu - we give you the low down on this great form of exercise for little ones.
- Savate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Also known as Boxe francaise, French Footfighting, French Boxing, French Kickboxing
- Canne de combat - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Canne de combat and baton francaise
- Eskrima - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kali, eskrima and arnis - martial arts of the Philippines
More About Martial Arts & Self-Defense
An important topic for many women, learn some useful tips!
Help keep your kids safe with some useful self defence skills.