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VIDEO : Learn About Capoeira – Brazilian Martial Arts Style
The NWMAF is a community of women who, like yourself, train in martial and healing arts and self-defense. From Aikido to Zujitsu, empty-hand to weapons, self-defense to healing arts, our members span the gamut. Join us!
NWMAF members reap the benefits of practice and study of our health, self-confidence, physical fitness, and stress management. Some of us have been training over many decades, others just a few months. Yet we can all come together and train.
To that end, every summer the NWMAF puts on a Special Training and Self-Defense Instruction Conference. You choose from a variety of classes. Each day brings many sessions and several options: a “hard style” class, “soft style” class, mat art, self-defense, healing arts, and weapons. Expert trainers tailor their teaching for a wide range of students – from beginners to experts.
Learning a martial art is a great activity for just about anyone, so why should the guys have all the fun?
1 . It’s empowering.
Just about any form of exercise will help teach you about all the “limits” that you can overcome, but there’s something about delivering a solid kick or punch that really makes you realize that you can do some serious damage if you need to. In a world where women are unfortunately still treated like the weaker sex, it’s awesome to know that you can be just as tough (or tougher) than your male counterparts… and it’s even more awesome to prove it.
2 . It teaches you to love your body for what it can do.
So many workout programs today focus on getting a “beach body” or looking like a celebrity, and hey, if you can achieve that, good for you. However, every body is different, and some of us will never look like Jennifer Aniston. The great thing about training in martial arts is that success is determined by your skill rather than your appearance. Even if you get into it to lose weight, you’ll soon discover that your most satisfying before-and-after photos will be the ones involving your belt promotions rather than your slimmer waistline.
3 . …But yes, you’ll probably end up looking pretty hot.
Obviously, getting sexy is not the point of learning how to fight, but it is a nice side effect. Sticking to virtually any martial arts program will help your cardio, strength, and endurance. You’ll soon learn that in order to feel great and keep progressing, you’ll need to drink lots of water and eat healthier. Once everything starts to add up, you’re almost guaranteed to feel yourself slimming down, gaining muscle, and even having healthier skin (aside from the bruises). You might look like the girls in the “fitspo” photos, or you might not, but both now and down the road, your butt-kicking habit will work better for you than any beauty or anti-aging product.
4 . You’ll be better off if you need to defend yourself.
Let me make one thing clear: if someone tries to attack or rob you, run . No matter how tough you are, a gun will almost always win. But if you find yourself in a situation that you cannot get out of, you’ll have a better chance of getting away safely if you know how to not only deal out damage, but also protect yourself from it. Two years after getting into MMA, I ended up using my jiu jitsu to protect myself when a creepy guy did not understand the word, “no.” We should absolutely be teaching boys and men to not rape women, but unfortunately, there will always be the possibility of an exceptionally horrible situation. No matter what you were wearing, how much you were drinking, or how you knew the guy, being a victim of sexual assault is not your fault. But if your body is your last line of defense, you can help protect yourself by knowing how to use it.
5 . You’ll be one of a select few.
Thankfully, recent years have seen the rise of women in the martial arts circuit, but we still have a long way to go. In just about any gym or tournament you go to, you’ll likely be one of the only ladies. Some women may see this as a downside to training, but it’s kind of fun to feel like a special, badass snowflake. There is nothing wrong with being like “most women,” but there is something very cool about standing out from the crowd. And because there are limited numbers of women in any martial art, you’re guaranteed to make close friends both with your teammates and your competitors. It’s a special bond that we share, and you’re welcome to share it no matter where you’re from.
6 . You might be better suited for it than you think.
One of the most common phrases I hear when I tell another woman that I train is, “Oh, good for you. I could never do that.” I always want to ask, “Why not?!” People of all shapes, sizes, and ages can find happiness in martial arts, and many excel at what they do. With so many disciplines, there’s no way you can’t find one that will work to your advantage. The flexible can avoid submissions in jiu jitsu, and the speedy can keep an opponent on their toes in kickboxing. There are tournaments for the competitive, but if you just want to do it as a hobby, no one is stopping you. There are so many options out there, you’re bound to find something that fits you perfectly.
7 . Your size can work to your advantage.
There are, of course, plenty of women who are larger than their male counterparts, but many of us struggle with being significantly smaller than almost any guy we meet. But please don’t let your size discourage you— there are many disciplines that are pretty much designed for smaller people to overcome their larger opponents. Judo, jiu-jitsu, and aikido all emphasize the power of leverage over strength, meaning that if you’re 5’1”, you can still overpower a guy who’s 6’2” and twice your weight. This is not only great for practice, but also if you have to use your knowledge on the street to get out of a bad situation.
8 . There’s plenty of clothing and equipment for us, too.
Although women may not dominate the fighting field in terms of numbers, fight equipment companies are starting to take notice of our interest in the martial arts. It was once incredibly difficult to find kimonos, muay thai shorts, and other clothing specifically designed for women; female martial artists would just need to buy men’s clothing and hope that it would fit their differently-shaped bodies. Now, virtually every major fight equipment company has a selection of clothes specifically designed for women. Some options are more feminine, such as being colored pink or purple or having floral designs, while others look just like their masculine-sized counterparts, but are designed to fit a curvier body. There are even companies that offer only kimonos and clothing designed for women, so you’re bound to find fighting clothes that feel comfortable and look great.
9 . You’ll be helping to stop sexism in its tracks.
If you decide to take up a martial art, you should do it for you, regardless of what others might say. That being said, there’s something awesomely feministic about getting into a sport that is traditionally “manly.” Once you sign up, you’ll hear all sorts of comments from friends and family members. Some will be positive (“Good for you! You’re such a badass!”), but others will definitely have a negative hint to them (“You’re too pretty to get beat up.” “Are you sure you can handle that? That’s a man’s sport”). Should you choose to stick with it, you’ll be proving that just because a sport is “tough” doesn’t mean that it’s only for men. From what I’ve seen, many of the women in my classes can actually handle their injuries better than their male teammates! Practicing something that you love is amazing, but doing it while teaching society a lesson is even better.
10 . You’ll have an amazing support system of brothers (and a few sisters).
Even if you’re a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man, it’s undeniably awesome to know that you have a bunch of guys who will have your back under any circumstances. They’ll know that you can handle yourself just fine, but it doesn’t stop them from getting protective of you. Of course, you’ll probably end up being just as protective of them. You and your female teammates will also share a sisterly bond, which is just as special, but very different. Your relationship with all your teammates is unlike friendship you’ll ever have outside of the dojo. There’s something about beating each other up that really brings people together!
Karate Japanese pronunciation: [kaɽate] is a martial art developed on the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It developed from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands (called te (手?), literally "hand"; tii in Okinawan) under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. Historically and in some modern styles grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.