Y Club Fitness Instructor and Martial Artist Bethanie Jardine talks about women and martial arts.
Having trained Karate for 12 years and competed with all different levels of abilities, winning many fighting and kata titles I’ve written this to give my views on women martial artists. I had my first competition when I was an orange belt and I think I was about 9 years old. I didn’t do so well but this gave me the drive to carry on and a make myself better. I’m now a 1st Dan, Hoping to go for my 2nd Dan in November and still competing and trying to make myself better each and every time I train. I have always wanted to get my view out there about this sport as I do really think it comes with so many benefits and is such a good discipline for a girl to train in, even if it’s just for more confidence in themselves.
Let’s face it, women are brilliant at martial arts. They have come a long way from the days when they weren’t even allowed to train martial arts. Younger generations of girls and women who are moving through the ranks are making a difference. Martial arts are codified systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a number of reasons such as self-defence, military and law enforcement applications, mental and spiritual development; as well as entertainment and the preservation of a nation’s intangible cultural heritage. Martial arts come in many different styles and all styles are taught in different ways on how to attack and defend. Over the years of doing martial arts I seem to notice a lot of women getting more involved with the sport, which I absolutely love! You will see many inspirational women these days competing in martial arts or even just doing the training. Some examples of these are: Rhonda Rousey, Gina Carano, Christine Bannon Rodrigues and Sophia Crawford. All amazing women who have started from the bottom and worked their way up to be a well-known martial artist. As a woman who does martial arts I always hear ‘’I’m sure the guys you train with take it easy on you’’. As a matter of fact, no, they don’t. They don’t go easy on us because if you’re doing it properly, martial arts shouldn’t be easy. Every training session, every competition should be a challenge but it’s a challenge you always accept as a way of learning new things and bettering yourself.
At the end of the day, bravery is the light at the end of the tunnel and personally I think every woman has that inner bravery to step up and be what they want. To sometimes step into a ring, cage or onto some mats with someone you train with on a regular basis or never even seen before…now that takes guts. Hands down to any women that do sports as no matter what you’re into, it’s always going to be a fight to be the best and challenge yourself each day. Now as well as the obvious side of martial arts such as self-defence it comes with a range of different benefits: Improved cardiovascular, teaches great morals and values, better mood, self-confidence and respect for others.
The Point I’m trying to make really is that women as a whole are amazingly strong, but women martial artists are unbreakable. Keep it up girls, stand up and be confident!