When people think of martial arts, they tend to picture men doing it – the first thing that comes to mind is not usually girls or women. But the reality is that martial arts are wonderful for both girls and for women, and that there are so many reasons why Taekwondo is perfect for them.
First of all, Taekwondo helps girls and women to test themselves. We often ask ourselves the question “What am I really made of?” Heading into the training hall is a way to find out, and the answer is almost always “I am more than I thought I was.” Perseverance, determination, and toughness are all skills that are not only developed through training in Taekwondo, but very often they are qualities that were there all along – we just need ways to discover that about ourselves. Taekwondo teaches us to realize how strong we are, and that’s especially important for girls and women.
Girls who were once shy and had low self esteem come out of training feeling empowered and ready to take on new challenges. We all want to reach our potential as people, but we don’t always know how to do it. Taekwondo offers a road map that shows women and girls how to get there.
Another reason for girls and women to take up martial arts is self defense. Women are simply at a higher risk for attack than men are, from both strangers and in close relationships. Developing self awareness, self esteem and self defense skills can be the difference in positive outcome and a negative one.
Many women think there is no point to them learning self defense skills because they’ll never overpower an attacker. That might be the case, but techniques aren’t about overpowering and Taekwondo offers a set of skills that will allow women and girls to be the masters of themselves and their environment. The punches and kicks, those fighting techniques that you learn in Taekwondo class aren’t choreographed dance moves, they’re actual fighting moves that can be effective if you are attacked. There are right ways and wrong ways to throw a punch and to kick, and in order to do these well you have to be properly trained. Being safe isn’t about outward strength, it’s about mastering some techniques that you can use and understanding how to be aware of your environment so that you avoid attacks.
Lastly, Taekwondo is, FUN. Hitting a bag feels great. Learning to kick feels great. Sparring in the training hall with an opponent feels great. The whole experience is empowering for girls and women, with the feeling of getting stronger and feeling good about yourself being part of that positive path that is Taekwondo. There are so many amazing things about the martial arts experience, not the least of which is the camaraderie that is built with other members of the class and the instructor. The community aspect of the training environment is one that not only keeps things fun and high spirited, but also that inspires everyone involved into becoming better.
Although the physical expression of Taekwondo is punching, kicking, striking and other defense skills, this practice is not about fighting an opponent – rather it’s about challenging yourself and finding what it takes to be a winner in life.