It’s the most common refrain that we hear from women and girls who are thinking about starting in the martial arts – they know the benefits, they want to make it happen, but they’re unsure of how and wary of getting started. They’re afraid of what might be coming should they train, fearful of the process.


Here are a few of the things that women start to ask themselves:

  • Will it be too aggressive?
  • Will I have to yell?
  • Will I be expected to do things that make me uncomfortable?
  • Can I be a physically powerful and still be feminine?
  • What if I can’t do it?


The answer here is that yes, you can! You don’t have to sacrifice any of you in order to practice martial arts.


Girls, women, mums….you can learn a martial art.


Taking the first step

Though you might think that martial arts training will be too difficult, that it’s intimidating to learn and you’re tempted to step away before you even get started. What’s wonderful about martial arts is that it helps you to combat all of this! Those feelings of awkwardness, of inadequacy, of not belonging and of being unable to do this melt away with your first step onto the mats.


You just need to take the first step.


Martial arts is an incremental practice. It starts off so small, building skills and confidence one upon another.  Each day brings a new accomplishment, and it’s not long before you realize that you’ve climbed a mountain! What you see in the advertisements, what you see in the instructors, is the end product of a long process. You’re not going to walk in on the first day and be expected to be a black belt.


The people who are standing at the front of the class were all beginners once as well, and they appreciate the journey that’s ahead of you.


It may sound hard to believe, but martial arts is a nurturing and supportive environment! Women are usually amazed by how warm and welcoming a great dojo can be, and the incredibly amount of support that it offers to women who are starting out on this journey.


Practical Tips for Beginner Women

How can you make the leap? Here are some ideas for how to get started. Incidentally, these same tips work for women who are struggling to maintain their interest in martial arts or who are wanting to get back into a practice after having been away for a while.


●    Start with one lesson

Realize that you don’t have to commit to doing this forever, and just step out onto the mats to get started. You’re not signing away your life, you’re just doing one class!

●    Bring a friend

Don’t go it alone, but bring a friend. Martial arts is great for moms and daughters to do together, and it’s also the perfect chance to bond with a close gal pal. That moral support will help you to take the leap!

●    Watch a class

If you’re really feeling overwhelmed by the prospect, then just observe a class. This is a wonderfully neutral way to get started.

●    Put it on the schedule

Make an appointment with yourself to get started, then think about other things in the lead up to the actual class. Putting it on your schedule is you making a commitment to yourself, and often this is the push that women need to take the plunge.

Even if you try just one martial art class you are a giant step closer to protecting yourself just for making the effort and confronting your fears. Taking the leap into martial arts is for many women one of the best decisions that they’ve ever made, a decision to take control of their lives and to leave their fear behind them.