Women and martial arts have a long standing association since early ages. Nowadays, female martial artists are found in almost all forms of martial arts. Few are listed below.
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Paul Bonett video “Shodokan Aikido women’s jyu embu”:
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Great Big Story video “Kung Fu Nuns”:
微哇-WeWowTV video “《Women fight the Wing Chun》Practical Martial Arts /Kung Fu”:
Altan Nergui video “Mongolian horseback archery girl”:
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Legendary Women Martial Artists
Since time immemorial, women have always stood beside men in all human endeavors. Thus, it is no surprise that martial arts and women have been close companions.
Greek Goddess Athena
In ancient Greece, Athena or Athene was known a warrior goddess and a patron of various crafts. She is generally shown wearing a helmet, holding a spear, and a shield known as Aegis which had the head of Medusa whose gaze turned mortals to stone. Athena was regarded as the protectress of many Greek cities, especially the city of Athens, and the city most likely received its name from her.
Tiny Epics video “ATHENA (film) | Goddess of Wisdom and War | Punishment of Medusa | Greek Mythology Explained”:
Joan of Arc
Besides mythology, even in few past centuries, several women have embraced martial arts and demonstrated their exceptional mettle. In France, the legendary Joan of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc, is a shining example. Claiming to be acting under divine guidance, she became a military leader who transcended gender roles and gained recognition as a savior of France.
Imre Vince video “Joan of Arc – (1999) Full Movie in HD”:
Onna Musha or female Samurai
In feudal Japan, warrior women were known as Onna Musha or Onna Bugeisha, and they participated in all battles along with the male Samurai.
Samurai Odyssey video “Onna Musha: The Untold Story of Feudal Japan’s Female Samurai #onnamusha #onnabugeisha #samurai”:
In ancient China, when the emperor issued a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders, Hua Mulan, the eldest daughter of an honored warrior, stepped in to take the place of her ailing father. Masquerading as a man with the name of “Hua Jun”, Hua Mulan was tested every step of the way. She harnessed her inner-strength and embraced her true potential to transform herself into an honored warrior and earning not only the respect of her father but of an entire nation.
filipa video “Mulan: Rise of a Warrior (2009) w/ eng subs”:
Yim Wing Chun
It is widely believed that the martial art of Wing Chun was created by a woman. There are many stories about the origin of Wing Chun; however, the most popular is the story of a young girl learning marital arts under a female Buddhist monk. The story states that there was a beautiful young woman named Yim Wing Chun, who received an unwelcome proposal of marriage from a local warlord. To escape the nagging attentions of the warlord, Yim decides to learn martial arts from a female monk Ng Mui, also known as Wu Mei Pai, who created her own style known as White Crane Kung Fu. With the help of Ng Mui, Yim Wing Chun challenges the local warlord that if after one year she is beaten by the warlord in a fight, then she would become his wife, else she would be free to choose her own husband. Yim Wing Chun trains diligently under Ng Mui and after a year when the contest comes, she easily defeats the warlord. Later, Yim Wing Chun settles with a husband of her choice. Some believe that Yim Wing Chun created the fighting style known as Wing Chun, while some believe that Ng Mui created it but was earlier named as White Crane Kung Fu style. The origins of Wing Chun may be debated; however, it is beyond any doubt that both Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun were exceptional female martial artists.
Zen Buddhism Europe video “Buddhist Nun Ng Mui teaches Yim Wing Chun”:
Keiko Fukuda was a Japanese-American martial artist. She was the highest-ranked female judoka in history, holding the rank of 9th dan from the Kodokan and 10th dan from USA Judo and from the United States Judo Federation (USJF). She was the last surviving student of Kanō Jigorō, founder of judo. She was a renowned pioneer of women’s judo. She continued to teach her art in the San Francisco Bay Area until her death in 2013. She is the first and, so far, only woman to have been promoted to 10th dan in the martial art of judo.
Judo Cape Town video “Keiko Fukuda”:
Kunoichi or female Ninjas
Espionage or spying is also largely considered as a form of martial art, albeit a subtle soft martial art, and is studied in various forms all over the world. For example, in feudal Japan, it was known as Ninjutsu or the “art of invisibility” or the “technique of stealth”, and its practitioners were known as the Ninja. The Ninjas were trained to spy on enemy troops, provisions, arms, fortifications, and report back to their headquarters. They were also trained to carry out interceptions, arson, and assassinations. The female Ninjas were known as Kunoichi and they played a vital role in warfare.
忍びの者SHINOBI NO MONO video “NINJA TRUTH Episode 7 In Search of the Kunoichi, the Female Ninja”:
During the first World War, perhaps the most famous female spy was Mata Hari. She was a famous exotic dancer, who had come to represent the power of beauty and feminine seduction. The most influential men of her time surrendered to her. As the first World War broke out across Europe, France saw performer Mata Hari, a Dutch national with the ability to freely cross borders, as an intelligence asset. However, Mata Hari was later convicted of spying for Germany and executed by a firing squad. After more than 100 years, the questions remain: Who was Mata Hari really, and was she guilty? Was she a double agent or simply a scapegoat?
Get.factual video “Mata Hari – The Beautiful Spy | Double Agent or Scapegoat? | Full Historical Documentary”:
During the second World War, Virginia Hall, an American woman with a wooden leg was the unlikely mastermind behind the French Resistance in the south of France. The Gestapo considered her as the most dangerous spy in the Allied forces, and they would stop at nothing to find and destroy her.
Philip Thompson video “The Most Dangerous Spy of WW2 – The Limping Lady | True Life Spy Stories”:
During the second World War, Nieves Fernandez, a female schoolteacher in the Philippines, was terrified that she along with her students would be taken by the Japanese Army. So she created a guerilla group of fighters and trained them to silently kill with Bolo knives. She and her group were known as silent assassins and they were able to free several villages from the clutches of the Japanese army.
TheUntoldPast video “This Female Teacher SLAUGHTERED Hundreds Of Soldiers During World War 2…”:
Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a legendary Soviet sniper of second World War, fought bravely alongside her male counterparts. Her story is touching on several levels and is portrayed in the award-winning film “Battle for Sevastopol (2015)”. The film shows that she unwittingly discovered her shooting talent during a shooting game and in 1941 she joined the army. She grew to become the best sniper in the Soviet Union, while she was seen by the Germans as a great threat to be eliminated at all costs.
Elephant Recapped video “Legendary female sniper of World War II kills over 300 people alone”:
Women as martial artists have always excelled due to their dedication, sincerity, and discipline. Nowadays, all over the world, women are increasingly taking to martial arts and in almost all instances they are certainly equal to men, and in several instances even better.
LevelUP video “Finest Female Martial Arts 2023 | Motivation Video For Martial Artists”:
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