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  • Writer's pictureGrace Dabir

Opinion: How Martial Arts Empowers Women

As a girl, i've been told by society that i'm not "strong enough" or that I don't have the same capabilities as a boy would. Being a female martial artist has not only boosted my confidence, but it has taught me that I am a strong, and capable individual.

Martial arts is a predominantly male sport. Being a "fighter" is typically associated as a male trait because men are "stronger" and women "can't defend themselves." This obviously could not be further from the truth. Being a high ranking, and high performing female athlete in a male dominated sport has been extremely empowering growing up. Martial arts isn't only about learning to fight. It teaches discipline, and respect. Growing up with my male peers in the studio, and training with them has not only proven my worth as an equal, but has shown my overall capabilities to be comparable to my male teammates. I have attributes that some of my teammates don't have. For example, I can kick a lot higher than some of my male teammates, making me a more valuable teammate for certain sections of performance combinations. In team events, like team sparring, a team is Co-ed. Meaning both boys and girls fight for an overall team score to place at the tournament.

In my time at taekwondo, i've also learned a number of self-defense movements to help protect myself in an emergency situation. Self-defense moves are not only critical for women to learn in today's unfortunate time, but can be a key difference in how women can control a situation. Martial arts has also taught me to stand up for myself no matter the environment. It has helped me gain confidence in so many different aspects of my life, and has made me strong both physically, and mentally.

So if someone asks me, "can you beat me up?" The answer is probably, yes.

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