Fight Like a Girl: Benefits of Practicing Martial Arts

There are several ways of taking care of our own body and mind. Things that we like to do in our spare time and when we don’t actually have things to do from school or work. Unfortunately, some of those activities are not for both body and mind, they lack at least one of them. It’s not really worrying, but working all our features can be a healthy way to live our lives. Therefore, a lot of women all around the world search for ways of exercising body and mind at the same time. For that purpose, girls have been finding the answer in fighting.

Despite all the beliefs that fighting is an aggressive thing to do, the martial arts are a fun and relaxing type of fight that help girls develop all kinds of body muscles, besides getting more confident about themselves. The most common martial arts fought by girls are Judo, Boxing, Capoeira, Muay Thai and Karate.

Training those fights in the right way and with frequency, with a professional accompaniment, can bring you to a different connection level between mind and body. The person gets more balanced, besides developing different parts of your body and shape. Some of those important differences can be seen below:

To show in real life, not only in theory, how fighting can help people in distinct ways, some casperians were asked about their experience with martial arts and how it changed or not their lives. All of them said having noticed a great change between before and after they started practicing martial arts.

Helo Artioli, for example, has already trained tree fights: Judo, since she was six years old, boxing, about three and four years, and capoeira for two years. Since she is still taking judo classes, a time ago she got federated influenced by her father, who is a black belt, the highest level you can achieve in the sport. Helo explained that besides fighting made her develop her muscles and resistance, it also helped her with her stress and doubts. “Fighting, to me, is to release all my uncertainties, insecurities, anxiety and afflictions”. If she had to choose a single teaching from each modality, Helo would take the strategy from capoeira, the resistance from boxing and the focus from her years of judo.

Some kinds of fights don’t separate boys and girls apart: they must learn how to fight against each other, with the same type of respect and technique, following the modalities’ rules. This is something that can make a girl feel more confident about herself, since she is not treated as a princess - who she may or may not want to be. This happened to both Helo and Beatriz Vecchi, and made them felt stronger.

Beatriz had also practiced judo for a long time – ten years, exactly – and it helped her in many ways. She started practicing because she wanted to lose some weight, since she had always needed to, and therefore fighting was a good exit for her - it was love at first sight. Besides giving her a new shape and a new lifestyle, it taught her how to communicate with the boys in the judo classes – who turned to be her best friends soon – and made her realize how strong she is, as long she keeps the discipline.

For Manuela Barbosa, judo (which she trained for ten years either) and other modalities, like Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and boxing, helped her developing strength, agility and made her learn that martial arts are not about struggle. For Barbosa, fighting was kind of an identification where she learned the philosophy of how to treat people better.

Both Julia Sprenger and Dorys Dantas fight Muay Thai – Dorys got graduated in February. With Julia, Thai helped her develop resistance and overcome anxiety. She learned to respect others, since there is no distinction between ages or gender. Dorys, who always had the wish to fight, found some peace in fighting Muay Thai, and got a better physical conditioning.

The same way Julia did, Barbara Lagroteria also achieved a better physical conditioning in boxing, which she practiced for a year and a half. She liked the energy that boxing gave to her, and became more relaxed. With the training, Barbara noticed that she had a willing to study and learned how to work on her concentration.

In another hand, Natasha Rodrigues trains a different type of Karate: Karate Kyokushin, a modality that uses the body as defense and attack, with the term meaning “free hands”. She trained karate for four years old - started by curiosity and become to have a particular diet for championships. With the training, Nathasha noticed an incredible increase in her physical strength, and felt like she grew up as a person. A meditation in the classes called Mutsuko helped her with relationships and got her to learn that if she works hard, she can reach whatever she wants.

Fighting is an awesome sport to train and has already helped a lot of women from different parts of the world, since it begun to embrace all gender, with no discrepancy. To illustrate that, here are some histories about incredible Brazilian women fighting.

RAFAELA SILVA – JUDO

Rafaela is part of the Brazilian judo national federated team. In 2012, the Olympic Games took place in London, but it wasn’t really a happy event for her at the time. Rafaela were insulted by different types of racist comments. Reacting to that, Silva trained as hard as she could to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Last year, she broke that trauma and won the judo golden medal.

For her, Judo helped to regain trust and lead her to believe in herself, ignoring all the horrible things haters said about her, winning not just the golden medal, but the public's admiration and love. She is an incredible model to follow and to base your wills.

TAINARA LISBOA – MUAY THAI

Tainara is Muay Thai World Champion, already have all the possible achievements in the modality, and looks forward to mixed martial arts, the MMA, a modality created by Brazilians, just like Jiu Jitsu. She started training with thirteen years old and had her first professional fight with seventeen. With twenty-two now, she is the first Brazilian women to achieve a Muay Thai Professional World Title.