Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

When you think of martial arts, the first thing that comes to mind is probably classic action movies starring Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee (a UW alum!). But sometimes, it can be discouraging to not see any female martial artists in these roles. While it’s cool to watch Bruce Lee use his nunchucks to fight an adversary, it’s not exactly encouraging girls to go out and learn the surprisingly valuable lessons all kinds of martial arts have to offer. Sports like Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Karate can seem intimidating for girls without any contact-sport experience, especially when most martial arts classes are dominated by guys who have been going to the same place since they were three. In reality, martial arts is a sport all girls should at least try once, because there’s just so much you can learn from it.

    As horrible as it is to imagine, the sad reality is that women are not safe walking alone at night or even sometimes during the day, especially in big cities like Seattle. If you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation, it can be incredibly comforting to know that you have the skills to keep yourself safe. By learning martial arts styles like Jiu-Jitsu or Judo, you’re essentially learning how to defend yourself. If you’re ever in a situation where someone is is assaulting you or making you uncomfortable, the techniques you learn from even a one-time self defense workshop can be life-saving.

    Since martial arts include a wide range of cool techniques, from throwing someone over your shoulder to roundhouse kicking your opponent, to using nunchucks, it can also be a big source of confidence. Martial arts teach you to be able to find and use pressure points on every part of the body, and even how to use a sword in combat. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a real warrior princess, this is the perfect sport to learn. For me personally, I’ve never felt more empowered than when I broke a concrete brick with my fist during my test to become a black belt in Taekwondo (even though it really hurt, too). The lessons you can learn from practicing all kinds of martial arts go far beyond physical skills as well. As a sport that encourages team work, camaraderie, and respect, disciplines like Judo, Hapkido, and Karate teach you how to present and maintain yourself in the toughest situations while also emphasizing how important it is to support your team.

    As someone who has been doing Taekwondo and self-defense for the past six years now, I can easily say that it’s been more than rewarding. I’ve found some of my best friends through my martial arts school, gotten to compete all around Washington and America, and been part of a community I didn’t even know existed. I’m incredibly glad that I decided to join a martial arts school on a whim, and I encourage you to try it at least once, too. 

Shima is a junior at UW currently residing in Mukilteo, WA. She is majoring in Microbiology and hopes to someday become a physician. She enjoys baking bread, watching Teen Wolf, and practicing Taekwondo in her free time.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️