International Women’s Day

A very quickly written post.  Today is International Women’s Day.  The Internal Aikdio Federation is using it to promote and encourage woman in aikido – #AikidoWomen.

I strongly feel that any traditional martial art is beneficial for women (I know nothing about modern ones, but I suspect the same applies).  I appreciate that for many women walking into the first class can be daunting, especially if the class is all male.  But do it!  I walked into my first jiu jitsu class not knowing anyone, and within two hours I had fallen in love with jitsu and made friends with a group of diverse people.  If it helps then take a friend with you to that first class, even if they sit on the side like I have done for someone in the past.  No one will mind, in fact they may have done the same thing themselves.

Yes, the practical side of a martial means you learn some form of self-defence skills but there are many other benefits.  I have seen shy women starting a class and over time their confidence both on and off the mat increases.  Martial helps improve your general fitness, but in a slow and steady way that crash gym courses don’t do.  Very few people are super-fit when they start a class but over time your health improves.

All clubs take it easy with beginners.  If falling is required then you learn to do so in a safe way that helps prevent injury.  Initial attacks that you learn to defend from will be done in a slow and controlled way.  We want our beginners to stay and learn!

The best thing about martial arts?  I don’t know!  There are so many to choose from.  Friendships, learning a new skill, being able to face down your fears, having fun….

So women, take up a martial art.  Men, encourage women in your life to take one up.  For those in the UK I have provided some links to some national organisations.  These websites will in turn provide lists of clubs so you can find one local to you.


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