Can Women & Girls Study Karate?

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While the stereotypical image of a karate practitioner is often of an old Japanese master, sporting a bald head and a beard – this is far from the truth. Although karate was traditionally practiced among monks, who of course are men, there were also many Shaolin nuns that practiced too, making it one of the oldest sports that women have participated in.

Today, people from all walks of life practice karate in almost every country in the world. Karate transcends race, religion, gender and everything in between. There are many women that practice at dojos across the world, including with us at Keswick Karate, and everybody deserves to enjoy the benefits of studying this art.

Some women consider themselves to be inadequate at martial arts, and may find themselves being smaller or not as physically strong as their male counterparts. Karate teaches us to overcome limits. So while you may not be the strongest or tallest individual in a class that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things.

For a quick example, you could consider East Asian practitioners sparring against Western practitioners. While Western practitioners are generally taller and sometimes stronger, East Asian practitioners can work this ‘limit’ to their advantage, by maneuvering quicker and waiting for the best opportunity to strike.

Similarly, there are many advantages that women can use in karate, to render themselves as, if not more, effective than male practitioners. By learning the techniques we offer at Keswick Karate, women can learn to defend themselves from much larger opponents.

Women’s muscles are naturally much shorter than men’s. This means that their muscles can contract and expand quicker, giving them an advantage in speed. Additionally, the biomechanical structure of a woman’s body allows for the most fluid use of the hips.

With many karate techniques relying on the hips to generate power, it is understandable that women are easily capable of throwing a strong punch or an excellent kick with the ability of taking down an opponent.

While karate can’t necessarily stop certain situations from arising, it can change the outcome of those situations. It is currently estimated that 1 in 3 women will be assaulted at some point in their lifetime – which is a scary number to consider.

By learning karate with us at Keswick Karate, women are able to learn excellent techniques to aid them in the event of an assault. All of our students learn effective techniques to diffuse situations before they have the chance to worsen.

Aside from the general self-defense usage of karate, women can also enjoy an excellent and fun way to stay in shape and increase their general fitness levels. Karate builds self-confidence, allows you to let off steam, socialize and gain strength.

So while this martial arts may have begun in the company of men, it certainly is not limited to being a one gender sport. Women and girls can easily achieve the same results as male practitioners, as well as benefiting from the great extras that karate offers.