If muscle mass has only a small impact on fight abilities, what's with the prevalence of weight classes? And why are martial arts and boxing champions generally men?
See, you were trying to sneak around it with that start on muscle mass but this is about the idea that women can fight and or fight as well as a man. We get these questions a lot, and the answer is always the same. However, the question itself always displays the asker’s ignorance on the subject matter and about combat in general. You aren’t the first to go, “but boxing!!!” as if it means something or is a winning point. Usually, “muscles” is a go to standard because that’s what so many have been led to believe makes men superior.
When I get these questions, I can always tell this person who asked has never been to a martial arts competition of any kind. If they had, they would know Women’s Divisions are a standard practice. They would also know that with an exception of major tournaments where there are enough participants to justify it, the girls and the boys spar each other at the ranks below black belt. Sometimes, the boys win. Sometimes, the girls win. The breakdown is by age (adults/kids) and belt rank, not by gender.
I’ll tell you though, none of the boy’s in the black belt division
wanted to jump in with the girls. Those girls were vicious. Men’s
sparring was much more laid back, and slower. Women’s TKD… yeesh.
Again, in most martial arts tournaments there are no weight classes. The breakdown is by age and rank, with gender as a secondary when there are enough participants to justify multiple divisions. Weight classes are a boxing tradition and other, similar bloodsports which rears it’s head when they have enough participants to justify one. In many Taekwondo tournaments, you can easily end up with a 150 pound black belt sparring one weighing in at 250. And you won’t know what they weigh anyway because there is no “weighing in”.
I’ve explained before why there are weight classes in boxing. The moment you stop and realize that it’s a sport with a purpose to make money, the reasoning behind the weight classes will become fairly clear. (Hint: it’s entertainment and aesthetics.)
That said, the “boxing champions are generally men” crap is, well, crap. They don’t let women box men professionally, or at the collegiate level. It’s hard to make a case for muscle mass when citing professional sports where women are barred from competing. Now, there was a time when there were women boxers who boxed with each other and against men. In the 1800s, it was called bareknuckle boxing. This is the granddaddy version of modern boxing, when it was all back alleys without gloves or handwraps.
That said, women’s boxing is making a comeback at the collegiate level. There’s a National Champion in Women’s Collegiate Boxing walking around somewhere in the US right now. There are multiple female martial arts champions from a variety of disciplines wandering around all over the world. The UFC has opened a division for female fighters. This is like asking why there aren’t female wrestlers (there are) or female quarterbacks (there are).
One of the greatest snipers in history is a woman.
You just don’t hear about them or the women who did the hard work pushing back to fight for the categories to be re-added.
That said, comparing the restrictions applied in sports to a person’s “fighting ability” is a mistake. You’re not asking an honest question so much as floundering for a popular misconception. It’s essentially the same as saying, “it’s ridiculous for there to be female fighters in this historical fiction because there were no female warriors”.
1) That assertion is patently false.
2) When one gender is barred from participating by the established rules of a modern sport whose history you don’t understand, you can’t then turn around and ask why most of the champions are men.
History makes a case for a lot of female combatants throughout history, but you’re not going to know they’re there if you don’t go looking for them. Their accomplishments tend to get wiped out.
The Neko-te were usually used by the kunoichi (female ninja).
The weapon is strong iron fingernails that were fastened into leather bands fitted on the fingers, and resembled claws (not like that of of the shuko, ashiko) and were also dipped in poisons. The eyes were a favorite spot for slashing.
The Kakute were rings that the kunoichi wore that were dipped in poison. The rings could be made out of metals, and tempered wood.
The ninja would quietly strangle enemies with the ring stuck in their neck. It was far less messy then using a sword, and left very little evidence on how the victim died.
“Women warriors at Kagoshima” (1877), Yôshû Chikanobu (1838-1912)
In 1877 Saigô Takamori led the Satsuma rebellion against the Meiji government. Some members of the samurai class were sympathetic to his cause because they feared the disappearance of their class and privileges at the hand of a regime trying to “modernize” Japan.
Women fought in this rebellion, such as Katamori’s daughter : Chikako. Here, the women of Kagoshima are attacking the imperial troops.
tfw ur instructor has ur class spar and u face two guys back to back who punch u directly in the boob like cmon guys we're train to aim for the center of the body not the right tit
I’m so sorry if this message has been sitting in the inbox forever; I’ve been running this blog from mobile and it doesn’t give notifications.
But yes, THIS. I think every female martial artist with boobs has had this happen at least once. Even other girls are guilty of this, too, because let’s face it, when it comes to combat these “things” get in the way. Sports bras can bind and hold them down, but that doesn’t make breasts any less sensitive. Unfortunately a lot of people think chest = solar plexus, and us women are on the losing end of that one.
In my art when we spar we don’t wear any protection over the chest, so it’s open season during matches, ugh.
So for those who don’t know, for the past year I’ve been training at a dojo on the coast whenever I’m out at my studio there. I train in both combat hapkido and Brazilian jiu-jitsu; I have my orange belt in the former, and as of tonight three stripes on my white belt in the latter. Between the two forms, I have an increasingly diverse set of skills for self defense both standing and from the ground.
To be honest, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only am I in the best condition of my life at 38 years old (and I used to be a competitive runner twenty years ago!) but I have a lot more confidence and focus, and a new social circle, too!
Nakano was the daughter of an official from Aizu, but was raised in Edo (Tokyo) where she was trained in literary and martial arts, specialising in a form of Ittō-ryū one-sword fighting. She also became a skilled instructor in the use of the naginata, a bladed polearm. She spent five years as the adopted daughter of her martials arts teacher, Akaoka Daisuke, but left him after he attempted to arrange a marriage for her. She relocated with her native famiily to Aizu in 1868.
During this time the Boshin War began between the ruling Tokugawa shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court. Although the Shogun surrendered in May 1868, some of his forces continued to fight on, retreating to Aizu. Nakano joined the army in repelling the Imperial forces and fought at the Battle of Aizu, which was in effect a month-long siege.
While Aizu retainers did not allow women to fight, Nakano formed an unofficial unit of twenty women armed with naginata, including her mother and sister. The group took part in a counter-attack designed to break the siege, during which Nakano killed five enemy opponents before taking a fatal bullet to the chest. Afraid that the enemy would take her head as a trophy, she asked her sister to instead decapitate her and bury the head.
The shogunate forces eventually lost the siege to the better-armed Imperial forces. As requested, Nakano’s sister buried her head under a pine tree at the Hōkai-ji Temple and a monument was erected there in her honour. During the annual Aizu Autumn Festival, a group of young girls take part in the procession to commemorate the actions of Nakano and her band of women warriors.