women-in-martial-arts

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Photos from 1935 Japan via Old Photos of Japan.

Japanese school girls practicing naginata (薙刀). Naginata is a pole weapon traditionally used by members of the samurai class. It consists of a wooden shaft with a curved blade on the end. In the modern martial art form of naginata, it is carved from one piece of Japanese white oak or it features a replaceable blade constructed from bamboo. Practitioners wear protective armor called bogu (防具). It is very similar to the armor worn by practitioners of kendo. In modern Japan, naginatajutsu is practiced especially by women.

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Kunoichi weapons 

NEKO-TE

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.

KAKUTE

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.

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Throw back to when I was colored belts…

First pic- (Green/purple belt)

Second pic- (Purple white stripe) Chung Mu Hyung 360 spin

Third pic- (Red black stripe) Learning jump spinning back kick

Fourth pic- (Brown belt) Pyung Ahn Sam Dan- (Shotokan Karate Kata)

Fifth pic- (Red belt) Somewhere in the middle of a round kick or somethin’

#tbt 6 months ago and today

if you had told me six months ago that I would be nearly 40lbs lighter, a hell of a lot more confident, and able to disarm grown men and throw them to the ground - I wouldn’t have believed you

I am so grateful that I joined my friend at her Krav Maga class that night in May. I never could have imagined how martial arts would change my life in so many ways. I love my class, my instructor, the masters, it’s amazing. I cannot wait to see what it’ll be like in another 6 months

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Fude Yamashita, young wife of famed judaka Professor Yoshiaki Yamashita, traveled in 1903 with her husband from Tokyo to the United States to teach judo to an unruly Washington D. C. youth. Apparently, they never met the young man and instead were redirected to Teddy Roosevelt’s White House.

Although Fude (25-years-old) was not initially contracted to teach judo, she came to have an impact on American women’s participation in the Japanese martial arts.At the prompting of certain competitive Washington socialites, it was not long before Mrs Yamashita was running daily lessons for some of the country’s richest and most famous women, who had  the material means and leisure time to follow what the papers now termed the ‘fashionable Japanese craze’. – Radical Bodies and Dangerous Ladies: Martial Arts and Women’s Performance, 1900–1918, Diana Looser, Theatre Research International 2010

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I’m sorry for the similar post but I just can’t contain the hype. 

In one of the Most DOMINATING underdog take overs I’ve seen in MMA Jedrzejcyk defeated Esparza to win the UFC’s 115lb title at ufc 185. Just look at how freaking crip her striking is and how amazing her control of distance is.  Those punches were super sonic and lazer guided and her takedown defense was on point the entire night!!

Shes a beast! A monster! A killer! A unstoppable force I don’t really see anyone who can challenge a beast like her at her weight. Her reach is pretty significant and she’s not afraid to use it!

The scary part is she’s only going to improve. If she doesn’t get cocky in theory this is the lowest skill level we’ll se her at and she’ll just keep growing and evolving. Just like Rousey’s striking has gone to that next level soon we might see Jedrzejck going for takedowns or getting some trips from the clinch. 

Joanna Jędrzejczyk  born August 18, 1987) is a Polish mixed martial artist who competes in the Women’s Strawweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, of which she is the current UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion making her the first European female champion in UFC history. She is a six-time world champion and four-time European champion in Muay Thai.

ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN!!!!!

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How to Roll with Women in BJJ
via Fenom on Facebook

“I’m supposed to go in your guard? Don’t you think this is moving a little fast? I just met you

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SHEILA HADDAD. This video is mesmerizing. I never get tired of it.

This is not Ninjutsu, however, she does hold a 15th Dan in Bujinkan Budo Taijustu/Ninjutsu. She is also a 7th degree black belt in Seibukan Jujutsu as shown here!

I am a Woman, I am a Fencer.

I am a woman; I am a fencer.  

I engage in consensual violence.

I hit people; they hit me (and sometimes I let them). I hit people with a steel blade, that, even though blunted, can still easily do serious physical harm without the right protective gear. I get hit with the same style weapon. I hit women, I hit men. I get hit by women, I get hit by men.

Longsword is a full-contact martial art. This doesn’t mean that I enjoy getting hit, but it means that I know well enough to expect that it will happen. My success as a fencer depends on my ability to gradually reduce the number of times in which I do get hit, but even the best—the Axel Petterssons and Ties Kools of the world—get hit.

Consensual violence, especially in the form of sports and martial arts, for men, is a readily-accepted part of our society. Consider the massive audience for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on May 2nd (there were fears in the Philippines about electricity shortages because of too many people watching), or the annual audience in the U.S. for the Super Bowl.

It is, however, even in 2015 not as accepted for women. Girls are told by Disney heroines (with Mulan a notable exception) that their roles are peacemakers, when they are lucky enough to have roles at all (I’m looking at you, Toy Story franchise). Men’s lacrosse involves a full set of upper body pads; women’s lacrosse an eye mask. The most famous women athletes of our era are arguably tennis players, figure skaters, and gymnasts; Ronda Rousey aside, they are not fighters. Despite all of this, in the U.S., we’re considered relatively enlightened when it comes to women’s sports and martial arts—just think about how our female athletes dominated the 2012 Summer Olympics.

HEMA is consensual violence, and it is consensual violence that does not care if you are male or female. When the mask goes on, it’s almost impossible to tell who’s male, and who’s female (no, you cannot use hair length, or the SPES skirt, as a barometer). If you want to be a fighter, you’re welcome to come and learn, male or female. You will learn that you can either learn to accept getting hit by (or hitting) your club mates, male or female, or you can find a different pastime. Sometimes you can learn this quickly, like a fish to water; other times it might come more slowly, like weaning a baby from the bottle.

So if you, The New Student, say you don’t want to hit me because “you’re a girl”, I’m not offended. I’m not offended because you are a HEMA newborn, just like the rest of us were at some point (many would still consider me relatively new), and yes, it’s weird to all of a sudden be told “it’s okay to hit her here” after what’s likely been a lifetime of being told not to hit women.

You’ve come here to learn, so let us teach you your first lesson: I am a woman, I am a fencer. In the ring only one of these things matter.

WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA you fight MEN?!

A couple basic facts first, to make this story make sense:

1) I live in NYC and don’t have a car here, so I take the subway pretty much everywhere.
2) On non-sparring days, when I only need a mask and gloves, I carry my gear in a guitar case, because it fits.

Tonight, I was traveling home with two of my (male) classmates. While waiting for the train, we were approached by a man who was curious to know about our instruments and if we played in an orchestra.

We explained that they weren’t instruments, but rather fencing equipment. He then asked us if we were any good, and I joked “well, I haven’t died yet.” This, as you might imagine, led to us explaining the difference between HEMA and sport/Olympic fencing. He was very curious and we were happy to answer his questions, but eventually it led to:

Him, to me: How long have women been doing this?
Me: Well, pretty much since it started. One of my friends has been doing HEMA for over 10 years. We spar women, we spar men, we-
Him: WHOA WHOA WHOA WHOA hold on…you fight MEN?!?!

The conversation then turned to him asking me if I was better than either of my two classmates who were with me (hence why I mentioned their gender above), my classmates are exceedingly modest and gave me probably more credit than I deserve, but it was still quite an amusing exchange.

Yes, I fight women, and I fight men…because you know why? 

Invading armies really don’t care if you’re a man or a woman, they’re going to try to kill you anyway, so your best option is to try and kill them first.

Yeah, I’m not going to lie, sparring men twice my size can get downright scary sometimes, but there’s only one way you ever really get over your fears, so I will continue sparring anyone who wants to spar me, regardless of gender.