Various effective martial arts for women

I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked by both women and men, "What is the most effective martial art?'  The answer does not lie in the mystic Far East, a Kung Fu movie or some instructor with a bunch of trophies and plaques on the wall.  The answer is already inside the seeker.  The best martial art is the one that "fits" the students body type, philosophical and religious belief's, and personal goals. It depends on the level of proficiency of the individual practicing the art and not the art itself.

I have covered in my blogs many arts and issues, but this week is dedicated to women.  Women are as talented as any man in the arts, but the difference is what art is most effective for a women to "evade and escape" to safety without having to "hang and bang" with a thug twice her size, power or weight? I am talking real world self defense and not sport and plastic trophy here.  As an ex police officer and now as a licensed psychotherapits, I see many women who have encountered violent crimes against them and survived, but not without insult or psychological damage.  One case comes to mind.  A young women, a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo, was violently attacked by a large male. In the ring and in "sport" karate she had won many trophies and awards, but this was no sport.  She used all her skill and repeately struct the subject over and over again, but because of his large size she failed to overcome him and in the end she was violently murdered.

So then what is most effective for women?  Let me share a personal experience.  My wife, a 2nd Degree Black Belt in both Taekwondo and Hapkido and a certified instructor is about 115 pounds.  Taekwondo in the dojang (school) for sport might be fun and she might win in points, but against my males who are 230 pounds plus, a real life confrontation would yield a different outcome.  However, Hapkido, an art like Aikido that uses the force of the attacker against themselves and then reverses the power into a choke, lock and break changes the dynamics of the entire encounter.  

Again, referring to previous post, all martial arts, boxing, MMA, BJJ etc works, but is it for me as a women, can it work for me.  As a women, be real!  I just read an article that tried to say that Jiu Jitsu, Aikido, Wing Chun, Krav Maga (very violent), MMA ( ugh no for most women), karate and taekwondo ( addressed that above), was all addressed and effective for women.  I beg to differ. Consider this...

Lets go to the anatomy and sciences of the human body.  A small person, male or female cannot or will not be able to over power an attacker larger than themselves physically.  However, from a non-resistence, anatomical distraction and joinet lock with pain compliance, anyone can evade and escape a violent attack.  This is not a cage match to stand and beat someone down. This is survival and escape to be able to tel the story how one survived personal violence.

Some arts that require force against force or strength against strength, but that they are effective in levels of control where Aikido and Hapkido using principles of non-resistence might be of benefit..  These arts are very different that Taekwondo and Karate where force meets force.  Aikido and Hapkido have three principles:  Water, non-resistance, and circular.  When these are understood, havoc is transfered to the aggressor.  

Ladies be real.  There are many martial arts schools everywhere that promise a lot of "stuf."  There are only a few that in life or death combat works.  Do not be fooled by tournament and trophies and certificates hanging on the wall.  They are straw dogs and paper tigers.  Do your research and instructors who have your best interest in mind will let you try and experience the arts they teach so YOU can make an informed decision as to what it is you want and need.

Happy Training

Master Ken