SERIES CONSULTANT: Adam James 10th Level Instructor FOUNDER : Rainbow Warrior Martial Arts DIRECTOR: Natl. College of Exercise Professionals

Martial Arts for Women

Mastering the Martial Arts Series

Judo: Winning Ways Jujutsu: Winning Ways Karate: Winning Ways Kickboxing: Winning Ways Kung Fu: Winning Ways Martial Arts for Athletic Conditioning: Winning Ways

Martial Arts for Children: Winning Ways Martial Arts for Women: Winning Ways Ninjutsu: Winning Ways Taekwondo: Winning Ways


Martial Arts for Women


Series Consultant Adam James 10th Level Instructor Founder: Rainbow Warrior Martial Arts Director: Natl. College of Exercise Professionals

MASON CREST www.masoncrest.com


Mason Crest Publishers Inc. 450 Parkway Drive, Suite D Broomall, PA 19008 www.masoncrest.com Copyright © 2015 Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval sys- tem, without the prior permission in writing from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file at the Library of Congress and with the publisher Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3235-4

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3243-9 EBook ISBN: 978-1-4222-8672-2

First Edition: September 2005 Produced in association with Shoreline Publishing Group LLC Printed and bound in the United States

IMPORTANT NOTICE The techniques and information described in this publication are for use in dire circumstances only where the safety of the individual is at risk. Accordingly, the publisher copyright owner cannot accept any responsibility for any prosecution or proceedings brought or instituted against any person or body as a result of the use or misuse of the techniques and information within.

Picture Credits Paul Clifton: 13, 18, 29, 87. Dreamstime.com: Justmeyo 11; Darrinhenry 18; Marpans 23 Nathan Johnson: 17. Sporting Pictures: 8, 11, 14, 20, 40, 46, 56, 68, 82, 85. Bob Willingham: 6, 26, 38, 57, 58, 62, 70. Front cover image: Paul Clifton





Women’s Health and Fitness


Warm-Up and Preparation


Energy Work


Muscular Endurance


Strength and Stamina




Deadly Weapons




Clothing and Equipment


Further Reading


Useful Web Sites/About the Author




Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills.

Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowl- edge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives.


Although women are, on average, smaller and less strong than men, and carry less muscle mass, they can become formidable opponents once they have been schooled in the martial arts.



T he journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and the journey of a martial artist begins with a single thought— the decision to learn and train. The martial arts involve mental and emotional development, not just physical training, and therefore you can start your journey by reading and studying books. At the very beginning, you must decide which martial art is right for you, and read- ing these books will give you a full perspective and open this world up to you. If you are already a martial artist, books can elevate your train- ing to new levels by revealing techniques and aspects of history and pioneers that you might not have known about. The Mastering the Martial Arts series will provide you with insights into the world of the most well-known martial arts along with several unique training categories. It will introduce you to the key pioneers of the martial arts and the leaders of the next generation. Martial arts have been around for thousands of years in all of the cultures of the world. However, until re- cently, the techniques, philosophies, and training methods were considered valuable secretes and seldom revealed. With the globalization of the world, we now openly share the information and we are achieving new levels of knowledge and wisdom. I highly recommend these books to begin your journey or to discover new aspects of your own training.

Be well. Adam James



bout Free sparring match in the martial arts; these can be no- or full-contact dojo Training hall used for all Japanese martial arts feng shui (Chinese: wind and water); art of geomancy in which chi in the environment is manipulated in architecture and interior design to improve health and good luck kunoichi Female ninja agent trained in the same skills as her male counterparts naginata Japanese medieval weapon consisting of a spear shaft on which is mounted an ax-shaped blade ninja A person trained in ancient Japanese martial arts; formerly employed for espionage and assassinations

samurai Japanese warrior of the feudal period (12th–17th centuries) segregation Separating people on the grounds of race, age, or sex


Women's Health and Fitness

For centuries, Western women were taught that they were the “weaker sex.” It was thought “unladylike” for women to excel at any physical skill more demanding than needlework. It is not surprising, therefore, that when it came to self-defense, women were considered helpless victims who looked to their male partners and kinfolk for protection. Fitness training and sports are no longer considered out of bounds for women, but there are still differences in the activities that men and women do. Go to any sports club and you will see more men in the gym pumping iron and more women in the dance studios, doing aer- obics and step classes. Even on the sports field, gender segregation is taking its time to disappear: men have their sports (football, boxing, and baseball), and women have theirs (volleyball, field hockey, and syn- chronized swimming). The martial arts are no exception to this rule. When they became popular in the 1970s, promoted by television series such as Kung Fu and Women have played a growing role in the martial arts since World War II, not only as students, but also as competitors and teachers. Once directed into the defensive arts, such as aikido and t’ai chi ch’uan, women now regularly compete in contact karate and taekwondo tournaments.




films such as Enter the Dragon (which featured the famous martial artist Bruce Lee), they attracted mainly male participants because of their macho image. In the martial arts, however, size and strength are not the deter- mining factors in who is going to win a bout . With two equally skilled players, the stronger one will have the advantage. However, if a begin- ner, no matter how strong or large, were to be pitted against a smaller, weaker, but more advanced student, the beginner would find him- or herself lying flat on his or her back, wondering what had happened. TIME, PLACE, CLOTHING, AND EQUIPMENT One of the advantages of the unarmed martial arts styles (as op- posed to armed martial arts such as ninjutsu ) is that their practice ( see pp. 19–25), any exercise is potentially hazardous for a beginner, who may not be aware of how far to push him- or herself. You should, as a matter of course, always consult your doctor before be- ginning a new type of exercise. He or she will no doubt encourage you, but may have special advice for you if you suffer from high or low blood pressure, diabetes, or if you are pregnant. Should you feel any dizziness, acute pain, or excessive tiredness while performing any of the techniques or drills in this book, stop immediately and seek medical advice. Although all the fitness techniques shown in this book are safe for an average fit person who has properly warmed up


W O M E N ' S H E A L T H A N D F I T N E S S

requires little or no equipment. The place of practice is, however, im- portant. Both in their daily lives and when training in the martial arts, the Chinese place great importance on environmental conditions. Rules about where and when it is best to live, work, and train have been cod- ified into the art known as feng shui . Feng shui is a complex subject, but suffice to say that when training, just let common sense be your guide. For example, if you wish to train outdoors, choose firm land that is sheltered from the wind. Training is best done in the morning, when the body and mind are rested. Avoid training on a full stomach (wait two hours after a heavy meal), but a light meal or snack before training is recommended so that it provides you with the energy to exercise without weighing you down. The Chinese do not en-

courage the display of the hu- man body, in part for moral reasons, and also because of health concerns. When train- ing, you should wear loose-fit- ting clothing, such as a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or track-suit. Wear clothing that is appropriate to the season, layering in cold weather so that you can remove and replace layers as your body warms up and cools down. While the Japanese train

Pick clothing that is easy to move in, but won't bind or catch as you perform the various moves.



barefoot, the Chinese use flat-soled cloth slippers that give the foot some basic protection while providing a firm footing. Avoid training shoes with such thick soles that they will prevent you from feeling the ground beneath your feet. Avoid running shoes as well, as they are de- signed for stability while jogging or running, and provide little or no lateral support. The aim of any fitness program is to develop muscular strength, aerobic (heart-lung) fitness, and flexibility. The Western approach is to treat these goals as separate, with specialized activities for each: weight-training for strength; cycling, running, or aerobic dance for heart-lung fitness; and stretching or yoga for flexibility. Unless you are practicing a sport, little or no attention is paid to the other components of fitness, such as balance, posture, or coordination. The martial arts’ approach is quite different. Although martial art- ists perform strengthening exercises, like push-ups and sit-ups, as well as stamina-building exercises such as running, these exercises occupy a small part of the overall training. The bulk of training is in the tech- nique of the art itself. As you proceed in the martial arts, your fitness will improve as a nat- ural consequence of performing the techniques correctly. This not only includes strength, stamina, and flexibility, but also other skills, such as balance, coordination, and agility. But there is still more: a factor that the Chinese call qi, or chi. According to Chinese philosophy, chi is the force that animates the cosmos; without chi, there would be no life. A full understanding of the martial arts of China, Korea, and Japan is not possible without an appreciation of the concept of chi. Training in the martial arts also differs from Western fitness in that


W O M E N ' S H E A L T H A N D F I T N E S S

no matter how proficient you become, there is always another level to- ward which to aim. While runners and weight trainers will learn one set of techniques, which they will practice with little variation for the rest of their training careers, martial artists can progress to more and more complicated techniques in their arts, or learn new fighting styles. A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHINA'S MARTIAL ARTS The Chinese “hard,” or “external,” fighting arts that we know as kung fu have their origins in the teachings of a sixth-century Indian Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma (Tamo in Chinese). Bodhidharma traveled from India to China to teach a new form of Buddhism that would one day become Zen Buddhism in Japan. After a meeting with the Chinese emperor in 520 B.C., Bodhidharma retired to the Shaolin monastery, where he found the monks to be holy in mind, but extremely weak in Training for health and fitness varies widely between East and West. In the West, there are specialized exercises for strength, stamina, and flexibility, while in the East, the martial arts provide an integrated approach to fitness.



body. He taught them a series of exercises to enable them to meditate for long periods of time. Over the next thousand years, these simple techniques were developed into the Shaolin lohan fighting system. In 1674, the Ch’ing Emperor, K’ ang Hsi, fearing that the monks had become too powerful, ordered that the Shaolin temple be destroyed and its monks slaughtered. Only five monks and nuns managed to escape

the destruction, and each went on to found their own styles of Shaolin kung fu.


It is only in the Western world that women have been consid- ered helpless victims, incapable of defending themselves. Asian women, by contrast (though they have the reputation of be- ing submissive), have fought alongside their men, using many of the same fighting arts. In fact, women have created sev- eral martial arts, including wing chun in China and pentjak-silat in Indonesia. A woman named Yim Wing Chun created the wing chun style. After the destruction of the

Najinata players in action. In Japan, the wives of samurai learned to fight with the sword, staff, and spear, just like their husbands.


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