The Movie Were Old People Played Kick.The Can And Got.Younger Martial Arts Heroines

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Martial Arts Heroines

V. and VI. Over the centuries, Zen monks and Buddhist monks brought Indian punching techniques similar to modern yoga and karate from India to China. These fighting techniques came in handy in war-torn China. In fact, learning to fight was as common as learning to make or pour tea. The survival of men, women and even children depended on their ability to protect themselves. Those who survived became notable warriors.

Thirteen-year-old Shuen Guan is a perfect example. Her ability to fight with swords, spears and even her bare hands earned her the nickname “Little Tigress”. According to one legend, he saved his town from a bandit attack by fighting through the attackers and returning with a neighboring general and his troops. His heroic actions were eventually honored by the emperor of China.

But not everyone could be as multi-talented as Shuen Guan. Specialization had a definite place in war-torn China. After learning a basic fighting skill, the tendency was to add moves and techniques to suit a particular ability or body type. For one woman named Ng Mui, this meant redirecting her punches from an attacker’s midriff to the head and landing shots on the lower legs.

Specialization allowed people to become masters of their own styles. Mui was so skilled in his style that to prove his effectiveness, he demonstrated his moves on martial arts masters, who quickly realized that his methods would work just as well for them.

That Mui was a woman is impressive enough. But what makes her extraordinary to martial arts students who practice her style today is that she was a Buddhist nun! It came from a Shaolin monastery in southern China during the Ching Dynasty.

One of Ng Mui’s students, Yim Wing Chun, continued this style after Mui’s death. Eventually, this system became known as Wing Chun kung fu.

Interestingly, even though it was developed for a woman, Wing Chun kung fu became the style of choice among many men. In fact, this style of kung fu grew in popularity over the centuries, becoming the favorite style of martial artist-turned-actor Bruce Lee, who introduced and popularized this style in the West in the 1960s and 70s. For those too young to remember, visit any video store where you’ll find a wide selection of Bruce Lee movies. As a movie it might get a B grade, but they are worth watching to observe Lee’s extraordinary athletic abilities.

Judo also has some female roots. While kung fu grew out of China, judo has its roots in the fighting systems of feudal Japan, from the 10th to the 18th century. until the 16th century, which was filled with highly skilled samurai fighters, who often fought on horseback, with bows and arrows, and with swords. , and spears.

At the beginning of this period, female samurai shared the battlefield with men and occasionally commanded. These martial matriarchs were often trained in the use of weapons, especially spears and small daggers.

One of the favorite weapons of samurai on horseback was the naginata, a long pole, five to nine feet long, with a sword at the end. Sometimes referred to as the “woman’s spear”, the naginata was the weapon of choice for Itagaki, a female general in charge of three thousand warriors in 1199. His expertise and courage supposedly inspired his troops and embarrassed the enemy.

Another famous female warrior of the same period was Tomoe. The name means “circular” or “twisted” and was probably given to him because he mastered the naginata, which is used by making circular movements.

Female warriors continued to fight until one of Japan’s last civil wars. In 1877, a group of 500 women fought in its ranks. These women, armed with naginata, fought against the Japanese government troops. Unfortunately, their skills were no match for the weapons their opponents carried.

If you were lucky enough to be a female born into a ninja family, chances are that you, along with your brother, were taught to be a top athlete starting at the age of five or six. At the age of twelve or thirteen, you might move on to weapons training.

Ninjas were the latter-day James Bonds: super-agents who were not just master fighters, but masters in disguise. Men often dressed as women, and vice versa.

By the mid to late 1800s, as the need for samurai diminished, women’s influence in the martial arts declined. Unless women came from military families, it was scandalous for them to train alongside men in martial arts schools. If there was any training, it was done privately.

Scandalous or not, many women wanted to practice a martial art, and they did. In 1893, Sueko Ashiya was the first female student of Jigoro Kano, who founded judo in Japan. Shortly after Ashiya was adopted, Kano began teaching his wife, daughter, and their female friends.

In the mid-1920s, Kano opened a women’s section at his school to train his female students in a suitable environment. Although this was a great advance that ensured the opportunity for many women to train, today Japanese women only train in the women’s division, and except in special circumstances, they are not allowed to train with men.

But don’t think that old customs only die in the East. Until 1976, the belts worn by female judo martial artists had to have a white stripe down the middle if the women wanted to compete in national competitions. However, the ruling was changed, thanks to some determined women who showed their disdain for the rule by fighting in tournaments wearing only white belts, refusing to wear a colored belt with a stripe.

Consider another rule that prevented women from reaching the same level as men. Kano’s original school prohibited black belt women from rising above fifth dan, while men could rise to twelfth dan. In 1972, the school received letters from women around the world protesting this rule and asking the school to promote one of its senior students, Keiko Fukuda, who received her fifth degree black belt in 1953. The letter writing campaign worked. and Fukuda became the world’s first female sixth dan almost twenty years after becoming a. fifth day

Karate also never distinguished between men and women. Karate originated in Okinawa as a defense against Japanese invaders who disarmed the natives. In addition to using their hands and feet, Okinawans used farm tools to attack their oppressors. Women and men would practice their skills alone in the forests or fields, using sickles or bamboo bags. In the end, even a seemingly harmless farm woman became a force to be reckoned with who was harvesting the crops.

Sport karate became more popular and widespread in the 1940s. Although the competition was originally limited mainly to men, women now compete in sparring and kata tournaments. There are also some mixed form competitions, and occasionally mixed sparring between men and women.

Today, outstanding female martial artists can be found in all styles of martial arts, from kick boxer Kathy Long to karate champion Cynthia Rothrock. These women, and others like them, are the modern-day equivalent of the warrior women of centuries ago. Their determination to carve a niche in this sport is a shining example for all female martial artists.

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