Have you ever considered enrolling your daughter in martial arts? If not, I want to share with you some of the top reasons why girls should give it a try. This topic is personal for me as I’m a father of 2 young girls and I’ve witnessed firsthand the many benefits of martial arts training. Whether you're looking to help your girls get more physically active, gain confidence, or simply try something new, martial arts has a lot to offer.
First and foremost, martial arts can be a great way to boost body positivity. It's easy to get caught up in societal standards of beauty which can lead to hyperfocus on appearance. Social media feeds our girls a never ending stream of superficial imagery which can lead them to feel self-conscious about their bodies. Martial arts is all about what our bodies can do, not what they look like. When you step onto the mats, you’ll see people of all shapes and sizes actively using their bodies. Training martial arts can help you develop strength, flexibility, and coordination, and I have witnessed the newfound appreciation it has given my girls for their own strength and athletic abilities. As their skills on the mats have improved, their confidence and resilience in all aspects of their lives have benefited.
Another reason girls should train in martial arts is to break down gender barriers. Unfortunately, there are still many activities and sports that are perceived as being "for boys" or "for girls.” Martial arts has historically been one of them but times are changing rapidly. Martial arts classes are typically coed and girls learn early on that there is no reason why they can’t pursue hobbies or roles that are generally seen as “male-dominated.” Martial arts are the ultimate meritocracy. Girls who train witness firsthand the importance of discipline and practice which can help them to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Also, I can definitely attest to the joy my girls feel when they get to compete against and beat one of the boys in training 😂
One of the most practical reasons to train in martial arts is for self-defence. From personal experience, I know that bullying is still a real threat to our kids. The amazing thing about martial arts training is that the confidence it gives our girls can often mitigate bullying before it begins. It can also provide our girls with valuable de-escalation and self-defence skills to keep themselves safe. When my eldest was being bullied by an older boy, she called upon her training, attempted multiple times to de-escalate, and defended herself in a controlled yet definitive manner. The ability to deal with that physical threat empowered her to know that she is capable of handling any situation that comes her way.
Finally, training in martial arts can be a great way to meet and become female role models. Many martial arts schools have a diverse community of practitioners and your daughters will likely have the opportunity to train alongside women who are passionate about their discipline. My daughters were in awe the first time they saw Taylor McClatchie hit pads. They still think it’s amazing that Rachael Daniels is consistently able to roll with and beat men in the adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. These women have become role models to my girls by embracing their strength and working to perfect their crafts. They’ve shown my girls the importance of discipline and perseverance when pursuing their goals which will help my girls stay motivated when their training gets tough. I’m hopeful that my girls will be able to pay it forward in the future.
If you’re curious about the benefits of martial arts training and would like to check them out firsthand, give us a call or swing by Eastside Jiu-Jitsu Club! We offer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling, Fitness, and Yoga and proudly serving Orleans, Ottawa, East Ottawa, and the surrounding areas. We have classes for beginners. We have women’s only classes. We have classes for high-level competitors. Basically, we have classes for everyone!
See you on the mats!