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Mumsnet Martial Artists

(113 Posts)
RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 15:24:23

The runners have their thread, thought it would be nice to have a thread for the Mumsnet MAers - surely I'm not the only one?

As an intro - my martial art of choice is a blend of Wing Chun and have been practising it for just over a year now. Would love to have the space (and the money) for a wooden training dummy, but looks like I'll have to hold fire for now.

There seems to be a shortage of message boards for women in martial arts - would be interested in sharing experiences (and injuries, heh) with others out there.

gomummy Thu 22-Jul-10 15:31:23

Many years of karate here pre-DS. Have not gotten back to much yet but planning to once DS is a little older. Missing it terribly! It is a huge stress reliever for me.

Butterbur Thu 22-Jul-10 15:35:43

I have been doing karate for the last three years. There are quite a few black belt women in my club, and they are very supportive of more junior women making their way up.

Nearly twenty years ago, I did five ancestors kung fu for three years - gave it up when I had kids. I would've returned to it,or another kung fu style, but there were no classes in our area, and tbh as a mum, I find my interests have to fit in with DCs.

Main injuries so far are to my feet - achilles tendonitis and general aching feet, mainly from jumping up and down barefoot in the warmup.

How often do you train, Rubberduck?

Shodan Thu 22-Jul-10 15:47:50

Ah some fellow enthusiasts. I did wonder where you all were......

Have been doing karate for 7 years. I am currently black belt (posting name is somewhat aspirational grin ) but will be taking (and hopefully passing) 1st dan in November.

I trained all the way through my 2nd pregnancy (no sparring, leg raises, sit ups etc etc) and was, apparently, a truly hilarious sight. Think Michelin man's bigger sister...

We recently had a camp in Weymouth which was great fun although hard work!

RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 15:49:13

I train at the club a couple of nights a week and do somewhere between half an hour to an hour on my own each day (stuff to get stamina and strength up as well as techniques).

I'm impressed you've got some black belt women in your club Butterbur, there's only 3 women total in ours and we're still much lower down the ranks. The testosterone can get a bit much at times grin

gomummy: I bet, re: missing it! I had to have 6 weeks off after an appendix operation and that was horrid. It's helped me be more focused in training since, though, now I realise how important it is to me. Luckily my two boys are both school age now - so I have a little more flexibility.

Struggling with injuries atm. I bruise really easily and that always leads to 'interesting' conversations in the playground - Wing Chun does seem to be very heavily focused on contact sparring. Have also damaged my knee this week and having rumblings of scar tissue after over doing it so feeling a bit disheartened.

RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 15:49:59

Wow - training through pregnancy, I'm in awe!

Mingg Thu 22-Jul-10 15:58:24

I an not one yet but will start Krav Maga in September and am really looking forward to it

mammya Thu 22-Jul-10 15:58:36

Hi all, I started karate last September with my DD, we are now both orange belts. I am enjoying it very much. As a single parent it's great to have finally found something that fits around DD and even better, that we can do together. There's one other senior women in our club, she is one of our two black belts.

One thing I've been wondering about: chest protectors. I've been hit accidentatlly in the boob once while sparring, and was thinking that maybe I should invest in one of these. But: I am quite big-chested (F cup) and I wonder how well the ones I've seen in the catalogues would fit. Any ideas?

mammya Thu 22-Jul-10 15:59:27


Shodan Thu 22-Jul-10 16:01:17


I do love my karate so a little matter of pregnancy wouldn't put me off.

Our club is divided into regions and our region apparently has a reputation for being 'tough' (arf). My sensei firmly believes that non-contact karate is a bit pointless so we do, as you go higher in the ranks, make contact. And some can be quite hard. I also bruise easily, Rubberduck and have had some strange looks while out and about! At the moment I am sporting a massive bruise on my thigh and one on my foot.

Worst injury was bruised muscles around the ribs which was painful for a couple of months and a hairline fracture on my middle toe.

I train twice a week, sometimes three times if a grading is upcoming and also go to the gym for fitness/strength. I keep trying to increase my stretch but those muscles are resisting....

Shodan Thu 22-Jul-10 16:03:40

Mammya- I have a vest top with a guard insert. I can't remember where they're from at the moment but they are quite...^roomy^ (they come in s m l) so you should be ok. V important to protect your chest.

Butterbur Thu 22-Jul-10 16:12:48

I train three times a week most weeks, and have recently joined a gym to improve my stamina.

I find the gradings particularly strenuous, and in the last one I was a limp, shaking rag after about fifteen minutes.

I am currently a purple and white belt, so the next grading is brown - it's beginning to get serious, and yes there will be more contact.

I do shotokan. What about you Shodan (bow)?

RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 16:13:03

Mingg: Krav! Serious respect! Would love to hear about your experiences once you start.

Shodan: yeah, I got hit in the face first time last week. Got some very worried looks walking around with a cheekbone bruise.

Has anyone watched the series Fight Quest? Used to be on Discovery but I think parts are available on You Tube - it's awesome to see all the different flavours of martial arts and see how they cope with learning them. I ended up buying the entire series on DVD, got really hooked!

Interesting re: the protection. In our club, it's generally discouraged (except use of mouth guard in full contact sparring). Also, no uniforms, just street clothes - the idea being that you're not going to be attacked out in the street when you're conveniently bare foot and in roomy clothing. Though in some ways, I think the formality of a uniform might be quite nice.

dawntigga Thu 22-Jul-10 16:18:56

Ju Jitsu


RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 16:27:30

Interesting thought - with those of you with a decent proportion of the women in your club - is your teacher male or female? And if male do they offer private classes for female students?

Our Sifu does - but I get the impression from one of my fellow students that he's quite rare to do this as she's been refused private training in a few places.

mammya Thu 22-Jul-10 16:27:32

Thanks Shodan, that's useful to know! We do contact sparring which can be tough. Being hit in the chest is not fun at all <understatement>

Anyway got to go get ready for my training smile

Catch you later!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 22-Jul-10 16:45:57

I used to do Kuk Sool and am itching to get back to it - will need to wait until DD is a bit bigger though

Shodan Thu 22-Jul-10 16:48:43

Rubberduck- I do a combination of shotokan and goju. It's good to have the contrast.

Re: uniforms and protection. If you're sparring on a regular basis (and therefore being punched/kicked on a regular basis) you don't want to have repeated bruising on your body. The idea is that training builds up your muscle memory, much like driving, and therefore will be able to respond appropiately in any situation. Uniforms, in our club as in any others, are part of the etiquette/discipline code.

Our senseis don't on the whole, offer individual tuition. One did, and it was rather frowned upon, though I'm not sure why. The male instructors outnumber the female, but not by much- there are a great many women in our club, also children.

Anyway. Am also training tonight so must start the dinner!

Butterbur Thu 22-Jul-10 16:53:18

Some classes we have a male instructor, some a female. I don't think they offer private tuition.

They do try and partner women together for work on eg throws where you have to get in close and personal, but sometimes this isn't possible, and we all just have to lump it.

RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 16:57:16

IAGTBF: Oooo hadn't heard of Kuk Sool before - googled, looks interesting.

gomummy Thu 22-Jul-10 17:59:28

Yes Rubberduck, I misssed it horribly - had planned to try to train (minus sparring of course) through pregnancy but ended up in bed/in and out of hospital for entire pregnancy.

My senseis are/were a married couple, both 4th dan, and it really helps to have a female, I find. Once I got past about green or blue, I felt that for some reason I seemed to "get" her teaching style better than his, not sure why. Earlier on I had not noticed much difference.

Have never heard of no-contact karate before? I really enjoy the sparring, but do bruise easily leading to some hilarious conversations!

RubberDuck Thu 22-Jul-10 18:03:01

Yeah. My Sifu is absolutely awesome, but I think I would benefit from a more experienced female perspective - clearly a small woman is not going to fight in the same way as a muscly solid man and we have to compensate for that with speed/better footwork and avoidance/better technique and tactics.

gomummy Thu 22-Jul-10 19:24:31

Exactly Rubberduck. My female sensei is v. small and wickedly fast with excellent technique. The male one (former body builder) is very strong and solid, uses his power to his advantage and can certainly take a hit but as I got a bit more advanced I definitely found her approach more helpful for me to learn from.

Shodan Thu 22-Jul-10 23:24:54

That's a good point, actually. While our sensei is excellent, he is also 6' 2" and doesn't really comprehend the perspective of a smaller (or weaker) person. But he is a friend, too, so doesn't take it amiss if I pipe up and say 'yes, but, that's going to work if you're 5'2" and seven stone, for instance'. Then he comes up with a work-around or an alternative technique.

gomummy- I hadn't heard of no-contact karate either, before I started. Seems an odd concept to me, tbh. But there are many clubs out there who claim to offer this. In fact, even within my own club, some regions focus more on perfect technique and demand minimal contact. In Fact (ahem) I once got 1000 press-ups for an entire grading class due to my (and a fellow region student) 'aggressive' sparring. (The guy I was sparring is also a friend and was trying to take me down. I refused to go down and there was a bit of unseemly grappling grin)

But self defence, primarily, was what I wanted to do karate for, originally. Not stylised karate suitable for tournaments or display.

BeenBeta Thu 22-Jul-10 23:37:27

Sorry to break into the karate discussion but hope you all won't mind a question.

Does anyone know about starting Judo as an adult? I got roped into running a website for DSs Judo club and now the DSs aked me to go to fitness training with them and start learning Judo.

I am sort of interested from a fitness, strength and mobility point of view as I find gyms a bit boring. Just that I feel nervous because I am 47 and might struggle to find partners of my weight size and lack of experience.

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