As an East Asian, I am especially proud that my heritage is closely associated with martial arts or the art of self-defense. The Chinese word for me, myself and I is 我. When this particular Chinese word is dissected, it means a hand (手) is holding on to a dagger axe (戈). Humans or homo sapiens relied on tools to hunt for food, to protect themselves from wild beasts as well as from one another since the stone ages. The ability to make and use tools were some of the pertinent criteria in distinguishing human beings from other primates.

6 months prior to receiving a black belt at 16 years old


The ancient Chinese civilization that existed since 5000 years ago was a relatively young civilization when compared to other ancient civilizations such as the ancient Egyptian civilization that existed even earlier at nearly 7000 years ago. Despite being a relatively “young at heart” civilization (pun intended), the ancient East Asian people developed martial arts to ease their lives. East Asian people believed that to do something well, there had to be a better way doing it and along with that a set of code of conduct were also included to avoid messy situations in the event of misconduct hence martial arts were born.

Below are 10 reasons I learn self-defense and so should more women:

1. Self-confidence

I was bullied as a teenager and self-defense provided me the self-confidence to handle bullies not necessarily in the physical manner. More often, a psychological warfare is even more effective than a physical one. When we think positively, we already won 50% of the battle. The other 50% is dependent on technique and other factors.

2. Self-respect

Martial arts taught me about respecting my own body and that translates into respect for others and especially elderly people.

3. Self-control

It is not what we can do that matters the most. Often times, it is what we can do but chose not to do that says a lot about one’s character. Self-defense builds character.

4. Great workout

Never boring! Burns 470 calories an hour for a person who weighs 50kg. I can eat whatever I desire without worrying much about the consequences.

5. Improved street smartness

Alertness sometimes determines between life and death. Self-defense is especially effective in dealing with pickpockets and snatch thieves. It is too impractical to always rely on the other half when faced with critical situation. It’s just ain’t cute anymore to be a damsel in distress.

6. Improved coordination

I sucked at eye, hand and leg coordination. Self-defense serves as an alternative for women who are bad at dancing, swimming, rock climbing and other forms of ball games.

7. Element of mystery

Part of the mystery of East Asian women lies in the fact that life is like a box of dumplings. One won’t know what one might get. I could own several black belt ranks or learn several self-defense techniques simultaneously yet I behave and dressed very femininely. A man won’t know unless revealed. These days, modern women can’t be too sure that the man in their life won’t turn out to be a cold blooded psychotic serial killer until too late. Self-defense comes in handy.

8. Team player

Self-defense promotes team spirit and thus segregate sneaky behaviors. We beat the crap out of the “biatch” in you. So far, I met only genuine, kind and helpful people around with staying power.

9. Leadership quality

It is very important to learn to fight like a man with honor when climbing the corporate ladder despite the fact that Wing Chun was actually developed by a woman. I guess a woman with an all rounded personality makes a better and much more appealing plus effective leader.

10. Superpower

When point 1 to 9 combined, one basically accumulated some superpowers. Like seriously!


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