Should Martial Arts be made Compulsory for High School Girls?

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Martial art refers to codified systems as well as traditions of combat, which may be done for various reasons depending on an individual. For instance, people can engage in martial arts activities for self-defense, mental and spiritual wellbeing, and requirement by law, and entertainment among others (Nicholls et al. 1). Some of the recognized activities include punching, wrestling, kicking, grappling, which are classified as unarmed martial arts. Armed martial arts also exist and involve use of weapons and may include archery, modern fencing, and stick-fighting among others. The selection of the type of martial arts depends on the individuals’ choice and reason. Girls should be encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities for physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Martial arts are beneficial for children and adolescents and therefore should be made compulsory for high school girls to promote self-confidence, enhance fitness, and for self-defense.

Girls’ schools need to make martial arts training compulsory to ensure that all girls benefit from the practice. Martial arts training can be used to raise self-confidence of children as they try to meet goals set by themselves as well as their instructors thus should be made compulsory in girls’ schools. Activities such as boxing and karate are popular among boys while girls avoid them (Pfeffer 3). Making martial art activities compulsory for school girls will ensure that female students also engage in them and benefit from being active. Girls are greatly affected by self-esteem issues that are caused by lack of confidence in themselves and fear of being ridiculed. However, with the introduction of martial art in schoolgirls can overcome obstacles in life and work to promote their self-image. Interacting with others is a way of enabling socialization and interaction with other peers. Girls can focus on their strengths and emerge successful in achieving their goals in life. Children can benefit from the activities if they keep practicing and engaging in their arts of choice. The school environment can be quite challenging for learners thus life lessons are important and martial art can be one of the skills to consider in school.

Girls need activities that keep them active while at school thus making some activities such as Martial arts compulsory is necessary. Martial art activities can enhance physical and mental fitness as well as fun in girls that engage in boxing, kicking, and sparring among others. Nowadays people are living a sedentary lifestyle and are at risk of contracting lifestyle illnesses such as hypertension, heart problems, obesity, and diabetes. Martial arts can provide girls with an opportunity to exercise and keep their bodies fit all the time (Ivashchenko et al 254). The school environment can be very stressful as learners are worried about performance and grades. Dealing with anxiety and stress can be challenging without one engaging in physical activities. During martial art lessons, girls are taught breathing exercises that promote body wellness and release stress from the body. In addition, socialization during the lesson can help girls to work closely with others including peers, teachers, and other staff members. Social skills and teamwork are developed during the exercises that are useful later in life especially at the workplace. In this case, girls are less stressed and their mental state is always stable. Mental fitness is crucial for excellent performance in schools and can be enhanced through physical engagement. Regular physical activity has been proved to promote cognitive and academic performance (Ivashchenko et al. 254).  Once martial art is compulsory, everyone in school will have to participate during the lesson and promote physical and mental fitness. Spiritual and emotional health is also boosted since the girls can exercise during training and systematic practice activating the entire muscular system thus the art is considered as a therapeutic action.

Many girls do not take an interest in martial arts yet it facilitates acquisition of self-defense and conflict resolution skills among girls in schools, which they can use in case the need arises. Making it compulsory is the best decision a school can make to ensure that all girls are taught defense skills. Some people think that training martial arts promote violence but this assumption is not true. Instead, one can develop focus, awareness, and concentration to handle situations calmly before resulting to physical violence. In this case, making martial art compulsory in girls schools will enable them to have physical skills to defend themselves if need arises. The exercises are practical for children, adolescents, adults, and seniors as it is an activity that can be taken for life thus can be considered as a lifestyle (Popeska, Dimkov and Jovanova-Mitkovska 150).  Anyone can be a victim, from any attack, but experts say that knowing self-defense drastically reduces this risk of being on the receiving end from such attacks. Martial arts would not just increase the physical and mental ability but also help in effectively decreasing the number of sexual assaults and violence against girls. One of the reasons girls may shy away from engaging in physical activities is that they become bored. For instance, they may not be interested in joining a gym as it may entail doing the same thing continuously. However, with martial arts the girls will be constantly practicing and learning new skills that can relieve boredom and desire to skip training.

On the other hand, engaging in martial arts activities may not be the solution to keep the girls engaged since some prefer engaging in other activities.  For instance, some love to focuses on activities such as chatting, reading, and other forms of art. Martial arts can also be risky as it can lead to injures and even death. According to Jensen et al. (65), athletes had an injury rate of 28.6 per 100 fight-participations: 47.9% were facial lacerations, 13.5% hand injuries, 10.4% nasal injuries, and 8.3% ocular injuries”. Therefore, girls should be encouraged to follow their dreams instead of being compelled to engage in martial arts that can cause injuries. During the lessons, girls can engage in activities such as discussions and socializing. Promotions to senior levels in martial arts games can interfere with the girls’ motivation in case they fail the training tests. Ensuring that martial art is compulsory in girls’ schools interferes with their freedom to select subjects that they like as well as careers.  Girls should be allowed to follow their dreams, select games of choice, and activities of interest. Therefore, martial arts should not be made compulsory in girls’ schools but should be left open for only interested members.

In conclusion, martial arts should be made compulsory in girls’ schools to give girls a chance to benefit from the many advantages of the activity. For instance, children can learn the importance of teamwork, exercise, and the attitude of never giving up in succeeding their goals. Martial arts teach discipline, which is the cornerstone in all of the arts and something that is required for human beings. The coordination improves greatly because it makes participants stronger and more flexible. The confidence increases too and it paves way for relieving stress and loneliness. Considering the benefits of martial arts, it should be made compulsory for all girls’ schools to give them an equal opportunity to boys to gain skills from the training lessons given. 

Works Cited

Ivashchenko, Olga, et al. "Methodological Approaches to Pedagogical Control of the Functional and Motor Fitness of the Girls from 7-9 grades”. Journal of Physical Education and Sport 17.1 (2017): 254.

Jensen, Andrew R., et al. "Injuries sustained by the Mixed Martial Arts Athlete”. Sports Health 9.1 (2017): 64-69.

Nicholls, Natalie, et al. "Physical Activity in Secondary School Pupils: Headline Indicators 2014." (2015).

Pfeffer, Anja. Combining Inner Martial Arts and Equine-Assisted Learning to Enhance Self-Esteem in Adolescent Girls: An Event-Driven Case Study. Diss. Prescott College, 2016.

Popeska, Biljana, Trajce Dimkov, and Snezana Jovanova-Mitkovska. "Students Interests for Wrestling and other Martial Arts and Possibilities for their Implementation in Physical and Health Education Primary School Curriculum." Research in Kinesiology 45.2 (2017): 148-151.

August 21, 2023

Sports Education



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