“She could kill you with her bare hands”

Black-woman-yoga

Stock photo.

At one point last week my wife Leticia came around to meet me at the gym after my workout there. One of the guys there saw her and he commented on that yesterday, when I met him again at the gym. He said Leticia is very beautiful and that I am a lucky guy to have her. I thanked him for the compliment and we talked a bit more,  while working out, about our respective professions and relationships and so on. When he asked what Leticia does I of course truthfully answered that she is a self defence instructor with a 4th dan black belt in hapkido.
“Wow, you’re a very brave man” he then said.
“How so?”, I asked, a bit surprised.
“Well, she could kill you with her bare hands, you know!” he said and looked at me as if he was revealing some new sensational information to me.
I didn’t expect that comment at all, so I didn’t know what to say at first. I guess he interpreted that as a confirmation that he really was revealing some shocking new info to me, and said something like “She could! Hapkido is a really mean martial art! If she is that highly ranked, she is a real badass. She could kill a guy! No problem!”.
Before he could continue further, I said that I knew about that and that Leticia had explained a lot to me about how hapkido works and that I had “practiced” a couple of times with her, so I was very much aware of how effective and powerful those techniques can be. But I also told him I wasn’t at all worried that she would use her skills to “kill” me or beat me up. Among other things, I pointed out that Leticia is a very nice, calm and peaceful person, which are some of the reasons I married her in the first place.

Later yesterday evening, I thought about this conversation again and the more I think about it the less it makes any sense. I mean theoretically, any woman might use a gun, knife or some other improvised weapon to injure or kill a man. Although it is true that Leticia, as a martial arts expert, could also use hapkido to do it, that doesn’t mean that she is anymore likely (or rather less unlikely) to commit such an act of extreme violence than any other woman. Practicing a martial arts doesn’t turn a woman into a murderous psycho – that should be pretty much obvious to everyone. Quite the contrary in fact, as hapkido helps teaches you how to control your emotions, to keep calm and to not use violence except as a last resort in self defence.

Yet, the guy in the gym apparently thinks that I am being brave and facing up to some serious danger, just for being married to a woman who happens to be a martial arts expert. I have noticed this reaction among some other men too, though mostly they are not as blunt when expressing what they think. But I have been asked if I am afraid of Leticia.

So do people think that practicing martial arts and learning self defence turns you (or at least women) into out of control violent persons? Or are there some other psychological mechanisms at work here? 

23 thoughts on ““She could kill you with her bare hands”

    1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

      I’m not sure I even understand this one. Maybe they think female martial artists are violent. Or maybe it’s some kind of ego or gender role thing that kind of short circuits their logical thinking. Or maybe a little of both haha.

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      1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

        He wasn’t joking. Although I doubt he thinks I’m running a huge risk of being killed by Leticia, it was obvious he thought that I was she would very likely beat me up by at some point.

        By now I’m used to hearing jokes and joking comments and mostly that doesn’t bother me at all.

        You are right of course that one shouldn’t care much about ignorant people. I am curious about why some people think as they do about some things though. 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

        Haha you might well be right about that… 😛

        I often like to try to understand how people who have other points of views than me and that I don’t agree with think. Even if I find them ignorant, stupid or even hateful. But yeah sometimes there is no way. This might be one of those cases haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Rakkelle

    I wonder if he would have said that if Leticia was Caucasian? Black women are unfairly deemed angry and violent and ready to “kill” at the least provocation. We are constantly fighting that negative stereotype. *Sigh*

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    1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

      I did not think about that factor (I didn’t even know about that negative stereotype about black women)! And maybe that was the case!
      But still, it was only when he heard that she is a martial arts expert that he said he thought I was running the risk of getting “killed” etc.

      Though maybe it was the combination – black woman and martial arts – that triggered him…

      Thanks for the input!

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      1. Rakkelle

        Who knows?! You can never tell with people. I’d hate to be judging the guy wrongfully but it’s something I have heard all my life – black women being synonymous with anger and agression.

        Like I said, who knows. I shouldn’t judge. For the record though I didn’t like what he said to you. It was a bit off putting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

        Yes I agree. I didn’t like it either. It’s one thing to make a little joke about it. I don’t mind that at all – it is a pretty unusual thing and I can definitely see the fun in it myself. But this wasn’t just a joke.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay

    Well maybe he was just being a bit awkward and searching for some way to show some respect for her skill. I mean, people say stupid stuff all the time. My husband is a lot bigger than I am (about a foot and a half taller) and people always say: oh, he could crush you! And while I hope they are not actually picturing us having sex, I mostly just think they’re making conversation, even if it’s weirdly put. There are just some reactions that people think are funny. Old men always ask Sean: how’s the weather up there? People just aren’t that great at coming up with new stuff!

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  3. raj

    I can somehow understand why people say such things about killing etc.
    If someone trains martial arts for many years and is so good at it as your wife is, it is obvious that this person must love to fight. If he/she didn’t love it, he/she wouldn’t be doing it with such dedication for such a long time.
    And if someone loves to fight, then people think that he/she will constantly try to pick fights with people and provoke them to fight. They don’t understand that this person fulfills his/her wish to fight on the mat only and doesn’t need to fight in real life. So they think she will constantly try to fight the person who is closest to her, that is – you.

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    1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

      Yes there is one thing to use her skills in training/competing and a completely different thing to use it in real life (other than as a last resort in self defence). It’s a bit like people who practice or compete at shooting or javelin throwing. They usually don’t walk around shooting or throwing spears at random people or their families. 😛

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