Do women in martial arts prefer men who also do martial arts?

Do women in martial arts only date men who also do martial arts? That seems to be a common perception, at least among men. In fact several men who have contacted me through this blog have expressed the opinion that women who are skilled martial artists would not be interested in a man if he is not also an experienced martial artist. The reason, according to these thoughts, would be that the woman may not “respect” or feel physically attracted to a man if the traditional (or stereotypical) gender roles of the man as the “protector” are reversed in the sense that a woman with advanced martial arts skills will be the superior fighter in a relationship with a man without this kind of training.

But is there really any merit to this perception? Or is it just another myth involving women in martial arts? I discussed topic with three women who practice martial arts: my wife (Leticia), one of her friends (Katia) and one of her students (Linda).

Leticia, was the fact that I am not into martial arts ever a factor for you when you decided to get into a relationship with me?

Leticia (hapkido instructor – and my wife)
(Laughter) no it was never a factor.

Frida and Katia, do your boyfriends practice any martial art? And if so, was that a factor in any way when you started dating them?

Katia (hapkido practitioner)
No he doesn’t and no that doesn’t bother me at all.

Linda (learning hapkido based self defence)
No and no. I mean when I met him, none of us were into martial arts at all. Or actually, he did do karate for a year or so when he was a kid, but I don’t know if that counts here haha.

No I’d say it doesn’t really count in this context.

So for you, it doesn’t feel awkward or anything to be the ones in the relationship with the martial arts skills?

Katia (hapkido practitioner)
No not at all! I don’t see why it would.

Leticia (hapkido instructor – and my wife)
No. As you know, I have been practicing all my life basically so I am used to be “the one with the martial arts skills”.

Linda (learning hapkido based self defence)
No. But to be honest, my boyfriend is still… I mean I am not at a level where I am better than him at fighting. He is quite athletic so he is definitely the “protector” in our relationship hahaha.

I understand. And if you would reach a skill level that made you better than him at that?

Linda (learning hapkido based self defence)
I don’t think so. I mean it would be so cool to have their skills (referring to Leticia and Katia)!

And you don’t think women in martial arts feel less respect for men who are not trained fighters?

Katia (hapkido practitioner)
Again, my answer is not at all! If a person is nice and respects me, I too respect that person, regardless of gender.

Leticia (hapkido instructor – and my wife)
No. My respect for a man has absolutely nothing to do if he is into martial arts or not. And I am absolutely sure almost all women in martial arts feel that way. In fact, something that does make me respect a man more in this context is if he is able to admit it and be ok with it if I am better than him at fighting. I know that is not necessarily easy for a man for a number of reasons, so I think that it shows strength and maturity if a man is able to do that.

Linda (learning hapkido based self defence)
I agree with Katia and Leticia.

Ok! But still, isn’t it rather common for female martial artists to have relationships with men who practice martial arts too?

Katia (hapkido practitioner)
I think it might be, but that is probably just because they have a shared interest and maybe even met while practicing. I mean it happens all the time in other places that couples meet through shared interests and at work. So why not in martial arts?

Leticia (hapkido instructor – and my wife)
I think that is basically it.

Yes, that sounds pretty logical to me. So would you say that the woman being the better fighter in a relationship with a man is much more of a factor and a potential problem for men dating (or thinking about dating) women who do martial arts, than for the women doing martial arts?

Leticia (hapkido instructor – and my wife)
Yes, I know some men have all sorts of problems with that. But I don’t think women in general care about that at all. Or if we care, to be honest, in most cases I’m sure it’s just a positive thing to know that you are better at fighting than your man or boyfriend. I mean, to me it is. I feel it’s very empowering for me as a woman!

Katia (hapkido practitioner)
Haha yes, if I would get there, that would be very empowering!


This conversation also touched on other topics and I’ll probably come back to some of those in another post.

5 thoughts on “Do women in martial arts prefer men who also do martial arts?

  1. DLN

    Interesting reading! I was especially captivated by the post where you describe how things went down when you took on your wife in “sparring” fight. I have to confess that I would not have expected martial arts to make that much of a game changer for a woman against a physically stronger man. In your opinion, how much bigger and stronger than the woman would the untrained man have to be in order to have the advantage against a female martial arts expert at your wife’s skill level? I mean at what point does sheer size, weight and physical strength cancel out the skills of a trained fighter?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

      Thank you for your comment!
      Well it’s a good question. I don’t really have the answer though. But yes, at some point a superior physical strength, size and weight would be too much to overcome of course, no matter how skilled you are.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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