Self defence and martial arts for women in the 1930’s and 40’s

I found two quite interesting and funny old recordings of women demonstrating self defence using martial arts: one from 1933 and one from 1947. According to the martial arts expert closest to me – my wife – these are real skills and well executed techniques.
The names of the women in these videos are May Whitley and Mary Parker. I love the style and way of talking!

Given the gender roles and stereotypes at the time when these recordings were made, I also wonder what the reactions were to female martial artists.

11 thoughts on “Self defence and martial arts for women in the 1930’s and 40’s

      1. mywifeisablackbelt Post author

        But also, considering the stereotypes and prejudices in relation to women who know martial arts that are present still today, I wonder how it was seen and received back then, when society was quite different and gender roles much more rigid.

        Liked by 1 person

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