Girl Power – by Mrs Tizick

Ok- so I’m not a massive football fan although I did at one point have a season ticket for Coventry City ( yes I know someone’s got to)!

however even I can not fail to be impressed by the
achievements and the efforts of the women’s England
football team in the European cup.

Winning! Its difficult not to get a bit swept away, isn’t it? When you see the celebrations- the joy – the happy tears, what an amazing achievement.

So many little girls and boys will be watching from countries all over, and maybe just believe that anything is possible even with the odds stacked against you (being female for starters) – can you imagine the conversation with your
carers teacher when you tell them you want to play football for your country? Or in my case run a martial arts centre? Awkward.

Whether they wanted to be or not these ladies are inspirational, game changers, pioneers. I won’t pretend to know what they have personally been through to get to this point but I can certainly empathise.

Each and every time a little girl or lady steps onto the mats of my dojang I feel great joy. I get an enormous amount to pride from all of my students and watching them progress – but the girls especially so because for most its taken that little bit more.

I’ve spoken in a previous article how my own journey was not an easy start, a club of all men and a 17 yr. old me, I was openly told I wasn’t wanted- I shouldn’t be there- The men fought me harder than they did each other because I wasn’t welcome – luckily I had a great instructor He praised me and encouraged me and pushed me.

Only last night I had an encounter at my dojang. My awesome Friday night team were in, Myself 6th degree and my fabulous assistant Sue – yes a lady 4th Degree – between us more than qualified to teach. A new child arrived with his dad for his 1st class a 7 yr. old boy.

The new parent could not hide his initial surprise, shock, no more like horror and disgust at the thought of his son being taught Taekwon-Do by two ladies! It was written all over his face and it showed in his words “can my son go to a
different night? With different (code for male) instructional team) Wow! even after all of these years – hard work-
gradings, world championships, British championships etc Producing hundreds of highly successful students -I was not good enough and all because I’m not a man.

These England football ladies must know all of these feelings and more, yet they have managed to make history- regardless of the sport, women have moved forwards because of them. We in the martial arts industry must take this progress and run with it.

So, to all the fabulous female instructors out there teaching against the odds – keep going against the grain, you’re doing an amazing job.

To the men who have encouraged/ inspired /coached and never once said – you can’t do this – then thank you.
To the parents whose little girl wants to become a warrior princess then keep getting them to class, holding those pads and tell them not to give up.

To the England ladies football team thank you for helping ladies all over the world in all different sports to have the confidence to live their dreams.

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