How Survivors are Finding Strength in Martial Arts

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From Love Fighting Hate Violence: For many women, participation in Muay Thai and other martial arts can play a major role in healing from sexual violence and domestic abuse.

“I believe what makes participation in martial arts, and the many cuts and bruises that come with it, so different from those of victimization, is choice. We all choose to participate in these sports knowing the associated risks to our bodies. Martial arts injuries come from the hours we spend building our bodies up. Women’s bodies are constantly placed under scrutiny and are forced to conform to ideas that reinforce traditional roles of femininity and masculinity. Participating in Muay Thai and other martial arts, however, allows women to use bodies to resist and rewrite this traditional narrative. Our bodies can become sites of resistance, and as women develop physical strength, these bodies challenge traditional notions of femininity.”

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