So the Ronda Rousey effect is a real thing and it is gathering momentum. As a martial arts instructor, I have notices an influx of females training, especially young girls. They have always had sports heroes to look up to, but not that have the stature of Ronda Rousey. I recently read an article about the Ronda Rousey effect and it definitely hit home with me because I have seen this happening first hand. I love the fact that women have a strong role model to look up to. The article picks out women who train and the benefits that it gives them. Listed as one of the most common benefits is confidence. With wrestling becoming more and more popular in the past 4 years, I have seen significant changes in women’s wrestling in young children, high-schoolers, and women on the international level.
Aside from the confidence it brings, the article cites women as feeling more protected due to the fact that they are learning self-defense as a positive by-product of their training.
Watching empowered professional athletes on TV has always been a motivation for people to train. Now that some of the most popular athletes happen to be female, it has given women a great boost for actually trying it. Being able to handle yourself in a dangerous situation has historically been a losing situation for women.
Now, with the confidence and skill set that is learned in martial arts training, women don’t have as big a fear of these types of confrontations.
Being able to defend yourself to the point where you may use physical techniques to subdue or get the upper hand on an assailant is a big deal. It can help in situations like domestic violence as well as stranger encounters.
Another big reason mentioned in the article was the fact that martial arts promotes a fitness lifestyle. Being active is one thing, but participating in wrestling, muay thai, boxing, jiujitsu, and judo are very demanding physically. You are forced to become fit or you won’t last long. It doesn’t have to be as crazy as sparring or rolling every day, but if you want to excel at these sports, sparring is a big part. Women who train can spar knowing that this is an essential part of reaching their goals. Wrestling and jiujitsu are both sports that help people overcome differences in strength through technique. Especially in jiujitsu, the bigger stronger participant is not the one who will come out on top if the smaller opponent is better skilled in the techniques. It doesn’t take a strong person to apply chokes or joint locks, it just takes superior position most of the time.
In conclusion, I want to say that I am really happy that the world of martial arts has opened up to more people. It usually takes a pioneer or unsuspecting superstar to bring a change. For a very long time, the president of the UFC himself expressed some pretty misogynistic beliefs when it came to women in MMA. He said several times that women would never fight in the UFC because it was boring and the pool of talent was not deep enough. When Ronda Rousey’s skill and likeability combined with her marketability, that opinion changed quickly. Dana White quickly recanted what he said and has had some huge paydays since. Ronda has even headlined UFC events. Not bad! Martial arts have always been practiced by women, it is about time they receive the recognition they deserve.