I asked powerful women in martial arts how training in their discipline helped them overcome issues, be stronger leaders and become more confident in themselves and less-self conscious of their bodies. I received so many replies from amazing women I decided to do a Martial Arts Mini Series. I hope you enjoy their stories of strength and endurance as much as I do.
Martial Arts for Women: Hyper Kid to Zen Black Belt, Discovering Your Strengths
By Gabrielle Rubin
My Name Is Gabrielle Rubin And I Started Studying Martial Arts When I Was 12 Years Old. I Was A Skinny Kid With A Big Mouth And One Day Found Myself In Trouble Because Of It. I Hated Feeling Afraid, So I Asked My Mom To Enroll Me Into Martial Arts. It Is Now 23 Years Later And I Am Still Studying. Throughout My Training I Have practiced 3 Styles (Jujitsu, Kenpo, And Goju-ryu)…I Am A Black Belt.
I Always Say The Reason Why You Start Taking Martial Arts Is Always Different than Why you Continue To Take It. I Started For Self Defense And Continue With It Because It Is Now My Way Of Life. I Started As A Hyper, Obnoxious Kid And Transformed Into A Very Zen Person.
Martial Arts contribute To How I Handle And Perceive Things. People Always Say There Is Something About Me That Exudes A Strong Sense Of Self, Yet they Find Me Very Approachable. I Know That My Training Has Contributed To How I Carry Myself. I Am Calm, Yet Strong.
Martial Arts Has Always Played A Role In My Career As Well. Look At What My First Boss Wrote 8 Years After Knowing Me:
“When I First Met Gabi There Was Something Special And Unique Out Of All Her Qualifications On Her Resume That Jumped Out At Me – Her Black Belt In Karate. I Knew It Was Indicative Of Her Dedication, Confidence, Discipline, Mental Strength, And Strong Sense Of Self, And Would Be An Asset In Our Crazy, Ever-changing World Here. And They Were.” That Was Written By Christina Norman, Who Went On To Be The President Of MTV And Is Currently The CEO Of Oprah’s Network OWN.
So, Not Only Has Martial Arts Help Me Flourish In My Career, It Is The Backbone Of What I Am Doing Now.
I Felt Compelled To Share What I Have Learned Over The Years And To “pay It Forward”. I Decided To Take All My Training And I Started Female Awareness Self Defense In 2007.
It Feels Amazing To Show People How To Use Their Body, Show Them How It Can Move/doesn’t Move. I Love Seeing Them Get Excited When They Discover Their Strength. There Is Always One Move They Love And Never Knew They’d Be Good At. There Is Usually A Technique They Can Attribute To Something In Their World. For Example: The Ones Who Have Played Tennis Are Great At Releasing From Someone Grabbing Their Arm. (The Move Is Swinging From The Back And “slapping” Their Other Thigh-similar To Tennis Serve)
The People In My Class Always Walk Away Feeling More Confident, Happy, Empowered And Excited. My Class Covers Much More Then Just The Physical, Which Is How I Separate Myself From The Pack. Knowing that Attacks Begin Before It’s Physical, I Show Women The Mental Component, How To See The Signs, How To Assess Situations, And How To Carry Themselves So They Can Avoid An Attack Altogether. Most People Think That Martial Arts Is All Physical. That Is Only A Small Part Of It…
If You Would Like To Speak With Me About Anything In Further Detail Or Ask Me Anything For Your Article, Please Feel Free To Reach Out To Me, I Would Be Delighted To Contribute More.
PS – I Love Aikido And Suggest That Style To Those Who Want To Further Their Studies. I Love The Idea Of Using Other People’s Energy And Going With It As Oppose To Trying To Fight Or Stop It. My Life Is Conducive To That Way Of Living. My Mantra: If You Fight The Rapids You Will Drown, Bob With Them Like A Cork And You Will Always Stay Above The Water.
Gabrielle Rubin is the founder and instructor of Female Awareness, Inc., a New York City based self defense company with the goal of teaching women how to Be Safe, Be Smart and Be Strong. A black belt with more than 20 years of martial arts training, Gabrielle has studied three styles of karate: Goju-ryu, Kenpo and Jujitsu. She has trained in Japan, taught in Nevis, and studied with sensei George Wells, a Martial Arts Hall of Fame Grand Master. In her NYC dojo, Gabi is not only the highest-ranking student; she’s the only woman to maintain her title.
“Since I believe that attacks begin before it becomes physical, preventing an attack altogether is the goal of Female Awareness. My students learn how to minimize the chance of being targeted and how to respond effectively through mental strategy, prevention tactics, and easy-to-remember defensive moves.”
For open enrollment classes, private group instruction, corporate seminars, school safety programs, please visit Gabrielle’s web site.