Kung Fu girl, 8 years training and still going strong
"Every parent looks at their child and hopes that they will be treated with tolerance and kindness. As parents to a daughter that wish is amplified by a constant concern of the harassment and violence that women face in all parts of the world on a daily basis, be it verbal or physical. More than any other single factor, Kung Fu has helped to equal that playing field for my daughter. Seven years of training have given her so many gifts and nurtured important qualities that words alone never could. My daughter has developed a sense of confidence and pride in her body, not as an object to be admired, but as a vessel, a tool and her own possession. She is calm in all situations, from walking alone at night to riding subways in foreign cities. I am awed to see that this quiet fearlessness in itself seems to be the greatest deterrent to all forms of potential confrontation. My daughter trusts in the world (with caution) because she trusts in herself and her ability to handle herself and others in many situations. Like most, I like to believe that I am a good parent and have made good decisions on behalf of my child. In that spirit, I will say, as I always have, that the best decision I’ve ever made as a parent was to enrol my child in and made sure she attended Kung Fu for the past 7 years; the hours that she and her trainers have put in have produced a young woman who is confident and calm, a person who is no one’s victim and who I can send out into the world knowing that she, no pun intended, has a fighting chance on par with everyone else, woman or man"