Warrior Women? Some History and Thoughts!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: martial arts
2 Jul 2010

I learned how to fight as a kid out of necessity but I did not really think of girls fighting. I mean that it did not happen when I was a kid. Girls were the weaker sex and they were too nice. Girls did not seem to have the ‘killer instinct’ boys did to do whatever it took to win, or even fight!

As I grew up I was exposed to the idea of women fighting. Yes girls were weaker than boys but with karate or judo, a few fighting tricks, I reasoned could even up the score. 

In this post I am going to explore the idea of women having the ‘fighting spirit’ necessary to win a fight, I will also look back a bit to the fabled Women Amazon Warriors and then comment about some of today’s women fighters. To get this started here is probably one of my first exposures of a woman warrior – Wonder Woman!




Wonder Woman to me was a great example of how a woman could fight and even beat men! If you stop and think about it – strength is not everything in a fight. For instance if you are really strong but cannot hit the other person – you cannot beat the other person. I did not think too much about Wonder Woman’s skimpy costume at the time but grown up – I can see how this show was marketed to increase TV ratings!


Did Amazon Warrior Women really exist? I found some information on a Ancient Greek’s – Who were the Amazons website, that seem to backup the existence of a race of fierce warrior women. Here is an excerpt of this webpage:


Outside of the questions of the Amazon origins, other questions pertaining to Amazons concern their view of men, and if they were a fierce (blood thirsty) people. The Greeks often questioned (as do modern scholars) how the Amazons, a race composed entirely of women, were able to sustain themselves throughout the generations. The most credible theory holds that the Amazons had contact with men from other lands, the Amazons kept the female children born to them, and sent the male children to live with their fathers. As to the Amazons blood thirsty nature, Quintus Smyrnaeus wrote of them during the Trojan Wars:

“In the pure rapture of triumph the Amazons charged, and with anguished groans and shrieks the Greeks perished, their manhood withered by the women from the fierce and untamed northlands. Like Goddesses amidst earth born heroes the Amazons pursued their reeling foes, dashed them down, cut them apart, and, scoffing, tossed them through the air – till the Greek formations dissolved in consternation.”


It really looks like throughout history women have had to take up arms and fight for their survival alongside men! I don’t really know why this would be surprising and I think it should be empowering to women to know they are capable of fighting! Here is a video that discusses a couple of iterations of the Amazon women briefly for your perusal.




It seems the world over women have had to defend what was theirs but in the case of Amazon’s – it seems they have banded together to be safe from men. What a novel concept! Humans have always done what it takes to survive. In history, survival has been supreme – I mean to say that you and I, brothers and sisters are the cream of the crop! We and our ancestors have survived all of the wars and injustices of the past to get to this point.


What I am hoping to impress on the readers that have been dumbed down by civilization, is that men and women are quite capable of learning to fight and in today’s context – learn self-defense!


What does it take for a woman to have the warrior spirit? In karate we used to call this fighting spirit when teaching sparring so one could understand that a fight was more then the sum of the kicks, punches, parries and foot work. Fighting called for a drive or strong will and the belief that one could win the fight! Here is one video of women that have successfully learned fighting spirit!




The boxer that recounted the tale of punching a guy that tried to touch her reminded me of my wife, Sly a year back having to defend her honor against a pig at a bar! Sly was out with her sister and girl friends at a local bar and a guy was trying to get friendly. After rebuffing him a couple of times the guy copped a feel of her thigh when she looked away. To his surprise Sly back elbowed him in the face and challenged him to a fight in the parking lot. :)


The guy backed down in light of the peer pressure so she did not have to resort to fisticuffs but you can see what lengths women have to go to get some respect!  One woman fighter in MMA today that is commanding the respect of both men and women is Christine “Cyborg” Santos. Chris has been seemingly easily running through the ranks and captured the title last year in a widely watched fight against Gina Carano. Here is video  of Chris Cyborg demolishing Jan Finney.




Chris Cyborg would give any normal guy in a bar devastating loss if the messed with her. I thing she embodies what fighting spirit is by her non-nonsense attitude and her attention to training. Jan Finney did ok but did not really understand how to distance herself properly so Cyborg was able to connect with most of her punches easily. Finney is a good tough fighter in her own right as she was able to hang in there a round.


I think today’s women fighters embody the ancient Amazon Warrior Spirit and it is easy to imagine any of these women picking up the weapons of the day to defend what is theirs – just as the Amzaon woman of folklore did in the days of old. So the next time you wonder whatever became of the Amazons – look across the kitchen table to see the new breed of potential Amazons and mind your manners! :)

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