Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
The last thing most people would associate with modern warfare is Martial Arts. Yet, that is exactly what 3000 women in Iran are turning towards to protect them in what they are calling the "new Cold War."
Several leading newspapers, such as the Washington Post and the Telegraph, recently ran a story about this unique training program. Under the supervision of the Ministry of Sports of Iran, over 3000 women, ranging from the ages of 5 to 56, are training in the ancient Japanese art of Ninjutsu. The idea is to train these women to help in the defense of their country. These women are being taught in many different independent clubs.
Surprisingly, if you consider their situation and the style they have selected, it makes perfect sense. Modern warfare, which has mostly emphasized on technology advances, has failed in actually end any wars. Despite our best technology, we were unable to find Osama bin Laden through these modern techniques. It took a ground force, moving in on foot, to actually accomplish the task. Many of the methods this team used were probably very similar to the teachings a student might learn in Ninjutsu.
In fact, if you look across all the major conflicts, you will see an emerging pattern. Modern technologies can wear the opponent down; but in the end if the enemy can continue to fight on the ground in close ranged combat, there is still a chance for them to prevail. Looking at the Vietnamese in Vietnam War or the British in World War II, it is clear to see that while both peoples were being overrun by the enemy, their ability to force the conflict to a ground level ultimately allowed them to compete.
It would be a good idea for many countries to consider what Iran is doing and encourage similar programs. In most countries, the infrastructure is already there. There are schools throughout the country and programs already established to encourage activities in the arts and sports. This type of program would go nicely with both. There could be some way for schools to apply for supplements or students to request assistance in their training expenses. Perhaps there might even be a way for schools to validate as part of the program, working as both a means to qualify who is receiving this benefit and a free promotional tool for schools.
The added benefit is it would also assist countries with their various campaigns around improving health, reducing health care costs, and combating obesity. Martial Arts training is a great way to combat many issues that plague us today because of our sedentary life styles. Mentally Martial Arts helps to build confidence and self-esteem. It provides techniques for self-defense and overcoming bullying.
The benefits are immense. What do you think?
Here's a short video showing the women in Iran training: