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On kick-ass female fighters

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | Posted by Theo

Let me begin by stating that I enjoyed Judith Berman’s reflections on the increasingly common trope of the woman warrior posted earlier this week.  She’s clearly a woman with extensive experience in the martial arts, and her logic led her to a reasonable and balanced conclusion.  The fact that the conclusion happens to be a false one, in my opinion, does not render her blog entry any less interesting or entertaining.  There are, after all, few discussions that interest martial artists more than hypothetical debates over “could X beat Y?” unless it is the subject of what martial art is the most effective.

I should note that I also agree with Ms Berman’s statement that Laila Ali’s physique is far more believable as a fighter than the average Hollywood actress, especially when one takes into account that Hollywood actors and actresses tend to be unusually short and therefore unusually light as well.  She’s also correct in stating that everyone, male and female, has physical limitations that can be exploited by those with the wherewithal to do so.

However, none of this changes the observable fact that there is no such thing as a non-supernatural kick-ass female fighter.  The woman warrior trope is not merely fiction, it is fantasy fiction.  It is not, however, credible fantasy fiction.

I must confess that my street cred on the topic is also limited, since I have admittedly spent absolutely no time wielding a sword and hewing limb from limb on a battlefield.  I did, however, spend six years training at a heavy-to-full contact dojo, was involved in three violent nightclub altercations, ran the 100m and 200m at the NCAA D1 level, and have lifted weights regularly for more than 20 years.  I have been knocked out, I have had bones broken, I have broken other people’s bones, and I have had to explain to the police why both my arms were covered from fingertip to elbow in someone else’s blood.  I have also sparred with at least 30 women of varying degrees of skill ranging from white belt to black.

After thinking about the subject for a few days, I think the essential problem with the theory of the non-supernatural kick-ass female fighter is that it requires the reduction of physical combat to two factors, training and the combination of size/strength.  The reality is that at least seven factors are at work in the equation; I would place them in the following order of importance: experience, speed, strength, size, toughness, technique, and aggression.  These factors are also best understood as interacting as multiples, not sums; for example, if one has a deficit of experience, speed, and strength, then an observer can conclude one is going to lose with a great deal of certainty, barring luck or exogenous factors.

Few women who have not been beaten up fully comprehend the delta of their speed, strength, and size disadvantages, as this cannot be experienced through the light-contact martial arts training which is commonplace today.  I particularly blame the “control” school, which teaches that if you can touch your opponent it’s just as good as actually hitting them because you demonstrated the ability to strike them with force if you wanted, for this lack of comprehension.  Of course, the control concept completely leaves out the consequences of the strike, which in the real world would cause the target to stumble backward, double-over, or react in some other involuntary way… the very consequences which form the basis of the more effective fighting techniques.  I once saw a point-fighter who was ranked #10 in the USA at the time take a terrible beating from one of my dojo’s blackbelts as a result of this ignorance; the point-fighter was highly skilled in terms of technique, but he simply didn’t grasp that tapping someone’s cheek with a backfist doesn’t prevent them from throwing a rear uppercut to your jaw, followed in rapid succession by a snap kick to the stomach and a right hook to the head.

Regarding the size factor, I would point out that the superlative performance of Gozo Shioda would have been much more impressive if he had taken on a young Muay Thai kickboxer or a ranking MMA fighter rather than his own uke.  I’ve noticed that those with martial arts experience who subscribe to the myth of the female fighter are invariably from disciplines where the sparring is of a largely ritual and limited form.

Beyond the delta, what’s missing from the analysis that leads Ms Berman to an incorrect conclusion is the distinction between experience and technique.  The latter comes from training, the former comes from actually fighting and is far more important.  I once came within millimeters of breaking my sensei’s jaw with a hard sidekick; he shook his head and said he wasn’t sure if he’d ever seen anyone strike with such speed.  When I demanded – more than a little irritated – if that was true, how it was possible that he’d been kicking my ass for five straight years, he just laughed and said: “You may be fast, but I know what you’re going to do before you do it.”  Another time, he was hit in the face by a friend of mine the very first time he sparred.  The sensei frowned, narrowed his eyes, and asked my friend, who is 6’1″ but has the freakishly long arms of a man four inches taller, to extend his arms.  Then he nodded, and over the next three years of sparring, my friend never managed to lay a fist on him again.  That sort of intuitive body-reading ability only comes with years of actual fighting experience, the sort of experience a fictional woman warrior is never likely to acquire because she’s too likely to get killed or injured before she can aquire it, especially in a fantasy world where people are armed with metal weapons and are trying to kill each other.

The thing is, there are no shortage of ways a writer who wants to make use of a kick-ass female fighter can justify her kickassery.  Divine parents, magic swords, demonic curses are just a few of the possible rationales.  Alternatively, sticking her on a horse, giving her armor, and sending her off with the cavalry to slaughter routed peasants armed with sticks is also a perfectly reasonable option.  But on the purely material level, it’s no more credible to posit a kick-ass woman warior slaughtering professional soldiers or armed guards than it would be to write about an astoundingly accurate blind archer who locates the bullseye by his sense of smell.  And my conclusions aren’t based only my experience, but also upon the experience of every single male and female fighter with whom I have ever discussed the martial arts as well as the historical record of human combat.

Still, no amount of reason or anecdotal evidence can substitute for hands-on personal experience.  I would encourage any writer who disagrees with my conclusions on the matter to step into the local boxing ring or martial arts dojo and test them.  I can guarantee that it will be a worthwhile and educational experience.

21 Comments »

  1. So you’re saying that under non-supernatural circumstances there is NO WAY a female warrior can defeat a male warrior (under “fair” circumstances)? That’s a pretty bold statement.

    I was going to bring up the Muay Thai kickboxers, but then I realized those are females fighting females.

    I guess this is where the legend of the Amazon comes in then, eh? A race of women who, despite being stunningly beautiful, are as large and powerful as men–or larger, depending on the version of the legend. With that whole “size and power” thing equalized, that puts the Amazonia warrioress on equal footing as any “regular” male warrior.

    This is a fascinating topic, and controversial. I’m sure many women readers and writers will have a lot to say about this…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 15, 2009 9:21 pm

  2. What about Bruce Lee? Here was a smallish-height man who became one of the greatest fighters of our times. And his whole fighting style was based on the fact that you don’t have to be big and powerful…you just have to be quick, evasive, and adaptable. Can’t women do the same thing?

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 15, 2009 9:22 pm

  3. While I agree with the bulk of Theo’s arguments, I have one problem with the order of the seven factors (Unless we are saying the same thing but using different words) You list experience first and agression last. I did not notice what I will call ‘the Will’ which I would think is a combination of both.

    I would put the will to win and even fight, above strength or speed and even experience alone. I say this as a short man who has always had to fight bigger people.

    Experience comes but there has to be a driving force behind it to keep going. I have found I always had to learn and adapt but also believe and know I could beat the other person(s). I heartly agree with the statement that it takes getting a beating to gain experience.

    I want to throw in a kick ass female fighter into a series Im working on but have yet come upon a reasonable (to me) way to allow it. I don’t know that I ever will.

    Comment by David-J-West - February 16, 2009 4:10 am

  4. This:

    Still, no amount of reason or anecdotal evidence can substitute for hands-on personal experience.

    Seems like a peculiar statement. Are you suggesting that hands-on personal experience, in this context, is anything other than anecdotal? It certainly seems shy of rigorously experimental.

    Likewise, if combat can be resolved into seven factors, then doesn’t that make it more likely that the natural biological speed deficiency (which you attest to) can be more easily overcome? After all, it’s possible for women to weigh as much as men, and possible as well for them to be as strong as men–if those variables are equal, couldn’t training and aggression overcome this essential speed discrepancy?

    Comment by braak - February 16, 2009 5:52 pm

  5. “Be like the nature of water.”
    — Bruce Lee

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 16, 2009 7:17 pm

  6. So you’re saying that under non-supernatural circumstances there is NO WAY a female warrior can defeat a male warrior (under “fair” circumstances)?

    Yes, that’s precisely what I’m saying. And the statement is no more inherently controversial than declaring there is no way that a blind archer can defeat an archer with two eyes and 20/20 vision. There’s always the bizarre exception, of course, but as a general rule, yes.

    What about Bruce Lee? Here was a smallish-height man who became one of the greatest fighters of our times…. Can’t women do the same thing?

    No. Lee had astounding speed and was extremely strong for his size. He wasn’t big, but he had loads of experience, incredible speed, and excellent strength.

    I would put the will to win and even fight, above strength or speed and even experience alone. I say this as a short man who has always had to fight bigger people.

    That attitude is quite typical of little guys who have won a few fights with bigger guys who didn’t know what they were doing or weren’t really expecting to have to fight. The rabid Tasmanian Devil routine doesn’t work on anyone with a reasonable amount of experience because the hyper-aggressive sorts always leave themselves wide open. It’s actually quite easy to take down an overly aggressive attacker if you know what you’re doing, especially if you have any jujitsu or similar grappling style.

    Are you suggesting that hands-on personal experience, in this context, is anything other than anecdotal? It certainly seems shy of rigorously experimental.

    Yes. Anecdotal evidence is something someone else tells you. Caveat emptor. Hands-on personal experience, on the other hand, should suffice to inform you how wildly improbable the woman warrior concept is. This may not be rigorous science, but I have no doubt that if anyone ever bothers to put my hypothesis to the test, it will be fully supported by the scientific evidence as well. If women begin playing linebacker in the NCAA or competing in MMA tournaments with men, then perhaps a rethink will be in order.

    After all, it’s possible for women to weigh as much as men, and possible as well for them to be as strong as men—if those variables are equal, couldn’t training and aggression overcome this essential speed discrepancy?

    No. Any woman warrior who is as big and strong as the average male warrior, assuming the latter is even possible, is going to be as slow as molasses. Also, because women get injured much more easily, she’s unlikely to obtain an equivalent amount of combat experience either. Women don’t tend to be very aggressive in the ring; the more skilled they are, the more reluctant they usually are to expose themselves by attacking.

    When I first started sparring, I found that none of the female black belts would spar with men at the lower ranks because they had been hurt too often by inexperienced men who didn’t have enough control over their strikes. On the other hand, it sometimes took years before you could even land a decent blow on the male black belts. I further note that if it is merely cultural issues that have prevented women from becoming effective melee combatants in the past and present, the fantasy cultures that would permit women to fight on an equal level with men would have to be significantly different than the conventional medieval societies usually seen in most fantasy fiction that features women warriors.

    Comment by Theo - February 16, 2009 8:24 pm

  7. This is fascinating, Theo. So women are inherently slower than men? So even if they have the height and weight they won’t have the speed to compete with the male warrior? Is that because of the female bosom, the wider hips, the lower center of gravity?

    On the subject of females getting injured more often than men: Most doctors will tell you that women have a far greater pain threshhold than men. Childbirth is something males could arguably never survive. So doesn’t THAT count for something? Could the female warrior (who is big, powerful, but slower) make up for the lack of speed by being able to take more punishment?

    Actually, getting back to heroic fantasy, an old adage says that the more the hero suffers, the greater hero he (or she) is.

    I’m suddenly reminded of Starbuck on BSG. She’s arguably the ultimate woman warrior–and she takes punishment that woudl leave most guys crying for their mommas. As a result, she becomes an amazingly effective–and complex–heroine.

    Fascinating…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 16, 2009 9:56 pm

  8. Now this is a topic that keeps on giving, isn’t it?

    Theo, i’m going to have to disagree with you. Your hands on experience is different than mine.

    I know a few women who are very good at martial arts. Maybe its the type of schools I attend, I don’t know.

    I would even boil down the 7 concepts you mention into 3. Speed, Power and Position. And would argue that position wins over speed and power.

    I also draw a huge line between training for a sport and conditioning, and training for self defense. They really are two different things.

    Long story short, I believe it is *possible* IRL for a female to take out a male. I don’t think you can say this would never happen. If you would say most of the time the guy would win, i could roll with that.

    On the subject of fantasy, well, you can use plenty of other reasons to make a great fighting female character.

    Comment by NightHawk777 - February 16, 2009 10:28 pm

  9. I think what Theo is saying is that if ALL OTHER FACTORS ARE EQUAL (training, motivation, skill), a male always has the advantage over a female–even when her training and experience are EQUAL to his own…this being because females have inherently less speed and power.

    Is that accurate, Theo?

    I mean, you can ALWAYS have an experienced female beating the crap out of inexperienced or badly-trained males. But when it’s an even match, the power and speed are firmly in the male court, and that’s what Theo seems to be saying makes all the difference. Correct me if I’m misunderstanding…

    Of course, Theo’s argument totally invalidates heroines like Red Sonja, The Bride, Elektra, and a host of others.

    Also: What about the argument that fights are won MENTALLY far more than physically? It seems that is being left out of the equation here…

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 16, 2009 11:28 pm

  10. So what can we take from this discussion, as fantasy writers? Well, it DOES NOT mean that we can’t have women warriors in our tales. It simply means that we need to make sure they DEAL with these issues when they have to face evenly matched mail combatants…we need to make sure our female heroines are more clever and durable than their male enemies…and that they understand the disadvantage they are under when they face a male opponent.
    Afterall, a facing an opponent with so many advantages makes for some powerful drama…and overpowering an opponent is only one of MANY ways to beat him.
    Keeping in mind all the things Theo has brought up about male vs. female combatants can only make our stories that much more effective when they involve such a dynamic.
    The whole “David vs. Goliath” archetype comes into play. Although, in this case we should probably call it “Donna vs. Goliath.”

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 17, 2009 1:43 am

  11. So women are inherently slower than men? So even if they have the height and weight they won’t have the speed to compete with the male warrior? Is that because of the female bosom, the wider hips, the lower center of gravity?

    Yes. Yes. I have no idea why.

    On the subject of females getting injured more often than men: Most doctors will tell you that women have a far greater pain threshhold than men. Childbirth is something males could arguably never survive. So doesn’t THAT count for something? Could the female warrior (who is big, powerful, but slower) make up for the lack of speed by being able to take more punishment?

    No, it really doesn’t count for much. Enduring the pain of having your arm broken or your leg sliced off isn’t going to help you win. The “tough guy battling back from the brink” thing is a Hollywood concept and real fighting tends to be more like a ball on top of a hill. Once it starts to roll one way or the other, it picks up speed, it doesn’t roll back uphill very often. And women in sports get injured at a rate about 8x that of men even without contact, which is why I don’t think it’s plausible for even a strong and fast woman warrior to obtain as much combat experience as an average male warrior.

    Theo, i’m going to have to disagree with you. Your hands on experience is different than mine. I know a few women who are very good at martial arts. Maybe its the type of schools I attend, I don’t know.

    That’s fine. But I have two questions to ask you. Are the schools at which you train point-fighting schools that teach “control” when they spar? Also, how many of those very good women have ever knocked you down, knocked you out, or broken any of your bones? Technical skill and fighting ability are two very different things.

    I think what Theo is saying is that if ALL OTHER FACTORS ARE EQUAL (training, motivation, skill), a male always has the advantage over a female—even when her training and experience are EQUAL to his own…this being because females have inherently less speed and power. Is that accurate, Theo?

    It’s a bit more than that, but pretty much, yeah. The caveat is that even an inexperienced man will usually beat an experienced woman if the size/strength/speed delta is too great. It doesn’t matter how well you block if his first punch breaks your forearm, after all. My purpose in posting this wasn’t to rain on the parade of those who enjoy reading about kick-ass women warriors for whatever reason, only to point out that IF a writer happens to have any interest in combat realism, THEN it might help to actually talk to a few people who have some actual experience of it. I have been friends with a number of very good female fighters for years; they are of precisely the same opinion I am and for the same reasons. Finally, as John pointed out, there’s plenty of ways to convincingly work around the limits of reality.

    Comment by Theo - February 17, 2009 11:49 am

  12. A lot of this discussion has centered around martial arts and unarmed combat, but that is not how most fantasy heroes fight.

    As a former member of the SCA, a form of armed martial art, and I’ve seen heavy armored women fighting men and hold their own.

    However, the best of the women were no match for even the top 25% of the men. Strength plays a big role in armed combat. It’s one thing to flip somebody over your shoulder, using their momentum, but it’s another to get try and stand toe to toe with a sword and shield. Even blocking a few sword swings with a shield can be very draining on the arms. Of course, swinging back takes a certain amount of strength, and I believe the rattan is lighter than steel.

    Rapier fighting is different. Strength can become a hindrance without proper control of the blade. I’ve seen women kick the crap out of men in non-lethal rapier fighting because balance, agility, and

    I’m not saying women can’t fight with weapons, but the best of them would be hard pressed against most decent male warriors. The successful women would have to be exceptional in some way.

    Wasn’t Red Sonja was blessed by a goddess?

    Comment by NewGuyDave - February 17, 2009 5:33 pm

  13. Oops. I hit submit without finishing, but you’ll get the idea.

    Comment by NewGuyDave - February 17, 2009 5:34 pm

  14. So…heavy weapons and mail would be a distinct disadvantage to the female warrior. Light weapons (rapiers, katanas) would be far more believable. (See Tarantino’s “Bride”, or Miller’s “Elektra”)
    In a flat-out contest of power, the cards will always be stacked against a female character.
    (Again, all of this is assuming no magical powers or the like.)

    Comment by John R. Fultz - February 17, 2009 7:21 pm

  15. That’s fine. But I have two questions to ask you. Are the schools at which you train point-fighting schools that teach “control” when they spar? Also, how many of those very good women have ever knocked you down, knocked you out, or broken any of your bones? Technical skill and fighting ability are two very different things.

    Hi Theo,
    The schools I attend aren’t point schools, they are self-defense (jkd, kali, silat, wing chun, kfm) The point about having bones broken etc doesn’t make sense for me …who would attend a school for long if people were constantly getting broken bones etc? But yes, I get knocked down, choked out etc…and we reserve the right to “tap out” lol

    As for sparring, it depends. If it’s a test and a specific technique is being tested, then you might feed them in a way to draw it out.

    I agree if two people are going to stand there facing each other and just pound the crap out of one another, then the guy will more than likely win!

    You’ve got to have awareness of multiple opponents, the ability to dispatch them quickly and keep moving thru until either you’ve won or are dead.

    Maybe a difference between our experiences is that my training most of the time includes weapons. They do equalize a lot of these things we are discussing. Especially a plain old knife.

    Comment by NightHawk777 - February 18, 2009 12:34 pm

  16. “What about Bruce Lee? Here was a smallish-height man who became one of the greatest fighters of our times. And his whole fighting style was based on the fact that you don’t have to be big and powerful…you just have to be quick, evasive, and adaptable. Can’t women do the same thing?”

    I realize I’m coming to this late, but I remember Lee once saying that as good as he was, if he had to go up against a 300 lb. man that had any clue about fighting, it was the big man that was going to win.

    Comment by andy - February 18, 2009 2:40 pm

  17. Nighthawk777 said, I agree if two people are going to stand there facing each other and just pound the crap out of one another, then the guy will more than likely win!

    Yes. As I said in a comment to my original post, there is a fundamental difference in the kind of fighting Theo is talking about and what a great deal of other martial arts do.

    I have been an aikidoka in a “hard” school for over 25 years and have taken countless hard falls, have been hit hard when I didn’t get out of the way in time, have collided head on doing breakfalls (two whole bodies-worth of momentum) and been slammed in the face with a jo (with a far higher pound-per-square-inch energy than a mere fist; it not only knocked me on my butt but halfway across the room first). I’ve trained in the techniques our school (the Yoshinkan) teaches the Tokyo Metropolitan Police riot squads, though not happily–I couldn’t do it for long and my joints survive.

    I well understand delta because it is what we deal with first and foremost.
    But we don’t fight with, or against, delta. The whole point is that there is always someone out there who is stronger or faster or meaner than you. We use the attacker’s momentum to throw him (or her), and it’s dependent not on speed OR strength but on timing, distance, and technique. I have to wonder if Theo has ever tried, or even seen, a jujutsu school or comparable Chinese style. My former street-fighting senior chose our dojo because he couldn’t land a punch or kick on the then senior students. (He said in the other aikido dojos he went to, he could hit the students but not the instructor.)

    Re Gozo Shioda, the 5’1″ founder of the Yoshinkan, his investors funded the school after they invited him to a meeting where they had a group of senior martial artists from other styles jump him when he entered the door. Re experience, speed, strength, size, toughness, technique, and aggression: I’d say what he undoubtedly used, and what I would need most if attacked by a 220-lb 20 year old (age does slow those fast-twitch muscles), is what in Japanese is called mu shin, empty mind, which is actually much harder to achieve and much more effective than aggression–the reason the samurai who genuinely did live or die in combat worked so hard to cultivate it.

    Comment by Judith Berman - February 19, 2009 2:32 am

  18. I agree if two people are going to stand there facing each other and just pound the crap out of one another, then the guy will more than likely win!

    I’ve seldom found that turning one’s back on an opponent works well. Actually, our fighters occasionally got DQ’d from point-fighting tournaments because we were taught that as soon as the opponent starts to spin, kick them in the back. We occasionally did some two on one or three on one stuff, but not very often. Things tended to get a little out of control then, especially thanks to one ruthless black-belt whose favorite defensive tactic was throwing opponent one into opponent two with cheerful abandon.

    We use the attacker’s momentum to throw him (or her), and it’s dependent not on speed OR strength but on timing, distance, and technique. I have to wonder if Theo has ever tried, or even seen, a jujutsu school or comparable Chinese style.

    I’m quite familiar with both traditional soft-style karates as well as modern wrestling, although I personally dislike the latter since it tends to favor size and negate speed. The five main influences on our style were: Shorin-Ryu, Wing Chun, Kali, boxing, and wrestling. We sparred both traditional contact style and shoot-fighting style; the latter incorporated grappling and was very similar to what is today known as MMA. The main problem I saw with jujitsu and judo styles is that in their training, they seldom experience any non-grappler who anticipates the pull, the twist, or the throw, and is therefore able to mess up all the flippy-flippy business in much the same way that crashing your shoulder into a Tae Kwon Do fighter interferes with his pretty high kicks. When you fight a jujitsu or judo grappler, it’s often effective to dance around a bit, then throw a slow jab that give him – or her, given the theme – your weaker arm as bait. Grapplers always want to grab something so they can seldom resist it, which opens the window for stepping in with a nice rear upper-cut or a hook. They’ll usually let go at that point. I will readily admit, however, that if you let a grappler get you on the floor, you’re in serious trouble. And I was always impressed with the economy of movement exhibited by the good Aikido fighters.

    The point about having bones broken etc doesn’t make sense for me …who would attend a school for long if people were constantly getting broken bones etc?

    Well, that’s just what happens every now and then when you block with your elbow instead of your forearm. Actually, there are few things funnier than a good Tae Kwan Do fighter who is scared to throw any more kicks and has to use his hands for once because the blocks are destructive rather than passive. Obviously, one tries not to break anything when sparring, but it happens occasionally if you’re going hard enough. When I first started, I visited almost every dojo in my city, and I joined precisely because of the way everyone reacted after a karate black belt got his ankle broken when his sidekick was blocked with an elbow. I couldn’t believe it when everyone started laughing and the guy with the broken ankle started hopping on one foot with his arms extended ala the Karate Kid.

    Your first thought is: Oh, Sweet Moses, his ankle snapped! Your second thought is: Holy crap, these people are insane! And then, a third thought: Damn, I’m pretty sure I would have been on the floor shrieking like a little girl who lost her puppy if that happened to me… I want to be like THAT! Of course, we did have a lot of people come in and decide it wasn’t for them. That was fine, and there were two or three good, but less physical schools which we always recommended.

    Comment by Theo - February 19, 2009 8:23 pm

  19. I happen to be in the military, which in no way makes me an expert on combat of any kind, and they each us a form of grappling. I have dismissed a large portion of what they have taught me, seeing as it appears to me to be of little use IRL. All those we train with and the instructors agree. Our grappling, which closely resembles judo, isn’t effective IRL. In fact it wasn’t chosen to be effective, it was chosen because of grapplings popularity in MMA and that sport’s popularity among youths. Those grapplers, trained and conditioned, could surely beat the snot out of my rookie friends and me, however as I once heard a MMA fighter say before a fight (I paraphrase here), it’s hard to do judo while being punched in the face. He won that fight, mostly by punching the other guy in the face during an attempted BJJ move.

    On a completly seperate note, using Bruce Lee as an example is not by any means fair. Lee was exceptionally fast and strong, and was by all accounts far outside of the human norm. If you are unfamiliar with some of his feats of strength and speed, I suggest you look them up. Bruce Lee himself also admitted that he believed that Muhammad Ali could beat him. He was also pinned at least once by an Olympic level wrestler. Lee was a physical wonder with a sharp mind and amazing reaction time to boot, but could be defeated because of a size and power difference.

    On another seperate note, fighting dirty is an excellent way to equalizes a battlefield. Eye gouging, and biting off chunks of flesh certainly help with a shock and stun effect.

    Comment by Ramsfan86 - February 23, 2009 2:47 am

  20. wow – i found this to be both ridiculous and insulting. I think a bevy of female wrestlers and 50% of the Israeli army would like to have a word with you.

    Comment by mcswain27 - March 5, 2009 3:41 pm

  21. […] found these three posts at the Black Gate blog, which develop a conversation about women warriors in fantasy, more […]

    Pingback by Journey into Links « Torque Control - March 9, 2009 10:22 am


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