The Importance Of Young Women Learning Martial Arts And What It Has Given Me – Ajana Plunkett

Ajana Plunkett helping the girls of the club power up -

The importance of young women learning martial arts and what it has given me 

By Ajana Plunkett

As a young woman today and hearing in the media awful and all too common stories about women subjected to violence , I am very thankful to my mum and nan, for all those years of taking me to Taekwondo lessons from age 6

Taekwondo being a Korean kicking form of martial arts doesn’t usually have a big basis around self-defence.

But what I loved and continue to love about my club Taekwondo Central, is that Master Justin has always based the club around children’s safety and self-defence.

So from a very young age I started gaining my skills and experience in self-defence.

I could never over-emphasize how important it is that young people, or should I say ALL people feel safe in their homes and when they are out and about.

When you feel safe you feel more comfortable to be yourself. The importance of women learning self defence is more present than ever and what better time than now to talk about it?

I want to leave a few figures with you before I go on:

  • One in three Australian women have experienced physical violence, since the age of 15.
  • Eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year.
  • Young women (18 – 24 years) experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than women in older age groups.
  • Every year in Australia, over 300,000 women experience violence – often sexual violence – from someone other than a partner or someone they know.

Those are some distressing statistics!

In the alarming chance that you find yourself confronted with someone who might cause you harm, knowing how to defend yourself will give you the potential upper-hand and may buy you enough time to get away to safety.

“Taekwondo has not only given me the strength and self-defence skills to protect myself but make me better able to read the warning signs of assault, understand confrontation and body language and how to read the environment around me.”


Head Instructor Ajana Plunkett Throws Master Justin Warren - - 1

I have this sense of empowerment from my training and the confidence in knowing I can defend myself.

An important thing that self-defence has taught me is acknowledging safety, that the level of safety we feel is measurable.  If we feel uncomfortable we can speak out. If someone gets in our personal space we can move away or place a physical barrier between us. With regular training, you start to understand what your body is capable of, how your body responds to threats and stress, and what others are capable of.

Knowing what is a safe distance, your boundaries and acknowledging the feeling of being unsafe bodes well for your self-protection. Knowing these things have helped me decrease the feeling of being surprised or freezing up in situations.

Martial arts gave me confidence in my mental abilities. My training prepared me to face the unexpected. It taught me that every fail or every loss was an opportunity to learn and resilience was key in my development.

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, produces mental toughness.  I learned that every problem I encountered had a solution.

Of course, the self-assurance I have in my physical abilities I owe to my training.

I wouldn’t feel confident that I could handle myself in a harmful situation let alone know what to do, but thanks to my training I have an awareness in myself that I know I am strong and I know that I could do serious damage if I had to use my skills in self-defence. As a young woman, this is what empowers me the most!

I mentioned the word empowerment a couple times and that martial arts has given me a feeling of empowerment. So, what is empowerment?

Empowerment; the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.  

I think that definition alone explains exactly why martial arts is empowering. Martial arts is a journey of discovery; of new skills, strengths, learning what your body is capable of. Being proud of your accomplishments, your body and your willpower. I’m so empowered by martial arts and what it can do for you that I have made it my job for quite some time now to teach others and my guess is, I’ll be doing that forever.

Ajana Plunkett Kicking As A 3rd Dan Blackbelt -

To finish  I’m going to share with you my


5 Self-Defence Tips That I Think All Women/Girls Should Know


1.       LOOK STRONG – The best way to stay safe is to avoid a confrontation altogether. Stand tall, walk confidently and don’t look like a target. By doing this you make yourself look and feel stronger than you may be. It may make attackers think twice before trying something.



Eyes – poke, claw, throw sand, the eyes are sensitive and whatever you do is going to cause pain and blurred vision

Nose– coming from someone who has broken this part of their body more times than she wants to remember, this is a very weak and vulnerable spot. A simple strike with your palm can do a lot of damage.

Throat– If you’ve ever had anything hit your Adam’s apple, you know why this one is included in this list. Simply put, it (literally) knocks the wind right out of you. If you have never been hit there before it’s a very frightful experience.

Groin– need I say anymore? A quick flick to that area or a knee will sure do the trick.


3.       THE 6th SENSE – I don’t know if you ladies have ever felt it, but I sure have. It’s got me out of some close calls. When you’re in an environment, nothing bad may have happened yet but you just feel off, you get that butterfly in your belly, the weird feeling that you know something isn’t right and your heart starts to race. TRUST IT, it doesn’t matter whether you’re wrong, it just matters that you feel safe. Like that saying goes. Better safe than sorry.


4.       KNOW THE WARNING SIGNS – Most attackers don’t begin with brutal force. They begin by coaxing a woman into a secluded area and forcing her to relinquish her control. Not only will your instincts help you avoid dangerous situations, but you can also determine someone’s intent by knowing what to look for. Some pre-incident indicators include: refusing to accept rejection, charm, giving too many details, giving unsolicited help and expecting favours in return and unwanted promises to name a few. Remember ‘no’ is a full sentence and you don’t have to explain your reasoning.


5.      BEING SAFE AT NIGHTThere are several precautions that you can take to ensure your safety while walking at night.Be aware and try and avoid distractions like having your headphones in or having your head down texting.  There is safety in numbers, so where you can walk each other to cars etc.  When walking at night, always use popular routes used frequently by others. By using these, you decrease your chances of being alone while walking at night. Try not to be tempted take a shortcut through a dark alleyway or parking lot. Avoid suspicious areas and people and always try and stick to the most lit path where possible.

“The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, produces mental toughness.
I learned that every problem I encountered had a solution.”

I really hope that by sharing my experience with you, that it may inspire you, young women, people of all ages to start doing something to better protect themselves. Start up a martial art, take a self-defence course or at least, take on board some of the tips you have just read.

Because in the end all that matters to your loved ones is that you are safe.


Taekwondo Central Head Instructor - Ajana Plunkett -
Miss Ajana Plunkett (20) is the Head Instructor Of Taekwondo Central
Holding a 4th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo (WT) she has been practising Taekwondo for 15 years.

For Info On Miss Plunketts Classes – Please See below or contact her for private lessons
Ph – 0401809895
Email –

Homepage – Click Here
Timetable – Click Here
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Calendar Of Upcoming Events – Click Here
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 Teen Performs Self Defence

4 Week 12-14 Year Old Basic Young Womens Self Defence Course – Starts 27th July 2018



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  1. Fantastic story Ajana. You’re such an invaluable asset to this wonderful club.
    I truly admire your incredible knowledge and the way your teaching strength just continually grows.
    You’re a pleasure to train under and work with 🙂

  2. A person who can master a martial arts is truly amazing but a person who can then help others learn this gift is on a whole different level again. At an age where I had not long passed my black belt, you are a Head Instructor and looking a the title of master very soon

    This is an amazing achievement for any adult but especially for a 20 year old.

    Who would have thought that you walking into a class 15 years ago would amount to all this. you are an inspiration to many and I am very grateful and proud to have you stand alongside me as a leader of this great club

  3. The Unbelievables says

    Beautifully written – thank you Ajana! Thank you for embracing and cultivating your ability as a Taekwondo practitioner and instructor.

    Your unwavering devotion to your students helps us achieve goals we think are out of our reach. You inspire us to strive, you motivate us to keep improving, you empower us to notice our potential and you are a role-model for our entire family.

    What an exceptional ambassador for self-defence. We agree, the statistics are distressing and as a nurse, I know too well that the results of those figures are real and devastating. We strongly advocate for ANYONE to learn some skills for personal protection and we are endlessly grateful that we have the opportunity to develop ours. Thank you from Gary, Mel, Becky and Eric

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