Hit Girls

Serenely, women take back the street

But some fear is sensible. Van Battenberg thinks it's especially important for elderly women to get involved in martial arts: "I've got church sisters who won't come out at night. So scared of walking the dark streets they can't make it to midnight mass." How likely is it that they— or most other women, for that matter— would be able to defend themselves in an ambush, even with spiritual resolve? Will women trained in martial arts continue to look warily sideways and back? Absolutely, and they should. But they ought also to look forward. Jeanine Corbet of the Shaolin Temple (an ex­Impact student) considers the trend a kind of take-no-prisoners, holistic feminism. "Maybe we're on our way to creating a race of women that is much stronger, more aggressive," she says. "We're no longer wearing clothes that are binding, shoes that are binding. Our thoughts and careers are no longer bound, so why not our physical potential?"

Ten Good Dojos

Abada-Capoeira 43 White Street, 368-2103, http://www.abadacapoeira.com

New York Martial Arts and Health Center (HapKiDo), 598 Broadway, 431-1100

Harmony by Karate Reebok Sports Club/NY 160 Columbus Avenue, 362-6800

Krav Maga Israeli Self Defense Academy Upper West Side location, 580-5335

Natural Chinese Martial Arts (Tai Chi, Kung Fu), 581 6th Avenue, third floor, 929-4969

Rising Tide Tae Kwon Do 601 West 26th Street, third floor, 917-749-5671

USA Shaolin Temple 678 Broadway, 358-7876, www.Shaolintemple.com

Victor Kan Ving-Tsun Kung Fu Academy 128 Mott Street, basement, 625-9819

Wu Mei Kung Fu Studio Maestro 48 West 68th Street, 387-7977 219 Sullivan Street, 475-5092

Zujitsu Training Center 210 East 23rd Street, 779-4033

One of nine articles in our Mind/ Body/ Spirit Supplement.

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