The FemiNinja slowly came to life during my many years of training in an ancient Japanese martial art called Ninpo Tai Jutsu, the Art of the Ninja. I began my training at the tender young age of 47 to learn a few self-defense techniques to try and regain my confidence after a traumatic experience silenced my voice and took away my personal power.
My plan was to take a few classes, learn a few techniques, and move on with my life. But something incredible happened along the way. I fell in love with the art, I fell in love with the training, and I really fell in love with the sense of confidence and empowerment I gained through training. Ten years later I became my teacher’s first female black belt. In 20 years of teaching, he had never had a woman achieve such a high rank. And that’s when The FemiNinja was born.
In ancient Japanese culture, female warriors were the most feared, because they were the most powerful. They were feminine, beautiful, intelligent, seductive, and fearless. They were also excellent spies, because they were able to infiltrate the enemy camp while appearing harmless and innocuous.
Not only were the female warriors deeply feared, they were also greatly respected and admired, by men and women alike. And they had the ability and the skills to be absolutely ruthless when the situation warranted it.
However, the true spirit of the warrior, male or female, is not about fighting or warfare. The warrior has a compassionate heart, and want nothing more (and nothing less) than to live their lives in peace and harmony. They love life, their families, their communities, and are dedicated to lifelong learning, including movement and nature.
I believe that the spirit of the warrior is in each and every one of us, just waiting to be discovered and unleashed. I also know that it is possible to look like a woman, act like a lady, move like a ninja, and think like a warrior.
My name is Cheryl Ilov. I am a martial artist as well an award winning author and recovering physical therapist. I am also the founder and host of The FemiNinja Project, a podcast and a community which is dedicated to restoring human dignity one person at a time, and helping men and women of all ages unleash their personal power.
And just so you know, men are always welcome on The FemiNinja Project. Our community is about celebrating the human spirit, and treating each other with dignity and respect. After all, I wouldn’t be where I am if it were not for the many magnificent men in my life. When we all support each other and work together, we can make the world a better place. And that is the goal and the purpose of The FemiNinja Project.