The images and videos shown here, with women plying deadly weapons and performing back flips, high-kicks, metal star throwing and gravity-defying stunts like wall-climbing are not part of any martial art film, but actual footage of women getting trained to become ninjas. Surprisingly, it's happening in a country where women are stereotyped as typically weak and helpless compared to men - Iran.
A report in The Atlantic said about 3000 to 3500 women in Iran regularly change from their traditional garb and dress up like ancient Japanese warriors to train in Ninjutsu to become Kunoichi, meaning female ninjas.
According to Reuters, these women are getting trained in independently run clubs throughout Iran working under the supervision of the Ministry of Sports' Martial Arts Federation.
Ninjutsu, a Japanese martial sport, is reportedly getting popular among Muslim women in Iran as part of a revolution against misconceived notions about the role of women, powered by the patriarchal society of the country.
The Iranian regime's 33-year quest to make Iranian women weak and helpless, to force them into child-like subservience, has failed, explained The Atlantic's Max Fisher. Though we in the West often perceive them this way because the hijab and the chador are all we see on the surface, women in Iran are stronger collectively and more assertive individually than the Islamic Republic would have us believe.
The sport increasingly appeals to women as it helps maintain balance between the body and the mind, Ninjutsu instructor Fatima Muamer told Iranian TV station Press TV.
The most important lesson in ninjutsu is respect and humility, Muamer said. They learn to respect themselves - first to respect their existence and then the art that they are mastering.
Calmness is the most important lesson they learn, she continued.
With Israel stepping up pressure on Iran over fears the country is building nuclear weapons, these lethal ninjas could be called upon to represent their country if relations descend into military conflict, the Daily Mail reported.
Watch the videos below, showing Iranian women brandishing bows, swords, nunchucks and shurikens, small traditional Japanese implements known as swords in the hand.
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