Recreational combat (I’ll call it RC to cut down on typing time) is fighting that is done for fun.  Some RC is also useful for self-defense, some is not.  It is not combat in a war situation and a death from recreational combat is only in play.  In many forms of RC physical prowess is secondary to strategic maneuvers or tactics.  A participant who gathers useful members of a team can defeat opponents who are more physically fit and faster.  Some participants are adrenaline junkies, while others do it for historical simulation or for the glory of it.  (In this context, “for the glory of it” means that participants win the admiration of friends, have stories to tell about what happened later, and look good doing it.)

So why women’s recreational combat?  Well, because I’ve been interested in a lot of different types of recreational combat and the first thing I have had to ask was often, “Can women do it?”  Even if the answer was, “Yes.” there were caveats like having to dress in drag, fight without looking angry, or justify my presence as a token female.