International Women
in Martial Arts Initiative

A 1st of its kind initiative designed to create inclusiveness and gender diversity in combat sport.

The International Women in Martial Arts Initiative – in partnership with the World Kickboxing and Karate Union announces its initiative focused on empowering, supporting, and providing equal opportunities to women in martial arts as well as bringing in new women into the sport. The initiative offers seminars, keynote speaking events, charity alignment, workshops, and self-defence classes and other fundamental martial arts for women of all ages.

“I'm so honored and proud to be taking on this important Global initiative to attract more girls and women to Combat Sports. Canada’s female martial artists already rank among the best in the world, and by taking a leadership position in this initiative we can claim our place among the best martial artists on Earth."

Maeghen Cotterill, ranked at the expert level in Karate as ‘Renshi’, and CEO of 5 Elements Martial Arts in Calgary will be leading this initiative. Ms. Cotterill is the first ever female President of WKU Canada, is an 11-time World Champion, and shares an empowering story of persistence and resilience in the World of Martial Arts throughout all the challenges it presents.

The International Women in Martial Arts Initiative is one of many ways the WKU and Ms. Cotterill help women build their confidence, self-esteem, and the ability to defend themselves when necessary.

Ms. Cotterill runs one of Canada’s most active martial arts studio’s, is mother to a young autistic son, and remains highly active helping women throughout the country in numerous charities.

Maeghen Cotterill


“This is a major International initiative designed to attract thousands of new girls and women from the ages of 3 to 103 to gain the benefits of martial arts in their life, both mental and physical - benefits I have personally experienced and seen play out in the lives of hundreds of girls and women first hand.“