In a YouTube clip I keep replaying, a young Iranian woman dressed all in black as a ninja runs towards a wall, skips a good few paces up it - yes, up the wall - and flips full circle through the air, landing back on her feet. She is one of an estimated 3,000 women who are training as ninjas in
To understand why, we need only recall the dismay of
Imagine the frustration of an athlete whose participation is barred by injury - and then imagine the frustration of an athlete barred from playing because Fifa believes an item of clothing she is forced to wear represents a choking hazard.
There is a metaphor for Iranian women in this - people don't learn to walk up walls without a reason. They are tired of being choked by 30 years of restrictions imposed on them by an oppressive Islamist system.
"The preacher of the Friday prayer has called the sending of female athletes abroad a sin, according to the Qur'an, and regards their participation at international competitions as prostitution and the beginning of fornication."
This bit of crackling radio news features in Kick In
The film charts Khoshjamal's relationship with her female trainer Maryam, as they bid for gold at the 2008
I asked the film's director Fatima Abdollahyan why she thinks Iranian women are turning to martial arts. "It's a way to focus sexual energy and it empowers them when it comes to men," she said. "They condition themselves physically and feel better about their bodies - more powerful - and this can translate into words, so they stick up for themselves in day-to-day situations."
Anyone who takes part in a sport, understands its powerful effect on the mind. The endorphines released when I go for my morning run set me up for the day. Sports give your mind clarity and strength as well as a firm bottom.
While female cousins in
With womens' participation in sport not being socially acceptable, it's a hard decision to become a female athlete in
While clips of young women dressed up as Japanese assassins, chopping bricks in two may make quirky viewing on YouTube, the "gentle sex" in
(Shappi Khorsandi is a comedian and author whose family was forced to flee
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