Well, two religious teenage girls are out to break that stereotype: The two Israelis, who combine training with Torah studies, won the Muay Thai world championship held in Bangkok several weeks ago.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Five times a week, Nili Block, 18, of Beit Shemesh, and Sarah Avraham, 18, of Kiryat Arba, replace their religious schoolgirl outfits with boxing gloves and sportswear and head to the boxing center at Jerusalem's Teddy Stadium.
The intensive training with a punching bag led them to the title of world champions: Nili defeated a Bulgarian opponents in the 51-54-kilogram (112-119-pound) class, while Sarah beat her British opponents in the 57-63.5-kilogram (125-140-pound) class.
"Our teachers at the ulpana (Jewish high school for girls) are very enthusiastic about it. They say it's an honor for us," says Nili.
Naama Etzion, principal of the AMIT Noga school where Nili studies, confirms that "it's a great honor for our ulpana. We encouraged her and helped her. She put days and nights into it and reached the top – and we're proud of her."
The two religious warriors can put up a good fight against bigger and stronger opponents as well, says their coach Eddie Yusopov. "They are among the best in the team. They have no problem fighting boys. In the arena, religion means nothing. The main thing is the strength of the strike."