Enter The Horse-Riding, Knife-Throwing World Of A South Asian Weapons Performer

Enter The Horse-Riding, Knife-Throwing World Of A South Asian Weapons Performer
Ayesha Hussain

Womanhood is a difficult, complex and beautiful thing. It’s a fight to preserve that divine feminine in us that is attacked since our births in a patriarchal world. From constant negative messaging about our self-esteem, appearance, ambition and agency, it’s a miracle how women grow up to love and accept themselves in this environment which is a tumultuous pilgrimage in itself. The onslaught of harassment and sexual assault that afflicts women in our society alone is enough to feel cursed to be a woman; to be consumed by fear, shame and anguish.

 There is also some angst associated with this gender as well that reaches the surface every time there’s another crime or injustice against us. It floats up to our conscious mind whenever we see a tortured dame in a film. And even though we cannot go toe to toe with our formless, merciless aggressors, we seek solace in the badass women on screen who make that retribution for us. Such a physical manifestation of the fight that we fight in feminism is emotionally transformative. And often it inspires women to actively indulge in self-defence techniques and martial arts to feel that power that was taken from them again.

Embodying the same power, Ayesha Hussain is a weapons performer who is reclaiming her womanhood through martial art. She is a South Asian woman based in London who started her stunts and martial arts journey at the end of 2019. She didn’t plan to be a weapons performer; in fact, she was supposed to be on a practical path of being a doctor which is common and often enforced in South Asian culture. But on a heritage dive with her mother, Ayesha discovered her Rajput roots who were the descendants of ruling Hindu warrior classes of North India that rose to prominence for the period from the 9th to 12th centuries. Influenced by the connection to her history and the admiration for kung-fu and samurai movies since her childhood, Ayesha got into training with swords and eventually, martial arts.

Ayesha Hussain

Ayesha leans towards knives on her favourite instrument to train with and performs because of the focus it requires. She calls it ‘thunk therapy’ because of the sound it makes when it hits the board. She also trains with her horse named Jimmy where she performs sword manoeuvres while cantering and jumping over hurdles. On a particularly stunning cover for Blades With Babes print magazine, Ayesha is seen standing on a horse, sharing her origin story from aspiring medical student to one of the first women of Asian-Arab descent to journey into action and stunts.

She can also be seen in an upcoming short film by Lammas Park, Steve Mcqueen’s production company, directed by Jade Ang Jackman and written by Lydia Rynne. It’s a series of two short films with the goal of generating opportunities for marginalized communities behind and in front of the camera. Apart from working with brands NYX, Playful Promises, Diesel, etc, Ayesha has also performed at a stage show of knife throwing with her assistant and is constantly creating fitness content on her Instagram account. When she’s not training with swords and knives, she is taking stunning photos as a commercial fashion and beauty photographer. 

Ayesha is a badass Brown woman who is carving her own path in yet another male-dominated industry of stunts, weaponry and martial arts. She is the epitome of modern womanhood that is not represented by gentleness and frailty. Emanating a synergy of cultural heritage and self-empowerment, Ayesha's world is a fearless, exciting place with swishing swords, ‘thunking’ knives, majestic horse rides and her commanding beauty. 

You can follow her here and get to know her better in an episode of Matchat with the Filipino - American action actress, martial artist and content creator, Angela Jordan below.

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