What's the purpose of a women only class?
I as an old man have taught "all women's classes" for differentiation purposes, conceptual/theoretical purposes and ultimately for utilitarian purposes.
During various periods in martial arts history, there have been times when the distinctions between Male/external/muscular and Female/internal/fine motor movement were quite clear. Women practiced among themselves to refine techniques that were akin to their natural qualities as women.
The study of Nagigata is dominated by female practitioners. In Chinese martial arts is the story of Wing Chun and how it was founded by a female monk. Tai Chi Chuan and Aikido have a greater following of women than karate and tae kwon do.
I personally have taught "all women's classes" mainly to cull the "female attributes for fighting. Softness, sensitivity, rhythm, detailed focus, fine motor movement and deception to name a few. I have taught them first with the "Fan" as weapon and than the "Hidden Knife" to accentuate the "Yin/Female".
Today, 99% of the classes teach "equality" in techniques. The truth is that equality is a falsehood. In general, there does exist female positive traits that are "less seen" in men. Yet, because of equality they are not brought to the forefront. As such, most women never really learn to defend themselves.
But, in the second week of practice...I put a knife (A Female Weapon) into the hands of my woman student. I emphasize that until the last moment they must keep their blade hidden. I tell them "go in close...remember what the spider said to the fly". They learn quickly that it doesn't matter if their opponent is 6 ft 3 inches and made of muscle. With the knife they have learned to look deep into themselves and see their "power".
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola