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Old 05-21-2008, 09:19 AM   #119
Jennifer Yabut
Jennifer Yabut's Avatar
Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 100
Re: Starting an all-women's class

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
HUH? In every dojo I've been at, in every style, and be it as a member or a one time guest, female sempai were welcoming and sharing and female kohei were happy to see somebody else more advanced.

I think aikido, esp the examples set by the leading instructors both male and female I've met, is very inclusive - I see women advancing through the ranks, I see women called upon equally with men of the same rank for demo ukes, etc.
That has also been my personal experience as well. I trained in TKD as a teenager, and sexism was MUCH more rampant - or at least in that particular dojang.

Aside from the few times I've been hit on and bullied (by the same person), most of my interactions with male students and instructors have been very positive. And I also get called up to uke for techniques on a fairly regular basis.

My female sempai have also been very supportive.

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
So I agree that having an all womans short introductory class may serve to bring in women who might otherwise be hesitant, I really don't see aikido as a problem for women. There are individual dojo cultures that are a problem (bullies or whatever) but overall I don't see any problem inherent within the art or in terms of the examples set by most high ranking instructors.
I would also say that is something we are trying to address as well. As Judith pointed out earlier, our dojo has had a reputation for being rather "rough", which attracted quite a few big burly guys - but also put-off a few women as well. We have been working on changing that impression, and hopefully bringing in some more female students as a result. The art itself doesn't have to be "fixed".

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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