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Old 06-14-2008, 04:36 PM   #37
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824
Re: Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned: Threads About Women In Aikido

Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Cool. I don't want that either. I too think understanding what motivates and what doesn't motivate women, not assuming it is the same for men, is a way to communicate better in so many different ways in the dojo. The great benefit is that it broadens the Aikido experience for both men and women. I personally like to see women training in Aikido.

I would really like to hear your thoughts and input on the whole dynamic that women need a personal issue, in this instance, is it a big factor or not. For the sake of discussion, say using Aikido to defend themselves. Like getting over the reservation of hurting someone that prevents them to complete the technique. Or how ever you see it.
I think it would be better to say that we, more often than men need a personal connection with the people we train with rather than having a personal issue. I have noticed that not all women are like this and men need a personal connection, too. I think some women would like to just see more women in a dojo because they can look and see that another woman has become accomplished in aikido. I'm fortunate to train in a dojo with a high ranking dan ranked woman and a few other dan ranked woman. Not all dojos are as fortunate, or just simply big enough, to have this representation. It doesn't mean we don't look up to men in our dojo. My "sempai" (meaning the senior black belt who took me in under his wing) is male. He has worked with me from 5th kyu through shodan.

I'm not so certain that it's personal when we train to learn to defend ourselves. It's more like they way we have to defend ourselves as opposed to most men more often will be different. For example, as a woman I am not concerned about defending myself in a bar fight or in a match fight. Grabs are realistic attacks. I know this based upon my own personal experience. However, I don't think learning to defend myself is personal, at least on an emotional level. It's more like, "like hell are you going to rape/beat/hit me." I think a key to learning a martial art is to learn to stay calm while defending onself and not falling into a rage type response which can get a person into trouble in a self-defense situation. Allowing myself to get "personal" would be counter-productive. But, wouldn't this be the same for men? If not, how so? Some one insulting a person's manhood isn't personal? Just asking...

The concern about women not wanting to hurt people is culturally based, I believe. Women, in general, are raised not to offend or to hurt. Which in self-defense situations may lead us into being victims because we don't want to "offend" the attacker. We, in general, tend to be nurturers and don't want to hurt. However, men often times do not want to hurt women on the mat for a different cultural reason -- they were taught not to hit/hurt a woman. This results on male partners "going too easy" on their skilled female partners. I've had a couple interesting situations where a couple of my male partners were barely applying the technique. I'd tell them to throw me harder and they insist otherwise. I'd just keep throwing them harder until they started to actually apply the technique appropriately. Resultantly, he'd say "there!" and be really p.o.'d. I'd get up and say "good throw! now, keep throwing me that way." IHowever, I don't know how this can be identified as being "personal." I don't think you mean it by "taking things personally" or "always emotional" either.

I think what you are wanting to say that the motivation to learning aikido might based on personal reasons like we were once assaulted or abused? I'm not certian because a lot of women I train with have not been assaulted or abused or they train in aikido just because they are as aikiaddicted as the next guy. So, I am not certain how valid that assumption is.

Maybe you should tell me why you train as a man. And how do you think it is different from the women you have trained with? Is your motivation for learning self-defense based in a barroom brawl type situation or a matched fight?

Anne Marie Giri
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