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Old 12-08-2011, 11:43 AM   #13
NagaBaba's Avatar
Location: Wild, deep, deadly North
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Anonymous User wrote: View Post

First off, let me say that I understand sexism comes in varying ranges. As of late I have been starting to understand something one of my dear friends once said. "The most hurtful type of racism is the subtle. Obvious stuff you can deal with. But its the little things that eat at you and slowly you start to wonder if they are truly there."

Over all, I'm a good dojo. We have an on and off campus dojo and both I am my boyfriend are officers for the school club. We are also the same kyu rank.

The thing is though, we get treated a hell of a lot differently. Our experience isn't that much different (he has a few months on me) yet I get treated with a lot less...respect I dare say. I'm rarely called up for ukemi for example. People always assume (within the same kyu rank) that the males have senority over me- even if they JUST got promoted to that rank. And most of all, people act like I am going to break. Hilarious really, since I'm just as tall as the average man with a muscular build; I'm not skinny in the least.

There's also the isolation. I hate when sensei tells everyone to find a partner of their size- I feel like everyone runs away from me. I hate how the males come out of the locker rooms laughing while I dressed out alone. I hate how techniques assume a male body. [Randomly] I also hate my frickin' gi. Thing is made for a guy- I have .7 waist and the thing feels like wearing at tent.

It grates on me. Most of the time I just tell myself I need to be better, to train harder, to put in more hours at home to smooth away rough edges and to work on reflecting on the lessons more.

Anyone else out there feel that way? I'm curious.
The respect must be earned; it is not automatically attached to any particular rank. If you feel that ppl don't respect you, you have to work twice or ten times harder, instead of looking for hypothetical sexism. I'll give you example of my wife. For reasons due to work schedule she practice judo in the class, where she is only one woman, all guys are much stronger and 40-50 lb heavier than her, all of them with strong competition background. For first 4 years she couldn't throw anybody even ONCE. The same was for ground work and submissions. In judo the rules are very clear; your technique is not effective so nobody will jump by himself to take a fall.

But she persisted, worked twice hard than anybody in the class, and few years later she can sometimes be successful. The result is that whenever she enters to the dojo, everybody, top world competitors from national team welcome her friendly and show a lot of respect.

Such hard work heals you from imaginary problems and put you back to the real world.


ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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