Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo
I'm no tank, but I do enjoy working with strong, fast attacks. If you are smaller, slighter, and more diffident on the mat, I will worry about whether an overly aggressive approach will scare you away. That's not only women, and certainly not all women, but it does describe some women. With them, I'm likely to start out with lighter and slower attacks until I get a clear signal that something more vigorous would be welcome. That doesn't mean I don't get real training in--I just focus on sensitivity and really really dropping all tension and muscle from the technique. So if my partner in such a situation wants something more challenging from me, they have to be clear that they want it.
Clear? It's really just what happens with any pair on the mat--you figure out mutually what the other person can give you and what you're going to do with it.