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Old 02-11-2012, 07:21 AM   #86
Dave de Vos
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Dojo: Shoryukai, Breda (aikikai) & Aiki-Budocentrum Breda (yoseikan)
Location: Baarle-Nassau
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 348
Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

In our dojo only about 20% of the students is female.

When I divide the students in male/female and beginners/advanced students, female beginners seem to stand out for being more afraid of hurting themselves and others.
Lacking ukemi skills seems to have a much bigger impact on female beginners than on male beginners. It's obvious that they feel more apprehensive when training intensity rises, so their training partners handle them with more care.
I don't sense this apprehensivess in advanced females at all. They handle themselves very well under pressure. And the smaller they are, the more they make up for this by confidence, suppleness, speed, superior body movement and good ukemi.

I think this is related to Carrie Campbell's post #81 about ukemi skills making the difference, rather than gender. But in my experience, male beginners seem to pick up ukemi skills quicker than female beginners. Perhaps this has something to do with gender difference in risk perception?

P.S.: My observations are based on a small sample group, so I don't know if it applies in general.
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