Re: Differences between female & male practitioners
I think women-only groups might sometimes be a good idea with a female teacher, but more seldom with a male. The act of separating the sexes in a male-dominated activity risks telling the women they are "vulnerable" and need extra attention before they are fit for mixed class - but a good female teacher however can show that this is not a concern.
OTOH, unless the female teachers's time is unlimited, letting the women teach women-only classes will deprive the men of female teachers. And since one of the obstacles is the men you train with treating you like a frail little thing... nothing cures that in a man as taking ukemi for a woman who is truly good. Men who have female teachers seldom express that it's "complicated" training with women.
In some schools/preschools they separate the kids according to sex for some classes, a couple of times a week. The idea is that when you mix the boys and girls they will be busy acting their sex, following expectations - the boys will be loud and expect the nice and calm girls to hand them the things they need, maybe even to tidy up after them. When separating the sexes for a class the boys calm down and the girls can occupy more space. Having made that experience is hopefully something the kids can bring to mixed situations also. Whether or not there are any pedagogic research on the results of this I don't know.
I find that interesting, but I'm not saying this is a good model for an aikido dojo. Besides the complicated schedule this would create in an aikido dojo these are kids, not grownups. Also, in school there are roughly the same number of boys and girls. Learning how to be one of the few women in a male dominated environment is different.
Last edited by Hanna B : 03-20-2012 at 05:44 AM.