View Single Post
Old 04-12-2012, 09:33 PM   #99
IP Hash: eacd4333
Anonymous User
Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
... Ok, when someone is a beginner, I understand having the uke "help" the technique move along a bit so the beginner knows what it is supposed to feel like, and then step up the intensity as the beginner progresses, but I would have deep concerns about a sensei who had a female demonstrate a technique to a class who wasn't top notch at what she was doing.

I do have deep concerns...It seems to me that he is protecting his business and dojo profitabilitiy. Over this summer, I will decide whether or not to leave and train somewhere else. Fortunately, I have a lot of quality choices available.

Well, collectively I expect all of the Aikidoka I train with to have a spirit of Aiki. No dancing for women, and no weightlifting bragging from the men. We are here together to learn something both martial and spiritual, and I expect a certain base level of respect and desire for a common goal from everyone I train with.

By being yourself. You can't control what other people do, just as anyone with any brains won't judge you based on what someone else does. And if anyone thinks all female Aikidoka are just cute little girls playing at martial arts, I would be happy to assist them in blending with the mat. Otherwise, leave it alone. And if someone mentions it, I would only respond with, "I am not familiar with their dojo or training, and that isn't what I do. Would you like to visit a class with my sensei?"

What exactly does training like a dude entail? While the yudansha in the two dojos I train in are all men, there are quite a few female yudansha in our organization, and the classes I attend are generally 50/50 in terms of gender. My Sensei's classes are a bit slower and more relaxed than my Shihan's classes, but that's a function of how they teach, not of the gender make up of the classes.

I agree with you totally.

what i meant when i said training like a dude, is that i don't want to be a "ruffian" or try to muscle through the techniques to prove how strong i am, as many men in my dojo do. also, i don't want to train as though my body is not that of a woman. we have different bodies; as a former athlete, i've seen many a woman have ending, traumatic injuries (mostly knee and achillies tendon) because they move in ways that are not conducive to the way many of our bodies are built.

i had some very "manly men" in my dojo in mind (smiling) who i see get into ridiculous aikido-rumbles all the time, to prove what works and doesn't to themselves.

before you say it, yes men have those injuries too... (smile)...I just think we have unique strengths that should be encouraged and brought out more.
  Reply With Quote