Hanna Björk wrote:
...What does different sexes of age gruops give to their training community?
I'd say that youth brings energy. It is good for the dojo. At the same time, young people tend to favor challenging training for the challenge in itself, such as doing ukemi over several people standing on their hands and knees, in a line.
I can think of three different occasions that I've experienced something like this...twice in dojo predominantly young male, once in a dojo very mixed qua gender&age. In two of these cases, training was very acrobatic, very aerobic, but "empty" IMO, in the third case, energetic, challenging, but full of content. This was one of the mostly young male dojo. I think the difference came from the instructor, frankly.
I sometimes feel that this kind of unwanted teaching is a way to establish pecking order. I am sure that is a component, at least. Is that something male? I think women have pecking orders too, but more subtle and defined in more hidden ways than who teaches whom. I hate dojos where this is the bread and butter, and I leave them swiftly. Is this a common experience among female aikido practioners? My guess is that it is not uncommon, but I am really just speculating...
I don't seem to mind so much, so I haven't really kept tabs on who teaches me...my feeling is that it's slightly more often men that tend start giving me advice though. Not necessarily young men, just men in general. At seminars, especially with someone my age, it sometimes has a taste of establishing a pecking order between the two of us, yes, and that's how I take it, too.
In that case, I do my best to do an effective technique, and if I manage to take my partners balance, that usually settles the matter. If not, well they'll keep teaching me.
I'm a strong believer in "people treat you how you let them" anyway.
I think it's very difficult to compare experiences like this, especially between men and women...if there is a difference, then my experience when I visit a dojo or seminar is inevitably going to be different that for example Peter's, and so how we perceive that particular group is also going to be different. So far, mostly men have commented on Hanna's original post...
My take on it is there's how the group trains and behaves, and then there the interaction between individuals. In my experience how the group as a group trains is largely influenced by the main teacher of the group, not so much the age & sex of the members...how the interaction between me and another individual goes, is influenced by a number of things, and our respective ages & genders would play a part, too, I'm sure.