Re: Difference: Male and Female Sensei
The two female sensei I've trained under are as different as night and day, about as different as any two aikidoka I've ever met. One is a technical perfectionist who thinks nothing of spending a month on the entry to a single throw (last time it was kata tori nikyo--wonder what it will be this month?) The other is a rough-and-tumble practical person who doesn't care much what the throw looks like as long as it works, and teaches sixteen throws a night.
I don't think I have a preference for gender of sensei, but I do appreciate it when there are senior women (whether teachers or students) in a dojo--it's encouraging to see other women up there. I find dojo with women beginners but no women seniors particularly daunting--I start wondering what happened to them, why they left....
I find that, while I admire my sensei greatly, the people I identify with most strongly are kyu ranks a few grades above me, and it's particularly helpful to have women there. The fourth dan sensei has wonderful aikido, but it's so far above me I have trouble seeing it as a goal. First kyus make mistakes I can actually see, which makes them seem more accessible.