Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Let's make a little thought experiment: Let's pretend there actually are excellent female instructors in the world, who go unrecognized, because they're female. Just humor me for a moment. In this case, since they aren't recognized as the excellent aikidoka they are, they wouldn't get invited based on their skills. Right?
Now whether or not one chooses to believe this is the case at this moment in the aikido world, is really the question I think. Apparently most people responding to this thread so far believe this not to be the case - there are only a couple female instructors invited, because there are so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place.
If you look at the numbers of men in Aikido, there are fewer of them, percentage wise, being chosen as high-level instructors. It is hard to become a high-level instructor because usually
it takes skill to get a certain amount of rank (but not always, as most of us with years of experience know). Is it more important for a paying student to get the best possible instruction in Aikido, or should the excellence in training be diverted for social issues?
Frankly, most serious martial artists I know tend to avoid training facilities that are into social issues, no matter how important that issue may seem to someone not truly interested in the essence of martial arts. That's often a factor in why some schools put out good practitioners and why some schools develop a poor reputation for skills, BTW. Generally speaking, every female and every male I've seen with notable skills gets promoted. Seminar hosts invite people with known skills in order to draw seminar participants. I'm sure Stan Pranin would invite any Aikido instructor that is good, with whom people want to study, and who would come. Gender has nothing to do with good Aikido.