Mike Sigman wrote:
Honestly, Emily, O-Sensei didn't give a rip about gender parity in Aikido. I don't know of a single martial art whose founder did worry about gender parity. It's like trombone playing... just do it.
Is this a challenge to combat??????
Not that I am disagreement with you but I would point out that virtually every Founder of a Martial Arts system lived in a country which is heavily male dominated in which women are completely subservient to men. These issues are only today starting to come up in many of these countries. We are far ahead in the West in terms of dealing with these issues or even considering them issues at all.
O-Sensei had one close female deshi in the thirties when many of the Aikido greats were training (Kunigoshi, Takako). Whereas, Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki etc. ended up as Aikido teachers and were the Founders of their own styles of Aikido, she ended up as a teacher of flower arrangement, I believe. How much did societal expectations play in that I wonder? As far as I understand from her description of the training, O-Sensei didn't treat her any differently on the mat than he did the boys. Yet, in the end she ends up doing an art which is much more socially acceptable for women and the boys stayed in the martial arts... I don't think that was accidental. No, we are the generation which has to tackle these issues, those that went before never did.