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Old 03-27-2012, 08:18 PM   #96
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 170
Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Anonymous User wrote: View Post

I am happy that the original poster found some level of resolution. I am a woman in an aikido dojo, and i don't mind the gentler treatment that i receive. for the most part the guys are quite respectful and helpful to me.
I get really, really annoyed by the ragga-muffins, or mysogenist men who think that every woman who appears in the dojo is available for their sexual conquest. But, I can handle that, with a simple "No" and "I don't create problems where I don't have to". that usually does the trick. BUT then you have the possessive women in the dojo who think that all the dojo men belong to them.

The issues I do have as a female martial artist are:

1. Sensei's who allow women to execute/demonstrate horrible technique. (AND gives them a pat on the back, saying "Good"). It's not freaking good. I have to train with the person and it hurts my training and is demeaning and patronizing to the woman. We all may not be bruce lee, but we are not all minnie pearl either.
... 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.

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
2. Collectively, we women need to come into the dojo with a spirit of training in Martial Arts; not dance (so emphasizing looking good and smooth is the point), or socializing so much so that those of us who want to train are interrupted.
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.

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
3. Just my opinion, there is a high ranking aikoka who has a series of Youtube video demonstrations, called "women in skirts". How in the heck are we supposed to be taken seriously, with things like that out there?
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?"

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
I don't want to train like a dude, but I do want to train seriously and enjoy it. I do want to learn the martial aspects of Aikido, not dance.

I'm also sure that this happens in other Martial arts as well. It's just that Aikido is so prone to unknowing teachers, or taking advantage of people who want to become japanese monks, we women seem to get the short end of the stick.
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.

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