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Old 05-11-2008, 11:19 PM   #7
jennifer paige smith
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
Re: Starting an all-women's class

I've taught and attended womens only classes since the beginning of my aikido career. Some with the teacher from Heart of the Mission Aikido whose link is provided in an above post.
Without opening an entire on-slaught of conversations about gender politics,etc.etc.etc......(snoorrrrrrre) , so please, let's not go that far, I will point out that many, if not most, dojo have nothing even close to strong womens enrollment.
These are broad sweeps of the brush and there are exceptions, but there are diminishing numbers of women practicing in many long-time dojo and the number of women coming to aikido and staying is pretty slim, too.
The dojo where I first trained and was a member of for many years has a strong womens showing,relatively. As does Heart of the Mission Aikido, as do all of the dojo in Heart of the Mission's 'friends' links. All of those dojo provide womens only classes and put awareness and attention to the presence of women in the school. They also offer beginning classes where a male and female student co-teach. This awareness brings about support. When we see people like ourselves we feel welcome. It is simple human nature. So gender politics aside the proof is in the pudding: THE WOMENS NUMBERS ARE HIGHER IN THE SCHOOLS WHO PROVIDE THESE CLASSES. Not that the schools don't have things to work out and not that other schools don't have strong womens showing. It's simply a matter of observation and asking the women 'did you enjoy that class?' and thy say 'yes' and they continue to train.
I'm coming up on 20 years in Aikido and I know I've been supported by this community approach.
In general, I support teaching classes with intentionality where a gap exists, be it male,female,racial,class, or culture. If you see a gap fill it with loving intention and good training.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-11-2008 at 11:26 PM.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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