Thread: Women in Aikido
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:25 AM   #7
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
I was a terrible roller for a very long time, the despair of the dojo, but I got it eventually.

My observation is that the male students are often willing to roll *fast* while the women students are still feeling timid about it. When I got over the timidity I found it much easier to roll fast than slow. This isn't technique, just self-confidence, but it can definitely produce the impression that men learn faster.

It really helped that half of our intro classes are taught by a female fourth dan, so there was never any suggestion that women couldn't do this. If you have not gotten to train with a higher-ranked woman I'd definitely recommend it.

For our particular mix of students and teachers I haven't really seen consistent gender differences. We've had both "hard" and "soft" approaches from both males and females. The female fourth dan is known mainly for extreme precision of technique; she tends to set the standard for everyone else.

Mary Kaye
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