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Old 05-13-2008, 12:45 PM   #51
Trish Greene
Dojo: Aikido-Kajukenbo Self Defense Center
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Hello all!

I just finished skimming through this thread and found it very interesting. My dojo has a self-defense class for women one night a week. It is not an aikido class but more of a street level self defense. The other nights of the week, the classes are broken up into a kids aikido class and an adult aikido class. My sensei does not breakout the beginners. His theory is that the older members teach the younger members, you learn by teaching.

I am (by far) the oldest female practitioner at the dojo. We have several teenage girls that do practice with us. When these teenage girls first started out in the dojo, I would practice with them until they got comfortable working in a mixed gender environment. I would work with them on the move, then pass them over to one of "the big guys" so that they can perform the move on them.

The reason I make sure that they work with the big guys? Because most likely the big guys will be more representative of who would be attacking them on the street. It is an empowering moment for the young ladies and usually gets them excited about continuing on.

I have a set of girls who has been working out with me for about 4 months now. They are finally breaking out of their beginner tentative mode and are now really giving the guys heck and taking ukemi all the while giggling their goofy heads off!!

"Aikido is nothing but an expression of the spirit of Love for all living things."

Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:46 PM   #52
Bronson
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
what is the message that you've sent to any that join and stay in the main dojo?
That segregation and division are bad except when they benefit me?

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:47 PM   #53
JW
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
But if your feeder classes are segregated, what is the message that you've sent to any that join and stay in the main dojo?

Best,
Ron
Well, I was invisioning a situation like at the dojo I cited earlier in the thread-- instead of separate men's and women's intro classes, the dojo had regular intro classes periodically and then also had women's intro classes periodically too. I agree that if all intro classes were segregated, it would send a bad message.

I'm trying to imagine what message I would perceive from the type of situation I described, and what messages others might perceive.

For me I come up with-- "some dojo members never would have joined without the womens outreach class-- for a reason that is not known to me."

Or if I was a woman in one of the feeder classes, more like: "It's ok if you didn't like the idea of being swamped by men at first-- but now that you know you like aikido we're glad you don't have a problem with it."

I guess one of the problems with this women's intro class idea is that these 2 very positive and feel-good messages are not the only ones that would be perceived in reality, huh?
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:52 PM   #54
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
I guess one of the problems with this women's intro class idea is that these 2 very positive and feel-good messages are not the only ones that would be perceived in reality, huh?
They may...or they may not.

One thing I'm **trying** to do, is to be more consistent with my own reasoning. So I'm trying to look at this from a lot of sides, and even switch some of the parameters. What if it was black vs white. What if it was an all men's dojo. What if...you get the idea. I guess *if* my response is well thought out, I'd better have a pretty darn good reason to make an exception to a no descrimination rule. And maybe it shouldn't be based on a knee jerk emotional reaction, but rather, something I'd actually thought through.

Best,
Ron (not saying that others haven't thought their positions through...just applying this to myself)

PS And unfortunately you lovely people reap the rewards of my inner musings...

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 05-13-2008 at 12:55 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:10 PM   #55
dragonteeth
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Agreed Johnathan, but I would like to offer one more barrier to participation - time. As Diane mentioned, most women who are mothers can only participate while their children are either in childcare or at school unless the dojo is in a location that provides childcare during the class. Some like Diane have the opportunity to take advantage of classes during school hours. Others who are working full time during the day and mothering at night have to find someone who will watch their children for them. Spouses are not always happy about that (especially when you train 2-3 times per week), and babysitters cost money - something that is in short supply for a lot of folks right now. I know for me when I am training full time that can run up to $100/week. Plus as a single mom, it can be really hard to pick up my son from after school care, go home, change clothes, get him fed, get the sitter settled in, and get to class in time to dress out, stretch, and help set up in an hour to two hour time frame. I can't even imagine what that schedule will be like when he starts doing sports activities of his own.

So I guess if I could offer up one suggestion it would be to offer childcare during class, even if for a fee. That would benefit all single parents, and even many married ones. I know quite a few husbands (or wives) who would really enjoy it if their spouse took the kids out of the house for a couple of hours several times a week.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:14 PM   #56
JW
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
One thing I'm **trying** to do, is to be more consistent with my own reasoning. So I'm trying to look at this from a lot of sides, and even switch some of the parameters.
I get that, and I agree with the idea.
And I understand that this class can be interpreted as an "exception to a no-discrimination rule."

But, I really don't feel that trying to work against sexism is an emotional knee-jerk reaction. It is indeed something that I think about a lot and something that a lot of people also think about a lot.

If you would consider this class an exception to a no discrimination rule, I would say that it is an action designed to specifically address issues of confidence, intimidation, and dominance that exist specifically for some women due specifically to experiences in a sexist society that have negatively impacted them. That's why in this case it might not make sense to trade male/female for black/white, etc. Because this is specifically a class that exists because of the undeserved psychological advantage that many men enjoy with little effort, at the expense of many women having to struggle for equality. If anybody seriously make the claim that black people are so intimidated by white people that they are discouraged from joining aikido, then I guess we would have to argue again-- but at this point in the history of this male-dominated world, this particular argument of undeserved low confidence and intimidation really seems to apply to women.
--JW

ps, as Lori Snidow just mentioned, psychological barriers are not the only barriers that our society has lumped preferentially onto women's shoulders.
The harder that dojos reach out to people, the more people will get to do aikido. It is for the whole human family after all.

Last edited by JW : 05-13-2008 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:43 PM   #57
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Well, I was very intimidated as an African American male growing up in a mostly white suburb, and being almost if not the only Black person in my classes, all throughout my school years, up to and including college. I suffered a fair amount of abuse, both from Whites and Blacks as a result.

But I lived through it, and I believe I am better for having made the adjustment. And I still deal with this situation from time to time in my working life. I've had people say in meetings with HR that *I* wouldn't have to worry about the upcoming layoffs...because I am Black, so AA would take care of me. Yeah, right...

Perhaps by overcoming those issues in a mixed environment, there are advantages gained? I don't think a tit for tat comparison of what women go through and what Blacks go through is in order...but let's just say for the sake of argument that the two are equal. What if we drop Black and substitute Gay, as in another thread going on now?

What then?

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-13-2008, 01:47 PM   #58
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
this particular argument of undeserved low confidence and intimidation really seems to apply to women.
Try going up Black in the inner city surrounded by drug dealers, crime, police brutality, poverty, etc...

See what that does for self-esteem. Or growing up in Appalachia. Heck, or rural Texas for that matter.

One thing I'm slowly learning...none of us has a lock on misery. There is always plenty to go around.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 05-13-2008 at 01:50 PM.

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Old 05-13-2008, 02:05 PM   #59
John Connolly
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Hi Ron,

I think that is great concept, however, imagine being any of the aforementioned people in those situations, AND being a woman. I think that although there are plenty of people in bad situations everywhere, women really do get the crappy side of the equation almost universally. As (a bit more than) half of the population everywhere, they are on the receiving end of violence from men a great deal more statistically than men are from themselves or from women, or than women are from women. It makes good sense, in regard to building a comfort level with confrontation (something that those of us that have been in the MAs for a while have gotten used to), such as grabbing, punching, throwing, or even simple body-to-body proximity issues, that women have a space that they feel comfortable in "getting there". If a women-only class helps to build that comfort and confidence, I believe it is a good idea.

A simple caveat: As they get comfortable with the dojo environment, it behooves women to work out with men as well, in order to learn to protect themselves, and to not get put into a state of panic if a confrontation with a male occurs.

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Old 05-13-2008, 02:14 PM   #60
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Hi John, but then, as Chris Li said, why not have a course *specifically geared toward that*? A course for women (or people) with abuse issues, or issues with close physical contact, etc?

Are only women abused? I don't think so. I know men who were traumatised in their youth, and they would NEVER join a regular aikido class with all the close physical contact. I know some who would, too...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:26 PM   #61
JW
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Try going up Black in the inner city surrounded by drug dealers, crime, police brutality, poverty, etc...

See what that does for self-esteem. Or growing up in Appalachia. Heck, or rural Texas for that matter.
I never meant to contest this-- in fact I agree that self-esteem is negatively impacted by these things.
This discussion seems to have devolved from the topic of an all-women's class to a discussion about segregation itself. I don't believe in segregation in general, and I don't believe that making up random concessions for any group that feels disadvantaged is a good idea in general either.
This class is not a concession for women-- it is a mechanism that addresses male domination's impact on female enrollment by taking away male domination in one class session.

I just believe that male dominance perpetuates itself in that male-dominated arenas can be intimidating to women. I believe that men can take advantage of this situation sometimes (we may not even realize it), and by not fighting it, we allow ourselves to sometimes accept its favor but then never fight against it.

Segregation is not supposed to be involved in outreach in general-- this is a case wherein those who are reaching out are attempting to overcome the particular barrier of intimidation due specifically to one group's dominance or presence.
Well, I feel like it is a dead horse now!

Anyway I don't believe in granting concessions as a solution to problems. I believe problems should be solved. Aikido is one small way where I see an end to one gender's psychological domination of another, and it sucks that there are very real reasons for some women to not find aikido even though it is needed.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:34 PM   #62
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
... this is a case wherein those who are reaching out are attempting to overcome the particular barrier of intimidation due specifically to one group's dominance or presence.
Hey, that almost sounds verbatim like the support for Affirmative Action! Gee, go figure... Anyhoo, not that I disagree all that strongly, but it's been fun trying to think it through a bit.

Quote:
Well, I feel like it is a dead horse now!
Not at all! I've learned some things and enjoyed the chat.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:34 PM   #63
John Connolly
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Sure, I imagine many men who get into martial arts were traumatized at some point in their lives. A PTSD specialty course for men and/or women is also a reasonable suggestion.

My point is more that men dominate business, politics, and in most models, family life (at least overtly), and with this domination as well as the issues of violence and trauma, women may be easier acclimated to the dojo environ (at least to start, and only as an option, not a requirement) in a women's only class.

I teach a small/for-free/university club, and I encourage women to join, but many quit and the reason they give me often, is that they can't get past the initial discomfort (or feeling of inability or vulnerability) with working out with male ukes/nages. This has been a great disappointment to me, as I see self-defense as a right, one that should be especially afforded to women. As a male, I wouldn't presume to run a women's only class, but I would love to see those women that left go to one, and come back some day into the co-ed class with some of their fears conquered, enough to begin conquering more...

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Old 05-13-2008, 02:38 PM   #64
JW
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Hi John, but then, as Chris Li said, why not have a course *specifically geared toward that*? A course for women (or people) with abuse issues, or issues with close physical contact, etc?

Are only women abused? I don't think so. I know men who were traumatised in their youth, and they would NEVER join a regular aikido class with all the close physical contact. I know some who would, too...

Best,
Ron
That's a great idea! (Except for one minor detraction, that many abused folks would avoid the public exposure that this class creates, as mentioned above)
And this great idea is not mutually exclusive with the women's class idea. I think they could both happen--
Especially since the women's class is also for women who for other reasons don't feel comfortable jumping into a male-dominated class.

So, should we have this discussion again? The past is immutable so I think Chris Li's argument that this is segregation along unchageable lines is still valid.

Ultimately though, the abused person's class and the women's class have a striking, important difference-- the women's class specifically addresses an intimidation felt as a product of many males being together. In other words, excluding non-abused people may not be particularly helpful to abused people. But, that's another experiment, and I guess it is one that psychologists have probably already explored so I will shut up!

Anyway I think John Connolly has said it better than me just now, so I can cool it.
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:43 PM   #65
JW
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Hey, that almost sounds verbatim like the support for Affirmative Action! Gee, go figure...
True...
In fact both AA and outreach have the same goals, right?

The reason I like outreach like this is that although it has the same goal as AA (unobstructed equal opportunity in the future), it has a more honorable mechanism. The rough analogy I guess would be having a female quota in the dojo = AA, the female class + its associated advertisement = outreach.

And thanks to you too, I'm glad it is not a dead horse!
--JW
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:49 PM   #66
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Interesting distinction...I'm going to mull that over for a while.

Best,
Ron

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Old 05-13-2008, 06:12 PM   #67
Buck
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Some info that might help with starting a women's class

I don't know if this counts but I was once involved in a company safety program some years ago. It was because of company saving money on their insurance. It was also because several woman were attacked in the parking lot not real serious, a drunk panhandler and an ex-boyfriend. It was this combination that got the program started. The program essentially was a low impact women self defense using basic Aikido, watered down basic Aikido and principles to be more exact. Added to that was the run of the mill awareness strategies. The program was volunteer and not mandatory. The program failed. It failed because of the lack of interest by women. Here is the scoop in my opinion there are allot of similarities.

1. The PR didn't scare the women into taking the idea of safety seriously. For PC reasons as being a company the program was headed by a women, I assisted and there was another woman martial artist there too. Two women play major roles, me the guy played the pin cushion role. Only a handful of woman ever showed up for the program.

2. Women doubted it allot, and questioned the information allot, and seemed to undermine the program. It seemed talking self-awareness hit buttons of insecurity, vulnerability, or other emotional and psychological sensitivities. Then when moving to actual hands on lessons of the class had compounded and reinforced those feelings.

3. I felt women where not interested in the physical lessons, they liked the power from the wazas, but they didn't really get hooked. They didn't have the interest or see the value. I don't think it was something they didn't find interesting. Example, say you go into a woman's high fashion clothing store and announce free memberships to a gym or self-defense class. The gym will win everytime. Do the same thing in a discount clothing store where there is a variety of women. More women in their 50s and up would take the self-defense class. All the other women would be headed for the gym.

There are the three major reason why the program failed. We can say the program taught by women was a martial arts class. Women in the company class didn't feel it was important to learn self defense. It didn't matter if men were around so they could say they felt intimidated by men.

I can say it is very hard to get a healthy long term class going that focuses intensely and sticks to learning martial arts traditionally and the way most are still taught.

For women there has to be a mix. Women are multi-taskers and multi-learners. Just ask any fitness instructor, women need to have their interest levels routinely piqued to maintain interest. Women are bored by the same routine. You have to have routine change on several levels and often. So if you are going to do a class I think you would need to calculate that in.

In college, I dated a Persian women who referred to herself as such. We came back from studying and I dropped her off at home. As I left, she was attempted to be mugged outside her front door. When the police arrived, the mugger was beaten seriously and taken to the hospital. My date didn't have a scratch. The 5'6'' 125lbs women took down a 6'4'' 30 year old ex-con on parole.

Point is, women can be tough fighters. They raise their women differently were she is from then here. I didn't by the idea that women are inferior after hearing that. I think the program would have been very successful with women like that.

I firmly say that a martial arts class like Aikido, is set up for men's interests and for men. To be successful at a women's class you have to redesign training and practice to keep women interested. Your approach has to be different too as the goals. And how to teach to be different appealing to women's interest. Gradually teaching like at first as a dance , a girls night out event or fitness class then in time move to a more physical hands on class. It could include allot more women. You can't do it like a typical martial arts class that is and has been geared toward men. Stay aware from the traditional martial arts class atmosphere. Feed into and tap into women's interest.

I think you see low numbers in the dojo, and Aikido enjoys higher numbers of women, because the approach doesn't appeal to the average women who is looking to find better fitness and weight loss. I recommend to keep it always fresh, the benefits target women's interest and needs, don't do a traditional martial arts atmosphere and you might be very successful.
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Old 05-13-2008, 07:12 PM   #68
AsimHanif
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Ron said
"Are only women abused? I don't think so. I know men who were traumatised in their youth, and they would NEVER join a regular aikido class with all the close physical contact. I know some who would, too..."

Exactly Ron...that's what I was getting at in my earlier post. These issues cut across gender lines.
It's very hard for me to find a compelling argument for women lnly Intros. If we looked at the root cause of why some do and some don't stick with aikido, I believe comfort with the same gender is a very small percentage.

Asim
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:45 PM   #69
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Jennifer Yabut wrote: View Post
Today after practice, a few of us discussed having an all-women class at our dojo. It would be a bare-basics beginners class, held twice a week. The highest-ranking woman (who is a 1st kyu) will teach the classes, and I also offered to help. We also talked about making flyers with a questionnaire. One, to get a consensus of which time of the day to have class, and also to promote these classes to the public at large.

Has anyone else ever taught an all-women class? How did you promote it, and how successful were the classes?
This is a practical question regarding how.

Anyone with experience to offer in that respect would be helpful to our friend who IS offering this class.
One great suggestion I read was having class during school hours to accomodate the schedule of mom's. Another good suggestion I heard was to contact a dojo who already offers these classes.

Last edited by jennifer paige smith : 05-13-2008 at 09:52 PM.

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Old 05-14-2008, 02:49 AM   #70
numazu
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

I think Aikido is one of the few physical activities where it really doesn't matter if you are male or female. Therefore having female only classes is really a mute point. I think it is much more beneficial for women to train with men because if they want Aikido for self defence then it is most likely a man that will potentially attack them on the street.
Having said that, it is interesting to note that young men actually fall victim to violent assault more than women. Young guys on their own can be a target for the random gang bang.
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Old 05-14-2008, 07:16 AM   #71
dragonteeth
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Just curious - has anyone attended the all-women's class at Hombu? How does it differ, or does it?

Back to the original topic, from a promotional standpoint, I guess it would depend on who your target audience within women would be as to how you could market it. If you are looking for college aged women, maybe talking to some of the sororities at local colleges would be a start, or scheduling a demonstration on campus at the beginning of the summer session. If you are looking for the soccer mom demographic, you might talk to the rec department that sponsors the little league teams to see if you could hand out flyers at their events or set up a table. If you're looking for a general 30-50 range, you could contact local yoga studios and bodywork practices (eg massage therapists) to see if they would like to pair up and cross market (ie they hand out your flyers and you hand out theirs). If you are looking for older women, you might want to contact some of the civic and social organizations like the Red Hats to see if their members would be interested. You could also talk to some support groups as well, and target a variety of those. I would think that a cancer survivor group would get as much out of the physical and spiritual aspects of aikido as an abused women's group would get out of the defensive security side.

Just some ideas. However, if you are going to do that much marketing, you might find yourself with enough male interest too that you could consider having two sections, one mixed and one female. Is there such a thing as too many students?
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:39 AM   #72
SmilingNage
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Actually, I remember a thread that was here some years ago, about an all male dojo. I'll have to search it out and see what I said then...I wonder how much my ideas have changed...

Here is the post that started a lot of the controversy:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...0&postcount=13

Link to the entire thread in upper right hand corner.

Best,
Ron
That was a great thread until it was hijacked by certain argumentative people for their own agenda(s). Instead of a discussion it became a witch hunt and very ugly.

Knowing what I know now about Sensei Linden, as I had a sit down with him last year at his dojo, You would view that thread, his responses and him in a different light. But as Fate would have it, dont ask me to clarify, as he asked me to keep our conversation private and I intend to do so. Since that thread wont die a death it deserves, I thought it important not to judge Sensei Linden until you meet him yourself.

I dont see the need for all of this hullabaloo. Its a good idea to start a woman only class to help bring in more woman into the dojo, if thats their goal. Its a bad idea to keep the woman in a women only class.

Personally all people should be exposed to Martial Arts. It helps complete the education cycle. The martial arts bring together the physical and the mental aspects of being human, and really makes the connection between the two.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:47 AM   #73
misogi
 
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Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Hi

I just read through the thread and feel compelled to throw in my tuppence-ha'penny I guess it would be a good idea to give you some background...
I am the proposed teacher of this class. It was originally mentioned to me some time ago as something that may be a possibility when I became 1st kyu. Most people in our dojo start teaching at 1st kyu. I am the first female to reach 1st kyu in the dojo so far. The dojo has been active for over 15 years. Currently we have 2 sandan, 5 or 6 nidan and a few other shodan and nidan who have moved and train elsewhere - all males.
When it was first suggested that I teach an all women's class (probably about a year ago) I was a little offended. I wondered if the thought was that I wouldn't be able to teach guys. I thought it would be unrealistic, after all, we need to know how to work with guys, big guys, guys of all shapes and sizes, isn't that the point? Ego
When I started at this dojo, I was one of two females, and regularly the only female on the mat. I liked it that way. I felt quite special - I was the lady on the mat!
Now, four years later, there are quite a few more ladies on the mat, and regularly too. However, there are still only a handful of us.
I believe we have a very healthy dojo. The guys are very respectful, helpful and generous, we all are. There is no special treatment, just because you are female - for the most part, don't *let us* throw them or let us get away with anything because we are "weaker", we all throw each other good and hard. And of course the men are not all burly 6 foot something weight lifters. Some of them are of a similar build to us. But a 125lb guy will usually be stronger than a 125lb woman.
There is a love of "big ukemi" in our dojo, and when people come to watch class, there is a tendency for Sensei to bring up the high flyers and give a breath taking and (for some) fear inducing demonstration. Many people don't come back.
There have also been women who have left because they were intimidated by the actions of some of the men, or because some of the men got a little rough with them (I know this is something that needs to be addressed, it has been, and continues to be) I too got hurt and harassed a few times when I first joined. It's a martial art, I dealt with it, some don't. I understand that many of the people who don't stick with it, truly don't want to. But I have witnessed enough women over the years who probably would have stuck if the environment had allowed them to.
I still don't know how I sit with a "women's only" class. But, what I do believe is that it will give some people, who would otherwise have not come on the mat, the opportunity to do so. And some of the people who may feel intimidated in the beginning, an environment to feel a little more comfortable until they "feed in". I guess also, as a beginner teacher, it will give me an opportunity to begin exploring the (yin) feminine side of Aikido.
Every dojo has its personality, its quirks, its positives and negatives. We have a very (yang) masculine dojo, not only in male numbers, but the Aikido practiced is very *masculine* - strong, powerful, dynamic. I accept that this is my description and opinion - however, having trained at a few ASU dojos, where there is more fluidity, less atemi, and aikido is generally much more gentle - I would describe our Aikido as (yang) masculine.
We have noticed that the retention of women is considerably less than that of men, and would like to do something about that. The class would start with all women. We would let them know it is a limited course with a view to feeding in to the other classes. We would encourage them to come to the other classes as soon as they like. We would introduce male ukes and probably male teachers. But the initial classes would be for women only with the focus on basics from a female perspective.
Incidentally, the initial reaction to this class by other dojo members, male and female, was very positive. The men were keen to have more women on the mat, the women were keen to have a class where they were seen as valued members of the dojo.
Ultimately, we all want to practice Aikido together.

I find it very interesting that all the negative comments have all come from men who find an all women's class as some kind of discrimination. We do not want to discriminate, but appear to have been doing so, and for this reason are trying to encourage more women on the mat.

We can't advertise for "abused women" - a) many abused women do not want to admit the fact b) we don't have the skills to deal with the emotional needs of the abused woman - by advertising it as such may imply that we are equipped to deal with their experience. Of course women who have experience any kind of abuse would be welcome. Just as men who have experienced any kind of abuse are welcome to all of our other 13 classes a week.

So, this is why we want to offer a short-term women's aikido class.

A word on self-defense. In my experience, women's self-defense courses are better left to the guys covered in padding. We want to teach a martial art.

Peace

If you know the art of breathing you have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers.- Chinese adage
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:41 AM   #74
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Hi Judith, nice post, thanks!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #75
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Re: Starting an all-women's class

Quote:
I find it very interesting that all the negative comments have all come from men who find an all women's class as some kind of discrimination. We do not want to discriminate, but appear to have been doing so, and for this reason are trying to encourage more women on the mat.
Hi Judith,

I've been thinking about your post, and I also noticed a comment in another thread that caught my attention. A couple of questions:

1) What is it that makes the statements you refer to "negative"?

2) Could you quote some of them so that we are on the same page?

3) Why is it that "men" making those statements is an issue?

4) Do you disagree that there are in fact other ways to encourage women on the mat...other than a woman's only class?

Just to let you know where I am personally comming from, I do not have an issue per say about this type of class, but from a logical point of view, it does cause me to wonder about discrimination (someone would in fact be excluded based on their gender).

5) Is it in someway inappropriate for me to try to address these concerns here?

6) What would be your preferred venue for me to discuss these concerns?

7)Is there a preferred method I should use?

Best,
Ron (and good luck with the classes, I hope they accomplish your goal)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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