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Old 10-26-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
Buck
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How to help shy women to have confident training

I have notice that if women (mostly) who are in the early part of training are very shy about training, their training is very much inhibited. They don't proceed well in Aikido in comparison to those women who have a more aggressive confident approach; willing to get out there, who are more involved, who take risks, and ask questions, etc. Any ideas or ways to break the shell and get them more involved?
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

IMHO, you can't break in, they must break out.

Its usually the internal fear-based mental map that is holding them back.

Talk to them. Ask how they are stopping themselves. Then shut up and listening without offering advice or suggestions.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:09 AM   #3
phitruong
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Talk to them. Ask how they are stopping themselves. Then shut up and listening without offering advice or suggestions.
That is the best advise I have heard. Thank Lynn.
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:34 PM   #4
Garth Jones
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

I think Lynn is exactly right. The same applies equally, IMHO, to the less confident men. If you have any senior women in your dojo, they may be able to help the shy, new woman break out.

In our dojo we are very fortunate that half the classes are taught by women - it's a great example for beginners walking in the door.

Cheers,
Garth
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:55 AM   #5
lbb
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

If they're "very shy about training", I'd say stay out of their faces. Really. Let a senior woman handle it.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #6
C. David Henderson
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

In your experience, are shy women different than shy men in their training, or simply more numerous (or easily spotted, or ???).
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:56 AM   #7
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If they're "very shy about training", I'd say stay out of their faces. Really. Let a senior woman handle it.
I don't know. I let her hit me with munetsuki. I haven't gotten in trouble for letting a girl beat me up yet. And this has worked several times, but I teach the class.

I ask her to hit me and suggested how to improve her strike to make it hard enough to not want her hitting me again. Then -- and only then -- I showed her how to slow, but not misdirect, the strike so as not to HAVE TO hurt the target unless she chose to. That helped to free alot of unworkable inhibitions and put new and more appropriate ones in place, and those changes in taking responsibility for not hurting someone in the RIGHT way in a situation where you actually could, seems to positively affect both ukemi and nagewaza. Works for the reticent male, too FWIW, but the repetitions are usually fewer to get to the acceptable discomfort level.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:01 AM   #8
Diane Stevenson
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Lynn is very insightful: listening without trying to immediatly FIX the problem is really important.

I would add lots of encouragement. Not flattery, but something real, specific, positive.

I cannot overemphasize how good I feel when Sensei (male or female) notices me working hard, or making some small improvement.

I also find it encourageing that my Sensei frequently reminds me and our whole class that a woman faces different challenges in developing her Aikido, and generally must pay much more attention to technique because she has less strength to rely on. So the pay off is huge in the long run, but slow to realize at first.

...not as evil as I could be
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #9
Toby Bazarnick
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If they're "very shy about training", I'd say stay out of their faces. Really. Let a senior woman handle it.
Lynn was spot-on that students break out when they choose, in the context they need to create - his response seems like solid off-the-mat ukeme.

This isn't personal; it's not about you, or your gender, or their need to have someone solve their problems.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:40 PM   #10
lbb
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I don't know. I let her hit me with munetsuki. I haven't gotten in trouble for letting a girl beat me up yet. And this has worked several times, but I teach the class.
If you're teaching the class, that's one thing. Is Buck teaching the class?
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:08 PM   #11
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
If you're teaching the class, that's one thing. Is Buck teaching the class?
That's why I made the distinction. On the other hand, whether it is me teaching the class or no, and regardless of uke's sex ("gender" is a grammatical, not a biological, concept -- sorry, pet peeve), I routinely make sure my uke has my permission to hit me if I am stupidly in the line of their strike -- keeps me honest.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 10-28-2008 at 01:10 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-28-2008, 02:13 PM   #12
lbb
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

I hear ya, Erick. While it's always dangerous to guess about what's going on in someone's head, when I think through the likely reasons why a relatively new woman student would be "shy", it seems to me that well-meaning efforts to help them "break the shell" are somewhat likely to backfire, particularly when they come from a man. It's a tough call -- do you risk letting someone languish for want of attention, or do you risk overwhelming them? My gut says you have to be careful not to be pushy.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:01 PM   #13
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I hear ya, Erick. ... It's a tough call -- do you risk letting someone languish for want of attention, or do you risk overwhelming them? My gut says you have to be careful not to be pushy.
Lessee, she hits me and I'm verging on "pushy." Got it.

More seriously, I think giving explicit permission to a person in a situation where she (or he) instinctively sees themselves as subordinate, to do something that is a quintessential act of physical dominance, helps to break preconceptions about the existence of dominance/subservience in training. To my mind, that is the first task of a cooperative training environment. Although there is hierarchy of skill as well as positional authority -- it is fundamentally an arena of respect defined by the art -- not dominance defined by the person. In dealing with training in physical conflict such permission seems helpful, in more ways than one.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:30 PM   #14
Amadeus
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Some just need more time than others to "get warm" and confident in a new environment. So it might be nothing more than a natural way for them to start the early part of the training.

Love me, hate me, tolerate me or ignore me. I care!
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:59 PM   #15
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

You could ask her what would help her instead of making an assumption she needs help. She might think she is doing just fine.
Mary
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:49 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
You could ask her what would help her instead of making an assumption she needs help. She might think she is doing just fine.
LOL Spot on!
She may doing doing just fine for her.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:25 PM   #17
Lorien Lowe
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Just being polite and friendly can go a really long way. Smile when you bow to her to train, smile when you bow to stop training, smile when you thank her at the end of class. Letting her know that her presence is appreciated will go a long way toward making her comfortable enough to open up.

Without, of course, pushing it to the point of being flirty or invasive.
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Old 11-12-2008, 01:41 PM   #18
coyotekin
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, you can't break in, they must break out.

Its usually the internal fear-based mental map that is holding them back.

Talk to them. Ask how they are stopping themselves. Then shut up and listening without offering advice or suggestions.
This sounds like someone that studies NLP.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:23 PM   #19
SeiserL
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Quote:
Robert Bickford wrote: View Post
This sounds like someone that studies NLP.
That has already been well established.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:59 AM   #20
Mark Uttech
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

Onegaishimasu. This may be a little off topic or off thread, but the majority of us are shy.

In gassho

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #21
Rosecarmethene
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

This thread may be a little out-dated by now, but I just wanted to add that as a shy woman myself, the things thatt have helped me the most are when my co-students deliberately ignore my shortcomings, genuinely appreciate my strengths, and generally treat me as though I were an ordinarily reasonable person.

Also it's very helpful when they specifically (and sincerely) include me in the conversation and ask questions to let me know they're interested in me as a person (not just an uke or nage!)

Also what Amadeus said:

Quote:
Tarjei Amadeus H°ydahl wrote: View Post
Some just need more time than others to "get warm" and confident in a new environment. So it might be nothing more than a natural way for them to start the early part of the training.
Some people just take a lot longer than others to get to know everyone in a new group!

OK, there's my viewpoint from "behind the lines."
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:20 PM   #22
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

I think one of the biggest mistakes a person can make is to treat women differently from men during practice. Everyone is an idividual and may or may not be shy or whatever, but treat someone differently and they will notice that. A double standard rarely works.

just my two cents

Lyle Laizure
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:09 PM   #23
dematteo84
 
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Re: How to help shy women to have confident training

One girl at our dojo was a bit unsure of herself, she would occasionally hesitate during a techniques and worry about hurting her Uke (partner). At first I would tap out when she put locks on even if they weren't fully on, and wouldn't offer resistance.

One day I decided to wait for her to put the lock on correctly before I tapped out. It took her several attempts but she got it right, it was a good lock that left my arm feeling a bit sore afterwards.
After the technique she thanked me, and when it was my turn she did the same for me.

Now I have a good Uke to train with and we know each others limits. She does get a bit carried away at times and leaves me battered and bruised, but that is why I like training with her. Some of the male students on the other hand just slam me into the mat aggressively without considering my limits.

It is all about finding a balance and using the correct amount of force and or assertiveness on your Uke. Some people just need to find their confidence and you have to be patient with them and let hem develop. It can't be rushed or forced but rather something they find within themselves.

I was a shy individual myself, and it took years for me to be more confident. I still have more developing to do but I know that I need to be patient and force myself to take risks and worry less about what other people may think of me.
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