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Old 04-26-2002, 02:59 AM   #1
Dojo: Aiki Budo Centre
Location: London Ontario, Canada
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 5
male/female interaction

I am privileged to train with a group of people who enjoy socializing together as much as practicing together on a regular basis. Many nights often end with a pint, some food, and some good conversation. Of particular interest is what men and women bring to aikido. It got me thinking about a few of the posts I've read here, specifically the threads women and aikido and Does size count? I was reminded of a question we were discussing concerning sex and gender, and what influence it can have on a learning environment and how it can shape personal experience. So, my questions are as follows:

1. To those who teach aikido (or any MA), have you ever had difficulty teaching a student of the opposite sex?

2. As a student, have you ever found it difficult to receive instruction from, or work with a partner of the opposite sex?

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Old 04-26-2002, 05:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
1. N/A
2. No.

But then, most women have a majority of their partners 'of the opposite sex' category, I think. Hmmm, maybe that is another reason for smaller numbers of females in many dojos, any woman who would prefer a same sex partner is usually out of luck, while any man with such preferences can usually avoid women.

Funny thing is, I don't really notice the gender of my partner, just their attack style and their ukemi ability. I wonder if this is usual, or is just because I've spent my life in a very male dominated career...
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Old 04-26-2002, 06:54 AM   #3
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
Hi, we have proportionately a small number of females in or Dojo (and those affiliated)but those that are there don't seem to be gender aware when choosing training partners. I have no problem with taking instuction from females, I find they can have insights into technique that I may have missed due to my ,usage of size/strength.
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 04-26-2002, 10:59 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237

#1. No, just as Colleen said, I pay more attention to each students abilities rather than gender. In fact, I've found that women generally pay more attention to what I'm saying than men. Also, they understand that fast doesn't necessarily mean better. Hmm, that could be tied into something else as well.

#2. Again, abilities are more important to me than gender.

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Old 04-26-2002, 11:18 AM   #5
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
I would say the male/female split is about 60/40 in our club. I don't think it has ever made a difference except for one event around 5 years ago. I was training with a female partner (I'm male, in case you were not sure), and training as normal. An assistant (male) instructor on the mat came over and gave me a very painful sankyo, and told me 'you don't treat women like that'. Basically he was telling me I had done a bad thing to my uke, and was hurting me deliberately as punishment.

I was so surprised I didn't do anything immediately, but afer the class I informed my Sensei (who was running the class) what had happened, as I believed he should be aware.

Not long after, we no longer trained with the assistant instructor.

The funny thing is, my uke and I had been training together for about 5 years, and were good friends (and still are....). She was as stunned as me!
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Old 04-26-2002, 11:52 AM   #6
Sherman Byas
Dojo: Anshindokan Dojo
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 44
1. N/A

2. The one thing that I have noticed both in Aikido & when attending seminars and such is that women seem to be a little heavy handed. For some reason they seem to forget that nikkyo & sankyo really hurt! Even my daughter (age 10) has a tendency to "whip" my wrist into sankyo and I have to remind her I'm still her father and that it really hurts!

We are a small dojo and have only 2 women adults. One an untested beginner and the other is 4th kyu. Boy is she rough! We try not to discourage her too much simply because if she ever has to really use it we don't want her hesitating about hurting someone. The same goes for my daugher I guess.
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Old 04-26-2002, 02:21 PM   #7
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 66
I have no problem training with women in aikido. In fact I think they are better at explaining techniques than the guys when you are a beginner. In judo I like training techniques and doing uchikomi with women for the same reasons as above. I'm not too keen on randori, especially newaza, with women though. I always feel a bit awkward, although its ok if the woman is really good- then I don't have time to think about it.
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Old 04-26-2002, 05:18 PM   #8
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Re: male/female interaction

Originally posted by Crunch44
1. To those who teach aikido (or any MA), have you ever had difficulty teaching a student of the opposite sex?
I'm convinced I'm a better instructor for the guys than for the gals. When a man is really tense I tell him to relax, when a woman is equally tense I think "She's afraid" and don't really know how to handle it. I'm working on it.

2. As a student, have you ever found it difficult to receive instruction from, or work with a partner of the opposite sex?
I have difficulties in receiving instructions from those I work with, I prefer partners who shut up and practise. I tend to take a lot more from a man than from a woman, though.

Man is the norm and woman the exception.


Last edited by Hanna B : 04-30-2002 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 04-26-2002, 08:29 PM   #9
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
1. n/a

2. Sometimes, I have a much easier time working with women than with men. I began training not too long ago (I'm a 6th kyu) and at this stage in the game, I'm just getting over the fear that I'm going to hurt uke. Working with anyone who's softer or more gentle than me directs my attention back to that nagging fear that I'm being harmful and away from the technique. I'm sure a lot of this has as much or more to do with being a beginner and my concept of what MA means as it has to do with gender.


Deb Fisher
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Old 04-26-2002, 08:30 PM   #10
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
DUH! Sorry, I meant to say that sometimes I find it easier to work with men than women. That should make the previous post make more sense.

Silly me,

Deb Fisher
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