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Old 03-30-2005, 02:17 PM   #326
Meggy Gurova
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Women statistically cannot compete fairly on a one to one basis with equally trained larger men in a martial art. Smaller, less-athletic men statistically cannot compete with larger, more athletic, equally-trained men in martial arts. I'll take all bets. So complaining about the fact that women and smaller, less-athletic males don't get the exact representation that larger, more-athletic, equally-trained males get is a non-winner, ultimately.

Mike
On second though... yes they can compete If a very small lady meets a very heavy big male, he will never catch her
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:25 PM   #327
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Well, that's the perspective I thought you have. Aikido is not a martial art to you. That's the big dichotomy in the Aikido community and it's why so many of us left.

Regards,

Mike
To reiterate:

Saotome Shihan writes in The Principles of Aikido page 9:
"Aikido is the study of wisdom... The purpose of Aikido training is not to create agressive fighters but to refine wisdom and self-control. As an Aikido student you must study to improve and polish yourself, not to compete with others."

I guess, Mike, that Saotome Shihan doesn't view Aikido as a martial art either. That puts Mary in good company.
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:45 PM   #328
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
The problem, as I see it, is that although women don't have to defeat men in a fist-fight, there is still a certain amount of athleticism involved. It's sort of like tennis or some other sort of athletics... while great strength, etc., is not demanded, athleticism still plays a role. That's the factor that works against the smaller, less-athletic males and the women.... *statistically*.

Mike
Now do you have a source for this one? Can't you just acknowledge that there is some sexism in Aikido? Would it hurt? And aren't you being just a wee bit general...saying 'the women"?

It has nothing to do with athleticism...I am a very good athelete as are most of the women in our dojo....

Before Title 9 very little money was spent on girl's athletics....now that more money is being spent more women are becoming great athletes.

Mary
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Old 03-30-2005, 02:50 PM   #329
Chris Li
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote:
To reiterate:

Saotome Shihan writes in The Principles of Aikido page 9:
"Aikido is the study of wisdom... The purpose of Aikido training is not to create agressive fighters but to refine wisdom and self-control. As an Aikido student you must study to improve and polish yourself, not to compete with others."

I guess, Mike, that Saotome Shihan doesn't view Aikido as a martial art either. That puts Mary in good company.
That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-30-2005, 03:00 PM   #330
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris
Chris, I think Ron was being sarcastic....just because we don't think of Aikido as being a fight does not mean that we don't consider it a martial art. Mike made a rather big leap there.

For me Aikido is not a sport....it is not about who wins a contest. It is about becoming stronger and safer, not just physically but emotionally as well.
Mary
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:14 PM   #331
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Ok, to try and sum it up: You're arguing that at a high enough level, strength shouldn't matter. Mike disagrees if I'm reading you two correctly?
Pretty close; of course size matters to a degree but there are other factors. How about: I'd say that at a high enough level, having less strength than the attacker shouldn't matter so much that it cannot be compensated for in other ways. Like, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Am I really the only one who has seen a smaller person defeat a larger one? I do understand that the UFC and Pride matches were not actual combat, but I'd say they are pretty decent competitions where some big guys were defeated by smaller ones. It seems like a logical extention to me.

Here are some interesting questions that come to mind. Of the people that O-sensei defeated in challenges, where they all smaller and weaken than him? Where the uchideshis O-sensei was bouncing around all over the place all smaller and weaker than him? Or was he just in the optimal postion to render their power less useful to the attacker?

You know, if O-sensei were alive to settle the argument, I have a strong feeling, I wouldn't be very upset about his verdict.

Rob
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:27 PM   #332
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Now do you have a source for this one? Can't you just acknowledge that there is some sexism in Aikido? Would it hurt?
Sure there's some sexism in Aikido. There are also women screwing instructors, breaking up marriages, flirting, etc., etc. There is also dojo politics. There is back-biting, favoritism, and so on. It's all part of life. The trick is not to get embroiled in it and to focus on what you want to accomplish.

I went into Aikido looking for how to do these odd ki-strengths, etc. After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out I.e, I try to keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by every side-issue that can draw you off the mark. So my suggestion is figure out exactly what you're trying to do, focus, and do it. Quit getting so distracted.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:48 PM   #333
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris
Chris -

Mary's right, I was being sarcastic. I think what's at issue here is the pursuit of loftier goals than laying one's opponent out with one blow via Aikido training. All of the first generation masters I have read about speak of Aikido as a path to higher wisdom and personal growth as opposed to a pure fighting system. Maruyama Sensei stressed this over and over in his teachings.

On these boards, those of us who ascribe to that view have been labeled 'New Agers' in less than a flattering context. The need to see myself as tough began to lose significance after around 15 years of training. I've learned that it doesn't take an 'Arnold' to be able to kick someone in the nuts or drive a fist into a throat or execute a palm heel strike to the base of someone's nose or any of dozens of other lethal strikes.

Anyway, I meant no offense with my prior post.
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:34 PM   #334
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
That's the big dichotomy in the Aikido community and it's why so many of us left.
Quote:
had little to show for it, and walked out
Gee Mike, if you left Aikido seeing as it's worthless, why are you here on aikiweb? More specifically, if you left in disgust of the very issues of the topic of *this* thread, why are you even reading it??

Please, don't let the door hit you...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:51 PM   #335
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Re: Equitable?

I'd back Mary Heiny Sensei against alot of men of her rank, and she had polio as a kid.

Jeanne
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Old 03-30-2005, 07:48 PM   #336
Brion Toss
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny Liberti wrote:
Gee Mike, if you left Aikido seeing as it's worthless, why are you here on aikiweb? More specifically, if you left in disgust of the very issues of the topic of *this* thread, why are you even reading it??

Please, don't let the door hit you...
Ouch. Sunny, I think I understand why you might want to say this to Mike; I am tempted to say similar things to him on an almost daily basis. But he has a right, within limits, to be here, regardless of his level of activity in our art. Let's not make Jun play cop again here, okay?
Yours,
Brion Toss
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:06 PM   #337
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Re: Equitable?

[

I went into Aikido looking for how to do these odd ki-strengths, etc. After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out I.e, I try to keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by every side-issue that can draw you off the mark. So my suggestion is figure out exactly what you're trying to do, focus, and do it. Quit getting so distracted.

FWIW

Mike Sigman[/quote]

I am not the least little bit distracted. I go to class all the time...in fact I just got back from teaching one.

Your response did not provide a source.

You were saying that atheltism is why women don't advance in Aikido...I am saying that has nothing to do with it and sexism does.

I am not whining about it. I love to train and will continue to no matter what .

Mary
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:35 PM   #338
sunny liberti
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
I am tempted to say similar things to him on an almost daily basis.
Just curious, are you tempted to say similar things to *anyone* else on a daily basis?
Quote:
But he has a right, within limits, to be here, regardless of his level of activity in our art.
I never thought otherwise. I do strongly question his motives for involving himself in this thread, though. He *left* Aikido disgusted with it. And yet here he is.

If I had trained in a Chinese MA for example, and left in a huff over the male chauvanist jerks there, I can't imagine bothering to hunt down their forums and spending a second of my time harassing them for their training choices. Guess I'm just being "gratuitous" though...

I'm quite comfortable with Jun's judgement on how he wants to run his board...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 03-30-2005, 10:26 PM   #339
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Agreed...but let's be clear about something. We are talking about Aikido, demonstrations, and teaching. Since Aikido generally (there are exceptions) doesn't have formal competition, we don't have to worry about the whole weight class thingy here. So in demonstrations and teaching, can equally well trained males and females perform on equal footing? I would have to say yes, they can. It doesn't mean that the women have to defeat the men in a fist fight...it means that their movement under the same amount of stress seen in demos and teaching has to embody the same principles of aikido. It means that they have to be able to communicate to and inculcate in their students those same principles at the same level.

I know great male teachers I go to who would not last very long in a fist fight anymore...but I don't stop going to them for demos and teaching just because in competition, younger, stronger men statistically win against older, weaker men.

Ron
Worth repeating.

Very nice post, Ron. You've spoken for me better than I have for myself on this topic in the past.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 03-31-2005, 02:09 AM   #340
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Re: Equitable?

Agree with Don on Ron's post, nice summation

Quote:
Ian, we must have very different ideas of what high level aikido is. Sorry about your popcorn.
Rob, slightly different question for you then - can you please name me one instructor who has a high level of skill in any martial art who hasn't also been known as being fit? Use of poor frail old Ueshiba isn't a good example as even in his later years he was still a fit frail old bugger. I honestly cannot think of a single decent instructor who has ever suggested you can be unfit or frail and still have a decent level of skill - technical expertise I'd grant you, but knowledge is different to application.

If I could ever find a martial art where training involved extreme couch potato methods while still being able to reach the "higher levels" I'd join like a shot.

Slurpy now in hand while continuing to read this fascinating thread...
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Old 03-31-2005, 03:44 AM   #341
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
There are also women screwing instructors, breaking up marriages, flirting, etc., etc.
Men do these things too. Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out
So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive.

I sincerely hope that you have now found a training environment where you can learn without being side-tracked by other issues, where the leadership is good, and where progress can be made. I hope that one day you will leave the bitterness behind you and no longer allow it to distort your view.

Ruth
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:27 AM   #342
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
can you please name me one instructor who has a high level of skill in any martial art who hasn't also been known as being fit?
Well, I'm sure Rob will field this soon, but in the meantime... Are you equating women at high levels of aikido (or in general) with frailty or lack of fitness? I don't understand the connection you are making, seeing as the topic of this portion of the thread is women and men at the highest levels of aikido.

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:17 AM   #343
happysod
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Re: Equitable?

Sunny, this was in response to Robs viewpoint concerning skill not being dependent on a practitioners fitness (which I believe was an offshoot of the male vs female at highest levels debate) rather than directly part of the on-going gender discussion. But to answer your questions

1. Do I equate women with frailty - nope
2. Do I equate women with less skill in aikido - nope

However, I do include a persons physical attributes with their ability to successfully defend themselves. Skill can help negate differences in body types and strength, but only to a degree which is set by the relative skill levels between the two people involved. I don't feel that any level of technical skill can help if your body is just plain not able to perform the necessary techniques.

However, for transmission of knowledge etc. I'd go with Ron's summation.
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:24 AM   #344
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Men do these things too. Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.


So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive.
Ruth... that was my reply to the women who keep complaining that you're reading from. So let me take your words and apply it to the comments about the "sexist" men in dojo's. To the women who keep complaining:

Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.


So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive.


There. Nicely said, Ruth. But if you think about it, that's what a lot of us have been politely saying from the start. It seems like no one will be happy or satisfied if everyone doesn't make the proper noises about the poor victims, though. Hence you see people like Sunny shaking her golden curls and stamping her tiny foot in rage.

Mike
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Old 03-31-2005, 06:28 AM   #345
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam after I mention lack of ki-strength info wrote:
So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it.
Incidentally, you apparently totally misread what I said. I said very few people in Aikido really can understand or do the ki-related things so I went elsewhere for information. If you knew what I was talking about, I'm sure you would agree.

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:34 AM   #346
rob_liberti
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Re: Equitable?

Ian,

You initially quoted this from me:
Quote:
Of course marital arts like boxing which are oriented to give the advantage to larger and stronger people will favor them. That's why there are _weight_ divisions as opposed to speed divisions or whatever else. That just doesn't have anything to do with high level aikido in my opinion.
And you responded with:
Quote:
Sorry Rob, had to put my popcorn down at this one and join in for a bit - I can't think of any martial art, aikido included, where size, strength and general fitness would not play a part.
I never mentioned "general fitness". I also didn't say (nor do I think) that any of these things would not play a part.
Quote:
1. Do I equate women with frailty - nope
2. Do I equate women with less skill in aikido - nope
Glad to read that. You clearly do not have major women issues from being beaten by your mother.

-Rob
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:35 AM   #347
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Sunny, this was in response to Robs viewpoint concerning skill not being dependent on a practitioners fitness
My read on that was that it doesn't solely depend on shear *strength*. I don't remember his saying that there is no need to be "fit". I happen to know he places high importance on fitness.

edit: Well, I'm late to the punch, but I'll leave my post be...

Last edited by sunny liberti : 03-31-2005 at 07:39 AM.

Sunny

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Old 03-31-2005, 07:55 AM   #348
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Re: Equitable?

Rob, Sunny, we're possibly just going in circles here, but I'll have another go. My understanding was that Rob discounts strength and/or size (yes, I changed to using fitness, my bad) when discussing skill.

Now from a technical point of view in terms of performing a technique under controlled conditions, I'm fully in accordance with this view. Where I felt we differed is that when you take into account a "real" (tm) confrontation, strength and size will have an impact as well as skill and that you cannot discount any of the three (here of course you can include terrain, numbers and whatever else springs to mind). Robs one-liner concerning high levels of aikido seemed to indicate another viewpoint.
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Old 03-31-2005, 08:33 AM   #349
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Incidentally, you apparently totally misread what I said. I said very few people in Aikido really can understand or do the ki-related things so I went elsewhere for information. If you knew what I was talking about, I'm sure you would agree.
Actually, what I wrote was based upon a previous post or two of yours where you mentioned that you'd been frustrated at another dojo by problems that occurred there with women, politics, and (as you put it) BS.

My last reply to you was in response to the 'big picture' rather than to that specific post of yours.

To go deeper, I get the impression that you feel you were unfairly treated at the expense of some female students, which has left you feeling somewhat bitter in this regard. Therefore, I would submit that you are hardly in a position to comment objectively on this thread.

Further, although you claim to be all for treating everyone equally in some of your posts, you also seem to harbor one or two prejudices which come across clearly in other of your posts. It comes across as confused at best, and insincere at worst.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and suggesting that perhaps you step back and take a look at how your previous experiences have distorted your viewpoint on this subject, rather than hiding behind a facade of pernickety point-scoring.

Ruth (giving it to ya straight)
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:50 AM   #350
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Actually, what I wrote was based upon a previous post or two of yours where you mentioned that you'd been frustrated at another dojo by problems that occurred there with women, politics, and (as you put it) BS.

My last reply to you was in response to the 'big picture' rather than to that specific post of yours.
That's a completely disingenuous statement, since you quoted the one I just mentioned, isn't it? You erred, then, but you're dodging the admission.
Quote:
To go deeper, I get the impression that you feel you were unfairly treated at the expense of some female students, which has left you feeling somewhat bitter in this regard. Therefore, I would submit that you are hardly in a position to comment objectively on this thread.
You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?

I wasn't "unfairly treated", I was remarking about something that many people have seen in many Aikido dojo's and dojo's in other martial arts... the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts. In ANY non-serious dojo, whether females are there are not, the quality of study deteriorates. Introducing off-topic worries into martial arts is analogous to many of the conversations on M.A. lists.... the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are. You and a few others would rather talk about women's issues than nuts and bolts martial arts, as is obvious by your posts.
Quote:
Further, although you claim to be all for treating everyone equally in some of your posts, you also seem to harbor one or two prejudices which come across clearly in other of your posts. It comes across as confused at best, and insincere at worst.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and suggesting that perhaps you step back and take a look at how your previous experiences have distorted your viewpoint on this subject, rather than hiding behind a facade of pernickety point-scoring.
Don't "give" me anything, Ruth, particularly in regard to your perceptions about equality, the views I should have to pass your criteria, etc. I treat you just like a man... you're insulting and I don't give you a pass "because you're a woman", as you'd like. Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment".

Go back and read the posts in this thread by a select few of the women.... it's a call for "special treatment allowing for women's needs" and it falsely couched in "we want to be treated equally" terms. There are calls for "understanding", but really they are calls for "you better conform to our view of women and their needs". There is an insistence that "these worries about women and their needs is a valid part of "martial arts". It's all BS that has nothing to do with martial arts and all about "look at me, look at me, look at me, I'm a woman". As a valid martial arts topic, it doesn't fly, just as a number of the martial artists have pointed out already.

So don't arrogantly "give me the benefit of the doubt"...instead, "show" me that you know something about martial arts and that you're not just one of the parasites that does not-too-hard and not-too-effective "martial arts" as part of their social life. That's when you'll get my respect, not when you try to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel". You're making the exact case of why I think a lot of women and also a lot of men don't belong in martial arts dojos... they're not really there for the martial arts so they lower the practice standards. How's that for equality???.... *anyone* not seriously focused on martial arts should quit pretending that they're interested in effective martial arts, male or female.

Mike Sigman
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