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Rateh
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 848
Location: USA
Styles: WTF Taekwondo

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must have grown up in a bubble... I still do not identify with this article....I was not raised to be feminine/masculine. Myself and my sisters and brothers had the same opportunities and were treated the same. I was never discouraged or encouraged in "masculine/feminine" behavior/activities. I understand that some people might feel the way of the article..but I can't help but think that I cannot be the only one who doesn't identify with the statements/opinions in it. The article was well written...but I wholeheartedly do not feel that it is a real picture of modern society, perhaps for a decade or more earlier, but not of today.
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JoiH
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Idaho, USA
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rateh wrote:
I must have grown up in a bubble... I still do not identify with this article....I was not raised to be feminine/masculine. Myself and my sisters and brothers had the same opportunities and were treated the same. I was never discouraged or encouraged in "masculine/feminine" behavior/activities.


I was raised in the same manner. I have one sister and we were raised to ignore gender sterotypes. I think that is why I can excell in a traditionally male dominated forum such as traditional karate. But, I have seen many of the issues discussed in my training. I have a man in my class now who refuses to acknowledge my rank. I am an instructor, he is a green belt. He is a friend of my sensei, but he truly feels that women have no place in "his" dojo. He alternates between being a "rescuer" or a "bully". Most of the time he will ignore me (even when I am teaching) but constantly questions my training. It is frustrating, especially when I have good information to share, and if he would allow me to teach him he could make great progress in his form. I have seen this countless times in my training. 95 percent of the males I train with are great- they treat me as an equal and respect my knowledge. But there are exceptions that still hold fast to outdated gender ideals. Some will attempt to belittle, some will attempt to bully, and it is aggravating. All any female martial artist asks for is the opportunity to train as equals.
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Joi H.

"Victory does not come from physical capacity- it comes from an indomitable will"- Gandhi
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JusticeZero
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 2166
Location: AK
Styles: Capoeira Angola

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joi, how do the other women in your classes respond to training? Do you do anything different in your own classes to better suit them? How do the other female students seem to think of you?
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joesteph
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2753
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

It is frustrating, especially when I have good information to share, and if he would allow me to teach him he could make great progress in his form.

I taught summer school for twenty-two summers in the past, when I held that as a second job. I rarely had a student from my own school, a college-prep academy, in this program, and so I encountered all different personalities, including those who I couldn't fathom what they considered important in life. These were students who knew they'd failed during the year, and so needed to pass the summer school course for credit.

I learned the hard way that there are people who can desperately need your help, and the more you try to help them, the more they resent it. There are those that you cannot reason with. They operate on emotion and it's frequently defensive. You may actually represent "the enemy" in his mind. I didn't say it's logical; I'm saying it's just how some people are. Stubborn=Inflexible=Rigid=Pig-headed.

Quote:

95 percent of the males I train with are great- they treat me as an equal and respect my knowledge.

My own teacher is a woman, and her teacher is a woman. They're great.

I don't know if you've spoken with your sensei about this, Joi, especially if you find him disrespectful. Sometimes we just have to be realistic, even if the student is sabotaging himself. I take it he's an adult. Enough said.
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JoiH
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 13 Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Idaho, USA
Styles: Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joesteph:

Thanks for responding. I have talked to my sensei- he has told this individual that to disrespect me is to disrespect him because I am one of his instructors. It did not help. Now I just avoid him- I cannot change his mind and have quit trying. I have the opinion that even the most advanced blackbelt can learn something from even the most beginner of students, so to refuse to learn is to refuse to grow. Basically, his loss.

JusticeZero:

Thanks for responding. I like to think that I have a very good teaching relationship with all of my students (well.....except one LOL) and teach both men and women equally. Every student, with the exception of one, treats me kindly and with respect. I train all alike- male or female. In my class you are expected to train equally regardless of gender. I thought about your question and asked my sensei if I am teaching the women differently then the men, but he did not notice a difference. I think the only difference between my classes and my sensei's classes is that I tend to be a lot more technical then he is- I concentrate more on form and theory over fighting. And I am famous for energetic and exhausting classes. However, I do tend to be much more lienant with the beginners because I feel that someone just starting out needs a lot of encouragement.
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"Victory does not come from physical capacity- it comes from an indomitable will"- Gandhi
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JusticeZero
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 2166
Location: AK
Styles: Capoeira Angola

PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for responding, I will consider the matter in my own classes.
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ninjachamp8
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 28 Dec 2009
Posts: 10


PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I happened to read this article on Articlebase about whether women and martial arts belong together:

Many people think that women and martial arts don't mix. They think that women are too fragile. Or, if a woman gets involved in martial arts she will start fighting or get aggressive and mean. Sometimes, and this one is funny, people think that only unattractive and manly looking women get involved in martial arts. None of these are true. In fact, these myths are just plain ridiculous.

Are Classes Too Rough?

While some martial arts styles are very rough, others are not. Believe it or not, even the rough martial arts classes can be taken by women. That is what protective equipment is for. No one has to fight in competitions, and people spar against those of similar stature and skill.

Will Women Become Aggressive?

Women who learn martial arts do not become more aggressive but instead become more confident. It teaches them patience and how to control their anger. It is especially beneficial to smaller women who will need to know how to defend themselves. Actually, all women need to know how to defend themselves in case of emergency.

Will Classes Make Women Look Unattractive?

As far as attractiveness goes, martial arts is great for physical fitness. It is a great way to lose weight and tone the body. It will help in strengthening muscles and gaining flexibility. It helps a woman gain self-confidence which makes a woman feel and look more attractive, thus shattering the unattractive myth.http://www.articlesbase.com/martial-arts-articles/do-women-and-martial-arts-belong-together-1145147.html

How the idea that women and martial arts don't belong got started is beyond me. In fact, the two go very well together. The benefits to women are too numerous to count. Not only does martial arts teach women to defend themselves when they need it, martial arts helps women look and feel better in the process.

Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/martial-arts-articles/do-women-and-martial-arts-belong-together-1145147.html
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Lupin1
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 15 Dec 2009
Posts: 1603
Location: NH USA
Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To tell you the truth-- I'm not sure many people do think martial arts are just for men anymore. At least not in the self-defense arena. There are dozens of woman's self-defense classes around here (although those are less martial arts and more "how to spray mace in a guy's eyes and then kick him in the nuts").

When it comes to martial arts, I think I do feel a bit awkward as the only woman in the adult class at my school. When I was a kid about half the students were girls, so there was no problem there. I don't think the adult class has had a woman in it in a long time, though. All the black belts are completely fine with it (my guess is they were here the last time there was a woman in the program, so they're more used to it), but the only kyu-ranked guy in the class seems to be a little uncomfortable with it. It may be because they're having me work with him since we're both the beginners (me being more of a beginner than him). But while we were doing some partner work on the applications for one of the kata he expressed concern that he might "miss and hit me in the boob" and so he was uncomfortable going full force with the punch he was supposed to be aiming at my chest. So then our instructor launched into a long story about the history of women training in the martial arts, which, needless to say, was a bit uncomfortable. I'm sure the guy will get more used to the idea of training with a woman in time. Or heck-- maybe the sensei will just let me train with the black belts who are more comfortable with it and so I'll get better faster. I doubt that, though.
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joesteph
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 11 Aug 2008
Posts: 2753
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin1 wrote:

To tell you the truth-- I'm not sure many people do think martial arts are just for men anymore.

My teacher is a woman (fourth dan), and her teacher (fifth dan), a woman, is the regional judge for promotions.

Quote:

When I was a kid about half the students were girls, so there was no problem there.

I teach in an all-girls academy, and I've found that many had studied karate (usually TKD) while in grade school. When they're in high school, or at least in my high school, besides the usual sports appeal, they become drawn to dance troupe, the school play, and chorus--i.e., fine arts--which take up a great deal of their time. My adult class has one female student, a black belt.

Quote:

I don't think the adult class has had a woman in it in a long time . . . [and] the only kyu-ranked guy in the class seems to be a little uncomfortable with it. . . . [W]hile we were doing some partner work on the applications for one of the kata he expressed concern that he might "miss and hit me in the boob" and so he was uncomfortable going full force with the punch he was supposed to be aiming at my chest.

I do sympathize with him, especially since he's a beginner. Even though my art is non-contact, I remember hesitating with punching motions (but not others, for some reason; perhaps too "realistic"?) against my teacher, although I did carry them through. It took some time for me to "resocialize" about it. He'll get there.
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ichigotora
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 7

Styles: Goju-ryu karate-do Okinawan Weapons, little Shorin-ryu

PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JoiH wrote:
Beautiful post. As one of the ten percent of blackbelts who is a female and one of the ten percent of female blackbelts who is an instructor I am cheering you right now.
That is a well stated and well researched post. Thank you.


I completely agree with this. As a 16 year old girl and the only girl holding the highest belt in the dojo along with two older men. I certainly see the prejudices. I think that growing up in karate has saved me here, I started when I was six and there were two blackbelt girls when I started. Now I'm the highest girl blackbelt and also the youngest adult grade. So its a 'fun' position to be in.
From my teacher I've never seen it but certainly the 'bully' aspect I have seen from others. This article was excellently done. Thanks so much for the post!
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