To answer the original question I teach a mixed program (MMA, but with kung fu/Kaju as it's striking base), and I have about 20-30% women in my classes. Given that, I do notice a general preference (there are exceptions) among the women that they enjoy the striking and escrima we teach over the grappling. In particular, they don't have a strong like of judo and wrestling, though they do enjoy the submission wrestling once things click and they start tapping out larger opponents.
Mainly, I think it is the size issue, where most women are simply smaller than the men in class, and so grow frustrated when they free spar with grappling. Good technique makes everything better, and small people can of course throw bigger people with ease, but size helps compensate for skill and makes the initial learning easier, which makes the grappling simply less fun.
As an instructor, I try and instill confidence in people of smaller stature (of both sexes), that grappling is both doable and fundamentally important, and I have some success, but it is a hard task.
Just my thoughts...
Seeing as israel is the only culture in the world at the present that conscripts women into combat roles in the military, i'd say there isnt any stigma about chicks learning to fight there.
Originally Posted by JKDChick
As for the original question, Italian poster here! My Dojo has 7 female aikidoka, of all ages, so they are about one-forth of the deshi. Three of them started with me and they're the ones which hurt me more!!!
Italy has quite an active female MAs community, especially in TMA. Olympic MAs are very well rappresented in my country, a collegue of mine from university ranked fifth at the last World Tournament.
As for the area where i live, the three closest Dojo all have a female assistant Sensei, including mine (Lucia Sensei is a sandan she could have tested for yondan but her back and hips are seriously damaged so she now sticks to teaching kids and bruising my arms...) i think this stands as a testament to the fact that women are a very important pillar of the Aikido building.
Oh, there's also a female Sensei in a Shotokan Dojo nearby!
No, not at all. I'm 5'7" and 150 -160 lbs. In Judo, that's pretty small for a guy. I learned Judo with mostly much larger, stronger, and often much more skilled people, including elite level female judoka. Hell, when I competed regularly at Judo, even in my own weight division (-65 or -66 kg, now -73 kg), 90% of the guys were stronger than me by a significant degree despite all my judo and weight training. Differential in strength and/or training makes for a smaller margin for error in performance for the smaller/weaker person.
Originally Posted by JKDChick
I tell my students the last phrase of your statement all the time when I see them muscling a smaller student around. What goes around comes around.
Maybe like 5 women out of 15 students who attend regularly over here.
Two of them're quite my type too...
I tend to notice that women will indulge me only if :
a) it's a technical drill
b) I'm the only person available
Which I attribute to the fact that I first came by there an obese behemoth, at 5'10 and 210 pounds, and people STILL mistake me for the local fattie, even though I've shedded 60 pounds.
I also notice that the girls tend to be paired much more evenly by weight. While, I, for example, have no qualms about giving up 30 pounds or more, it seems like the girls at my club are always grouped tiny with tiny, medium with medium.
I am a girl and I do taekwondo. I've never been to any other martial art classes (concentrating on getting that big beautiful black belt for more than two and a half years now) but I attend two ninety minute sessions every week. In one session there is five girls and there are fifteen male students. In the other, there is twelve female students and three male ones.
Well, not quite JKDChick's original target audience for the question (being Canadian and not outside NA) -- I'd have to put the breakdown of my experience:
Aikido in the late 80s, early 90s -- 5% women, though one of the top sensei in the club was a woman known for her sword work (really, I'm not being a dick and using a euphemism of sword for being something else)
Early 00's -- TKD mcdojo, close to 20%
Early 00's again -- Mcdojo Karate -- actually closer to 30% women.
Mid 00's -- Shitty pseudo-Kung Fu -- there was closer to 5-10% women (it fluctuated, only 1 or two really stayed long, but usually there was an influx for a few classes, then dropped out, but the amount incoming usually matched the amount outgoing).
And now, with my brief BJJ/MT training, which is very little mostly due to injuries over the past 2 years (broken foot, broken tail bone, ripped up foot, busted nose, crushed disc in back, arthritic hands, etc and it's good to note, none of the injuries were from training or fighting... ), work and having 2 young kids.
I've met a few women that could kick my ass (I'm 220 lbs, 6'0", though could use to lose about 10 lbs these days, gained from time away from training because of said injuries), though mostly they were jits oriented and very highly ranked. Most of the mcdojo ladies would outlast me in cardio kickboxing, but I would never feel physically threatened.
Personally, I dig ladies who are athletic and like to train hard :) I married a lady who is into competitive sports and running... I didn't want a frail woman with stick arms. For me, there is something hawt about athletic women who can kick butt. My wife doesn't understand training in MAs though, but thinks it is great exercise though (doesn't want me to get fat and lazy, which I don't want either).
For me the travesty with women training is exploitation. Selling false confidence with SD basics (often wrong) and -- it's the same for men training too, I'm not trying to come off as sexist, but women do have, in general and in particular, different worries out there WRT physical conflicts.
There was that recent thread in YMAS about the ninju ladies from Australia knowing how to be deadly -- for me, it's good to have confidence and street smarts, but it's down right dangerous to be delusionally overconfident. The few women I know that could seriously do damage were Jits ladies who actively competed and trained realistically, and some kick boxing ladies who weren't doing cardio was were training for in-the-ring kick boxing.
Now, as a culture I definitely would dig more women training in more realistic methods, and more appreciated for the competitive martial sports for women. I have a daughter, and while it depends on her personality and interests, I would love for her to a) learn the drums (chick drummers rock) b) learn to kick serious ass in a realistic training methodology (I'm hoping MT + Judo.. but a daddy can dream for his little princess can't he?)
The clubs I go to:
In the karate club there are two women out of 20-25 active adult members.
In the Savate club there are none.
In the muay thai club I'd say something around 15% or less I think.
Trainings I see:
Boxing class: Quite a few actually, I'd put the number around 20 to 25%.
Conclusion, in Belgium if you want to meet women who can fight, the search will be long and difficult with your best chance being boxing apparently. Finding boxing clubs however isn't easy either, there are far more kickbox, muay thai, karate clubs.
There's one girl at my MMA place, though it's a small club. My Judo club is mostly guys but the coach is a woman. Thai Boxing at uni is fairly popular with girls, though most of them treat it like a cardio-box class (which to be fair, it is really) and my JJJ club has about 15% girls, about 3 or 4 of who stuck it out in the last term when exams are on.
P.S. I'm from the UK
Is the second session particularly for females or did they all just happen to group together?
Originally Posted by fatprince101