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Old July 3, 2012, 02:53 AM   #19
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Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
I think there are a few ways to look at the question.

First, and obviously, the instructor needs to have an idea what the students (women in this example) want to learn. Within reason, the student's priorities should drive the focus of the class.

But then again, people don't know what they don't know, and an instructor should try to enlighten... Catch-22.

When teaching basic Aikido, and when working with women - all things being equal - I tend to focus more on those basic techniques that deal with escaping from grabs and chokes. With men, the initial focus tends to be more toward dealing with shoves and punches. My thought process on that is, domestic violence notwithstanding, women are more likely to be grabbed by an assailant, and men are more likely to be struck.

IE, my focus with women is more on getting away from a would-be kidnapper or rapist.

If I were teaching women in a women-only self-defense course that involved firearms, I think I might put some emphasis on how to evade a grab, and draw and use a weapon when in close contact.

Teaching about situational awareness is appropriate, and worthy, but sometimes people get caught by surprise. Bad guys tend to try for surprise - at least the ones who have better than room temperature IQs.

Now, while I definitely see the value in women-only classes for the first time (or first few times), I also strongly believe that women need to eventually train in a co-ed setting - especially for physical training. A couple weeks ago, I had a 105lb Physician's Assistant hip-throwing a couple 200lb males. Good confidence boost for her, and a good eye-opener for the guys. I think women need to learn to deal with their most likely threats - men.


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