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Women and Martial Arts

Posted Jul 21 2010 5:00am
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled What Women Want – Karate Version . In this post, I responded to Steve’s question “Do women want to be treated like training partners or treated like female training partners?”

In reaction to my post, an anonymous commenter makes some excellent points about strength, rank, capabilities, technique and the old masters. However, I must disagree with the conclusion of his comment.
Most women just aren’t very motivated and they tend to have completely unrealistic expectations about training: yes I want to learn how to defend myself but at the same time I don’t want to get my hands dirty or sweat too much. This is just the way things are and there’s little one can do about it. Men are by nature more drawn to physical activities and sports and are more likely to take responsibility for their own safety (who else is going to do it?) while most women couldn’t care less and will often quit when the going gets tough.

I recognize that the author of the anonymous comment used the words “most women”. However, in my experience, the women in the dojo are not worried about getting dirty or sweaty. They are in the dojo because they are taking responsibility for their own safety. Before writing this post, I called several of my female friends and family members and asked the following question. “Who is responsible for your personal safety?” Every woman responded, “I am”.

The anonymous comment reminded me of a previous post – Where Are the Men? In this post, I discuss a program taped at a local TV station. The topic of the panel discussion was women and martial arts. A male home viewer called and asked the female panel “Where are the men?” My response was simple – my personal safety and self-protection are my responsibility.

What do you think? Are men more likely to take responsibility for their own safety? Are women in the dojo afraid of sweating or getting dirty? Are men more drawn to physical activities and sports?

I also ask the women who read this blog – Who is responsible for your personal safety?
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