View Full Version : being carefull when using female students??

11th June 2002, 08:04
Well in this day and age with all the stuff going around about abuse and things, how do you go about using a female student as an example?

For instance, I teach a jitsu class to 14 to 17 y/o. And I can see how parents might think that ground situations might not be all that good...

I usually take one of the male students as an example, but on the other hand.. when we do sparring I also spar with the female students..

any thoughts on this?

Harry Cook
11th June 2002, 12:38
I have quite a number of female students and I spar with them when it is necessary to test their progress or whatever, in exactly the same way as I would spar with the men. However I am also very fortunate in having a number of well experienced and skilled female dan grades, including my wife and daughter, so if groundwork etc is required with a female student then I will usually ask one of the female dan grades to do it. Sometimes of course this is not possible, especially when you are looking at practical self-defence situations when the liklihood from a female point of view is that the attacker will be a man, and so the female members of my dojo need to practice with a man in order to realistically appreciate a man's weight and strength. In this kind of situation I tend to put as much armour or padding on the man as possible, both to protect him, and minimise the chance of flesh on flesh contact, and tell the woman or girl to really go for it.
At the end of the day it all boils down to trust. I have asked all of the senior female students in my dojo and in other dojos how for their opinions on ground fighting etc with men and they all told me pretty much the same thing: they can tell the difference between someone trying to strangle them or whatever and someone who is trying for a surreptitious grope.
Harry Cook

11th June 2002, 14:01
I try not to be sexist about it - I treat the ladies the same way I'd treat any other student of the same build, agression and confidence level. Particularly in sparring, I find that a lot of beginners who aren't natural fighters need a lot of encouragement to actually fight anyone, men as well as women.

Mike Williams
11th June 2002, 15:14
Maybe it's a question of familiarity (as opposed to over-familiarity).

At our club everyone rolls with each other, regardless of gender. The fact that it's so common I think puts female students at ease.
Any new female students see how it is from the very beginning, and see other women doing groundwork (with guys). Some of them will decide that it's not their thing and move on. The others quickly get used to it. The fact that one of the senior instructors is a woman probably helps, too.

But I agree it does boil down to trust and the general training atmosphere. Thankfully I've never witnessed (or heard of) any inappropriate behaviour. I'm fairly sure that it would be dealt with very quickly.

Of course I'm talking about adults, not teenagers. Most kids' judo classes are mixed-sex - how do they normally handle it?



will szlemko
11th June 2002, 22:00

Everyone in our dojo works with everyone else. We often tell new students that when they come through the door to the dojo they quit being male, female, rich, poor, etc. they are all students who want to progress.


Shitoryu Dude
11th June 2002, 22:21
I just make sure not to hit them in the tits.


11th June 2002, 23:05
I dated a girl who had a problem with me doing Jujutsu groundwork with other females (namely one of the female instructors) I told her that as long as she could shoot pool and drink beer with her male friends I could roll on the mat with other females. We stopped dating after that. (I got over it quickly):p

I can totally relate but you put it so elequently.:D

12th June 2002, 03:17
I don't go to class to be handled "like a girl."

If a female is in a martial arts class, it should be a given that they be treated like equals.

Fredrik Blom
12th June 2002, 08:11
So then, what is worst:
- Accidently (yeah, I mean it!) cupping a female's breast during grappling (or whatever)
- Or realising that she didn't even notice it???


I guess that it goes the other way around too, but I wouldn't have noticed it, right?


12th June 2002, 10:34
There is some very good protection for women on the market which would make such "accidents" to be nothing but a hopeful wish.


Audrey Hoo
14th June 2002, 10:26
Personally, I hate it when the boys in the class hit me lighter or don't fully throw me cos they're scared of hurting me just cos i'm not one of the guys. I hate it even more when the sensei forces me to partner a fellow gal cos he's afraid of getting us hurt. Like I'm not always going to encounter an aggressor who is of the same built or same sex as I am?

I also noticed that it happened more often with the younger male members .. and not so much with the higher belts or more experienced male members, who seem quite comfortable working out 100% with the gals. How are we suppose to learn techniques, what works and what doesn't if we never really fully take the blows during training time?
I truly respect the *ahem*, men who treat us like equals and don't hold back.

As for cupping breast... well, guess accidents do happen :) I mean, we could accidentally kick the wrong part of your anatomy as well :)

audrey h.

14th June 2002, 10:53
well when I'm training I have no probs and treat everyone as an equal, but it's not so much the training part I'm talking about.

It's about the Teacher - student relationship..

Hell nowadays you can almost get a lawsuit if you look at a woman...

Ian McDonald
14th June 2002, 17:40

One of my instructors, Ed Baker Sensei, used to say to us that it's OK to look at the flowers, just don't pick them. This is especially true when someone has a crush on an instructor. Never take advantage of a situation where you have (potential) control over someone else. As an instructor, study some basic psychology so you can understand the phenomenon of transference and the attraction of an authority figure, especially affecting those with low self esteem of poor self images, something apparently inherent in modern women and especially teenage girls as they are programmed by the mass media to hate their bodies and be unsatisfied with themselves as they were born. They may thus seek your attention or approval in a effort to see themselves in a better light. This will often involve sexual signalling, probably an animal thing just barely on the level of consciousness, in an attempt to win the protection of the Alpha male. Remember now Rogier, it's Ok for screaming little girls to flock around you. you great big rockstar hunk of Euro-no-jitsu Soke-power you, just DON'T PICK THE FLOWERS.

15th June 2002, 08:14
What is wrong with the "Alpha Male type" picking a few flowers for his vase???

It never hurt Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy or this guy below??


Of course comparing Sensei to politicians is an insult to ALL Sensei everywhere.

I deeply apologize in advance.

Claire Bartlett
25th June 2002, 20:50
Hi Rogier,
This topic sure does come up a lot. I don't know why instructors don't just sit down with the class and talk to the students. A youth class might prefer to work with same sex partners, while adults might choose mixed gender.
In my experience, my Sensei typically avoids using women to demonstrate. Maybe it is his comfort level or a concern about false allegations, which let's face it, can ruin someone even if they are innocent. However, there is a consequence. If I am the senior belt in a class (typically the one used for demos) yet I am repeatedly passed over in favour of more jr. males, it sends a message to the other students. The males see that Sensei doesn't respect my rank so why should they. Then I have to deal with that attitude on the floor. The women see that they aren't valued. Show your students the same amount of respect regardless of their chromosomal make up.
I think Will's system is one of the simplest solutions. Get them used to it from the start. Women tend to drop out in high numbers so eventually you will be working with men if you want to train. It is hard to make the switch when the training is at a more intense senior level. Sebastian makes a good point about treating people based on many factors such as level of skill, size, aggression etc, not XX or XY. Personally I hate being patronized, but I don't want my 240lb, 6'2" partner treating me like his "equal". I'm less than half his weight and 5'tall! It doesn't take as much force to cause damage to my body as it would someone of the same size. It all boils down to respect.
PS Thanks Harvey

27th June 2002, 00:09
It isn't that difficult. You treat everyone equally.

28th June 2002, 13:43
I am currently the only female in my class and I have been grabbed (over my Gi) and punched in the chest and I just got on with it. It was never done on purpose (outside of the Dojo is another story). I have also grabbed and kicked many a "Cup" in my day!

I've been in jujutsu about 3 years, and everytime a new student joins, they tend to go easy on me cause I'm a chick. They quickly learn that that is a mistake and I make sure to verbally tell them that they need to not be delicate with me as it is a great disadvantage to me. An attacker on the subway won't go easy on me!

The Sensei's also make sure that male students never treat me any different. We don't focus on any ground work in our Dojo, but I do participate in some grappling outside and I don't care if I get grabbed cause it's usually never done on purpose. Often times the guy is to busy trying to pry my arms from around his neck while I'm choking him out.....I think guys get very compettitive when working with a female if they realize she knows what she's doing.

Some females are not used to full contact and wouldn't feel comfortable with that. All womens classes are the answer to that issue. It wouldn't be fair to anyone if a women was told that she would have to just deal with it and work with men all the time. Basic Self Defense is better then none at all.

Paul Wind
11th July 2002, 13:58
It seems to me that there is of course another side to the argument that the Politically Correct people could (and would eventually) bring up,
"Oh, he only trains with the males in his group, is there something odd going on there?"
No matter what you do, avoiding training with females or training with them in an equal manner to the males in the dojo there will always be some nasty minded person who will have a problem with it even if there isn't one there!
So you are damned if you do and dammed if you don't - Why not just get on with it and to hell with what those who don't train think, they don't matter.

Óscar Recio
11th July 2002, 16:28
I agree with Shanon...in my Ju Jutsu group two of my students are women. They train very hard and the other "tough" guys had "suffered" throws and joint locks just īcos they havenīt paid attention to my blond and blue-eyed students with this lovely smiles...In my group thereīs no difference with men or women only with experience and aplication of the techniques...thatīs all.:look: Even when my students train with women i keep saying thatīs very important to strike hard, grab arms and so on with real intention...the street reality of a raper or similar wont be "soft" so they must overcome the fear and focuss. Somebody told that itīs rough with women training but, with respect with that kind of views, i need to be fair and let them know about dealing with guys very tall and strong.
Sometimes an over-confident ex-Muay Thay practiser, just a few years ago, was shocked when one of my "girls" throw him on the mat severel times, hit him on the nose īcos his kamae wasnīt right...very proud!!!:nw:
Óscar Recio

Ginzu Girl
12th July 2002, 01:26
Originally posted by Ian McDonald
the phenomenon of transference and the attraction of an authority figure. . .[text deleted]. . . They may thus seek your attention or approval in a effort to see themselves in a better light. This will often involve sexual signalling, probably an animal thing just barely on the level of consciousness, in an attempt to win the protection of the Alpha male.

Hi Rogier,
I think Ian has some excellent advice. IMHO, I believe transference is a major issue in any sort of teacher/student relationship. (I stopped browsing Bad Budo because it got too depressing to read so many tales of abuse under the guise of firm guidance.) Believe it or not, I've had problems in reverse! I've been subjected to verbal, psychological, and even physical attacks (disguised as teaching) when I don't "go along" with someone's idol-making program. And I would also agree with Ian that most of the time the guilty parties aren't even aware of doing anything wrong or having a different standard of behavior for men and women. :rolleyes:

Again, it's just my opinion, but some professional advice sounds like a really good idea. I sympathize with you. Your situation is much more complicated than the equality of male and female peers working together. And yes, I agree it's scary as he**. Good luck! :mst:

P.S. I would very much like to find out what advice the professionals give you. If you feel up to it, could you post it!? Onegai shimasu! :smilejapa

13th July 2002, 19:34
Originally posted by Shitoryu Dude
I just make sure not to hit them in the tits.


I did that to my uke in my first class ever. Twice. Honestly, it wasn't on purpose, but I'm sure she thought I was an enormous perv.
*double cringe*

As some have said previously, it really isn't appropriate to treat everyone 'equally', because I don't treat my male training partners equally. The advice to treat your partner based on size, strength, aggression, and general 'vibe' seems to be what I've been sub-consciously following.

20th July 2002, 02:15
Well you know what all of my instructors are very professional.
either that or I am very ugly...
But anyhow I think that as a woman you have to get over it.
If you are studying and training hard in Martial Arts and you
are uncomfortable in any situation.
With your Sensei
With your Boss
With your Teacher at school
With your DOCTOR even
With your Priest

Who ever regardless of race/sex you have the freedom to leave.

I think that accidents can happen. But if a man touches a woman
and it is an accident both people know that it is an accident.

It happens a womans body is nice and curvy and sometimes something
gets in the way.

One time I was sparring with my instructor and I almost hurt him really badly. But I didn't...

Anyhow my point is that LADIES you know when a man is acting anything less than a gentleman and I think that the in the Dojo it's all about training. NOW outside the Dojo is none of our business....
But between student and teacher that is entirely up to them.

BUT sometimes girls are put into a situation and they are uncomfortable and or they do get abused that is a terrible thing.



Keep your paws to yourself DAWG

Karin Kemen