Fighting girls

Posted: February 22, 2011 in Life, Martial arts
Tags: , , , , , ,

So here I am sitting again, quite late at night, after a good training session at the dojo. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I was the only girl for quite some time training actively in the club. That meant that I always trained with the lads, expecting no special treatment and happily trying to give as good as I got.

We now have a few more girls that train, which is great. Not many but still more than before. This has also caused me to discover something. I find it harder to train with another woman than with one of the guys. Not because anyone is more skilled than the other but more because I become more careful and to be perfectly honest… more worried I might hurt my opponent.

It is ridiculous really but true. I become too cautions, which really doesn’t benefit anyone. It doesn’t benefit my opponent as she will not experience the resistance she should or the conditioning needed nor does it benefit me as I lose out on being too nice, not performing the technique to the correct extent and not connecting with a more “real” situation etc etc.

Now why do I feel like this you might wonder? It is hard to put my finger on it. I know that if I would encounter an aggressive girl out and about that would start a fight with me that I would not hold back just because she is a woman. It would not bother me at all. But… in the dojo I to a greater extent worry I might hurt my opponent, especially the girls. Most of the girls are tiny and probably weigh just about half my weight or similar. I am under no illusions here… I am no ballerina. Nor will I ever be. I also know, or so I have been told, that I am pretty strong for a woman. I am not blowing my own trumpet, I just always have been stronger than most of my female friends.

I also know that strength is NOT the deciding factor in martial arts but still, half the time I feel like I am going to hurt someone unintentionally. I need to work on that, as it is not fair on anyone. I know I am fooling myself but even knowing that… it is a challenge. I do not seem to have the same mental block when I train with the guys even though I do not want to hurt anyone badly, we are training after all, but it feels more OK to add some oooommmpphh when facing the lads.

So, something new to consider and overcome. Good thing there is always something to work on.

  1. Bob says:

    I used to take a number of martial arts back in high school, a variant of Ju-jitsu I think.

    One of my friends was my sparing partner, I got involved in a textbook arm sweeping move that brought his torso even with my leg and I instinctively gave him 4 or 5 sudden leg kicks to the midsection.

    Needless to say I learned my strength that day and well my friend never spared with me again. That was almost 20 years ago.

  2. nikki04 says:

    Kick some chick ass! How’re we ever going to get tougher if you don’t start treatin’ us like the boys, Ivy???? 😉

  3. Cori says:

    I think we’re all conditioned to be protective of the “lesser sex”, even fellow members of said sex. One of my friends used to do a mixed-sex kick boxing class and it took a 110-lb chick landing a solid kick to the solar plexus for him to figure out he should be giving it his all no matter who he was training with 😛

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      Oh yes, you are very right. Size and strength has little to do with it if someone has good technique. I think that my situation will improve as well once the new girls in the club become better and better as they are still pretty new. Until then I have to keep in mind that training is training and not focus on who I train with from a gender perspective.

  4. leafprobably says:

    I have the same thing with my Taekwon Do club… I’m bigger, stockier, and stronger than most of the girls there, and so when we get partnered up for sparring or drills I have a really hard time reminding myself to not go easier on them! It’s the same as when I’m working with any of the young teens, I’m terrified of hurting a kid! (We have a class age ranging from 13-50.)

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      I was in the dojo today and one of the new girls was in training as well. Had to remind myself a few times but it went well. She was tough and gave it her all. The youngest in the club is about 19 or 20… I can only imagine the difficulty finding a balance between too much and too light. Don’t envy you there at all.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Movedup says:

    Ha ha – I can relate – I am small but fast. I was working with a new woman in class and the drill was if you got tagged you had to drop and give your opponent 10 push ups on your knuckles. Sure enough I tagged her in nothing flat and counted out her 10. My Master was laughing – it did get her going and she even tagged me -well sort of but I gave it to her anyway and made her count out mine. Laughing at the end of the night – it was a healthy competition. NO hard feelings – I think that might be the difference. When I am sparring with the guys its just like rough housing with my older brothers. When I am sparring with another woman it takes on a different tone.

    • Ivy Blaise says:

      He he! there is a difference alright. At the moment there is just me and one other girl again. The rest of the women left. The other girl is smaller than me but she is tough and gives as good as she gets so there are no issues. Even the lads know that. So 99% of the time I am back training with the guys. We’ll see if some more women show up and most importantly…stay.

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