Keep our female students by meeting their needs..
Female martial arts needs

If we are to attract more female martial arts students and keep them in our classes, certain things need to be understood so the atmosphere and methods used in martial art training meets their needs.

One in every four women has been raped or sexually abused

Every time male martial artists speak about or treat female students as sex objects, the abused ones feel ill. They may have flashbacks and they will definitely feel threatened. If male students talk about being attracted to pretty girls, make lewd remarks, or point out the sexual attractiveness of women some female classmates will leave. If you want to keep keep female martial arts students in the classes, make sure they feel secure, treated with respect as sisters.

What can be done well is teaching women's self defence or rape prevention classes. 86% of attempted rapes are prevented when the woman fights back. Weapons training should be included because more than half of rapes committed involve weapons. Yes, we should have female martial arts students training with the men, but there should be specific, learn self defence quickly classes for the women. If men are involved in this, choose the ones who are good at role play but not the ones who display any predatory tendancies. They will already have generated too much anger in class and the girls might really hurt them.

I would go so far as to say many women actually join a martial arts class because they expect to learn self defence that will immediately help them. If we fail to provide it, we miss our female martial arts students primary reason for being there. Of course they will leave.

Women are not physically comparable to men

There is a lot of over simplification being fostered in the present age about treating women like men because "that's what they want". This is not entirely true. Women are equal or more than equal in every way except physical strength. The average fifteen year old boy has more muscular strength than an adult female. We have to train together but remember, if your training partner is a female martial arts student, she hasn't got a layer of muscles around her bones. A small strike hurts her much more than a male student. She is more breakable.

I suggest padding the girls well if they are training with the boys. I also suggest teaching them a lot of evasive techniques and methods they can use to recover quickly if a small strike knocks them down. Remember that a woman doing weight training or body conditioning will not achieve the same strength results as a man unless she takes steroids. Girls, don't take steroids! You are not men and you don't have to be.

Also, it does not degrade a female martial arts student if a male carries her heavy equipment. She might actually damage muscles or ligaments trying to carry the same weight as the men. Good sense is worth a lot more than political correctness. Everything about male and female students should be treated equally except  when it comes to physical strength.

Most martial arts clothing is a fashion disaster

Apparently the manufacturers of martial arts clothing think all the students are male. Female martial arts students are often forced to wear clothing made for men. It doesn't fit right. They have to buy the huge pants to accommodate their naturally larger hips, for example. Let's get the clothing act together and there will be more female martial arts students.

My Experience as a Female Martial Arts Student

What do you think about the needs of female martial arts students outlined on this page? Please tell us. Or do you have a personal experience or some insights to share on this topic? We'd love to read your thoughts.

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