Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gender Skew part 2

Saw an interesting comment from my last post that really caught my eye. The person leaving the comment was female and this sentence caught my attention:

"In my limited experience, I'd say it is the teachers. And to some extent the ego of men."

I think there is truth to this - not the extent that the ego of men must huff and puff to show the ladies in the class how good their kung fu is...but in the "general ego of men." It seems, especially in wing chun, that such ego exists and that the general nature of teachers, assistant instructors, and students (senior relative to their training partner) spend more time "lecturing" and "demonstrating" beyond the point of the drill than actually training or letting their students train.

There are only a few teachers I would say that can go extend a lesson at length and incorporate quality demonstration of skill, while still provide a lesson to their students...but the majority, it seems, takes each lesson as an opportunity to show off.

Why is that? I think the general nature of wing chun, the inherent nature of requiring partner contact (rather than air - as in karate, for example) to demonstrate the ideas and practicality of wing chun effectiveness, encourages the ego as every hit makes you feel bigger.

To add, I would go as far as to say the demographic for martial art students would incorporate many men who have been picked on in life, have low self-confidence, and seek power and attention by way of martial art skills.

(Hey - i'm not afraid to admit i was picked on in school and thought that by learning karate i could kick the bully's ass and win the cute girl in class.)

But there comes a point in ADULTHOOD, where you just gotta let go of this.

This "ego of men" is not really an action or what you say..it's how you say it..it's how you act..it's an energy that men give off..and to pair that up with martial arts..well can come off kind of lame.

I don't believe it's the close contact nature of wing chun that turns off many women..i believe it's the close contact nature of women with the "ego of men" that turns them off.

hell, even I get turned off by it and I'd rather train with someone else or hope person A doesn't teach class next time or person B would let us train, etc etc. Ego comes in many forms...most commonly where they don't let you practice the drill, yap too much about how i'm doing everything wrong, making the drill too difficult where I can't even do the exercise, or having to "always win" by hitting me.

it's rather annoying.

Why would anyone want to stay in a class full of such guys?

i think such "ego of men" get in the way of training that only other men can bear it...and women that stick with it...only progress to the higher student grades where the ego of men get even more inflated because of their higher rank..only to end up eventually leaving. i also think this is why many men leave after they hit a certain level in their studies.

So are you one of these guys with such an ego?

Am I?

Until then.




Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gender Skew

In my limited martial arts experience, I've joined karate clubs, kung fu clubs, some tai-chi and now wing tsun.

One thing i've noticed over the years, is the lack of women in wing chun classes, compared to say Karate, or Taekwondo.

Why is that? What is it about wing tsun that results in such low numbers for women?

the whole marketing of wing chun ("created by a woman"), would attract the women demographic wouldn't you think? Or how about the whole "realistic self-defense" campaign?

Wouldn't you think that women would want to learn such things?

But instead, there are a lot more women enrolled in classes (and stay with it) in things like wushu, karate, aikido, capoeira.

Is it the curriculum? The teachers? the students? the atmosphere?

Why is wing chun so low on the female numbers? I personally think it has something to do with the students in the class, as well as the curriculum or teaching format. But i really don't know. I'm totally guessing.

What do you think is the reason?

Until then.

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