MightyBands, home gym system

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Why Are You Not Here?

As with many schools, including the school I'm in, there is a turnover rate. On top of that, the men easily outnumber that of women participants. Why? I can't say, but I can say why I've left other schools.

  • Cost - the price per hour of instruction or monthly cost for what you're getting out of the class is low. Either you're spending 50% of the class stretching and doing pushups or the number of classes per week is minimal (one/week).
  • Sport oriented - the martial art was geared to tournament sparring or forms competition. Apparently, the number of trophies is an accurate reflection of martial skill
  • Not realistic - as much as they tout how realistic the art could be used, the focus was purely on sport and no matter how fast my punches were or how many points I could rally in kumite, I really didn't have the confidence. Even able to "hold my own" against other martial artists at the time of differing style, I still didn't feel this was it for me and that there was more out there.
  • Glass ceiling - it was not a matter of if I could get that black belt, it was a matter of when. I knew that the "black belt" was simply a matter of being able to spar decently during a belt test, learn my katas, and perform good technique. No test in whether I truly know my stuff - if my skills were automatic, reflexive, alive..and FUNCTIONAL.
So let's go back to why the low female attendance? Honestly, wing tsun faces the truth that we are confronting a stronger, intimidating, bigger opponent. Because we make this such a known point, female practitioners have to really face this fact. In doing so, the whole experience is intimidating, frustrating and pair this up with the fact that wing tsun is not easy to apply (initially)..especially against egotistical male macho-ness (either aggressive or even in a passive manner) and you get frustrated females who jump ship and instead learn katas (beating the crap outta imaginary partners and kiai-ing the air).

Unfortunately for men, they underestimate the danger of the attacker and assume that our partners in class are reflective of what we face on the street. So, interestingly, we get a certain type of man that enrolls in arts like wing tsun. AND..to add..guys like that get their asses wooped on the streets or in the ring and so you can't blame the MMA guys who point at laugh at wing tsun guys.

Until then.

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