MightyBands, home gym system

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.


Waz said...

maybe they don't like gettin thumped in the chest a lot! Or perhaps it's the 'in your space/face' hurt'em attitude, ie no sporting application, just combat? Dunno!

Anonymous said...

Chi Sao is pretty awkward and uncomfortable for women if they are doing so with guys. Regardless of the guy's intention, the gender difference and nature chisao requires close proximity and contact during practice, which can be cause for discomfort. Keep in mind that this is different from a grappling style where you are actively handlocked in combat. In Chisao, if the participants are not practicing blindfolded, they will naturally look at each other - either eye-to-eye, or in many cases, eyes-to-chest. Oops - when guys stare at a woman's chest... that can make for awkward chisao. And, well, like the earlier post - you can't exactly drop a punch through to a woman's chest the way you would to a guy. You don't want to hit/touch them inappropriately, even if that's where you would normally hit someone. So in a way, trying to be respectful ends up being non-conducive to a good learning environment.

So couple that with the fact that there are already few women in class, it kind of becomes a vicious cycle...

Anonymous said...

As a follow-up... one may want to consider holding all-women classes. It's not discrimination, it's just providing a safe learning environment, and if women wish to join the mixed gender class, they should feel free to do so.

Waz said...

Nicely put anonymous!

The Shackled Muse said...

I've never joined a martial arts club, although I've done some Kickboxing on my own, as a work out. My boyfriend (found your blog by following an article on his tumblr site) is doing Wing Tsun.

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

When I moved to the city, I wanted to do Wing Tsun as well. I was told I couldn't (by the bf) because Sifu will only teach women if there's more than one. The reason for was because it's such an up close and personal sport. I really don't mind that and I wont scream harassment if another student touches my boobies by accident. But yeah, I couldn't join, end of discussion.

Later I found out that a woman joined. One woman. When I asked the bf about it, he admitted that the sifu said he'll only teach a woman if whoever brings her spars with her. And he was under the impression that sparring with me only would "hold him back."

Needless to say, if i'm good enough to just spar with him at home, but not at class, then martial arts is something we will never do together.

In fact I'm looking for a buddy to do Krav Maga with me.

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