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#352848 - 07/24/07 09:50 AM Katacentric: is there a gender preference?
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
One of the usual questions in MA is 'where are the women?' How to get them into the class, how to keep them...and if contact is a major issue/perception that needs to be overcome. So, when I hear other female MAists here (and there are not many) say 'I love kata/patterns/form' I wonder if there is more than the female need to organize . Anyway, is there a gender difference in preference for kata?

Female only respond
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 07/24/07 09:50 AM
View the results of this poll.
Male only respond
Only one choice allowed


Votes accepted starting: 07/24/07 09:50 AM
View the results of this poll.

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#352849 - 07/24/07 10:41 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: harlan]
Journey Offline
Member

Registered: 09/01/06
Posts: 50
Loc: GA, USA
I'm a female and been training for several years now. I thought I was going to be an anomaly on this one but maybe not. I don't enjoy katas while learning them but am OK when it's time to "perform" for a test. Maybe it's because I have a hint of dyslexia and learning a set way to move can be difficult. I LOVE to hit and kick - it's a real outlet for me. As to why there are not more women in MA? It takes a unique individual to be drawn to the sport in the first place and an even more unique person to stick to it. The women I have work out with that are really into it are warriors. Beautiful,over 30, mothers, but warrior princesses. You got to have the heart for it.

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#352850 - 07/24/07 11:03 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: Journey]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
Being 'left-right challenged' myself, there are times I hate kata. But...once I'm doing it...there is a fascination that takes over. A feeling of falling into a bottomless well...hard to describe.

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#352851 - 07/24/07 11:24 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: harlan]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
I hate kata.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#352852 - 07/24/07 12:13 PM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: harlan]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
Can a guy chime in?

I am finding more and more women in my classes these days. Many of them would fit Journeys discription. I enjoy teaching them very much. I have never had anyone either male or female say to me "I love Kata! I want to do more of it!!!" I don't think it is a gender issue. One of the things about current training is with all the options out there people can choose to train however they would like to. Martial arts are a hobby or pastime for folks so it makes sense to think "why spend it doing things you don't enjoy, move onto something else".

When I began training and even all I wanted to do was spar/fight. I enjoyed that, and frankly I was already good at it. Just like most folks I just wanted more of what I already had and was already good at. I did not not want to be brought face to face with conscious and subconscious shortcomings and fears. Who would? I have always had difficulty with memorization, sequences and anything linear. Personally I am all about improvisation and spontinaity. There is a school of thought that says spend the majority of your time working on your strengths. I think there is truth to that. On the other hand there is value in confronting and challening our issues rather than avoiding them. Being in a system that makes demands has the advantage of not giving you choices or freedom. You learn how to deal with and maybe even learn to enjoy experiential broccholi.

I have heard women voice their concerns about sparring. Even with our more conservative/ controlled approach that is true. Once they begin to spar which is approximatly 3 months into the program they are usually eager to give it a go. I think the primary value that I can provide as a teacher is the opportunity for a person female or male to explore the depth and breadth of who they are or might become. I want the places I teach to be physically and emotionally safe places to do that. Now creating an environment that is safe does not mean that it will feel safe to the individual. There are times when I want a student to be scared. Just because they are frightened does not mean they are at risk it may just feel like it. When there are small injuries we even celebrate them like badges of honor. I have actually heard the ladies tell stories about impressing their friends with the lumps and bruises they have gotten at class.

I think women are a pretty pragmatic group as a whole. With karate I think it is difficult at best to imagine where the practice with take you and if there will be a return on their investment of time and money. A lot of teachers will list the benefits to the students before they start. I don't. I really don't have any idea if it will be of value to them or not.
_________________________
www.prairiemartialarts.com

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#352853 - 07/24/07 01:44 PM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: oldman]
archon113 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/03/07
Posts: 22
Speaking as a male, I wouldn't say forms are my favourite part of training as I also enjoy pad work, sparring, and the rest of it, but I don't dislike them at all. It can be frustrating to learn and try to remember a new form that just never seems to end, but I like practising forms in class once I've learned them.

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#352854 - 07/24/07 01:46 PM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: archon113]
Taison Offline
The Forum Dragon
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3629
Loc: BKK, Thailand
Kata is like symbols. I'm symbolic challenged, and these symbols are a nice puzzle for me to work on.

-Taison out
_________________________
I got two fists.. Don't make me use my head as well!

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#352855 - 07/25/07 08:41 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: Taison]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
bump

Thanks for the reply Oldman. Don't forget to vote.

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#352856 - 07/26/07 09:40 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: harlan]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
bump...hmmm...interesting results emerging???

To date:

female reponses 8: 4/3/1
I like kata: 50%

male responses 16: 1/14/1
I like kata: 6%

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#352857 - 07/27/07 10:43 AM Re: Katacentric: is there a gender preference? [Re: harlan]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
bump...anyone know any female MAists they could direct to this poll? I'd love to see an even number of respondants.

To date:

female reponses 11: 4/5/2
I like kata: 36%

male responses 22: 1/19/2
I like kata: 5%

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