Do guys get intimidated?

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by Carina Jørgensen, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. Carina Jørgensen

    Carina Jørgensen Yellow Belt

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    Any of you ever had a guy be intimidated by you, because you 'could kick his ***', or were stronger than him and basically just more capable than him, physically? Do you feel like your skills can undermine a guys ego, regardless of how nice and gentle you go about it?? Should strong women act 'weaker', stop weightlifting as to not 'scare off' men, and to 'stay in their place'? Some men seem to think so.

    Why do these guys have a problem with strong and powerful women? And how do you deal with it?
     
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  2. MA_Husband

    MA_Husband Guest

    I would have to say it is an ego issue. In my case I now really like a powerful woman (mentally and physically). I use to think that a powerful woman was just a b***h. After some age and growing a little I learned that it was just my insecurity.
    A Powerful woman is intimidating but when she directs her efforts towards me then that really boosts my ego. 'Wow SHE's interested in me'. I look at it like 'every guy looks at my wife but she goes home with me. That is an awsome feeling.
    I don't think a woman should stop being herself to impress a guy or anyone for that matter. Be honest to yourself. If they can't handle your strength then can they handle your love? I'm sure that would be much stronger!
    Good luck.
     
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  3. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    MA_husband,

    Excellent reply! I agree wholeheartedly with you. If a female loves her martial arts, she shouldn't have to give up what she loves as that is part of her and helped her be how she is now.

    - Ceicei
     
  4. KenpoTess

    KenpoTess Sr. Grandmaster

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    I remember one incident during one of our College Karate classes.. Seig was telling the class how nobody in the studio could hit him hard enough to hurt.. Except one person.. and they wanted to know who that was.. He said.. "Tess punches like a battling ram, and it HURTS" One of the big weightlifter guys was brought forward and he punched Seig without any effect then I punched him and 'moved him' and after class the guy asked me.. How come your punch is so much more powerful. I just smiled and mumbled something about torque and backup mass.. he shook his head in confusion and slunk out of the room.

    Most guys are still in the mindset that women are dependent on them for protection, and there's really nothing wrong with that.. as long as we as females are Able to Protect ourselves if the need arises. I still hand a jar to Seig to open.. If we are somewhere and there's an altercation.. I'm going to let him handle it.. but knowing I can jump into the fray if I have to.. it's a good feeling..
    If guys are intimidated by my biceps.. They can just sod off :)

    Tess
     
  5. Phoenix44

    Phoenix44 Master of Arts

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    I don't think you should "act" anything. How long are you going to "act" in a relationship?
     
  6. c2kenpo

    c2kenpo Guest

    I have to agree with MA Husband and Tess on this one.
    I for one am not intimidated by a strong woman. Strength can come not only physically but mentally as well. I find that they are what pulls the best in me out and challenges me to improve myself. (My wife god bless her)

    I can recall the first time that I met Doreen Cogliandro and was in amazement at her overall "presence" for a moment I felt insignificant but I also was just beggining my Kenpo journey.
    Since then I have had the pleasure of meeting many great "strong" female individuals not just from the MA.
    Ann & Nacy Wilson (the music group Heart)
    Linda Hamilton (Actress - The Terminator)
    A number of Senators and government officals.
    and others that well I consider "strong".

    A strong person male or female can be intimidating to anyone. It is just part of that individuals learning experience and thier ability to manage that personality and incorporate it in thier lives.

    As for MA Jacki McVicar. If you are out there mam, I will miss you at this years Kenpo Training camp. However my butt is still sore from the 5 ft flying act you peformed on me. :uhyeah:
    Intimidated....no...absolute respect. Unequivocly. (sp?)

    Dave
     
  7. I think its great to see a woman involved in MA or anything.

    This whole thing about a woman being a weak person is a bad fantasy. Throughout history there have been tons of great strong women. Usually they have been over shadowed by the men. But they are out there.

    Its a pleasure to see a strong woman in many ways.

    My hats off to all the strong women and to the others come out of your shell and dont be affraid to show your stuff.

    IMO: I believe it takes a strong man to have a strong woman by his side as his partner. I also love it.



    Chicago Green Dragon

    :asian:
     
  8. theletch1

    theletch1 Grandmaster

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    During my time in the Marine Corps I had the pleasure of working with several women Marines that were just flat out hard core and I loved them. I knew that we could be told to take the gates of hell and these ladies (yes they were still ladies when they needed to be) would stand shoulder to shoulder with me and battle on. Until I joined the service I had a very backward view of the role a woman was to play in the world. The women I served with changed my mind on a lot of things that I thought women just weren't "supposed" to do. Thanks to them my daughters will never hear the phrase "You can't do that, you're a girl." My eldest daughter begins auto mechanics in high school this year. Of 45 children that tested to get into the school she was the only girl to make it in. All of the above is dealing with women at something around arms length. There is a different dynamic when dealing with a wife/girlfriend for most guys. My first wife was the stereotypical "weak" woman. At first I enjoyed it, felt like a big man and all that. After a while, I gotta admit, it became quite a burden. One of the things that really attracted me to Tina (my current wife) was her strength. I wanted a partner in life, not a subordinate. I really think that as time goes by more and more men are beginning to feel as I do. I like a strong woman, both physically and mentally. I've said many times that one of my favorite training partners is a young woman who can give as good as she gets and a lot of guys are intimidated by her.
    All the responses from the guys on this thread are in a positive vein. Do ya'll think that this is due to a general change in out look from men in society or is it because, as MAs, we have had no choice but to admit to ourselves that woman are just as capable as men are after having women through us around the dojo?
     
  9. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I have found males in martial arts more accepting of "strong" women than those in some workplaces.

    I wonder though, if it is because the martial artists have to directly work with females with physical contact and thus because of that, accept them more. Other workplaces might not be as open or accepting in terms of office/work duties as women may not always be able to show their full potential.

    - Ceicei
     
  10. Rick Wade

    Rick Wade Master Black Belt

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    When my wife and I were both assistant instructors students would listen to me but not here. Until she dropped one of the students during sparring He was 6'3" and very mucular (not wearing his cup) not very smart. Then the Pendulam swung the other way then most student were afaid of her. The probel I see in most Dojo is Men do not want ladies as Yukis. Not me man I will beat I mean use my wife as a crash test dummy in a heart beat.

    Thanks
     
  11. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    Maybe some do initially, but they get over it. I'm also not sure intimidation is the right word. I'm fairly petite and very unassuming and hardly an intimidating person.

    Until...the workout begins. When a guy holds a hand pad or a kick pad for you and says stuff like holy ****!! They see for themselves and quickly learn to respect what you can do. The other day after a kicking drill a guy asked me if I had long lean muscle mass in my legs....he was impressed and totally serious. I couldn't help it - it sounded funny so I laughed! Sometimes it's embarrassing to show your strength, but you get over it, and really I've never felt like anyone was really afraid of me...except...:rolleyes:

    We have this one really big guy in our school (no, not you pete :) ) and he is very strong...really he doesn't have a clue just how powerful he is (talk about back-up mass), but because he's big, he is not as fast and generally is easy to get around in sparring. He told me and some of the people we were in class with Tuesday night that I am the one person he hates to spar because I'm so fast, and my punches hurt. It's funny, but he could totally take my head off with his hook punch...just has to find a way to catch me. I respect him, he is very powerful and I know I better not make a mistake when I spar him or I know I could end up being knocked out! Anyway, I think that was his way of telling me he respects me for what I can do.

    Also, when you are sparring a guy and you agree to hit hard and they return the favor, to me it shows that they respect your MA skills. With some guys you have to give them permission because they feel uncomfortable hitting a woman, and this is not necessarily an issue of being intimidated. To me, many, most of the guys are much stronger than I am, I am the one who has reason to be intimidated, but I am not because I'm faster and have to learn to fight smart. If someone repeatedly hurts you, man your woman, you should avoid feelings of intimidation and speak up...or you will get hurt.

    I think most guys know that woman are not training to try and compete as a man. Just trying to be the best we can be! And if we also just happen to be able to kick some butt and make a few guys shiver in their gis...well... it's unintentional, and as their confidence in their skills increase so does the way they see things, and you know it when they hit ya back.:boxing:
     
  12. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hopefully feminism and machoism are passe' and we all can find something about each other to respect and admire without getting into the crap about stereotyping sexual roles.
    I've dated a female body builder (it was kinda fun too), and wasn't intimidated by her strength because overall she acted like her sex... female. Now what is THAT supposed to mean? Okay... how about like she waited for me to open the car/resturant door and all that kinda stuff and wore one night a dress that had me ... well you know had me acting like my sex.. Male.
    Most of us (here) know that women in general are just as (sometimes better than) men in Martial Arts ...whatever style/system. A person, man or woman that walks into a dojo for the first time should be given the respect due that they want to learn a MA for a reason, be it self-defense, enlightenment or whatever. What they got below the belt is redundant and irrelevant.
    If a man/guy/dude starts to feel intimidated by a woman learning (or teaching) a MA then they (the guy) needs to re-evaluate his own self-perception and esteem.
    Intimidation is like jealousy... just an outward manifestation of one's own insecurities.
    :asian:
     
  13. KenpoTess

    KenpoTess Sr. Grandmaster

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    I like you :D

    :asian:
    ~Tess
     
  14. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Interesting thread. My ex-hubby (who, btw, is a Kenpo 5th dan) would get intimidated by me because he thought I was smarter than he. So he attempted to physically intimidate me. When that didn't work, he threatened my life. After leaving, I sought out a serious teacher and found one - the guys in my class don't care to grapple with me - except the ones that I allow to intimidate me.

    Not many wish to spar with me or work with knives with me...and I'm the only female underbelt that attends on a semi-regular basis, so if I don't have a partner it becomes difficult to progress. My teacher seems to think they are afraid I will hurt them...curious.

    Thoughts?
     
  15. Kenpo Mama

    Kenpo Mama 3rd Black Belt

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    I think few men would admit being intimidated by a woman, only the most secure man would tread those waters. When i enter a sparring situation with another individual regardless of sex, i am there to practice my skills. I would hope that we both would have enough respect for eachother's abilities to take nothing for granted. I have no delusions about what i need to do to in a self defense situation. I need to get in and get out. I need to react fast and work on timing and spontaneous reaction.

    I train to develop these skills and to deliver my strikes to vital targets as powerfully as i can. I believe the hardest person i ever had to spar was my own husband on my black belt test. After 10 minutes of continuous sparring against two other people, my husband came in. People watching that 5 minute round were amazed how "hard" he was on me, and i still had another round to go after meeting him. I was honestly grateful that he respected my ability enough to work me hard. My adrenaline started pumping and brought my skills to a level i did not think i could possibly reach at that moment. (About 2 hours into my test). I appreciate his critiques of my sparring and techniques because i know he wants me to be the best i can be. He also accepts my feedback and respects my opinion. So i can say i expect nothing less from any man i meet on the mat. Mutual respect, honest interaction and leave the "i tarzan, you jane" mentality at the door.

    A long time back, i was practicing a technique with a large guy, - real macho dude and he said "i can't hit you hard - you're a girl!" I said to him "Rocco (not his real name, but close!) suit yourself, but i'm gonna hit you hard - cause you're a guy!" He stopped training at my old school shortly thereafter.

    Have a great weekend boys and girls! Play nice...

    Donna :asian:
     
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  16. MA-Caver

    MA-Caver Sr. Grandmaster

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    Atta girl!

    :asian:
     
  17. pete

    pete Master Black Belt

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    kenpo mama be a lucky woman...
     
  18. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    I have seen it in the workplace, and in the studio. Not a pretty site either place. Of course, some of the men ... or women, would be intimidated by either gender in the same setting. Part of it is the perceived power disequilibrium, but it is also in the eyes of the beholder.

    Unfortunately, there are men who are so insecure (and unaware of this), that their normal interactions on a day to day basis are intimidating. I think that we are more used to this than how to deal with a secure woman in a position that is one up or perceived that way. Some guys just are in denial that a Kenpo black belt can kick their butt, regardless of gender, but especially a woman, and who would want to think about this anyway, except someone who is dealing with their own insecurities.

    Interesting question. I have had female attorney bosses who can be intimidating ... and intend to be, to be effective in their roles. It took me a while to see past this, or confront them on it. In that setting, I have never received a negative reaction when talking to someone about how they come across, or how they intend to come across. I got over the feeling intimidated, and got to the irritated phase pretty quick, and rather than stay mad or act pissy, chose to talk to them about it. It seemed to work, when my last one left to head her own State agency, I got her job. I am sure I would not have had I allowed myself to stay intimidated or put off by her, and just reacted to her situationally.

    -Michael
     
  19. mj-hi-yah

    mj-hi-yah Senior Master

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    Michael,

    It sounds like you have developed the right attitude in dealing with women of power in your workplace. That's great and very forward thinking of you! Your choice to communicate rather than to remain disgruntled was a positive approach in dealing with your boss, and obviously led to a positive outcome for you.

    I am curious about some things though - not judging at all and don't necessarily disagree with you...just wondering. It is interesting to me that you see at least some of your female bosses as being intentionally intimidating in order to be effective in their roles. Do you think that this is unique to women in power? Do you think women think that they have to somehow overcompensate for that fact that they are women in order to gain respect in a law office or in a dojo for that matter? If so, do you think it is because there is still a prevailing attitude in society that women are somehow less capable than men and must find ways to show that they can handle an important job by behaving in an intimidating manner? Now that you have been given that same job, do you think that you need to be intentionally intimidating in order to be effective in your role as boss?

    MJ
     
  20. Michael Billings

    Michael Billings Senior Master

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    Not necessarily. I tend to work in a profession now that has an excess of testostorone generally (Criminal Justice), as a psychotherapist (previous life) this issue did not appear nearly so often or obvious.

    Sometimes this may play a factor. I have lots of friends, female, in law offices. It appears they put up with a lot more than an employee in the public sector would have to put up with. As a result they either leave, blow it off and play the game, or compensate, sometimes overcompensate, to prove themselves ... something they should not have to do ... but then you know that already.

    To some extent it is the nature of the two lines of work you are addressing. Both tend to be somewhat chauvanistic and patriarchal in structure. I have seen many women in similar positions, but in a theraputic or treatment setting, who do not display these characteristics.

    Nope! I am not coming in new and have held a job as one of their peers for years (administrative law judge, or hearing officer/analyst), they are used to me and I am pretty matter of fact about stuff ... although somewhat intense and driven by nature, I try not to let this spill out.

    Now a question for you: I have many women friends who cannot stand (literally) to work in an office of all women, they complain about having a female boss consistantly. I have some speculation based on what they told me is the reason, but any insight on this? How would this play out in a school where the head instructors are female (which we have here in Austin if you know where to look)?

    -Michael
     

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