If you are teaching women

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by aedrasteia, Oct 25, 2018.

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  1. aedrasteia

    aedrasteia Purple Belt

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    if you are teaching women... and you are puzzled by responses you don't understand (flinching, obvious discomfort when working with others, panic attacks, suddenly leaving class or no longer coming to classes),
    this is an extremely useful perspective.

    https://medium.com/@jesseswanson_43...n-fear-that-your-mind-has-gotten-over-7cdc9d5https:

    Often, students in class will over-apologize, laugh (inappropriately) and dismiss their own reactions, shut-down or otherwise try to cover their distress. What do you usually do (if anything)?

    w/respect, A
     
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  2. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    1: your link is broken

    2: this is not a gender specific issue. Not everyone is cut out for martial arts.
     
  3. Christopher Adamchek

    Christopher Adamchek Blue Belt

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    Ditto

    Points for when i teach women in my self defense classes:
    - i nearly always wear a cup (and they know this) so they can often practice striking there and so that they dont have to worry about genitals in training situations such as bear hugs
    - it is amazingly beneficial to have a female assistant (my fiance :joyful:) to help show height and weight differential aspects of techniques, for comfort reasons, and to show strategies and realistic placement of in scenarios where a woman is being inappropriately sexually assaulted - students can see and understand the strategies even if they would not like to practice them in class
    - im more gentle when stepping in and placing and guiding techniques that im correcting them on
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd like to read what you posted. I have an idea what it might have been.
     
  5. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    True, but this is not the issue i believe the OP post is addressing.
     
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  6. SOD-WC

    SOD-WC Orange Belt

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    The link doesnt work :(
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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  8. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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  9. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Ok. What does this have to do with martial arts or being a woman? Plenty of dudes stick around in sour relationships too. I think if you stick around in that sort of situation, be you male or female, you're an idiot.

    I wonder what Tim's side of this story looks like.
     
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  10. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    I don't think that being a martial arts instructor qualifies you to know how to handle this... unless you are also a mental health professional with the proper training in this area. If I suspected any of this was an issue, I would pull the student aside and suggest they get help from a qualified professional. Just because I know a handful of katas and convinced some group of people to give me a black belt doesn't mean that I am qualified to handle every type of situation. If a student gets teeth knocked out... I send them to the dentist. If they get a concussion... I send them to the doctor to get cleared. If they are exhibiting these types of symptoms... I would send them to a mental health care professional. Having this student doing the wrong things, can make it much worse for them, even if we mean well. Get them to the proper experts to get the proper care.
     
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  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had these reactions come up more than a few times over the years. Nearly always with a brand-new beginner (first few classes, or at a seminar). Some are as subtle as you mention, and others are breakdowns. As for suddenly not coming to class - can't really say how often that's due to one of these situations, as students do that all the time, for more reasons than I can fathom.

    When it happens during a class - assuming they don't have a support person there (spouse or close friend - that changes the dynamic), I normally would ask someone else to watch the class for a bit and check to see if she (yes, as you indicate, this is normally a woman) is doing okay. If she can continue, I'll watch what's immediately causing the reaction, and look for a way to temper it (if it's a touch to the neck/throat, I'll shift the contact point, which often helps). If she's struggling more than that, I'll ask if she needs to sit down for a minute, try to get her away from the class without drawing too much attention (it's a futile attempt - always draws attention, anyway). And I'll ask again if she's okay. Some of them want to talk a little about it (usually no more than "something happened a long time ago" or "I was attacked that way once" or something else suitably vague. If she wants to talk, I just let her. If she wants to step back on the mats, I ask if she wants to try the same exercise, change it a bit, or work on something else - I let her choose her level of comfort.

    Unfortunately, I'm neither trained nor equipped to do much beyond that in that situation. I have some training from long ago in crisis intervention, which has helped me help some people close to me, but none of it was training for these kinds of issues. If I had someone who seemed to need help (and who stayed long enough for me to offer contacts - none has yet - the ones that were that heavily stressed just left and I never saw them again), I'd offer to give her the number of a local service that can connect her with someone capable of offering help.
     
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  12. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Or just use the first half of the URL, which gets you right to the woman's page, where it's a featured article.
     
  13. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    tim would certainly have a story to tell, as well, but it's not either/or. Your posts on any topic like this are oddly emotional.
     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    There is appropriate sexual assault?
     
  15. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    Well said.
     
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  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I think if you are a guy and have been the victim of an abusive relationship. (And I have seen guys tortured) And get bombarded with this script that girls are the victims and guys are the aggressors.


    So instead of being able empathize with a victim because both guys and girls are victims of scum bags. You are automatically assumed to be the predator.

    You get your narky pants on.
     
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  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Senior Master

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    I expect nerves and jitters from everyone, new students especially. If someone acts unexpectedly, sex is irrelevant, I will keep an eye on them. One of the first things most MA teach is proper decorum. One of the many things it does is help quickly identify such unexpected actions. If a woman quickly leaves the floor and is gone for some time I will have another woman from class check on them. A small part of establishing a pier system. I only need to know they are ok and not having a medical emergency. We all ack weird sometimes. Trying to put an exclamation point on it because a woman did it is unproductive.
    If you decide you are going to teach MA and especially be the business owner you better know this is part of it and have a comprehensive plan packed away in memory to help deal with the many scenarios. People who have been assaulted, as a child or an adult, is often why they walk through the door in the first place. Having some idea of the potential triggers and how to counter them is just one of the complexities of being a teacher. If you only want to teach the physical components, you have stepped outside the MA element and you are a coach. Nothing wrong with that but it needs to be acknowledged.

    This is largely a question for the OP or others females reading the post. When I sign anyone up (male, female, kid) I go out of my way to let then know I am a tactile teacher. I am very hands on, especially with new students. I never do it jokingly and only do it in the context of teaching. It is only to explain technique which I also do verbally at the same time. It was the way I was taught and is the only way I know how to teach. If I sense someone is nervous I will always tell them what I am going to do first and that seems to work. In 34 years I have never had a complaint of any kind. I would like your know your thoughts on this teaching style.
     
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  18. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    Any emotional content you are reading, you are also adding. In fact, it's the opposite, I'm just the one with the balls to approach these things from the other direction rather than sing along with the chorus.

    Everyone has their side of the story, and not surprisingly everyone is the protagonist in their own story.

    So we have two issues here. First, the content of the article, which I read as a series of poor life choices that seem to be written in a way to try to evoke sympathy..boring...

    And secondly what has being in an unhappy relationship to do with showing up for class, and why specifically only for women?

    Real talk here Steve. You up to it this time?
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    According to 50 shades of grey.
     
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  20. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Valid point, DB. Thanks.123
     
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