NICE martial artists wear skirts!

Discussion in 'Women of the Martial Arts (Women Martial Artists)' started by Flea, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    It's summertime, and for me that means the long flowy sundresses and hippie skirts come out. I realized that from a SD perspective, dealing with all that extra fabric would add a whole new dynamic. So as an experiment, this morning I put a skirt on over my gym pants to see how it felt.

    What a surprise! The extra cloth was only the tip of the iceberg. I found that the skirt touched a deep psychological nerve of "I'm a girl," and so all my actions became much more feminine. I minced daintily in most of the drills. I spoke softly. I giggled where I usually laugh. I tried not to get dirty. And most interesting from a technical standpoint, every time I fell I was careful to keep my legs together and hold the skirt down with my hands.

    All this was unconscious, at first. Once I realized I was doing it, I just observed the thought pattern. I kept the skirt on to see where the sensation took me. It's a great education to watch one's thoughts dispassionately. I'm really amazed at how deep the gender conditioning goes just by putting on a different article of clothing. It's also a little embarrassing for such a self-proclaimed tomboy too. :uhyeah:

    Zo. The upshot of all this is that I'm hitting the Goodwill first thing on Monday to buy a junker skirt to wear at every practice for the forseeable future. This gender stuff needs a deeper look. That, and if I can learn to fight dressed like girl, I hope to be that much more badass once the skirt comes off. This may be an interesting challenge for the guys too as they occasionally struggle with the "don't hit girls" taboo.

    Should be interesting ...
     
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  2. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

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    An interesting experiment, Flea.

    Having worn a hakama, I can attest that the same thing does not affect chaps who put on a 'skirt' - I suppose because it's masculine 'warrior' attire of another culture perhaps. Indeed, wearing one does actually tend to induce something of a swagger to your movement - the practical issue that did make it's appearance felt very early on was that walking up stairs is a whole different excercise when wearing what amounts to a full length pleated 'skirt'.
     
  3. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    That is very interesting.

    I have effectively run, jumped, kicked and shoved in a business suit and heels...but, ya know, once I got on the commuter train I've generally calmed down. So glad I'm not working in downtown Boston anymore. LOL!

    In all seriousness, I've practiced a few moves in nicer clothes, and I've trained for several hours in street clothes, but I don't think I've ever done a full practice session in a skirt and heels or something similar.

    I like the idea of buying some secondhand clothes and doing a full practice session in more feminine attire. That could be very interesting.
     
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  4. girlbug2

    girlbug2 Master of Arts

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    What a fascinating idea! Training oneself to fight in a skirt, very practical--I do sometimes wear them on the street, and you never know when you'll be assaulted.

    I may try this sometime...with the instructor's blessing beforehand.
     
  5. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Exactly. I suspect wearing a skirt makes one a more attractive victim. First, a skirt or dress makes one look more feminine, with all the stereotypes of weakness that go along with that. Secondly, dresses usually mean less practical footwear too, and a little more difficulty with escape. And some dresses can inhibit motion.

    We don't have uniforms in my class, and the teacher is very mellow. I didn't ask; he looked at me a little quizzically when I put it on, and was impressed with my rationale. :ultracool I'm serious about going skirted indefinitely; I just need to find one without an elastic waist that won't fall off too readily. I think this will propel me lightyears forward in my practice.
     
  6. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    i'm going to start training in my kilt.

    under those circumstances, is it still appropriate to go commando?

    jf
     
  7. harlan

    harlan 2nd Black Belt

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    :popcorn:

     
  8. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    Indeed.

    Didn't we just have a similar thread in this forum? :moon:
     
  9. jarrod

    jarrod Senior Master

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    i'm sure i don't know what you're talking about.

    jf
     
  10. Kacey

    Kacey Sr. Grandmaster

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    To return to the original topic - I periodically train in street clothes (those are, after all, what one is most likely to need to defend oneself in), and I teach classes in which my students come in street clothes and train in them, for the same reason. Granted, 90% of the time, street clothes for me means jeans and a t-shirt - but even sneakers can throw off your focus if you're not used to kicking in them. Sandals or dress shoes that come off at the first technique can throw you off - one of the things we practice is kicking your shoes off at the first attack, so as not to be hindered by them if they're likely to fall off anyway. On the other hand, spike heels are a great weapon, especially aimed at the instep following a shin rake.

    You will respond as you train - and if you only train in a uniform, or gym clothes, that will likely hamper your response when you try anything else. Training in street clothes is a valuable technique, and I highly recommend it.
     
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  11. Kantini

    Kantini White Belt

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    dI have always evaluated my daily wardrobe with the thought of what moves I could do while wearing them. I've never actually practiced in them however. Time to give it a try. I've also thought of accessories as weapons. You know, purses or their straps, jewelry, pens, or articles of clothing like jackets and sweaters,belts, scarves, and definately heels.
     
  12. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I actually, unless I'm doing a 'dirty' job like sewer searching etc always wear a skirt for work as opposed to trousers and boots. I can kick better for one thing but the main thing is that I do look more feminine, more approachable and less of a threat than wearing mens clothes so I get less agression back. I get the edge on people who are stroppy and/or drunk. It doesn't impede me at all from carrying out my job, I can do anything in a skirt that colleagues can do in trousers, I believe any advantage I can get I'll take.
     
  13. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    I hoped to find it on Youtube, but there's a great instructional video of using objects like jackets, backpacks, and umbrellas in Systema. Cool stuff.

    I don't think I've ever been so excited about hitting the thrift store before! :ultracool
     
  14. Flea

    Flea Beating you all over those fries!

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    One other thought with all this.

    The skirt was also a tremendous asset in many ways[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]. Because it conceals my legs it added an element of surprise for my opponents. And that delicate mincing enhanced the drills where precision is important - especially timing. I've also done a lot of folk and ballroom dancing over the years, where a skirt is basically a social requirement. So with the MA it also cued the dancing mentality, which dramatically boosted my learning curve.[/FONT]

    Can you tell I'm really excited about this?

    :highfive:
     
  15. ArmorOfGod

    ArmorOfGod Senior Master

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    Does anyone remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where a van full of hats opens up on the freeway and the hats dump out? When the hats landed on the cartoon characters, they assumed the identity associated with each hat.
     
  16. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Kacey et al,

    I agree with the street cloth training, I also think seasonal training is required as well. In our area it snows and there is lots of ice. So training in winter gear is also done. I could imagine that summer gear with lots less clothing would also cause issues for people who are not used to it as you stated.

    Thanks
     
  17. Stac3y

    Stac3y Master Black Belt

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    In my teens, I took a women's SD class that actually demontrated and trained ways to use heels as weapons. A stomp to the foot with a stiletto heel can be very effective; raking the shins, too. Alas, I can't wear heels any more, though--they hurt my flat, wide feet and are risky for my ankles, both of which have been sprained too many times. I do wear skirts regularly, but I avoid ones that are very restrictive, like pencil or straight skirts.
     
  18. Live True

    Live True Brown Belt

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    Until I started training MA, I'd never given thought to how restrictive my clothes could be...but I tend to wear pants or flowing skirts, so not a lot of problems. Now, though, this thread has definately got me thinking...what a great idea.

    I do know that I purchase clothes differently now. If I can't easily kick or move in something, it's very unlikely I'll buy it. Weird and cool at the same time.

    GREAT THREAD
     
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Although the majority of my Sanda training was in street cloths ranging from jeans to business casual I will admit I never trained in a skirt and likely won't any time soon :D
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    What if you were attacked when just wearing a towel around your waist lol?
     

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