Hello everyone, I've been doing historical fencing for almost two years. Most of the time, I am the only woman in my class and I am starting to think that this might be a problem. I have the feeling to be always treated differently. Some teachers assume I will take more time to learn certain techniques, most of the students are competitive and are in my view slightly dangerous during sparring, especially when they notice i am actually not that bad. Their way to win is to start using brute force. Most of them will actually be offended when I point out that they should be careful with their hits when they're not stricking protected parts of my body (at my level, we only wear gloves and a helmet and teachers mention that you should have control of your sword at all time, bones were already broken during class). On top of that, I can't seem to find protective gear that is right for my size. Even when I go for small sizes, everything is too big and gear for woman is rare. I am not sure what is the main issue. I am not doing this sport to try to become the best or anything like that. I like to learn different techniques and I enjoy sparring when it is about using sophisticated techniques and using my brain (and I dislike challenges of strengh). I feel like that the students that are there for the art, and not the competition are scarce and I feel a tad lonely. Have any women (or men!) out there felt like me when practicing a martial art? How have you solved the issue? Changed school/sport, found 1-2 sparring partners who come to class for similar reasons as you and stick to them? Sometimes I wonder if martial art is really the right type of sport for me. I like to fight, but I don't like to risk of injuries...and the special treatment.