Encouraging Women to Train

Aiden_01

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There are no female students in my school. I used to think this was just how things go in martial arts schools but after seeing a lot of the posts here as well as spending more time cross training with instructors at other schools, I'm noticing that this isn't the case in other schools. The last time we had a female student was 4 years ago and the last time we had a female promoted to black belt was over 10.

We don't seem to be doing anything that discourages female students after they've started, I just can't seem to get them to walk in the door in the first place. I think having male and female students together provides a different perspective on techniques that is important. What can we do to encourage more women to come in and give it a try?
 

jobo

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There are no female students in my school. I used to think this was just how things go in martial arts schools but after seeing a lot of the posts here as well as spending more time cross training with instructors at other schools, I'm noticing that this isn't the case in other schools. The last time we had a female student was 4 years ago and the last time we had a female promoted to black belt was over 10.

We don't seem to be doing anything that discourages female students after they've started, I just can't seem to get them to walk in the door in the first place. I think having male and female students together provides a different perspective on techniques that is important. What can we do to encourage more women to come in and give it a try?
puts some adverts up in a place were there is a fair number of females, like local colleges .

you could also do some female self defence classes to see if any of them fancy taking it further.
 
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Aiden_01

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puts some adverts up in a place were there is a fair number of females, like local colleges .

you could also do some female self defence classes to see if any of them fancy taking it further.


I actually have tried elf defense classes. I do sometimes get women (maybe 3 or 4) to show up for those. But I never see them again after.
 

Steve

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I actually have tried elf defense classes. I do sometimes get women (maybe 3 or 4) to show up for those. But I never see them again after.
Referring to the women as elves might be part of the problem. :)
 
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Aiden_01

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What might be some possible reasons for that?

Not sure. I think the reason for the low attendance could possibly be the area that I live in. I'm from West Virginia and people here tend to be very conservative and traditional. Women learning to defend themselves or "fight" is still considered strange and unnecessary by a lot of people here. It could also just be bad advertising skills on my part.

As far as those who don't come back in, I'm really not sure. We have 1 female instructor (the last female to be promoted to black belt at our school) who leads the class. Usually most of the participants seem to be having fun. They're engaged and asking questions. I give them notes on the class that has our contact information on the bottom and some of them even ask for a copy of our class schedule then just don't come back in. We've all sat down and talked about it but can't seem to find anything we're doing incorrectly. I'm sure there must be something though if no one is coming back.
 

Headhunter

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The truth is in any club out of 100 who start 99 won't come back that's just how it works. What's your style because I've noticed a lot more women training kickboxing than in Jiu Jitsu. Maybe offer women only classes those seem quite popular these days
 

Jenna

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Not sure. I think the reason for the low attendance could possibly be the area that I live in. I'm from West Virginia and people here tend to be very conservative and traditional. Women learning to defend themselves or "fight" is still considered strange and unnecessary by a lot of people here. It could also just be bad advertising skills on my part.

As far as those who don't come back in, I'm really not sure. We have 1 female instructor (the last female to be promoted to black belt at our school) who leads the class. Usually most of the participants seem to be having fun. They're engaged and asking questions. I give them notes on the class that has our contact information on the bottom and some of them even ask for a copy of our class schedule then just don't come back in. We've all sat down and talked about it but can't seem to find anything we're doing incorrectly. I'm sure there must be something though if no one is coming back.
I know it is business and stuff still I applaud you for trying to foster a gender balance and for asking questions about why some thing did not seem to yield results..

I would have only more questions..

Like do other MA schools in the area have more female students, or a better m/f ratio? or is it just yours?

If there is a perception of "fighting" and of that being considered strange and unnecessary, how could you remedy that / correct those misconceptions, or adjust your advertising skills to present your MA and your school as a different proposition to that?

What might discourage attendees at your SD courses from attending regularly at your school? Have you asked those attendees for feedback afterwards? You ask directly rather than leading questions.. ie. what would put you off regular training? And how do you sell them on the benefits of regular training? What works to get people in the door for the SD courses that doesn't work to get them to become regular students?

Just questions from me alas.. I wish you well though in figuring it out.. would appreciate you keep us posted too :) xo
 
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Aiden_01

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The truth is in any club out of 100 who start 99 won't come back that's just how it works. What's your style because I've noticed a lot more women training kickboxing than in Jiu Jitsu. Maybe offer women only classes those seem quite popular these days

We teach Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Jiu Jitsu. I do get a few women in our Tai Chi class but not the others.
 

Headhunter

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We teach Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Jiu Jitsu. I do get a few women in our Tai Chi class but not the others.
Well that sounds pretty accurate, you got a few in tai chi for it's health benefits but Kung fu isn't known for being a hard workout rightly or wrongly I don't know. As for Jiu Jitsu I think a lot of women would feel uncomfortable rolling around like that with men.

Boxing and kickboxing is popular with women because it's a tough workout it's hitting the punch bags workout out getting a sweat on while developing those skills, they're not spending hours learning how to do a perfect stance or working on their horse stance. If you want to attract more women you simply need to promote it better or maybe open up a few new classes to attract more
 

Ironbear24

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The only woman in the place I go to is one of the instructors. The sad truth is more men are interested in martial arts than women, and even then the majority of the people who try it don't stick with it man or woman.

That's just how it goes, not everyone likes to do rough activities for fun.
 

JowGaWolf

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There are no female students in my school. I used to think this was just how things go in martial arts schools but after seeing a lot of the posts here as well as spending more time cross training with instructors at other schools, I'm noticing that this isn't the case in other schools. The last time we had a female student was 4 years ago and the last time we had a female promoted to black belt was over 10.

We don't seem to be doing anything that discourages female students after they've started, I just can't seem to get them to walk in the door in the first place. I think having male and female students together provides a different perspective on techniques that is important. What can we do to encourage more women to come in and give it a try?
Women aren't likely to join or stay if there aren't women already there. Offer a 2 for one deal or a buddy deal where women can get a discount if they join with a friend. You may have to start with your own female friends. You can also create a martial arts fitness class that is your systems version of fitness kick boxing. You can use that class to slowly introduce them to the real thing. If you have a website then make sure your website has articles that have a woman's perspective. You can learn more about that perspective by talking to women who like martial arts or by looking for articles that interview women. Take a look at other martial arts schools websites that have women and see how they word their website to attract women. Create a women's only class.
 

Flatfish

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Somewhat related here, I had an interesting conversation with a lady at the YMCA this morning who teaches kickboxing, some at the Y, some out of a local gym. She has mostly female customers (more on that in a bit). She says the Y classes are pretty well attended because it's cheap and people can just pop in and out whenever it fits into their schedule. At the classes out of the gym, she has a hard time getting her customers to commit and show up regularly, although there she would be really able to personalize the training and provide a better experience.

I told her that the gym I train at is bringing in more kickboxing instructors and she said right away: " they need a female trainer for the women" but then also told me that she had real problems with guys who don't seem to want to train under a female instructor. Some even told her that the class was fun but they would have never showed up if they had known it was a girl teaching.

Personally I cannot relate to that at all, as I've always been of the opinion that I don't really care who teaches me something as long as they are qualified (our former TKD instructor is female) but apparently that kind of thinking seems to be pretty prevalent.

Related to some other things that have been pointed out above, I do notice in our BJJ training that a lot of the women roll together.....at least at the white belt level. Once they get to blue or purple they also roll with the guys but still probably more often with other gals. Not sure if that is a common observation, though.
 

Tez3

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I told her that the gym I train at is bringing in more kickboxing instructors and she said right away: " they need a female trainer for the women" but then also told me that she had real problems with guys who don't seem to want to train under a female instructor. Some even told her that the class was fun but they would have never showed up if they had known it was a girl teaching.

A lot of men think like this, try teaching MMA as a female, even worse. Not among people who are already martial artists or who have been doing MMA for a while but from young men coming new into martial arts. They don't like females teaching any type of what they see as 'combat' styles, 'because no woman is going to teach them how to fight', they are also the ones who think fighting comes naturally to men, they as well think driving cars and car mechanics don't have to be taught to men, it's in male genes.

Related to some other things that have been pointed out above, I do notice in our BJJ training that a lot of the women roll together.....at least at the white belt level. Once they get to blue or purple they also roll with the guys but still probably more often with other gals. Not sure if that is a common observation, though.

A lot of men don't like doing BJJ because they are uncomfortable about rolling around with other men never mind women. However in Judo it's common for male and females to roll together, I think it's the perception and feel of having a thick Judo Gi between them and the person they roll with, makes it less like body contact. BJJ is rashguards/tshirts and shorts, where you can feel the other person's body. Strange but true.
 

Flatfish

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A lot of men don't like doing BJJ because they are uncomfortable about rolling around with other men never mind women. However in Judo it's common for male and females to roll together, I think it's the perception and feel of having a thick Judo Gi between them and the person they roll with, makes it less like body contact. BJJ is rashguards/tshirts and shorts, where you can feel the other person's body. Strange but true.

I can definitely see that but we roll in Gis, at least in the classes I go to. And tbh, I wondered myself about potential discomfort when being so close to other people along with all the sweat, smells etc before I started BJJ. Luckily it's not been an issue....
 

hoshin1600

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my suspicion is there is something going on at the school that is a turn off for women. there is no way to know the answer just talking on line. do the women have their own change room? is it clean and inviting? how about the overall smell to the school is it nasty? is there a receptionist, is the receptionist male or female? does everyone involved in the business act professional, or is someone undermining it by being creepy? is the parking lit at night and feel secure? all of these things matter. many guys walk about oblivious to these things but to run a business it matters. women will easily take their business else where. you want to be THE PLACE women want to go. if your business wants to attract women then be attractive to them.
 
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