Why is the attrition rate so much higher for women?

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Chad Moechnig 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    Chad Moechnig
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    Anystylist
    Post subject: Why is the attrition rate so much higher for women?PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:18 pm

    Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:47 pm
    Posts: 67
    Location: Northeast
    In every martial art I’ve ever practiced, the ratio of M to F in the introductory classes (novices and rookies) is anywhere from 3:1 to 2:1.

    But if you look at the ratio of M to F in the advanced classes, or black belts, the ratio is a much higher multiple (never below 6 or 7 to 1, in my experience). And I’ve been in a number of clubs, classes, and other MA settings over time.

    I can think of a number of explanations, some charitable, others guaranteed to draw a 😈 But in your opinion, what’s the answer(s)?

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    starbellykeith
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:04 am

    Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 12:09 am
    Posts: 200
    Location: Washington, DC/Columbia, MD
    Can’t speak for myself, just pass on Mom’s point of view. Back in the early 1970s (after both kids were born) she was a brown belt in judo one degree below black. First off women weren’t allowed divisions in which to compete back then ( 👿 ) and second it got to the point at that level of training the guys were just too rough/competitive and too big. She sometimes talks about the perception at least some of the guys wanted to put her in her place but mainly describes it as she was too small. After picking up a nagging back injury that still bothers her thirty years later she gave it up for the safer adventure of motorcycle riding.

    KM

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    dl_angel
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:45 am

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    I think there’s a fair number of women who start martial arts for self defense reasons- NOT for competition or fun even. This may be prompted by some event that has them worried about their physical safety. They join, gain a few belt ranks, and then quit because they’ve gotten what they wanted out of it. Plus, the first few belts you have fun ALL of the time, but I think the more you do something the more “off” days you have where it takes discipline to get there… where you’re like, “I have SO much to do… I’d like to go… but…” Now think about ALL the things that most women juggle in their lives- really reduces the ambition to go. In our society- in MANY familes- a man can say he’s got to go do some extracuricular thing and it’ll be okay… but a woman can’t because her responsibility is at home (even if she’s working too). Plus, it’s discouraging in the upper ranks to be the only female.

    Then in response to KM’s post- which I think is SO true… comparing my experience sparring at my tkd gym vs my muay thai/etc gym, for WHATEVER reason there were some CRAZY guys at the tkd gym who wanted to beat the crap out of us… I think the extra padding makes them feel like they can use their 250lbs and kick your 150lbs across the mats (ps. boys… padding does not make up for size differences). They also all had really terrible control (in my opinion) and there is NOTHING more annoying than getting punched in the face when you can’t hit back- particularly when YOU hold back and be careful to make sure you don’t kick them in their groin or punch them in the face (my personal fav is when guys say, “Hey I’m not wearing a cup so make sure you don’t kick me there— it makes sparring more difficult imo because I DO try to be careful). Anyways- the men just do not spar “down” for us… they have to keep the same level of intensity because we’re just as GOOD technically, but if the intensity is high, they seem unable to turn down the strength aspect. I’ve noticed that it’s “all or nothing” with a lot of people (men and women) where they can’t seem to adjust that so they can keep it intense but use less strength). There’s also something about getting thrown around by the guys that makes you more fearful about if you were to get attacked that you wouldn’t be able to defend yourself. Women may end up feeling like it’s useless to learn self defense so they quit.

    If you think about a woman who has joined the sport to KEEP from getting hurt, if she starts sparring and she’s getting injured then she’s going to quit. I also don’t know how interested most women are in sparring to begin with, but as schools advance you in belts they tend to do more and more of it (depending on the school). This could be causing the dropout rate.

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    XcashXmoneyX
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:05 am
    Pro Fighter

    Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2004 10:15 am
    Posts: 236
    Location: Dayton, Ohio
    It’s funny, but I thought some about this the other day, not to the extent that you guys have, but it did cross my mind.
    I think most women get involved in Martial Arts for self defense and fitness. As a general rule, women don’t tend to be as competitive and aggression-driven as men. Obviously the women here are, but as a whole the feminine half of society isn’t interested in such pursuits.
    I’m really not sure why the biggest percentage of women involved in Martial Arts don’t “last” beyond a middle rank. Maybe having children is a factor, or having a husband who is uncomfortable with being married to an independant women…I’ve seen that more than once.
    I have noticed my body seems to be falling apart at times. I hobble down the stairs in the morning the same way my grampa used to…and I’m about to be 20. As for the comment above…Judo isn’t spine-friendly, I definitely agree.
    Saturday, during sparring, a “pro” fighter (so he thinks) from the area who is not affiliated with our school came down to prepare for a fight, and I guess he’s going to come in for a few weeks. Hermes Franca is staying with us to prepare for his shooto rematch with Caol Uno…so for the record, that’s not who I’m about to rag on.
    This guy asks me if I want to spar, and I’m like “yeah, cool,” because I figure I might learn a little something. After trading a little bit, I pull this guy’s head down toward my chest in a Thai clinch…and he says “Hey I think I kinda like this!” and grabbed me around my waist. And, this guy is like…40 something.
    First of all, I’m pretty flatchested so I don’t know what his deal was with that, and second, it completely threw me off. No one EVER talks to me like that…ever. I completely let go and lost my nerve. A little bit later he hit me kind of solid and says “are you ok?” when I wasn’t even phased…But how are you going to have the nerve to talk some sh*t like that to someone, but then apologize for hitting them…in SPARRING?
    I personally would rather roll with the very few guys that have ego problems and bulldoze me, than work out with a “considerate” pervert. 95% of all the guys I train with treat me like a sister, not a ho.
    It just reminded me we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. Pretty frustrating, really.

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    Anystylist
    Post subject: Keep it comingPostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:54 pm

    Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:47 pm
    Posts: 67
    Location: Northeast
    Interesting responses so far. I don’t want to get into the synthesis/summary part of the dialogue yet, as I’m hoping for a few more answers.

    But I do have two questions:

    DL, if “intensity” isn’t power, than what is it? Does full intensity at half power mean you’re moving with 100% quickness, throwing strikes at 100% pace, but only delivering 50% of strike energy into the target (i.e. your opponent)?

    If so, I suggest that cutting power alone is very difficult to do without cutting back on the other attributes. You’d have to have extremely good technique, not to mention the psych discipline not to get caught up in the heat of the battle.

    X, regarding the husband who’s uncomfortable with the ‘independent’ woman, do you know if this attitude came specifically because the woman was doing martial arts, or did it arise because the woman was doing something on her own in general? In other words, the fact that it was martial arts was incidental, not the true cause?

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    dl_angel
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:37 pm

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    When I spoke about intensity and turning it down, I was talking about the guys who are gung-ho on using every inch of their power while they spar. I’m talking about sacrificing your control, your speed, your technique for pure power… I knew with those guys, once I got over my fear of getting hit by them, that I could hit them MANY times for the 1 time they hit me. Not only that but they were so slow that it was easier to get out of the way. The PROBLEM with guys like that sparring women who maybe don’t WANT to get hit hard is that it’s EASY to get scared and get stuck in being frightened of getting hit. You get hit hard ONCE by that guy and you’re going to think twice about wanting to spar again.

    For those guys, maybe when they worked with women they could have worked on different areas of their sparring so they could have gotten better- like their control, their speed, etc. But instead they went out there like they were trying to KO their training partner- NOT the idea in taekwondo. And when you consider that these were 200/250 lb guys against 100lb women, or even a 13 yr old girl (maybe 90lbs) who would spar with us, I think it is VERY inappropriate for them to be sparring with “intensity.”

    On the other side, I don’t want them to “go easy” on me either… when I spar with the guys in my gym, I feel like they keep up the “intensity” in that they are making it difficult for me to hit them, throwing fast punches/kicks, using a lot of great footwork… so they’re not “toning down” their sparring for me really, they’re just working on different areas… or they’re not TRYING to injure. They might do so accidently (they all hit pretty solid 😆 ) but it’s not the whole purpose.

    Bleh hope that explained it better? I know it’s still two definitions for intensity.

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    Anystylist
    Post subject: PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 9:13 pm

    Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2004 2:47 pm
    Posts: 67
    Location: Northeast
    DL, I understand what you mean. I covered this point somewhat in my most recent reply to Hook in the NAGA thread.

    Too bad TKD’s not my style, otherwise we’d have fun sparring.

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    dl_angel
    Post subject: PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:44 am

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Haha I don’t do TKD anymore… left for Muay Thai. 🙂 I did tkd for about a year.

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    VooDooQueen
    Post subject: PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 12:18 pm

    Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:54 am
    Posts: 93
    Location: colorado springs
    hehe..Dont hit me ..I am not wearin a cup ..that is what I hear alot..however..it didnt stop one guy from hittin me in the groin. FYI men..we women dont get that 8 second grace period. Our pain is instant and lasts much longer. And what about the friggen “take the pain” drills and you are the only woman in class and some dumbass decides that boobs are nice punching bags? I mean..ok..I am the only woman in my class and the only woman that fights at my dojo, so I am used to fighting men..but ..DAYUM…hit the ribs…hit the gut…hit the sternum..why ya gotta use tits for speed bags? Shall I use a scrotum for a speed bag?

    I say…if you hit my tits…your nuts are fair game. An occassional hit is cool..but they are not designated targets.

    Anyone??

    VooDoo

    anyone else feel “odd” doing ground fighting and doin the “buck and roll” and hate feelin a plastic cup sitting on ya? hehe

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    dl_angel
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:46 am

    Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:49 pm
    Posts: 150
    Location: Austin, Texas
    Quote:
    why ya gotta use tits for speed bags? Shall I use a scrotum for a speed bag?

    Thank you for saying that… it’s like, “How many guys do you hit in the chest?! You DON’T cuz it’s NOT a target!” Mine aren’t even big enough to hit on mistake so if I get hit I get kinda pissy. Just because it’s a sensitive spot for women doesn’t mean it’s alright to take advantage of it.

    Quote:
    anyone else feel “odd” doing ground fighting and doin the “buck and roll” and hate feelin a plastic cup sitting on ya? hehe

    lol. worse is when they say ‘I’m not wearing a cup, be careful’ when you spar. I’m like, “Well GO GET IT!”

    Quote:
    FYI men..we women dont get that 8 second grace period. Our pain is instant and lasts much longer.

    And yeh… I haven’t been hit there but seen a couple girls go down in tears. Yet every guy says, “Oh no, it hurts MUCH worse for men… you don’t need to bother with a groin pad.” Not to say I wanna wear extra armor, but…

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    VooDooQueen
    Post subject: PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 2:39 pm

    Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:54 am
    Posts: 93
    Location: colorado springs
    Well, mine are C cups…so they are visible targets. Its not that it hurts much when they are hit ..but it is irritating. I mean…if ya cant see C cups and avoid em then your groin is visible and guess what I am gonna hit?

    Guys..bottom line..turn about is fair play and ya come to class..you better have on a cup. We have two cups on everyday…hehe..but the dont offer protection.

    VooDoo

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