Sparring with females

Discussion in 'Karate' started by Boom Headshot!, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Boom Headshot!

    Boom Headshot! Valued Member

    I would like some advice and insight from male and female users because I'm currently a bit unsure on some things, specifically, sparring with female partners. The form of karate I study at our dojo is Goju-Ryu and there's meant to be little contact, however, more contact is allowed if the partners are in agreement. The adult class of our dojo is comprised of mostly male students but there are some females of various belt levels. The issue I'm having is when I spar any partner, I try to do my best if they're of the same or higher level and hold back for a lower belt level. I always try to give the partner some opportunity so I don't wail away and hope for the same respect. I don't go incredibly easy on a student based on their sex because I view that as demoralizing and patronizing, especially when they're pretty good and can hold their own. However, many other male students and a few female students disagree with this by saying I should always go a lot easier simply based on the partner's sex and if I do make even light contact, I should immediately stop to see if they're fine (even when it's obvious they're fine and indicate they want to continue). The sensei agrees with my view as do other black-belt students, however, some of the brown belt students disagree.

    I'm not asking for advice on how to tell them my view because I've done that countless times. Instead, I'm looking to see whether users on these forums agree with my view or with the view of the others. That is, agree to treat the female student as any sparring partner or to go incredibly easy on them. The ones who go incredibly easy take a lot of strikes and provide minimal defense or counter-striking, although they are quite capable. The female students aren't very laid back, especially the higher belt level ones as some are more aggressive than the majority of male students.

    To female users, if you're sparring a male partner and some contact is made but you're not injured at all, would you want him to immediately stop and ask you sets of questions to see if you're fine? Or, would you be happy with just nodding your head or saying you're fine and continue with sparring? I know it sounds like a loaded question but I want to get responses from users outside our dojo.
  2. righty

    righty Valued Member

    Spar with the female partners the same as you would spar a male partner.
  3. combatsport

    combatsport New Member

    Sparring with women for me is touch and go. Some come out hot and some come out cold. It always looks bad when you acidently hurt them, but it looks worse when you hold back and shes smashing you. Loose loose situation.
  4. Waldgeist

    Waldgeist Men who beg aren't heroes

    If it's really an issue for you, maybe you should discuss it with the women in question (you said there are only a few of them, and it's quite possible they have different answers to this question.)

    Wouldn't have to be anything condescending just ask "I've been getting some conflicting advice on this, what do you think." Or you could simply gauge how hard they spar, and spar with them accordingly, like you would with the male members of the class.
  5. Kurai

    Kurai Valued Member

    I agree with righty and Waldgeist. If a woman, or anyone for that matter is studying a martial art, you do them disservice by not treating them equally. You may even be doing them harm by taking it easy on them. If they should have to defend themselves from some clown on the street, said clown won't take it easy on them. Prepare them to end the conflict if necessary.
  6. stephacts238

    stephacts238 Valued Member

    You to the level of the person not the sex.
    I am female bodied and well it kinda t's me off when people think im made of glass
  7. Osu,

    There was a BIG discussion a while ago on a kyokushin forum that did end badly...
    As it turned out, some female wanted males to go at them full power under the "equality" principle, while males did not for reasons of "decency", "gentlemanry", and the "obvious fact" that men are much stronger than women!

    I am watching this one carefully... :D:D

  8. Osu,

    There was a BIG discussion a while ago on a kyokushin forum that did end badly...
    As it turned out, some female wanted males to go at them full power under the "equality" principle, while males did not for reasons of "decency", "gentlemanry", and the "obvious fact" that men are much stronger than women!

    I am watching this one carefully... :D:D

  9. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Long ago, a girlfriend of mine wanted "equality" in everything. She wanted the same in martial arts and sparring.

    After a few whoppings, she decided it was not the place of a female to get busted up in martial art practice.

    I disagree with this. Male or female do not need to get busted up in the class.

    Unless it is for hardcore competition, there should be a degree of control

    Sparring, is in no relation to defense. If a female decides they want to get very physical in sparring, then the choice on how this is to be done, is left up to her.

    In other words, don't go at a female like a raging bull, unless she states she is prepared or is ready for such action.

    Sparring has to be controlled
  10. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    There's a possible size issue but shouldn't really be any gender issue.
  11. Mobile Dogwash

    Mobile Dogwash Valued Member

    i don't see what the fighter's gender has got to do with it

    technique, skill, balance, power, speed, dexterity, stamina - all relevant factors in fighting

    i've never taken me genitals out & attacked with an uppercut thrust however

    if opponent can dish it out & take it then they can dish it out & take it, end of

    if you are not as capable then try your best, if you are better then don't take advantage but work your sparring partner

    i don't see why gender needs to be an issue
  12. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Pretty much this ^.

    Any woman training with you is fully aware they walked into a martial arts class and aware that measn they're going to fight. Chances are they actually want people to punch and kick them because that's what they signed up for. Being female doesn't really mean anything when it comes to training by refusing to treat them equally they're actually hampering the women's training.
    I'm used to newbies and the occassional miguided person having problems with sparring women but its depressing you seem to have the majority of the club doing it especially the females.

    Of course it has to be controlled but one of the biggest reasons for people learning martial arts are for defence. Even if that's not why they initially join let them train for a few months and I guarantee if someone starts on them they're going to use whatever they train to try and defend themselves. If your "sparring" is to gently tap them and then immediately apologise and check your manly power hasn't crushed their bones into powder then they will have a completely BS idea of how to spar, how to use their techniques, and how to defend themselves. They come aaway with a false sense of security in what they know and that can get you killed.

    The OP spars light contact anyway which is fine, but by its very nature its hardly going at someone hard to enough to damage them. If you're taming that down even more because your partners a woman you're a complete fool and I pray to god none of the people doing it at the OP's club are instructors.
  13. Princess Haru

    Princess Haru Valued Member

    There was another thread on this just a couple of months ago, but maybe it was closed?! I've never practiced Goju Ryu but the little I know about it looks to be quite a hard style so any women getting into it will probably know this. The only problem I had with sparring is bodyweight. Fighting someone two thirds or half your weight again and any contact coming your way is going to seem disproportionate whether or not your adrenaline is saying don't stop. If it is semi contact then that's what it should be. I've found quite strong guys in training drills do not know how strong they are when blocking, using really excessive force but they may have more strength and less speed at controlling. Evasion and just enough force for a block imo
  14. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

  15. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    what righty and dogwash said.

    gender is at most simply a factor in physical development, and one which, depending on genetics and outside factors, will affect different people in different measures, some greater, some lesser. in training and in particular while sparring, the only thing that matters is what a classmate is like at that particular moment, and gender is something too far removed from the equation to be something to take in consideration, and that's not even taking into account the fact that a lot of people don't even understand what the term gender implies, but rather have a concept that they apply the term gender to, leading them to make uninformed judgements. in training, all are equal, because you train in the NOW. you're not training with "a man" or "a woman", you are training with "a classmate", who on that day has a certain physical capacity, a certain weight, certain dimensions, etc, which can be affected by gender, just as they can be affected by many other things, all of which are nothing more than factors, that are absolutely secondary to the finished result. refusing to spar someone properly because they're female is not only stupid, but also hinders the classmate's progress, the same way as if you held back on a weaker man just because he wasn't as strong as you. and there are plenty of women in the martial arts who outperform men easily, because they were allowed to express and develop themselves in training instead of being set back by discrimination, whether voluntary and malicious or involuntary and "innocent".
  16. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter


    Attached Files:

  17. Kurai

    Kurai Valued Member

    I did not say "bust someone up". I said treat them equally. The OP mentions sparring at the level of at or near his sparring partner so they can both learn.
  18. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    What dog wash said.

    I used to train with a very talented female. The first time I went to spar with her I went out there and pussy footed around because she was a girl. She came out and popped me a couple times. After my head started rocking I stopped screwing around and started actually working.

    Here's the real deal. Do you spar a 125 pound dude like you do a 200 pound dude? Don't think so.

    Should you spar a 125 pound girl like you do a 125 guy? Absolutely.
  19. Blade96

    Blade96 shotokan karateka

    I'm a female. Don't patronize me by going easy on me cause I'm a woman. The end. :)
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    OK love. I absolutely won't patronise you. And if you don't know, that means "talk down to someone". :)

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