Below the belt

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I practice a style of martial arts that is very unpopular with women – typically, I’m the only woman in my class of around 15-20 guys. We have an official online forum for the style, and this was posted under the guise of “are we really training our few female practitioners properly?

“I think we have to be careful with the notion of woman-can-do-everything-a-man-can, and in the context of combat arts, I make this point. Women as a rule, will have children, which at these times in their life, will render them somewhat disabled to engage in a full workout. After birth, besides tending to her baby, she has to recover from the ordeal of pregnancy and childbirth, so there’s a bit of catching up that’s needed.”

I completely object to the idea of women getting pregnant “as a rule,” because I am proudly child-free and in fact, so are 20% of women my age. The idea that women are lesser students because they have to take time off to have babies is ridiculous. Men take time off from training, too, and sometimes because they have a new baby at home! Or because they get injured, or ill, or have school, or family obligations. It’s ridiculous to state that women miss more training sessions because they are always getting knocked up. Of the very few female students in the style, *none* have ever been pregnant in the seven years that I’ve been training.

The rest of this guy’s point was just the usual “men are stronger, therefore they are better fighters” nonsense that is very typical of the martial arts community. It is this fantasy that causes men with no training whatsover to believe they can take me, and of course, they cannot, but even as I’m submitting them by kneeling on their head, they still believe that being male is more of an advantage than many years of hard training.
#MFIF

RK, NYC

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6 Responses to “Below the belt”

  1. sitakali Says:

    “Even as I’m submitting them by kneeling on their head, they still believe that being male is more of an advantage than many years of hard training.”

    Hence, it is called denial. Despite evidence to the contrary, some men continue to believe that they are superior to women.

  2. H Says:

    I like the way that he calls pregnancy a disability!

    • Zee Says:

      Well it kind of is, albeit temporary, I mean, you’re out of commission for all strenuous activity for up to 6 or 7 months, depending on how rough the pregnancy is.

  3. Trix Says:

    “Yes, we all have to deal with biological drawbacks. I have yet to see a woman being carried off the training mat clutching her breasts. I really sympathise with men having their sensitive gonads right out there, and the terrible pain and recovery period they have to go through if they get injured.”

    • Holly Says:

      Exactly the point I was going make. I would have added, “I think we have to be careful with the notion of man-can-do-everything-a-woman-can, and in the context of combat arts, I make this point. Men as a rule, will have children, and so we have to take care to treat them a bit more delicately as a poorly placed blow could render them infertile, as well as dealing them a great deal of pain. “

  4. Jazz Says:

    Ah I completely understand your anger. I have been studying Kickboxing for over seven years, Since I was around 14. Although my brother began 3 years after me, my extended family consistently as HIM how his kickboxing is going, what belt he has recently received and I have a few comments about how i possibly cannot win while points sparing or sparing in general due to my height and implications of the fact that I am a woman.
    I always love to point out to anyone who decides i cannot defend myself against a man due to my vagina that every sunday for at least three hours I am surrounded my six foot strong men and leave without a scratch.
    I am also lucky to have the best kickboxing teacher ever, he often states that many people have to leave training for a variety of reasons, the important thing is you come back in the end.

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