I can’t be the only woman who attends a dojang and gets frustrated. I try so hard to be patient and respectful, but I really dislike the overt separation that goes on in class.
As a red belt, I am only allowed to train with one other red belt. The other woman. I never…
The school I train with talks about this a lot when we spar with other schools. We train our men and women equally. Granted, as a five foot two tiny person, it’s hard to throw some of the five foot six and six foot guys. But I still try. I still try to do sweeps and take-downs on the larger dudes. Can I do a roll-back hold and throw one of the guys over my head? Now I can, because I kept trying and my teachers encourage us to try.
BUT when we spar with other schools (with other styles) in the area, it’s very male dominated. The men from other schools tend not to ask the girls from our schools to spar (even or first-degree black belt, even our instructor). They tend to be more condescendingly critical of our techniques or fight so lightly as to be wordlessly rude. If you’re going to spar with me, SPAR! How else will i learn where my weakness are? Where I have to work harder? How to take down the man who is more likely to attack me in the street?
This is also why I worry about training in other styles. This sort of attitude would drive me mad and I would be more likely to leave the school (or say something and be thrown out) than to stay and put up with it. All the power to you who are fighting through this, and I wish you all the strength to carry on.
This doesn’t happen to me in my current dojang, but it did when I did TKD!