Training with girls

Specially the "fighting" part.

I must start saying that I am glad that more and more girls and women decide every day to engage in this wonderful thing called Martial Arts, or even combat sports.
It must be a normal thing seeing both sexes training hard in the same room. 

But the thing is that fighting with girls has been a problem of mine for as long as I remember.
You know, I am bigger and stronger that all the women I have met in my life. And I am not a beginner in the fighting business anymore. So if you combine size, weight, strength and experience that makes, I am sure, a very depressing experience for most girls to face me in sparring.
I know because they tell me.

So, how to be nice and gentle but intense at the same time?
Because I can not deny a woman a good fight just because I am a big guy (compared to her).
It won't be fair.

This is a fight I have with myself all the time...

On the other hand, training with someone who is much weaker than you is not the best way to train. 
I always try to get serious with the strong guys, but I always try to train with everyone in the room at least once per session.
But, yes, having a roll with a smaller person can give you opportunity to work on your technique without that much pressure. And I don't want to say it, but I will, but sometimes I just need a minute to recover from an intense "meeting" with a big boy.

I was so happy with my green belt... now I am spoiled!

Now, this pic is from some time ago. It reminds me of what I felt at that time: girls don't like to be hit hard.
Well, I also don't like it, but I accept it as part of the trade.
But most girls I met there were too "girly" to be hit. Of course, they hit you back as hard as they can.

Oh, and in Kyokushin it is really difficult to do kumite with girls: you can not punch in the face so you are reduced to the body, but not all the body, of course, and the body is smaller that those of men, so basically you can only punch in an area as bis as a cell phone, and not too hard, please.

So, how to do it? How to have a "pleasant" experience that is also useful and constructive for both?
I have no definitive answer but I'll tell you what I do: 

-I always try to win. I won't let myself loose. But I will use as little power as needed. May it be 5% may it be 95%. 

This way, I think, she can still work hard and improve and I still can "win" and maybe focus on a particular technique or skill.

Now, I have met some tough as nails girls in my martial life.
Some of them are hard hitters, some of them are a devil on the ground, some of them don't mind a bloody nose.
But, sadly, not all women are like those. Not all men are like that either.

I will repeat it:
I have nothing against women joining dojos: my first Karate Sensei was a girl, I was promoted to black belt in Judo by a woman, my first kumite was against a 16 years old girl that didn't kill me because she didn't feel like it, I was tapped by a girl last night...

I know it can feel "unconfortable" for men and women to get this close at the beginning but it's all good, people!

Mind sharing your experiences and thoughts?

I guess most of what I just wrote can apply to small men too.

@practicalkarateagain in Facebook


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