...or, rather, I'm the only girl in my regular Krav class, as I've mentioned before.
One thing I've noticed is that the men I train with tend to be more confident about their grasp of Krav than I do. When I'm working with someone, and it's a technique I've done and they haven't, I find it difficult to correct them. I say things like "I think", or "perhaps", or "maybe". To try to spare people's feelings, I will ask the instructors questions that I know the answer to, so it looks more like a case of mutual confusion than "tell him I'm right".
I don't think this is necessarily because I'm a girl; it's because I know I'm a girl, if that makes sense. In other words, I'm not saying every female who studies Krav will experience this, just that I do, and because I know I'm the only woman in my class, I worry that everything I experience that others don't seem to is due to my gender. I also have this paranoid belief that, because I'm not as physically strong as the people I train with, that means I'm not as good. All of which is ridiculous. And this attitude means that people take my cue, and believe I need more explanation than I do, which makes me feel more inadequate. I do really appreciate people explaining things to me, don't get me wrong; I'd rather feel patronised or embarrassed than not learn the technique properly. I just wish more people would give me time to perform the technique first, and then see if I need further explanation.
Another thing I find is that people don't want to use their full force against me. I don't think that's necessarily a gender thing, to be honest, more of a natural squeamishness to avoid harming another human being. But, seriously people, if I say 'please choke me until I either do the technique right or tap you to let go', then please choke me. Likewise, if I ask 'please use your full force to resist my technique, so I get an idea of what a real situation would feel like', please do so. It's okay if I get bruised. It's all about learning. I'd rather know now, here, with a trusted training partner, that I need to work on a technique or build up my strength more, than find that out when I actually need to rely on the technique.
Of course, I'm being hypocritical, as I'm sure you caught. I owe my partners the knowledge that they're performing a technique in an inefficient way, too.
There's a phrase I often use about sexuality, and contraception; the rights to my body come with the responsibility to protect it.
(I said that first, but feel free to quote me, I think it's a great line).
This applies to training, too. If I lend you my body, to act as an attacker for you to practice a technique on, you need to perform the technique as safely as possible, while ensuring that you train as you intend to go on. In other words, don't hurt me, but train properly, like you expect to face an attacker some day. Likewise, please help me to protect my body in future, by telling me if I do it wrong, or by helping me to understand where my weaknesses are.
By the way; I know The Only Gay Eskimo is quite a melancholy, if silly, song, but don't think I sit around moping. I just really wanted to use the song in this post, even if it's really not about me being the only Gay Eskimo.