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    Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?


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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by judogirl on Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:30 pm

    I think that such a close contact sport in todays society makes women hesitate in joining. With team sports being the norm (soccer, cheerleading, swimming), the idea of rolling around and constant contact with virtually just men (the majority of judokas) it's uncomfortable and not natural. Me, being born into a judo family, I am essentially desensitized from the worry of having to workout with men in such close proximity. It takes a lot for someone to go outside of their comfort and try this sport out. Judo is much different than the typical American sport. It's not that girls don't want to do judo, they just don't know yet that they do!

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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by NittyRanks on Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:45 am

    I was trying to get my daughter who is 16 to join. She is a fabulous athlete with most anything she tries but is also a girly girl. Also being thrown is something they look down on, especially after seeing me compete at the New England Masters and AM-CAN tournaments. I don’t think it’s something she would be interested in unless her friends did it.

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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by Gus on Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:07 am

    I think there's also a deeper element of sexism within our culture. From a very early ages girls are "encouraged" to go in a certain direction and "discouraged" from going in another. A simple example; girls are often encouraged to play with Barbies and boys with action men. A more obvious example is political power - although half our population is female this is not reflected in the senate, or the houses of parliament etc. This kind of deep set adoption of "cultural roles" in society may effect how many girls would join a fighting sport. Its getting better though - I think.

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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by luizpavani on Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:51 am

    In Brazil we can observe the same phenomenon as in Australia, I don't know if the percentages match, but there is a big discrepancy between the number of men and women.

    The head of my dojo is a woman and our only Olympian is a woman. This has caused the gap to close a bit, but its is nowhere near 50:50.
    Ben Reinhardt
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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:18 am

    Stacey wrote:it depends.  If it's led by a guy, but there's another guy there instructing as well, and acting as uke for all demo purposes, it could work, but getting enough girls there can be difficult.  Start by offering at a Girl's Inc, or to a specific group of girls with a limited age range.  Don't be in any way creepy about it.  If you can, get a woman instructor in for at least some of the classes.

    But, really, you're going to have to overcome that puberty/grappling isn't feminine thing.  It's hard to be feminine, especially at 11-17, when you're being told to not wear make-up, cut your nails, nix all the jewelry, and let your hair get mussed up.

    And, whatever you do, don't be talking about undergarments or hair ties.  Sure, tell a girl to take out the barrets and hard plastic clips, but don't worry about the elastic bands, and don't tell a girl that she can't wear a bra.  Yes, we all know those little hook things are illegal in shiai, but you don't want to be telling an overly endowed 14 year old who's embarrassed enough that she can't wear an underwire - let her figure that one out for herself.  You can also be more subtle: on the order form for a gi, include things like a jewelry pouch (for storing jewelry while you're practicing), sports bra options, awesome club t-shirts (that you're not going to complain about on the dojo floor), along with a sports bag, zori, and the like.  Let them talk about the underclothes thing at home with mom and dad - they don't need to know about hooks and the like until they're getting ready for shiai.

    I have one of the other women or girls in the class discuss undergarments with new female students for whom it is an issue. Usually they notice things like tank tops or short tops under jackets.

    If not I have a couple of Moms who show up to watch regularly, and get them to mention that perhaps a t-shirt with round collar is more appropriate than a low cut tank top...

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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by Mr_Michael_or_Mike on Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:57 pm

    Many BJJ clubs have girls and, women only classes that seem to be popular.

    Otherwise, the lack of full time Judo instructors and, full time schools could prevent those types of classes. Based on looking over the online schedules of many schools, they only offer classes a few times per week, which means that the martial arts gyms, YMCA's and, public buildings only have a limited time for Judo. That limits the availability for different classes and, possibly the limits the potential number of students.

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    Re: Why does Judo attract less girls/women to the sport?

    Post by Taijutsuka on Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:18 am

    I think women's only classes as an option are definitely a good thing. Both my judo club and the nearby BJJ club offer one once a week (and women can of course go to the main classes as well).

    I think there's also a Ronda Rousey effect that's starting to build momentum. Quite a few college-aged girls I know have become interested in judo because of her and hopefully this will translate to people taking it up long term.

    Out of curiosity, has anyone here gone to the women's classes at the Kodokan? What are they like? (I'm always interested in hearing about people's Kodokan's experiences, but that's one thing I haven't seen written of.)

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