731 W. Hargett St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

Training With Women

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One of the most frustrating things I see as an instructor is a level 1 class where a male student is partnered up with a female student, we get out the punching pads, and instead of laying on the hard, life-saving punches that we train at Krav Maga Raleigh, he taps the pad like his hands are made of old pastries. And from all my conversations with our female members, they find it just as frustrating. I think in almost all of these cases, the guys are trying to be courteous and not be bullies, which is an admirable goal, but they just take it too far. There is a consideration guys should take when training with girls, which is that women are usually smaller than men, but that's a gender-blind issue. I wouldn't lay full power into a pad held by a women who weighs half of what I do (not if it's our first time training together) but I wouldn't do that to a guy half my size either, because all it does is prove that a) physics still works, and b) I'm kind of a jerk. However I will definitely hit hard enough to show that I respect my partner's toughness, regardless of his or her gender, and I'll pay attention to how he or she reacts to see if I should go harder or softer. Durability is not directly correlated to size, so we can't make assumptions either way. We've had some big, big guys come in to level 1 and during the punching segment they hold the pad away from their body, and some tiny women's who clutch it tight and bear down no matter how big their partner is. It's a worthy effort to consider your partner's size and toughness; less so to assume that because she's a woman, you should play patti-cake on the pad.

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