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 Post subject: Advice on training female fighters
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:10 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Munich, Germany
Started Fighting: 0-11-1998
Realm: Monachium
What resources are available for how to make female fighters feel welcome and train well?

I have The Armored Rose, and while valuable as foundation, a lot of the suggested improvements are SCA-specific. I've seen that House Valkyrie has been holding classes at Chaos, but I haven't found any videos or summaries of what they teach.

Being on the old side of the Atlantic, I can't alas just tell the women of my realm to go to Chaos, so any resources would be much appreciated.

-Hårdgrim Bonebreaker of Monachium

 Post subject: Re: Advice on training female fighters
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 3:27 pm
Posts: 2081
Location: Irvine, CA
Started Fighting: 31 Aug 2001
Realm: Marshal of Anduril
Unit: Wardens
Favorite Fighting Styles: Sword & Board, Extreme Taunting
Possibly one of the most important features is the environment and community. Women tend to do best when there are other women - and that usually means a relaxed and friendly environment. We usually have more men in groups, so the first thing is to make sure that the gender disparity doesn't cause men to hit on every woman that shows up. I already feel bad typing that, but it can be a problem in some places. Keep your meetings welcoming to all people.

Sparring with teaching makes anyone better. Beating people up doesn't. With regard to teaching women, footwork, and proper body mechanics so that they can deliver accurate shots with enough power is essential. But, it's probably essential for everyone too.

I have heard that our bodies are built differently. I know there are some shots I do not do because they are uncomfortable (certain wraps - wrist limitations?). I encourage everyone to avoid actions that are physically uncomfortable- maybe it is due to some gender limit, maybe it is due to a personal limit, but repetition of painful movements is bad. It won't make anyone better at the sport.

Lastly, women can be top fighters too. Don't expect less. We may start disadvantaged due to culture, but we can catch up just fine. Most of us have no trouble playing with the guys.

Cofounder and Marshal of Andúril
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See you at Battle for the Ring in January

 Post subject: Re: Advice on training female fighters
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 7:21 pm
Posts: 1081
Location: Carbondale, IL
Started Fighting: 02 Apr 2006
Realm: Carthage
Unit: Clan of the Hydra
Belegarth, like many sports, can have a "boys club" kind of feel to it. Doing non-combat related activities together as a group helps everyone feel more included, including your female fighters, and removes that feeling that the sport is only for the hyper-athletic. This can be anything from doing movie nights, going out to eat after practice, doing garb or weapon building days, game nights, or just generally hanging out. When your members feel like they have a vested interest in the group and that it really is a community and not just a common interest, they'll be more likely to hang around.

As for specifically targeting your female members, just make sure that your group isn't a hostile or unfriendly environment. If your other members act inappropriately or make crude or unsavory remarks or jokes, the women in your group may decide that it really isn't the place for them.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on training female fighters
PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:11 pm
Posts: 2
Started Fighting: 18 Sep 2011
Realm: Gondor
Favorite Fighting Styles: Archery, Flo, Sword and Board
I cannot say enough how much it helps to have other women there. Even when the men are welcoming, polite, and warm, if a woman sees only men on the field, it's instantly categorized as Men Only in her mind. If there aren't any women, but you still want to push for women to join, fight in parks with a lot of foot traffic. When the inevitable gawker pauses close enough, send someone over to chat about what we're doing, and BRING AN EXTRA SWORD. Offer it to them, invite them to hit you with it. We're trained to think that we're not suited for violence, so make it clear that this is not particularly dangerous, and that there's no reason she can't join the boys.
Once she's in, please, please, PLEASE don't flirt unless she's clearly game. I can't tell you how many times I've had fighters assume that it was their duty to flirt with me to keep me there.
When it comes to training, treat us like just a smaller opponent when it comes to physicality. There are a few body mechanic differences, but I'm not an expert. Valkyrie classes stress that footwork is even more important for us, and wrap shots will be a bit different. The challenge for most will be getting over our training that we're not suited for fighting. I just sparred with a new fighter who was scared to hit me, even as she swung with the right amount of force. She kept apologizing over and over for coming close to hitting me.
When all else fails, lead a war cry.

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