7 Reasons “Normal” Women Avoid Systema Like The Plague
1) There are fewer women than men in ANY martial arts program to begin with. So if you look at it this way, every martial art and martial art school is competing for a much smaller pool of possible female participants.
(This begs the question, why are there fewer women than men in martial arts?)
2) Systema is still fairly new to America. This means that there are fewer Systema schools–and qualified instructors– for women to stumble into to train in, leading to fewer female students.
3) Systema is still fairly new to the general populace. This means that people don’t know what Systema IS, which makes them less likely to seek it out than another martial art that they understand a bit better.
4) “The Military” Image. Because lots of military and law-enforcement officers use Systema it is portrayed as a Macho Martial Art, which turns women off.
5) Rolling. Someone please help me out here. DISCLAIMER: I’m speaking from my experience teaching martial arts for decades and am not speaking for all teachers everywhere. I’ve seen that women, much more than men, have a huge issue with all the falling and rolling in Systema. I’m not offering any answers here, just observations.
6) Striking. Face it, we hit each other a lot and have lots of close contact. Many “tough-guys” don’t like to be hit, much less anyone a bit more dainty, male or female. So normal people, men and women, gravitate toward arts with less contact.
7) MEN. I’m not kidding, I’ve seen this over and over and over.
Men treat women like they are going to break. By the way, this is the #1 complaint I hear from women–Condescension.
Or, they consciously or unconsciously, try to prove themselves superior to female students. I can only roll my eyes when I see this.
Watch any clip of a women doing Systema. It always comes across like “look how good this person is doing Systema (for a girl).”
Then, of course, there is the whole “hitting on the 1 woman in class thing.” You’d think these guys hadn’t had a date in a decade (well…).
SO THERE IT IS. The most unfortunate part of this dynamic is that Systema is possibly the only art that teaches women to fight like a woman and not like a man. Next to some BJJ/Sambo ground-fighting, Systema is the Best Martial Art I’ve ever seen for women.
If these 7 Reasons could be overcome, Systema classes would be swamped with women.