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  • aggressive?

    I know this has been discussed on other threads, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss in the women's forum.
    Have you ever been called aggressive in your kendo and how did you feel about it? I have and have to say I don't like it. It's probably because in everyday life, aggression is a particularly negative emotion which is also considered very 'unfeminine'.
    Just because I don't back down and because I try, in whatever way (not usually very effective, but anyway...) to attack, should this be called aggression?
    When guys do it, it's called good attacking kendo, when girls do the same thing, they are called aggressive.
    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Well I'n not a woman but to me agggressive kendo is good kendo as long as that aggression doesn't make you sloppy or is based on poor technique. I'm don't think that it is meant to be a negative term in kendo in regards to women or anyone else.

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    • #3
      I have a problem with this sometimes. It seems quite difficult for some people to deal with girls with a little more than "playfull spirit".
      I sometimes feel I'm tolerated for the fun of it, as something nice to look at. "Oh there's that little girl who wants to play with the big boys, how funny". And when I do beat them (Yes, thank god, it does happen), they act like it was a lucky shot!!!
      It's really demotivating. How am I going to improve meself if they don't take me seriously?

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      • #4
        i am not a girl but i do know that in kendo you are supposed to have an agressive spirit and attack with conviction. i have heard it being called agressive before but that is the way it is supposed to be....its just the kendo way

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        • #5
          I have often been told that I'm not agressive enough with my Kendo. I would like to change that, but I also don't want to go in there and just hit stuff. I'll find that fine line somewhere though.

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          • #6
            I think it's all in how you look at it. Generally, being "aggresive" is considered a negative attribute, socially. However, "aggresive" kendo may also be define as "vigorous", "energetic", "bold" or dynamic". It seems to me that these are words that most people would consider to be very positive attributes.

            It's all in the eye of the beholder. I am not a female and so cannot relate directly to your experience. However, the girls I know who practice kendo are very good at what they do. Many are techincally a damn sight better than I'll ever be, and I have found them to be VERY willing to help others, whereas the male of the species can sometimes be a bit too self-involved, especially early on. So my advice to you is to let the label slide off your shinai, stay focused, and you GO girl!!!

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            • #7
              Why on earth would you think being called "aggressive" is anything other than a compliment? I generally look at kendo as an aggressive sport. That's why we have "fighting spirit" awards at tournaments. You don't earn those by hanging back looking for degote.

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              • #8
                You can call it 'determination' or 'strong will' if it makes you feel better. Not backing down and always trying is positive.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Willow
                  I know this has been discussed on other threads, but I thought it might be interesting to discuss in the women's forum.
                  Have you ever been called aggressive in your kendo and how did you feel about it? I have and have to say I don't like it. It's probably because in everyday life, aggression is a particularly negative emotion which is also considered very 'unfeminine'.
                  Just because I don't back down and because I try, in whatever way (not usually very effective, but anyway...) to attack, should this be called aggression?
                  When guys do it, it's called good attacking kendo, when girls do the same thing, they are called aggressive.
                  Any thoughts?
                  i agree with Neil. kendo is, in the basic physical sense, learning how to fight an opponent with a weapon. how could an activity like that be anything but aggressive? i find it difficult to understand why you are so concerned with being labled aggressive in your kendo, the fact that you are a female and do kendo makes me think that you wouldn't care much about traditional gender roles and stereotypes (read:"feminine"). i am a beginner, but IMHO you have to be aggressive in kendo, but in a controlled manner. i guess the real issue here is your perception of the term 'aggressive,' not the fact that you are labled so in your kendo. there are plenty of ladies who are aggressive while practicing kendo but are very "feminine" outside the dojo.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Willow
                    When guys do it, it's called good attacking kendo, when girls do the same thing, they are called aggressive.
                    Any thoughts?
                    I haven't heard such a double standard applied in Kendo with respect to men versus women. I have consistently heard that aggressiveness in keiko is important for all Kendoists.

                    In Kendo, I take it that aggression means that one actively engages the opponent, and seeks every opportunity to attack him with good Kendo technique. I consider the mindset of constantly threatening one's opponent with imminent attack to be synonymous with the term seme, which is is indispensable in Kendo.

                    Aggressiveness outside of keiko is a different matter. Being deliberately confrontational on a personal level is usually a bad thing in the cooperative social environment of the dojo.

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                    • #11
                      one of my dojo mates is very aggressive. she doesn't have a lot of waza repertoire or fancy moves or lightning speed, but oh boy, she's got terrible kiai and will combo you no mercy if you lower your guard. i don't see this as a negative thing. in fact, i think this is the right attitude for girls, not only when you go against each other, but especially when you go against us 'oh so brutish and rude' males. gotta love when a girlie fights back full spirit no mercy <3

                      btw... she's won both the state individual tournament and the national by teams... so she i guess she must be doing something right...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Willow
                        When guys do it, it's called good attacking kendo, when girls do the same thing, they are called aggressive.
                        I think you are reading too much into this. Aggressive kendo is good. Even "old man" kendo is aggressive in its own way.

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                        • #13
                          People consider me aggressive.

                          I think its a common misconception that when a woman acts "assertive" that she is displaying signs of "agression".

                          I am a strong woman. I admit, perhaps a little "too big for my breeches" but non-the-less, I am who I am. =)

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                          • #14
                            Great responses - thanks!
                            Tantadi, I do think of the way I do kendo as 'determined' ; i just have a bit of a problem when other people call it 'aggressive'.
                            Judging by the responses, though, I think part of the problem lies with the way I think of the term myself. I'm getting the message that controlled aggression is good for kendo and I just have to 'acclimatize' myself to experiencing these rather unfamiliar emotions.
                            Having said that, some guys do have a problem with girls beating them at a physical activity. Sometimes their hurt male pride gets chanelled into comments that cut - usually ones aimed at your femininity.
                            I really like being feminine and I really like kendo - I sincerely hope the two are not mutually exclusive!

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                            • #15
                              this is a very good topic willow, I have a huge problem with being aggrssive enough with my kendo. I can be enthusiastic, full-on, energetic or whatever, but Im just not grrrrr.

                              When someone called you "agressive", how did they say it? I personally would like to be called agressive, but not if someone was saying it in a way to make me feel like I was being butch, thugish or just aggro. Its easy to make something like that an insult.
                              Luckily Im not good enough to step all over guys egos yet ;]

                              Hey purr, it sounds like you havehad some problems with guys where you train, how many females do kendo where you are?

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