7 Reasons Why It’s Great To Train With Men
Honestly, when I first entered my Krav Maga class and was confronted with about 20 to 25 men and 1 woman (who’s married to one of the guys and only occasionally shows up) I was intimidated.
Don’t panic, take a deep breath!
While initially a bit intimidating, I now think it’s great to train with a group consisting mainly of guys because:
1) They can use a realistic amount of force/speed when you spar.
2) This will allow you to experience male strength in a safe environment
3) Your counter techniques will be trained more effectively if a guy chokes you full-force than if a woman does it (sorry ladies, you’re just not as intimidating as a guy looming over me, although your grip is just as lethal).
4) Men are more straight-forward to deal with than women. Don’t be subtle about stuff (they miss the cues), just speak your mind. It’s a refreshing change from usual. You can make it a game: how blunt can you be before you shock the guys into silence and/or uproarious laughter?
5) A lot of the guys are adorably inept when it comes to dealing with ’emotions’ that sometimes come up during the more violent techniques. Their sincere (but ineffective) attempts to make you feel better will cheer you up. Note: some men are better at this than others. Some are really horrible at it.
6) Guys will be guys. The men in my group don’t really understand my objections to violence (Cue eye roll). They won’t think twice about hitting/punching an attacker full in the face and quite liked the idea of children learning Krav Maga. (I was horrified, until I witnessed the training and saw that it wasn’t the same violence as we learn. At all.)
7) They’ll respect you for doing something to defend yourself. Most of them don’t mind that you’re not as strong as they are. A lot of the techniques aren’t about strength, but about speed and hitting in the right places. You’ll be at least an average sparring partner, which is better than a bad one.
I think these reasons are valid for all contact sports, not just for Krav Maga. While I understand that some women feel uncomfortable with strange guys touching them, I can assure you that there is nothing sexual OR sexy about Krav Maga and sparring. (AT ALL).
You’re all sweating like pigs, trying to get through the other’s defenses. You’re fighting (roughly) with each other. Whenever you do have close bodily contacts, such as during ground choke defenses (someone sitting next to you or on top of you while choking you), you’ll be so involved in getting him off you that sexual arousal isn’t really an issue. Also: dude attempting to strangle you = not sexy. Besides this, guys and girls wear groin guards called ‘cups’, which is also as un-sexy as can be. You won’t have to worry about accidentally feeling someone up. You’re actually encouraged to punch and kick the other in the groin = also not sexy. ;)
If you’re uncomfortable around men, doing a contact sport such as this might be just what you need to become more comfortable. If you have a good instructor, one of the house rules will be to train respectfully with each other. This means that your sparring partners will respect your boundaries. If you’re not ready to have someone sit on top of you to choke you, then nobody will force you.
Although I do recommend to go through uncomfortable techniques if only because your training environment is absolutely safe and nobody will (intentionally, anyway) hurt you. Getting used to these situations will allow you to respond appropriately if it were to happen in a ‘real’ situation. You don’t want to run the risk of freezing in an actual situation!