I’ve been talking with lots of instructors, male and female, getting their take on gender differences in training. One offered an interesting perspective, he doesn’t do single gender classes, he talks tough, tells the students right up front that he will be tough and maybe a bit abrasive, but that the bad guy isn’t going to be nice to them.
I’ve been thinking about that, and for some students, that’s fine. For some students, that may be for a women who is scared, or nervous, and new to shooting, I believe a more gentle introduction to the fundamentals can be beneficial. After that, she can do more advanced training and get some sense of the rough talking, aggressive criminal. A “dose of reality”. But that is after the comfort is there, the confidence is beginning to grow and the empowerment from mastering the first level of the skill comes.
IMHO, I prefer to offer a comfortable introduction to shooting, then when she is ready, the student can take more advanced defensive training. I believe firmly that we all need to keep training, but I’m still back on the more gentle introduction. Does everyone need that? No! That brings me back to single gender. I did almost all of my training in mixed gender classes, and it was ok. Then I did taught a women only class. What a different dynamic! We didn’t have an “estrogen” fest, but we did support each other in ways that the men don’t quite understand.
So, I’m now a fan of women only classes, if that is the right thing for the student, and only she can answer that. But once you are comfortable with the fundamentals…rock on!