Gender Differences
The following is an excerpt from our book, Martial Arts America: A Western Approach to Eastern Arts (p.122).
Equality in martial art training begins with acceptance of this fact: physically, all are not created equal.  If everyone was the same size and build, and came with the same physical attributes, teaching martial arts would be a lot easier.  This is not, however, the case.  Still, all students deserve the opportunity to train and study in an environment free of sexual advances, condescending attitudes, and macho behavior.  A good teacher (and most teachers are male) can do much to encourage positive participation and discourage negative conduct on the part of his male students.  But the responsibility for equality in training rests on more than just masculine shoulders.  Female students have an equal responsibility.  If female martial artists expect awareness and consideration of their feelings and their training needs from male instructors and training partners – something they have every right to expect – then they, in turn, have a responsibility to acknowledge and consider masculine needs as well.

Acknowledging, accepting, and then training within the constraints of our differences is the only way that real inequality in training will ever disappear.  Practical suggestions [like wearing breast and even groin protection so the female student can stand in as a substitute male opponent suitable for her male training partner] are just a start, but they are far more realistic than the rhetoric that routinely overshadows this issue.  By beginning here, the male and female student alike can train equally, grow, and become the martial artist each is capable of becoming.

Wonder Woman image Wonder Woman

The following is from   USA Today,  February. 26, 2003.
Posted 2/26/2003 10:02 AM   Updated 2/26/2003 3:23 PM

Reigning Queen Of Tennis Wary Of Playing Men
By Mel Reisner, The Associated Press
Scottsdale, Arizona

Serena Williams isn't going to take on the best men in her sport regardless of how Annika Sorenstam does against the long-hitting stars of the PGA Tour.  "I wish I could play,  the world's best female tennis player," said Tuesday before doing a quick about-face.  "No I don't,"  she went on.  "I mean, with tennis it's like Lennox Lewis against Laila Ali, but for golf maybe it's different."

Sorenstam announced earlier this month that she will play in the Colonial in May.  The 21-year-old Williams wasn't around when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes on September 20, 1973.  But Williams is aware that Riggs was never close to the top in men's tennis. Like I said, Lennox Lewis against Laila Ali,  Williams said.  She'd have no chance against Lennox Lewis, and I'd have no chance against Andre Agassi.  It's just different bodies and different types.  I think it would be impossible.

Williams made her comments during a rain delay at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic.
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Last update:  Aug. 6, 2016
by Bob Orlando
Web Site of Bob Orlando: Instructor in Kuntao-Silat (Chinese kuntao and Dutch-Indonesian pukulan pentjak silat), author of two popular martial art books: "Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals" and "Martial Arts America: A Western Approach to Eastern Arts"; and producer of four martial art videos: Fighting Arts of Indonesia, Reflex Action, Fighting Footwork of Kuntao and Silat, Fighting Forms of Kuntao-Silat. Offering practical martial arts instruction to adults living in and throughout the Denver metropolitan area including, Lakewood, Littleton, Morrison, and Golden Colorado.