Although most combat sports are male dominate in participation, we do have our lady combatants that get in the gym and train with the best of them. That being said, Have you ever caught yourself being sexist toward a coed training partner or objectified them? When one sees those words they automatically think of grand examples of the two, like “women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” and “wolf whistles and inappropriate fondling”. Not excluding grand examples in the combat sports world, no doubt they’re out there but most practitioners and enthusiasts are respectful when it matters, so they’re rare… and without condemning or condoning the black sheep that cross those lines, they’re usually discreet about it and/or dealt with accordingly.
But what about the Semi-innocent examples… for instance most men can relate to this, have you ever been paired to spar with a lady and find yourself holding back or being the punching bag because she’s a female? Of course you have! How about this guys, have you ever been sparring with a lady and found that you were actually getting your butt kicked or the hits actually hurt, but you leaned on the “I’m holding back ’cause she’s a girl” excuse, even though you know better? Yeah, Some of you have been there. Ladies, you’re not excused! It’s a double-bladed sword… have you ever caught yourself expecting to get a pass or been paired with the “go! guy” in training and thought “why is he going so hard, I’m just a girl”? Or have you ever been paired to spar with a guy and just went crazy on him because ” he’s a guy, he should be able to take it”? Of course you have!
Now, some might think its taboo, but let’s be real you put people in a room together and there’s bound to be some attraction somewhere in that room, it’s our nature… why should the training hall be any different. That being said ladies and Gents! Have you ever caught yourselves checking out your training partners in training? Have you ever seen them as more than a training partner even for a little bit? Guys, you ever unconsciously taken a peak at the tight gi pants across the room or the girl destroying the bag in vale tudo shorts and a sport’s top? Sure….. you have. Ladies, once again no exclusion… have you ever admired more than a guys proper technique when they’re training shirtless or when they’re rolling in vale tudos? And I’m going to go there ladies and gents, have you ever been in the guard and been excited about more than an armbar or passing…? Don’t worry I’ll wait.
Needless to say we’re all mature adults most of the time and act appropriately in the coed training and competition environment as we were taught, we are brought up to interact as male and female in ways that can easily foster certain behavior. Sometimes things just happen and nature takes over for a split second and of course people always internalize their thoughts and you never know what your coed training partners are thinking.