The other issue has to do with the way that their story is typically told. Rather than relying on brute strength, as the Abbot Jee Shim did, Ng Moy decided to create a combat system that would be effective even when practiced by physically weaker females. While it may seem uncontroversial to instructors within a style that there is no reason why men and women should not chi sao, spar or roll together, it may be much less obvious to a new student showing up at the school for the first time. Of course this issue is not totally unique to Muslims. Channon notes that using female students to demonstrate techniques can be highly visually effective, and this is something that can be done at pretty much any level of instruction. By refusing to use appropriate force female students are deprived of the opportunity to ever become competent fighters. This is one of the many types of empowerment that can come out of martial arts training.
These are certainly easier to find in some associations and styles than others. Channon notes that using female students to demonstrate techniques can be highly visually effective, and this is something that can be done at pretty much any level of instruction. Despite the positive portrayal of female fighters in these legends, the first confirmed female students of the art do not appear until Ip Man starts to teach in Hong Kong in the s. While succinct, each of these recommendations requires a little unpacking. The first of these has to do with strongly held religious objections to the mixing of the sexes. Nor can one improve retention without visible female role models. Actual integration within mixed-sex environments might fail in a number of different ways. A certain amount of restraint has to be shown whenever these exercises are used. If every time students pair up for partner activities the female students are left to work by themselves in one corner of the room we have a fairly obvious problem. So where did these stories actually come from, and how were they interpreted by their intended audience? By refusing to use appropriate force female students are deprived of the opportunity to ever become competent fighters. So do these characters always function as effective role models? Instead they are still subject to the dominant cultural discourse on violence. I have no comparable empirical research to back this up, but I suspect that the same thing might hold true for martial arts training hall. Every type of student gains confidence when they see representations of people like themselves succeeding. The other issue has to do with the way that their story is typically told. In a martial arts class age, strength and physical ability are likely to vary tremendously. Instructors may also wish to consider what sorts of imagery they display in their schools if any. As I pointed out at the start of this essay, our ideas about mixed sex training environments today are much different than what was acceptable in China a hundred years ago. Yim Wing Chun, the somewhat hapless teenage girl who becomes synonymous with the art, is adopted as a student precisely because she serves to rhetorically illustrate this point. This is a difficult question to answer in universal terms, but I suspect that the answer is probably no. It is hard to cultivate female leaders within a school if the retention of women is lacking. Channon reviews two specific cases that instructors are likely to encounter. If an individual takes a strongly principled view that mixed sex training is undesirable there is not much to do about it in purely practical terms. The Wing Chun creation myth is fascinating as it resists what was the dominant discourse within martial arts storytelling, and turns instead to a more esoteric set of motifs focusing on female warriors. Yet the not so subtle implication of these stories is that all women must fight this way because they are all physically weak. Female high school students in a Jingwu class of the sort organized by Chen Shichao.
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