How did you train with women?

Just to put this out there as I'm almost certain someone is going to scream sexist, I fully support the idea of women being taught Martial Arts and I do not believe in gender superiority at all.

Now, my question is: How hard were the women trained at you dojang/dojo? I know of a lot of people who attend schools who throw them in the deep end at the very beginning and it was expected of them to keep up or at least manage with the more advanced students. Was this done to the females as well?

I know of female students going through grueling training, in many cases even defeating their male counterparts. But I've noticed that some schools have placed an emphasis on restraint when sparring with the female students, more so then just respect. I recall several times where my instructors ordered me to go very easy on the females, even the ones who were of higher rank. I've noticed this with other schools too.

What do you think?

EDIT: @Myhoo – Beat it, jerk, you didn't answer my question.

We don't have sparring in shinkendo or aikibujutsu. The randori or two man kumite are just drills, although often high tempo ones that get my fellow students “nervous”. We do about 20 pushups for warmup. The women do those using half body weight, knees on the ground. So that's sort of the flow for this place. Try to follow around, if you can't… oh well. Those that want to make training hard, will do it themselves since we cannot choose our partners: auto rotation system. Those that want hard physical training, do them at home. Those that don't do it at home, aren't serious about physical conditioning or flexibility.

We once did this kyokushin punching drill for beginners. We'd stand where our full arm extension, without moving the shoulders, ends with our fist right in front of their face. Then the attacker would just punch quickly to the face and the defender has to block/dodge at the same time. I thought it was pretty fun myself, since one of my buddies, a TKD and staff user, has this tendency to drop his hands after the block, into the TKD (anti kick) defense. Then he has to move his arms back up, and it's just so slow. He had to use his reflexes to (try to) catch my 95% speed strikes, and I figured out that if I just telegraphed the right signals, he would try to block, and then I'd easily go through his guard once his blocking arm was committed and couldn't reverse directions by delaying my strike a split second. Half a second: at 95% speed, my hand ends at my full extension, and I'm just waiting half a second and then I'll feel their blocking hand. For that one person, I started off with 95% hand speed. I eventually switched it up for different rhythm and decreased the speed for him to get used to it and correct his mistakes himself. For everyone else it was around 20-50% or 75%. Even those individuals that could adapt to a higher hand speed, they made fundamental mistakes when I changed the rhythm of my punches. For the women and girls, 20-30 years old, I would start off at 25% speed and work my way up. I chose not to change the rhythm much, but to allow them to adapt to the speed and use rhythm to catch the faster strikes. When blocking, I would use trapping on the TKD guy's punches so that when he retracted, it was so slow because he was getting hit with chi sau. Something I did to sort of tell him he'd better retract his punches faster. Also gives me more time to block the next hit and setup my own stuff, if I wanted to.

Again, no sparring. But if there was, I'd probably play the same games with my partner.

I've heard before hand that aikidoka didn't have hand skills, and my aikibujutsu training sort of reinforced that with experience. I spent years of training, including self study, striking and streamlining muscle control efficiency and accuracy. Those who trained in TKD (one of best fighter there) so that their hands are blocking kicks to neck, head, and ribs, may have spent years also, but not in the defenses require to use the hands for melee defense. It shows in their reflexes, or rather, over use of reflexes. If they'd just keep their hands between the target and where mine is, they could easily intercept and stop my punches before it gets near. The assistant instructor in Kyokushin karate, however, prefers to teach them reflex blocking. Not my cup of tea, of course. Reflex blocking is only good if your hands are faster than others. Nobody's hand skills at my dojo, with the exception of the brown and black belts, are faster than my own in striking. And I'm only middling average on the speed scale, if I'm not using my leg acceleration as part of as trike.

Our main instructor says we aren't ready for sparring, even with equipment. That's kind of true actually. Even if I was up to it, I wouldn't have partners that could get much out of it. It'd be too chaotic for them. They still have mental anxiety from half speed randori. When I'd go 100% air punching, I often hear a woman utter a surprise sound “like Oh”. When I punched in front of her face at 80%, another woman also looked surprised. I hope they realize the difference between reflex blocks and guaranteed deflections.