- X Chromosomes – Being a Woman in Aikido, by Linda Eskin, April 2016 – This article is part of Linda Eskin’s response to an A to Z blogging challenge. In this article she covers the history of women in martial arts, the glass ceiling, the popularity of Aikido for women and also some challenges that women (and men) experience in Aikido.
- Women and Everybody Else in Aikido, by George Ledyard, Posted in the AikiWeb forum in January, 2005 – This is an excellent article by an experienced American teacher that highlights the difficulties faced by women in aikido. He writes, “Not until one leaves Japan does one encounter significant female presence in the ranks of those teaching the art. But even overseas, the leadership of virtually all Aikido organizations is almost entirely male. Woman may have significant responsibility, and in fact be indispensable to the various organizations, but their efforts are largely in support of the male leadership of these organizations. I believe that Aikido should be different.”
- The Female Aikidoist’s Guide to Honbu Dojo – An excellent guide to help you avoid embarrassing change room faux pas while visiting Honbu Dojo, by Catalina von Crayen.
- Teaching on the Mat, by Anita Small – This article talks about the role of the training partner, or Uke, from the perspective of women teachers who trained in Japan, and the fairly common experience of women being at the receiving end of unwanted or unhelpful feedback from training partners.
Video Blogs / YouTube Channels
- Linda Eskin’s Aikido Exams, with videos – These videos show Linda’s progression from a beginner student all the way to her Nidan (2nd degree black belt) test.
- Aikido Advice for Women and a Few Men – A video instruction series by Ginny Breeland Sensei and Susan Harrow.
- True Shield: Verbal Self Defense for Girls – “A ‘verbal self-defense training in a box’ licensed course for schools, colleges, institutions, organizations, self-defense associations, martial arts dojos, and companies committed to the empowerment of women and girls to say no, prevent assault and stop rape.”
- Men Explain Things to Me, by Rebecca Solnit – Have you ever heard the expression “mansplaining”? Do you ever feel that men (particularly those with less experience or skill than you) correct you in the dojo (or outside of the dojo) more often than women? The term “mainsplaining” was coined as a response to this essay by Rebecca Solnit. In it she describes her experience as an author, having her own book explained to her by a man who had read a review about it (hadn’t even read the book). In addition to the essay with the same title, this book also includes another essay about violence against women.
- We Should All Be Feminists – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Based on her popular Ted Talk, this book offers a new definition of feminism and personal stories of what it means to be a woman today. This essay is short, funny, and easy to read.
- Aikido Books Available on Open Library
- Women in Aikido – Howcast video by Claire Keller Sensei from the New York Aikikai
Do you know of something else that should be listed here? Contact me with your suggestions.