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Buck
06-12-2008, 09:32 PM
Wow! I can't start to comprehend all the discussions here about men and women. For instance, who is the strongest, which sex is better at..., why there are more men in Aikido then women etc. I just had to wipe my brow in a sigh of relief after that.

I didn't search all the threads here about men and women, I might be digging up a Zombie but here goes it.

It is interesting to me and it may apply to many a thread that women are motivated to be violent, to be motivate to protect themselves, etc. when a personal issue is involved. Whereas men don't need a person issue to motivate them to fight, be violent, etc.

A women's motivator is far different then what motivates men (that doesn't take much). A women has to have a personal issue. For some women that personal issue has to be very very personal.

I believe this is the major answer to many a discussion about women and Aikido, from recruiting women into the dojo, the low numbers of women in the dojo, to the drop out rates, to why women sign on to Aikido and those who stick with it, to those disgruntled because of the way they are treated in a dojo. I don't even know if women realize it themselves that a key motivator for them to is personal issues. Heck men don't at all.

I bring this up because I was watching a documentary on female gang members. One of the experts had said the difference between what makes women do violence then men is that women have to have a personal issue as a reason to commit violence. Hell hath no fury like a women scorned! Maybe that saying has more insight and is taken too lightly, and need to addressed more in depth in discussions. I think it is the answer to many of the discussion about women and Aikido.

Lauren Walsh
06-13-2008, 12:22 AM
An interesting point! But I don't think anyone, regardless of gender, studies Aikido in order to be violent or to vent aggression. I am in the same boat as you when it comes to reading through all these discussions which are basically centred on the concept of men vs. women. I think it just needs to be remembered that the nature of men and the nature of women has always been, and always will be, very different. I agree with your point on what motivates violence between men and women, it resonates throughout all the natural world. It is instinctive for men to react aggressively when challenged or intimidated, and thus most fighting that occurs in nature is between males. The responsibilities of females in nature usually doesn't entail protecting territory or fighting for the right to mate, so aren't typically build to for serious physical altercations.

As for Aikido, it isn't a place for violence or the cultivation of violent tendencies. Why are there less women in Aikido than men? I don't know. Why is there a larger drop out rate of women? I don't know. Maybe it isn't even a gender issue. We are all individuals, all driven onward by our own individual emotions, experiences and demons. Perhaps its more constructive not to compare the two sexes, but rather search for ways by which we can balance ourselves as individuals (our own Yin and Yang) and examine our own individual weaknesses and strengths so that we can reach our potensial. We can't do that by forever limiting ourselves to generalisations about gender.

rob_liberti
06-13-2008, 09:12 AM
There is strength and there is power.

Men are "stronger". Get over it. Women's hips are wider (designed this way for having babies). So their legs don't go as straight down as mens. For women, that angle gets compensated for at their knees which is simply a physically weaker structure.

Female beginners who get past being annoyed (and injured) by all of the male beginners constantly trying to muscle them (somewhat successfully), have a better chance of developing "power" much more quickly.

As far as the personal reason. What is the stat for women being sexually abused, something terrible like 1/6 or something? (I don't know this to be accurate.) Regardless, I would imagine that the number is high. There are enough other reasons, but I'm sure that factors in.

Then there is the weird social construct. Anyone shamed who wasn't the prom/home coming queen has to deal with some (most likely painful) memories of past social situations. Then they show up to dojos where there tends to always be a queen bee. It's always interesting to see how a new female in initiated into that quasi-social pecking order. People keep working on their issues by creating opportunities to relive them (but rarely change anything to solve the issue once and for all).

Rob

heathererandolph
06-13-2008, 10:25 AM
I think it's a good issue to discuss. Even though there are gender differences, the human condition is much the same. I don't think everything can be summed up by biology. It might be a good idea to discuss the issue with some actual women. Having women in the dojo does change things. Women are hoping to be treated fairly, but men may or may not be treating all students the same.

As to why there are fewer women than men, it could be that martial arts is still seen by many as a male domain. I haven't seen much on television about female martial artists. A long while back there was something on television about a girl and a father who went into Karate together and she ended up winning a lot of competitions. That was the first thing that inspired me to think about martial arts.

I think having role models is important to women. For women, it is a very different world than we, and our mothers grew up in, and women can do a lot in today's world that they could not do before. Since it's not what we grew up with, the difference between knowing you can do "anything" and actually doing it can be based on having a role model, someone who's actually doing it one can identify with .That's why having role models is so important. I have noticed that men I know who had female instructors are able to picture a woman as capable of being a strong martial artist and therefore more likely to inspire female students of their own to succeed. It is a worthwhile pursuit to inspire women to try Aikido.

akiy
06-13-2008, 10:38 AM
Hi folks,

Before this thread goes too far in its discussion, I want to encourage people to please keep your discussion in this thread explicitly related to aikido. I know from experience that topics of this kind often have a way of heatedly moving off of the topic of aikido and wish to ask you folks to help keep things on-topic. As always, people are welcome to discuss non-aikido-specific topics in the Open Discussions Forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

giriasis
06-13-2008, 10:39 AM
My only knee jerk reaction to your post is that women in aikido are being compared to female gang members. :confused: I have to point out that is not really a fair comparison, and I agree with Lauren that most people, women AND men, who join aikido are not looking to vent aggression.

Now...on to what I think is actually the point...:)

You know what, I do not think it's necessary to "figure out" the whole "women's issue." I run a women's aikido board and the biggest difference I have seen isn't really that big or huge or very profound. It's just that we like martial arts and aikido in particular and other women don't. I participate on other boards where women dominate - at home fitness and work out enthusiasts. They love to workout, train for marathons and could run circles around a lot of people. A small minority of us on that board actually practice a martial art. Those of us that do practice anywhere from MMA, judo, TKD, aikido, karate or kung fu.

The difference? The great majority of these women are simply not interested in practicing a full-fledged martial art. They'd rather do marathons and triathlons. That's it, really.

The sexism that women do face in aikido really is miniscule. It exists and should be acknowledged when it arises, but please let's keep it in perspective, too.

Now, to your question. You stated that our motivation is different and that our motivation is personal. I can see that in the sense that women, in general (note: not all women), tend to be more social. Therefore, we seek out friendships and sometimes our motivation to go to class might be based upon seeing our other friends. But, this is not always the case. I also disagree in that it's personal, based on my discussions with other women, is that our motivation to train is not all that different from men. We train for spirit forging and for learning self-defense. We think martial arts are cool. Some of want to teach or maybe even start our own dojos. We love the breakfall and to train hard like everyone else.
You see, we really are not that different. And when there are differences it's slight not huge. Differences need to be respected yet kept in perspective.

My suggestion is to just stop trying to figure women out and simply just accept us for who we are and treat us with respect -- which in my experience, the super-great majority of men do anyway. That's it really. No more, no less.

Dathan Camacho
06-13-2008, 12:39 PM
There is strength and there is power.

Men are "stronger". Get over it. Women's hips are wider (designed this way for having babies). So their legs don't go as straight down as mens. For women, that angle gets compensated for at their knees which is simply a physically weaker structure.



I'm still a beginner in Aikido but this quote sends a red flag up in my mind.

Strength is a very tricky word. When I started Aikido I was very "strong" and could bench press a lot of weight, but I couldn't stand on one foot without falling over.

Doesn't Aikido teach a more holistic definition of strength that includes dynamic power, static power, timing, flexibilty, balance, and other strengths that are beyond my limited understanding? Are any of these are more important than the other?

Men might be inherently more muscular than women, but women are more flexible, which maybe you could make an argument that those are a wash.

What is statistically different is that men, on average are larger than women, i.e. the average of male heights is 5'8" whereas the average of female heights is 5'4". But does this difference matter, i.e. is mass emphasized as a strength in Aikido?

Just an anecdote from my experience - I'm a large guy but my female sempai has the best ukemi I've ever seen in my limited exposure, has the technique to easily overcome me during randori, AND I can't keep up with her in our warm up exercises (which include strength training components). I don't think gender has held her back at all. My male tendancy to value the bench-press type of strength did hold me back at first.

lbb
06-13-2008, 12:49 PM
You know what, I do not think it's necessary to "figure out" the whole "women's issue."

Oh, thank God, someone said it.

Women are not an "issue". Women do not have an "issue". We're human beings. Whenever someone (particularly a man) starts speaking of us categorically, or analyzing what our "problem" is, my reaction is, "Speak for yourself and leave me the hell alone."

I run a women's aikido board

Yes????

rob_liberti
06-13-2008, 01:48 PM
Dathan, what I was referring to as "power" seems to fit what I believe you were referring to in terms of a more holistic definition of strength.

When we speak about aikido, it is commonly accepted that the levels are:
-strength
-technique
-harmony
-michi

To say "strength" in aikido most people typically mean "muscle power". I understand your point thay women tend to have more flexibility. However, there is obviously a difference in terms of over all "external power" between the genders or the Olympics wouldn't have a mens events and womens events separated.

To be strong AND flexible is certainly the beginning of developing martial power (which can be internal and/or external power).

In aikido, we are _hopefully_ trying to work internal power. To that end, my opinion is that women have an advantage provided they can get past the many obsticles. As I said before, people (typically beginner men) who don't know any better tend to muscle everyone - which just makes things more difficult.

Rob

giriasis
06-13-2008, 02:34 PM
Yes????

Yup. :) The link is in my sig. It's our little community in cyberspace. It has more of a "Girls Night Out Feel" than anything else. It's not everyone's taste. But, it's a great place for those of us who find a need for it in their life. I found a need for such a site so I created it for other gals who need it, too. I've been running it since November 2001. Come by and give us a visit.

(P.S. Excessive use of smilies are encouraged there. :) :D ;) :cool: )

Bill Danosky
06-13-2008, 04:17 PM
Women are not an "issue". Women do not have an "issue". We're human beings. Whenever someone (particularly a man) starts speaking of us categorically, or analyzing what our "problem" is, my reaction is, "Speak for yourself and leave me the hell alone."


You may be in danger of unmaking your point here, Mary.

reisler
06-13-2008, 06:07 PM
Women are not an "issue". Women do not have an "issue". We're human beings. Whenever someone (particularly a man) starts speaking of us categorically, or analyzing what our "problem" is, my reaction is, "Speak for yourself and leave me the hell alone."


:grr: :grr: :grr:
You may be in danger of unmaking your point here, Mary.

Too funny :D

Buck
06-13-2008, 06:16 PM
My only knee jerk reaction to your post is that women in aikido are being compared to female gang members. :confused: I have to point out that is not really a fair comparison, and I agree with Lauren that most people, women AND men, who join aikido are not looking to vent aggression.

Now...on to what I think is actually the point...:)

You know what, I do not think it's necessary to "figure out" the whole "women's issue." I run a women's aikido board and the biggest difference I have seen isn't really that big or huge or very profound. It's just that we like martial arts and aikido in particular and other women don't. I participate on other boards where women dominate - at home fitness and work out enthusiasts. They love to workout, train for marathons and could run circles around a lot of people. A small minority of us on that board actually practice a martial art. Those of us that do practice anywhere from MMA, judo, TKD, aikido, karate or kung fu.

The difference? The great majority of these women are simply not interested in practicing a full-fledged martial art. They'd rather do marathons and triathlons. That's it, really.

The sexism that women do face in aikido really is miniscule. It exists and should be acknowledged when it arises, but please let's keep it in perspective, too.

Now, to your question. You stated that our motivation is different and that our motivation is personal. I can see that in the sense that women, in general (note: not all women), tend to be more social. Therefore, we seek out friendships and sometimes our motivation to go to class might be based upon seeing our other friends. But, this is not always the case. I also disagree in that it's personal, based on my discussions with other women, is that our motivation to train is not all that different from men. We train for spirit forging and for learning self-defense. We think martial arts are cool. Some of want to teach or maybe even start our own dojos. We love the breakfall and to train hard like everyone else.
You see, we really are not that different. And when there are differences it's slight not huge. Differences need to be respected yet kept in perspective.

My suggestion is to just stop trying to figure women out and simply just accept us for who we are and treat us with respect -- which in my experience, the super-great majority of men do anyway. That's it really. No more, no less.

Yea, I'd agree, it was a knee jerk reaction. :D

Women are women no matter what they affiliate themselves with.

Gosh, I don't know why the strong focus on sexism all the time is about? I am a wimpy male, drat! I am left out in the dark.

And OK I am not the best at laying out my thought when starting threads. I need more practice, I'd be the first to admit it.

According to an expert on the knowledge on what motivates female gang members to be violent- could transfer to how women look at Aikido and other reasons. That is female gang members who do "work" it is because they need a personal issue to do so. Otherwise they aren't motivate to "work." Which got me thinking that sometimes when we look at an outside extreme it gives us insight to solving the problem that we face in Aikido a.k.a. finding the harmony.

Aikido is a martial art. We all know what martial means. Aikido has a fighting side, to defend yourself with martial application, and that is what is heavily practiced in the dojo. Allot of women in Aikido are hesitant to apply what they know when needed. It might be helpful to know that women need a personal issue to trigger their motivation to say defend themselves or become more intense in their training.

Being more intense does have many benefits physically as exercise, mentally as stress reduction, and spiritually learning more about that in Aikido. Then there, if desired, the ability to protect yourself. But, to practice Aikido absent of the martial art is not practicing Aikido to the fullest. I am not saying you have to be about fighting and use Aikido in a fight. But defending yourself is a part of Aikido. Aikido isn't about the art of Ukemi, for example.

There are many reasons why women get into Aikido, fighting isn't on the top of their list, why? Possibly because they don't have a personal issue or aware of one to put it at the top of their list. Understanding that is a great help I am sure.

Knowing women need a personal issue to fight might provide a better approach and understanding in womans training. It might reduce the issues men and women that some deal with in the dojo as reflected in so many threads about women in Aikido. It might help in the way to attract women to Aikido and make them feel more comfortable when it is understood what motivates women.

Women outside of Aikido look at Aikido as a martial art, and that means fighting. It doesn't mean dance lessons. Women new or outside of Aikido might not choose Aikido because they don't have a need, i.e. or a personal issue. They may or may not be consciously aware of this, and just may simply say they are not interested.

It may also help others students and sensei's who don't know what motivates women -including women I don't want to be targeted as a sexist- and are struggling in some way because of it.

I told of a time once when I with others where having a hard time attracting women to a class, and if I knew what I know now, I could have attracted more women and facilitated them better in Aikido. That is the positive angle I am working here. As much fun it is to be in the war of the roses, and keep those fires burning that is not what I am about. I am about finding solutions and this just might be a worth while solution when it comes to some of the issues in the dojo.

It seems to me very plausible that women have a motivation trigger that comes from having personal issue, which is far different then men. Maybe if in the dojo, if personal issues where to be examined it could be useful to increase motivation and long term retention of women in the dojo.

Buck
06-13-2008, 06:36 PM
Mary and Ann, I don't know you, but there are allot of mean things you are saying. But could there be a personal issue behind your words and attitudes? With such strongly worded attitudes, I wonder if there is hope for humanity- women are a part of it too, they have an equal responsibility.

It seems you don't want to find harmony and rather would keep the conflict between men and women alive.

In your words if you replaced women with men, it would be no different then the men you seem to be at odds with. We are not all like what you makes us out to be. And I don't know if your attitudes do justify your group dynamics, and women only club- No boys allow. But, from how you say things I can't think otherwise.

Maybe if O'Sensei (which I guess is not vogue any more and for not knowing the proper title) was a women you two would feel more comfortable, I don't know. But your strong attitudes in my mind are from a personal issue, which is nothing more then a red flag. And all I see is a power struggle and nothing interpersonal. Mary your safe, flashing your teeth did scare me, no need to worry, I am not trying to figure you out and expose you in anyway. My purpose is rooted in humanity, finding common ground to find harmony, hoping to help other to do the same. I care about the community. It is an Athenian thing to do. I am not concern if O'Sensei was a male or female, I am concerned that he was a good Athenian. :)

Anne, one last thing you have a website just for females, yet you partake in a board open to both sexes, why?

Janet Rosen
06-13-2008, 06:46 PM
I'm confused. Mary and Ann, at least as I'm reading it, are saying, nope no issue. We'se people. Philip, how do you read that as separating? I read it as uniting.
Me, I don't really give a whatever how many women do or don't train in aikido. My only concern is that those of us who do train are treated equitably, and in my own experience, as dojo member or visitor, that has never been a problem.

SeiserL
06-13-2008, 08:26 PM
IMHO, treat people respectfully on and off the mat and you don't have to worry much about scorn from either sex.

Bill Danosky
06-13-2008, 08:56 PM
My mother raised gentlemen, and I've always taught my sons to offer the appropriate courtesies. I'd expect there are those that find this chauvanistic but I happen to regard it as part of the genteel tradition.

I don't care. My Slavic (Eastern European) upbringing was very matriarchal and it's what they insisted on. That did well for me along the way because the nuns that taught me in school would've cracked my skull had I not opened doors, said "Maam" and helped the ladies with their coats.

My older son and I've had a couple of very formidable female senseis but I've strictly reminded him that "Sensei has no hands and no pockets." when they reach for their dogi bags. (As most of you know, we're honored to afford the same courtesy to our male senseis).

So, sorry. I'm raising gentleman warriors. On the mat, all Aikidoka are the same. Off the mat we practice "sexism" with pride.

Dathan Camacho
06-13-2008, 09:03 PM
My older son and I've had a couple of very formidable female senseis but I've strictly reminded him that "Sensei has no hands and no pockets." when they reach for their dogi bags.

What does this mean? :confused:

Buck
06-13-2008, 10:18 PM
I'm confused. Mary and Ann, at least as I'm reading it, are saying, nope no issue. We'se people. Philip, how do you read that as separating? I read it as uniting.
Me, I don't really give a whatever how many women do or don't train in aikido. My only concern is that those of us who do train are treated equitably, and in my own experience, as dojo member or visitor, that has never been a problem.

It is funny how topics get out of shape. Seems lots of people have issues with the opposite sex, and themselves- they have no inner peace. All I said was hey, this might work and wham! I don't recognize the anything being said. Talk about ideomotor response.

Janet to answer your question, I don't know anything about not having or having an issue or uniting or not uniting. I can't answer your question. I am not even talking about respect or lack of it, well maybe for us wimpy short guys who are not the Alpha males top on the female mating list- we git no respect! I am talking about a solution that may apply to many problems.

What is at hand in understanding something not readily known about females that possible could help with many issues faced by both sexes in the dojo. Communication and understanding is the way of peace. But alas, it has gone sour. :sorry:

For this jewel of information that I stumbled on which I never knew about is highly valuable to me. For now I have a tool for better understanding that leads to greater learning, teaching, and for greater harmony in mine and those women who seek or are involved in the Aikido experience. At least the nice ones, not the mean ones. I feel I am a rich man because now I understand.

MikeLogan
06-13-2008, 11:17 PM
What is at hand in understanding something not readily known about females that possible could help with many issues faced by both sexes in the dojo. Communication and understanding is the way of peace. But alas, it has gone sour. Actually, Phil, I would offer that communication and understanding are severely lacking in this thread. Our lady compatriots are not getting the gist(understanding) of your intention. And you are, quite frankly, not saying it very well(communication).

I mean, the very fact that you are getting unexpectedly aggressive replys might suggest that your thesis is less than appealing, and so, less than founded. I would suggest that as either male or female aikidoka develop in the art, that the threshold for committing a violent act, be it aiki or otherwise, is both broadened and heavily influenced by personal factors. ie, it shows a reduction in indiscriminate (or perhaps less discriminate) violence/aggression.


Or I could more simply say that anyone who belittles the female capacity for violence (emotional or physical), just hasn't been around enough of them

yada yada yada.

Just curious, Phillip, are you multilingual?

michael.

Bill Danosky
06-13-2008, 11:21 PM
What does this mean?

"Sensei has no hands; no pockets" is an expression of respect and gratitude for your sensei. It means that while your sensei is in your company, they don't carry anything for themselves or pay for anything themselves. (Although Robert Mustard Sensei will often insist on buying rounds and who's going to argue with him?).

It also means that the uchi deshi (or senior students) accept any challenges on sensei's behalf if the occasion arises. Sensei cleans up if you lose, though.

You also need to know how to fold a hakama if you're following this tradition properly.

Dathan Camacho
06-13-2008, 11:32 PM
Thanks, makes sense. Last question - the part about folding the hakama. Does that mean you're supposed to fold your sensei's hakama? Sorry if this is off topic, but I'm learning here! :o

nekobaka
06-14-2008, 03:06 AM
At least at my dojo, I find the most of the yudansha are better at treating the women more equally than the newbies. Maybe the true meaning of aikido has become part of their philosophy, maybe purely through experience they have come in contact with "good" women, and it doesn't phase them anymore. One fairly new guy is over 50, has his own company, and is very strong. He usually stops me and I find myself fighting against him. I often ask myself, what is his issue? Does he stop everyone? Does he find it difficult to accept advice (doesn't listen to a word of mine) from a foreign female who is 20 years younger than he is? our ego can be a burden. It goes so beyond just gender. As women we sometimes expect a brake since we know we aren't as strong. Or then we feel irritated that they don't give an honest attack. As men do you feel like you have to prove how strong you are? If you are older, do you have to prove your wisdom? If you are yudansha, do you have to prove your skill? The thing that is so great about my sensei is that his attack is always slightly stronger than what we could maneuver with strength. You really have to do the technique correctly, or he overpowers you. What does it say about me, if I get slight pleasure out of seeing the guys that are really strong unable to move him, because they don't concentrate on the flow and timing of the technique, they always rely on their strength. I hope that someday I can interact with people like this and not think anything of it.

Bill Danosky
06-14-2008, 09:12 AM
Does that mean you're supposed to fold your sensei's hakama?

Yes, it's considered to be very good manners. Here are a couple of different ways:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVN57Y4awrw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f2K5fjaTW0&feature=related

Buck
06-14-2008, 09:54 AM
Actually, Phil, I would offer that communication and understanding are severely lacking in this thread. Our lady compatriots are not getting the gist(understanding) of your intention. And you are, quite frankly, not saying it very well(communication).

I mean, the very fact that you are getting unexpectedly aggressive replys might suggest that your thesis is less than appealing, and so, less than founded. I would suggest that as either male or female aikidoka develop in the art, that the threshold for committing a violent act, be it aiki or otherwise, is both broadened and heavily influenced by personal factors. ie, it shows a reduction in indiscriminate (or perhaps less discriminate) violence/aggression.

Or I could more simply say that anyone who belittles the female capacity for violence (emotional or physical), just hasn't been around enough of them

yada yada yada.

Just curious, Phillip, are you multilingual?

michael.

Someone get the cheese, here comes the whine.
I respectfully disagree.

I am getting aggressive replies because those individuals are doing so is because they choose too. Anything short of saying all women are victimized by oppressing all men who are insensitive evil sexist monsters with equally sized egos will get negative response from these individuals. If you don't agree with them, you are the enemy.

My purpose was to highlight a positive. Because it was a positive in understanding women, it was seen by some as an opportunity and a threat. Because of that, my observations and myself where attacked and are being attacked.

It is time to move on. As I do, I want to say that understanding objectively that women need a strong motivator to attract and keep women interested in Aikido may solve many previous issues and change the way women are approached in Aikido. This may not be said as pretty, or a specific, etc. that some want to hear it. They will find it an opportunity to be offended or use it to attack others. I do feel bad that there are those who want to sabotage the friendship and dampen the understanding that does happen between women and men in Aikido.

I think everyone can benefit from what I learned from a female expert on female behavior. There is nothing wrong in my world to take something seemingly negative like the information I took and then turn it into something positive that will benefit ALL those in Aikido. Which I am proud and honored to be a part of.

This really has been a learning experience.

Janet Rosen
06-14-2008, 11:03 AM
Anything short of saying all women are victimized by oppressing all men who are insensitive evil sexist monsters with equally sized egos will get negative response from these individuals. If you don't agree with them, you are the enemy.
I'm still trying to figure out where anybody in this thread said any of what you are saying above. The women you cited, and I, were very clearly NOT saying that.
If you are choosing to read through a filter of your own preconceptions and expectations, I suppose you can find aggression or victimization anywhere.

Keith Larman
06-14-2008, 11:11 AM
I was surprised to see this thread originated by you ("Buck") after the strength thread to be honest. I would have thought that you couldn't help but think this is an even more dubious position to take. Pure physical strength is a fairly easy thing to quantify hence compare. Emotional responses are complex, wide, varied things among and between the genders. Much more difficult to quantify and compare. And with significant overlapping this is a muddy path at best...

Honestly I'd say these sorts of generalizations about emotional responses is even less of an issue than strength differences when someone steps out onto the mat. And you seemt to be reading things into responses that I for the life of me don't see.

Everyone comes into Aikido for a very unique variety of reasons. Everyone's motivations are rich and varied and to simplify it down to such small aspects such as venting aggression seems silly to me. Heck, I didn't get into this stuff to learn to vent aggression at all and I'm one of those big neanderthal males... ;) And "Hell hath no fury...?" Ugly behavior of that sort is not limited to the female gender by any stretch. Passive aggressive weenies, obsessional behavior, etc. all cross gender lines. We're talking about some serious overlap here and it makes the discussion of differences in physical strength pale in comparison.

I think Janet has a point -- you seem to viewing both these issues through "rose colored lenses".

rob_liberti
06-14-2008, 11:24 AM
I re-read it a few times and I seem to see the same words as Janet does. I'm starting to wonder if you guys are finding secret messages in the posts. Is there a secret decoder ring or something?

This thread really has nothing to do with aikido other than to display how completely differently aikidoka can take people's words. No wonder people are still arguing about what Osensei did and what he was talking about. I assume it would go something like this today.

Osensei - do ikkyo like this
Phil - Oh so we should hate women?
Osensei - look how these principles I'm expressing with my body match these ancient principles I've been reading about
Phil - So you hate women too?

There is a disconnect from what is being said and how it is being taken. I think you have to build that bridge for the rest of us who don't get the deeper meanings you seem to be getting out of their words.

Rob

Buck
06-14-2008, 11:46 AM
Here is what every one seems to be looking for,

WOMEN DON'T BELONG IN THE DOJO! THEY AIN'T AS GOOD AS MEN IN THE DOJO! MEN ARE BETTER AIKIDOKA THEN WOMEN EVER WILL BE. WOMEN HAVE NO BUSINESS TAKING AIKIDO. WOMEN ARE THE INFERIOR WEAKER SEX, WOMEN CAN'T BE AS GOOD AS MEN!

Have at it folks this one's on me, enjoy! head in hands shaking in disbelief

giriasis
06-14-2008, 11:54 AM
Janet read my post as it was intended. Where did saying that I have had slight experience with sexism in aikido and that the super-great majority of men (99%) that I train with treat me with respect some how convey to you Buck that I am acting out based on victimization? I only said that the whole "women issue" is a non-issue for me as a woman and I asked you to please not take the the whole "women issue" out of perspective - which unfortunately often happens when this "issue" is discussed and which has happened again in this thread.

I did try to address what I thought was the point of the study you pointed out -- that women tend to me more personal. I think in some ways there is a tendency for some women to be more personal in their training by seeking out social connections with other members of the dojo. I, however, disagree, that we are personal in the way we act out aggression and that is some how the motivation in practicing or not practicing aikido. Yes, I do take offense to being compared to a female gangbanger. I'm sorry if my objection to your post upset you Buck, but you are on an internet discussion board and people will disagree with you.

I was hoping that the conversation about a woman's motivation for practicing aikido would have evolved out of this and perhaps some women would speak up and say "yes, I like more personal connections on the mat" or say, "no, I do feel like that at all." Maybe some sensei would speak and say that in their dojo they see that more women tend to be the ones to organized social events or that they don't see the whole aggression thing either.

I am truly surprised as to the response to my post Buck. I do not think I could have worded it any more thoughtfully or reasonably. I define "knee jerk response" as a reactive rather than proactive impression from your post. My first paragraph described that. After that, I utilized transitional language to describe a proactive response rather than a reactive one. I anticipated that you would have followed that transition and realized that I was no longer being reactive. Especially with the use of the smiley: :) I did not use this smiley: :mad: So where did you get the idea I was angry and emotional? confused smiley: :confused:

I think your post raises some thought points as to a woman's motivation for training in aikido. I really would hate to see this thread degrade into another "gender war" thread. Let's really discuss your post without the offense and insults, okay?

Thank You.

Keith Larman
06-14-2008, 12:59 PM
Here is what every one seems to be looking for,

WOMEN DON'T BELONG IN THE DOJO! THEY AIN'T AS GOOD AS MEN IN THE DOJO! MEN ARE BETTER AIKIDOKA THEN WOMEN EVER WILL BE. WOMEN HAVE NO BUSINESS TAKING AIKIDO. WOMEN ARE THE INFERIOR WEAKER SEX, WOMEN CAN'T BE AS GOOD AS MEN!

Have at it folks this one's on me, enjoy! head in hands shaking in disbelief

Wow.

rob_liberti
06-14-2008, 01:01 PM
Oh my gosh! So I take it the secret de-corder ring is radioactive?

Mary Eastland
06-14-2008, 01:19 PM
Whenever a so called expert says something I have this need to question it.

I started Aikido because it looked like fun, the guys were cute, and I like to sweat. I had no idea that It was exactly what I needed to heal from a lifetime of alcohol abuse and victimy behavior aound men.

Aikido training has helped me learn to accept each uke as they come and blend with their motion in that moment of time.
Now I know any time I am looking to blame someone else for my reaction I am choosing to be a victim. A healthier way to look at circumstances for me is to examine my motives and reactions and relax some more.
See ya on the mat,
Mary

Buck
06-14-2008, 02:49 PM
I think your post raises some thought points as to a woman's motivation for training in aikido. I really would hate to see this thread degrade into another "gender war" thread. Let's really discuss your post without the offense and insults, okay?

Thank You.

Cool. I don't want that either. I too think understanding what motivates and what doesn't motivate women, not assuming it is the same for men, is a way to communicate better in so many different ways in the dojo. The great benefit is that it broadens the Aikido experience for both men and women. I personally like to see women training in Aikido.

I would really like to hear your thoughts and input on the whole dynamic that women need a personal issue, in this instance, is it a big factor or not. For the sake of discussion, say using Aikido to defend themselves. Like getting over the reservation of hurting someone that prevents them to complete the technique. Or how ever you see it.

Bill Danosky
06-14-2008, 03:01 PM
Everybody just run. And try to pretend this thread never happened.

MikeLogan
06-14-2008, 03:57 PM
Anne Marie Giri wrote:
I think your post raises some thought points as to a woman's motivation for training in aikido. I really would hate to see this thread degrade into another "gender war" thread. Let's really discuss your post without the offense and insults, okay?

Thank You.

Cool. I don't want that either. I too think understanding what motivates and what doesn't motivate women, not assuming it is the same for men, is a way to communicate better in so many different ways in the dojo. The great benefit is that it broadens the Aikido experience for both men and women. I personally like to see women training in Aikido. Golf Clap for Anne and Phillip, good job. As I said before, you had a fine intention, but it was broached a little rough.

I understood your original post, I understood your frustrated sarcasm, and sarcasm has a way of getting lost in the written word, but I had the context. Without putting our words and actions in the context of the audience, we run the risk of garnering unexpected reactions.

Imagine someone walking briskly toward you without sign of slowing. Sure, their intent was to simply shake your hand, but well, you read it wrong, and now they're on the ground.

Etiquette, words, self defense tactics, they are all contextual, and certain criteria need to be met before any and all interactions may proceed without hiccups. What followed your first post was just one of those hiccups. No harm no foul though. I believe you dig the ladies as well as they deserve. Dig meaning respect. ;)

michael.

giriasis
06-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Cool. I don't want that either. I too think understanding what motivates and what doesn't motivate women, not assuming it is the same for men, is a way to communicate better in so many different ways in the dojo. The great benefit is that it broadens the Aikido experience for both men and women. I personally like to see women training in Aikido.

I would really like to hear your thoughts and input on the whole dynamic that women need a personal issue, in this instance, is it a big factor or not. For the sake of discussion, say using Aikido to defend themselves. Like getting over the reservation of hurting someone that prevents them to complete the technique. Or how ever you see it.

I think it would be better to say that we, more often than men need a personal connection with the people we train with rather than having a personal issue. I have noticed that not all women are like this and men need a personal connection, too. I think some women would like to just see more women in a dojo because they can look and see that another woman has become accomplished in aikido. I'm fortunate to train in a dojo with a high ranking dan ranked woman and a few other dan ranked woman. Not all dojos are as fortunate, or just simply big enough, to have this representation. It doesn't mean we don't look up to men in our dojo. My "sempai" (meaning the senior black belt who took me in under his wing) is male. He has worked with me from 5th kyu through shodan.

I'm not so certain that it's personal when we train to learn to defend ourselves. It's more like they way we have to defend ourselves as opposed to most men more often will be different. For example, as a woman I am not concerned about defending myself in a bar fight or in a match fight. Grabs are realistic attacks. I know this based upon my own personal experience. However, I don't think learning to defend myself is personal, at least on an emotional level. It's more like, "like hell are you going to rape/beat/hit me." I think a key to learning a martial art is to learn to stay calm while defending onself and not falling into a rage type response which can get a person into trouble in a self-defense situation. Allowing myself to get "personal" would be counter-productive. But, wouldn't this be the same for men? If not, how so? Some one insulting a person's manhood isn't personal? Just asking...

The concern about women not wanting to hurt people is culturally based, I believe. Women, in general, are raised not to offend or to hurt. Which in self-defense situations may lead us into being victims because we don't want to "offend" the attacker. We, in general, tend to be nurturers and don't want to hurt. However, men often times do not want to hurt women on the mat for a different cultural reason -- they were taught not to hit/hurt a woman. This results on male partners "going too easy" on their skilled female partners. I've had a couple interesting situations where a couple of my male partners were barely applying the technique. I'd tell them to throw me harder and they insist otherwise. I'd just keep throwing them harder until they started to actually apply the technique appropriately. Resultantly, he'd say "there!" and be really p.o.'d. I'd get up and say "good throw! now, keep throwing me that way." IHowever, I don't know how this can be identified as being "personal." I don't think you mean it by "taking things personally" or "always emotional" either.

I think what you are wanting to say that the motivation to learning aikido might based on personal reasons like we were once assaulted or abused? I'm not certian because a lot of women I train with have not been assaulted or abused or they train in aikido just because they are as aikiaddicted as the next guy. So, I am not certain how valid that assumption is.

Maybe you should tell me why you train as a man. And how do you think it is different from the women you have trained with? Is your motivation for learning self-defense based in a barroom brawl type situation or a matched fight?

Jennifer Yabut
06-14-2008, 11:44 PM
I think it would be better to say that we, more often than men need a personal connection with the people we train with rather than having a personal issue. I have noticed that not all women are like this and men need a personal connection, too.

Speaking just for myself, that was one of the reasons why I took up Aikido. The primary reason was to supplement my Iaido training (i.e., to learn empty-hand techniques to complement the sword work). I'm one of the three women in my Iaido group - and often the only female on the mat. I took an Aikido college course back in my undergrad days, so I was *vaguely* familiar with it (though I remembered squat in terms of actual technique). I also knew that it attracts more women than most other martial arts, which was another reason why I joined. The personal connection (which I was *not* getting from the guys in Iaido) was also important to me.

So, no...I wasn't motivated by anger, or some other personal issue. I wasn't even motivated by the self-defense factor; I had previous training in TKD and was fairly confident in my abilities to reasonably defend myself. And I was NOT - and still NOT - looking for a boyfriend, soulmate, etc. Making friends along the way (both male and female) was an added bonus, but my motivation from Day One was to simply TRAIN.

Dieter Haffner
06-15-2008, 04:59 AM
[...] which sex is better [...]
I believe that any sex, where all people involved are happy, is good.

Buck
06-15-2008, 10:35 AM
I'm not so certain that it's personal when we train to learn to defend ourselves. I don't think learning to defend myself is personal, at least on an emotional level. It's more like, "like hell are you going to rape/beat/hit me." I think a key to learning a martial art is to learn to stay calm while defending onself and not falling into a rage type response which can get a person into trouble in a self-defense situation. Allowing myself to get "personal" would be counter-productive. But, wouldn't this be the same for men? If not, how so? Some one insulting a person's manhood isn't personal? Just asking...

Your brough up some good points. Let me start from the top, having a personal issue isn't bad. I don't think I ever said that, so I want everyone to know that is not something I want to focus upon.

A personal issue (what ever it be) turns the timid 90 lbs mother into a super heroine to lift a life a car off her child, for example. Or an otherwise non-physical woman defeats an attacker who threatens her child. On the other hand, I have been told by women when it comes to themselves they are hesitant to protect themselves-for a whole lot of different reasons-and feel more comfortable protecting loved one. Is this because of being cultured, yea to a point. What is culture is the idea women will protect others first before themselves.

How do you break that? I thought the key might be to give or allow women to get in touch with something personal.

You want more women to try Aikido. How do you get women interested, what do you say to get their interest that they other wise may not have an interest. You may relate to them with personal issues.

Look, I belong to this activity. It is targeted at males, us wimpy insecure, bullied guys that makes us feel like Rambos. After reading their last newsletter realize something I didn't realize before. After that program I watched about women acting on personal issues I noticed the newsletter, and activity and the activity leader/motivator all communicated directly at touching upon personal issues to get us wimpy timid guys motivated to take action- it includes action of simulated violence in a self-defense mock situations- much like Aikido does with randori.

Then when I thought about it more, it came to mind and that was in the movie where Mel Gibson played Wallace and he (like so many alike movies including Joan of Arch) stands in front of an army of soldiers before an epic battle giving a speech that is targeted to act on personal issues, so they will fight hard (emotionally).

Examining, being aware of, dealing with or applying the idea of personal issues in the dojo for women could provide positive results with other issues facing women in the dojo.

We, in general, tend to be nurturers and don't want to hurt. I'd tell them to throw me harder and they insist otherwise. I'd just keep throwing them harder until they started to actually apply the technique appropriately. Resultantly, he'd say "there!" and be really p.o.'d. I'd get up and say "good throw! now, keep throwing me that way." However, I don't know how this can be identified as being "personal." I don't think you mean it by "taking things personally" or "always emotional" either.

Off hand example would possibly be talking to her and finding out what personal issue would triggering her to block all other unimportant thoughts that are causing her to hesitate before doing the waza. Then tell her to use a personal issue as tool to help her to throw. In this way her mind isn't interfering and she is focused. Having her throw with emotional focus as a result of a personal issue which does block out all other interfering thoughts that cause her hesitation. This might solve problems providing confidence.

With most men you don't have to give them a reason on the level of practice. I want to say this isn't a men vs. women thing. It is just a difference, and understanding that difference and not applying a one-size-fits-all in the dojo, for example.

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 11:24 AM
Maybe you should tell me why you train as a man. And how do you think it is different from the women you have trained with? Is your motivation for learning self-defense based in a barroom brawl type situation or a matched fight?

"Self defense" is a common answer for women when asked why they train in martial arts. IMO, as the sex that's had the brunt of responsibility for building and maintaining the order of society (historically speaking) just "defense" is a better description for men.

Generally, as a man, you build your personal environment as well as your society's environment and I think there's a duty built into that to protect it. You protect your home, your wife and kids, and when a situation arises where someone is breaking the established societal rules you may also feel a duty to do something about it. "Any man who would do less" the saying goes, "is less than a man."

Many women, my wife included, think it's stupid and a throwback to an unenlightened time in our evolution. But I suspect she and most women wouldn't really have it differently. That's why I train.

rob_liberti
06-15-2008, 08:36 PM
How would you use your aikido to protect your wife and kids? Someone is in grabbing your kid in the mall or say someone is mugging your wife in the parking lot and you come running up. What aikido technique are you planning to use? What principle(s)? The attacker is not attacking you. What energy are you planning to use against the attacker. What's the battle plan?

Rob

Bill Danosky
06-15-2008, 09:29 PM
I'm going to throw everything I have at him. I am not just an Aikidoka and off the tatami I do not restrict myself to only Aikido techniques. As I've stated elsewhere on Aikiweb, I have studied Japanese, Okinawan, Chinese and Korean martial arts for more than twenty years.

However, there are many Aikido waza that might come into play, like variations of shomen/sokumen irimi nage and hiji shime if the situation favored it. You never know what you did until it's over anyway.

Buck
06-15-2008, 10:39 PM
Since the thread has wondered, thanks Rob, I thought while everyone is getting their thoughts together it might be interesting to watch this. It touches on what Anne Marie Giri was saying about culture and women. This women is pretty tough Aikidoka. There is a randori sequence that is fast and tires me out just watching it. Overall she is pretty powerful as well as intense in her technique. You can be the judge, but I liked her. She ain't seeking a man to protect her, I am looking for her to protect me!

watch her here on the 1st link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YU3tOen_zO4) and and here on 2nd link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkZtx2OOjKo&NR=1) and I just found a 3rd (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3E0rERorxs&feature=related) Kudos! She also may be well known to many I realize.

Chuck Clark
06-15-2008, 11:17 PM
"Real Aikido"... ???

Buck
06-16-2008, 12:06 AM
I have list 3 quotes from 3 women senseis that are Aikido stars- well known senseis. I am pointing to with these interviews of recognized senseis is a peek at personal issues; motivation, and inspiration. I thought reading over these quotes would stimulate more discussion.

Penny Bernath Sensei is first, I included a quote from a very good interview. Much of the interview and the quote has to do with this discussion.
It is a good interview, it is worth reading the full interview.

Question: How did you first start practicing Aikido?

Sensei: I started Aikido in 1973. I was 20 years old. I wanted to be able to protect myself so I was interested in taking a martial art. I visited a couple of karate dojos, but they were practicing exactly what I wanted to avoid, direct physical confrontation. I wanted to be able to protect myself without a confrontation. Then I saw an Aikido demonstration in a park. It was energetic and intriguing. It looked like a powerful dance. I signed up, telling myself -- I'm going to take this just one month at a time. Aikido was much more complicated than I expected. But, I'm still going, just taking one month at a time.--- Penny Bernath Sensei Read interview in full (http://www.aikidoonline.com/archives/2003/feb/clmn_0203_penny.html).

Next insight to women is Britton Sensei

"I'm still interested in going to aikido every night because of the challenge, the physical challenge of it. I especially like to work out aerobically very hard. So at the end of class I like to be pouring sweat and totally exhausted and then I feel that that's a good day." --- Barbara Britton Sensei

Here is a great quote from DiAnne Sensei which using personal issues could play a role in achieving this.

"When you take ukemi for somebody, you have to attack them for real. And when you attack somebody, you give your life. It's like you forget about holding back anything, it's just about you and your giving." --- Lorraine DiAnne Sensei

Cady Goldfield
06-16-2008, 07:44 AM
Protect herself "without physical confrontation"? "...avoid direct physical confrontation"?

I hope (and reckon) that Ms. Bernath has simply avoided environments where violent and aggressive people dwell, because otherwise I doubt she would have attained her above-stated aims.

rob_liberti
06-16-2008, 09:21 AM
Umm, okay. I can bridge what I was saying directly.

Do any women in aikido train for the personal reason of protecting their children from being abducted right in front of them in the mall parking lot? If so, assuming they are not training other martial arts as well, what's the plan?

I have yet to meet a mother who didn't consider self-defense also applying to the protection of her children.

If I'm totally off base, then sorry for the interruption.

Rob

giriasis
06-16-2008, 11:15 AM
I have list 3 quotes from 3 women senseis that are Aikido stars- well known senseis. I am pointing to with these interviews of recognized senseis is a peek at personal issues; motivation, and inspiration. I thought reading over these quotes would stimulate more discussion.

Penny Bernath Sensei is first, I included a quote from a very good interview. Much of the interview and the quote has to do with this discussion.
It is a good interview, it is worth reading the full interview.

Question: How did you first start practicing Aikido?

Sensei: I started Aikido in 1973. I was 20 years old. I wanted to be able to protect myself so I was interested in taking a martial art. I visited a couple of karate dojos, but they were practicing exactly what I wanted to avoid, direct physical confrontation. I wanted to be able to protect myself without a confrontation. Then I saw an Aikido demonstration in a park. It was energetic and intriguing. It looked like a powerful dance. I signed up, telling myself -- I'm going to take this just one month at a time. Aikido was much more complicated than I expected. But, I'm still going, just taking one month at a time.--- Penny Bernath Sensei Read interview in full (http://www.aikidoonline.com/archives/2003/feb/clmn_0203_penny.html).

Next insight to women is Britton Sensei

"I'm still interested in going to aikido every night because of the challenge, the physical challenge of it. I especially like to work out aerobically very hard. So at the end of class I like to be pouring sweat and totally exhausted and then I feel that that's a good day." --- Barbara Britton Sensei

Here is a great quote from DiAnne Sensei which using personal issues could play a role in achieving this.

"When you take ukemi for somebody, you have to attack them for real. And when you attack somebody, you give your life. It's like you forget about holding back anything, it's just about you and your giving." --- Lorraine DiAnne Sensei

I just do not think any of your above referenced reasons are reasons exclusively because they are women. I believe all three of these women would say that they do not think that their experience as women in aikido is that different from a man's.

Ummm...considering I train with Penny Bernath Sensei...She was the high ranking dan female to whom I was referring. She liked the beauty in aikido, but I'm sure there are men on this board and in aikido who appreciate the beauty in aikido and was drawn to it because of it. And Cady, Penny has had to use her aikido in a real world situation. Two attackers at once and all she needed to do was tenkan. And the area she was in was not a safe area either.

Regarding Barbara's comment, our most demanding as most attended class is Penny's class on Saturday morning. It is also very "aerobic" but it is jam packed with technique. The emphasis is variations and movement and doing a technique spontaneously. Her "aerobic" classes draw many of the men in our dojo, too. But then again Peter Bernath Sensei's classes at the dojo can be pretty dynamic and aerobically intense, too. And the men attend his classes, too.

Regarding Lorraine DiAnne, her background is at Hombu Dojo and training with Chiba Sensei. Chiba Sensei is known for his hard training and he puts both men and women through it. I have a feeling a lot of Chiba Sensei's students, men and women, can say the same thing she did.

Like I said before the best way to keep women in the dojo is to treat us with respect and not patronize us. It also means not dumbing down aikido to get more women to join. Think about if you have four women join in a year and one sticks around to shodan that's a 25% retention rate, pretty darned good when you consider that in the overall long term the retention rate is about 10%. I've seen many men come and leave after their first day of class. It's just that you have more men joining than women so it's more noticable when the one woman who joined the dojo leaves.

I think there are different personal reasons for men, too -- wanting to defend one's family, a small guy not wanting to get beat up again, a big guy sick of being fat and wanting to lose weight, a big guy wanting to learn to defend himself knowing there's always a bigger guy out there, etc.

The only exclusive pesonal issues for women might be not wanting to get raped again or be victimized by their spouse/boyfriend again. If a woman wants aerobics with a martial feel, she is smart enough to find an aerobic kickboxing class. If she wants a real martial art she will chose a real martial art.

Perhaps there are personal reasons or issues that might, in general, be different. But the one thing we share in common is aikido. We all enter the dojo to learn aikido. When we all enter, teach aikido and just make sure you teach it well, because if you don't, no matter what you do people will leave. Why not just focus on teaching good aikido and raising up everyone's aikido? Women would be included in that mix and they would stick around because of it.

reisler
06-16-2008, 12:05 PM
"
Many women, my wife included, think it's stupid and a throwback to an unenlightened time in our evolution. But I suspect she and most women wouldn't really have it differently. That's why I train.
I wouldn't want it any different.... I really appreciate guys that are big stong protectors. It makes me feel safe.

I have yet to meet a mother who didn't consider self-defense also applying to the protection of her children.
Rob
How about protection from her children????:crazy: my boys love to attack me and carry me around the house.:D


Perhaps there are personal reasons or issues that might, in general, be different. But the one thing we share in common is aikido. We all enter the dojo to learn aikido.

I am learning Aikido because it makes me fit, happy, strong, energetic, fulfulled, cared for........:rolleyes:

Mary Eastland
06-16-2008, 12:35 PM
Hey Rob:

What is it with you and the mall kidnapping? Do you know that only only a tiny percentage of child kidknapping's are done by strangers?
Most are children involved in custody battles.

If a child is too young to know what to do in a self-defense situation they should be well surpervised at every moment.

Children are much more likely to be victimized by someone they know. Be wary of adults that give you that funny feeling and never leave your kids with them...

"Protecting the Gift" is book that should be read by every parent. A stranger hiding behind a bush ready to grab our children at any moment is a myth...the real dangers are coach's, teacher's, pastors....anyone who gives you or your child a weird feeling.

Mary

Jennifer Yabut
06-16-2008, 12:44 PM
Hey Rob:

What is it with you and the mall kidnapping? Do you know that only only a tiny percentage of child kidknapping's are done by strangers?
Most are children involved in custody battles.

In most serious crimes (rape, kidnapping, murder), the victim and perpetrator know each other - or are at least "acquainted". "Random attacks" statistically pale in comparison, and in those cases a better sense of "awareness" (which is learned in Aikido, or any other martial art) could help cut down the number of those incidents.

Keith Larman
06-16-2008, 01:20 PM
Sometimes it is fruitful to look at it from the other side -- why does a 200+ 6 foot tall ectomorphic norwegian weight liftin' male with a background in other arts take aikido?

Of course I'm talking about me here... ;)

I enjoyed the grace and beauty of the art. I also thought "this looks like something really hard for me to learn to do well". And... Wait for it... It looked interesting and fun.

My other answer to the question of "why do you do aikido" is to point out something else... No one ever asks why I go to the gym to lift weights and work out on the ellipticals (real reason is back and knee problems, trying to prevent that early heart attack, and a chance to get out of my workshop). No one asks why I enjoy dog training. I just like dogs... No one asks why I enjoy playing tennis -- its just fun!

We all have hobbies, avocations, and we all take them to varied levels of intensity. My Aikido training is probably my most intensely focused activity for me behind my time with my family and my training in Japanese sword crafts. Unfortunately I don't have more time for more things to get enthused about.

So... All that said... I imagine there are lots of people just like me -- male and female both. They do aikido because it is what they do. No real profound reason, no pressing, critical force that insists they do it. I certainly enjoy my training. And I get antsy when I miss training. And I have the great benefit of training in the dojo 3 times a week and often spend time doing solo stuff the other days (the benefit of being self-employed, working at home, and needing to take breaks periodically -- I get to work on kengi, jogi, aikitaiso, etc.)

Sometimes I think people think too much, look too deep, and try to find reasons when in fact it is just what it is. Kinda like that great zen quote... ""Remember; no matter where you go, there you are."- B. Banzai". :D Sometimes the reasons are no deeper than that...

Cady Goldfield
06-16-2008, 02:19 PM
Anne Marie,
Good on Penny, but it sounds like her attackers weren't typical of the kinds of guys I've encountered in other parts of the New World. Just tenkan wouldn't be enough to end most conflicts. :)

MM
06-16-2008, 02:23 PM
In most serious crimes (rape, kidnapping, murder), the victim and perpetrator know each other - or are at least "acquainted". "Random attacks" statistically pale in comparison, and in those cases a better sense of "awareness" (which is learned in Aikido, or any other martial art) could help cut down the number of those incidents.

Jennifer,
Could you reference where you got those statistics?

Thanks,
Mark

rob_liberti
06-16-2008, 02:26 PM
It certainly didn't have to be a "mall situation". A mall was just an example of a common place to have kids which is also a fairly uncontrolled place. There are lots of places to hide, lots of people to get in the way of finding lost kids, and TOO many doors. I suppose it speaks to my raised awareness as Jennifer points out.

I've heard that the stranger kidnapping is more of a myth, and I'm not sure if I believe that yet. Over 300,000 children go missing or abducted every year in the United States. There are about 70 million children in the country. Every person has maybe a 1% chance of being snatched away before survivng to adulthood. (According to: http://davidbau.com/archives/2007/02/25/kidnapping_statistics.html)

1% is a tiny percentage, but no percentage is acceptable.

Rob

Jennifer Yabut
06-16-2008, 02:27 PM
Anne Marie,
Good on Penny, but it sounds like her attackers weren't typical of the kinds of guys I've encountered in other parts of the New World. Just tenkan wouldn't be enough to end most conflicts. :)

Aren't most muggers after an "easy target" who won't fight back? My roommate (who has NO martial art experience) escaped a potential mugging by walking right up to her would-be attacker's face and cussing him out.

There are plenty of near-misses that go on every day, and are not reported. We just hear about the more *serious* crimes that *did* happen.

Jennifer Yabut
06-16-2008, 02:33 PM
Jennifer,
Could you reference where you got those statistics?

Thanks,
Mark

Here are some rape statistics for you to chew on: http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32306

*snip*

Seventy-seven (77)% of completed rapes are committed by non-strangers (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997). A woman is four times more likely to be raped by an acquaintance than by a stranger (Illinois Coaliltion Against Sexual Assault, 2002).

Murder statistics (slightly outdated, but I'm pretty sure the percentages haven't changed much): http://law.jrank.org/pages/11921/Violent-Crime-Crime-Against-Person.html

*snip*

When the relationship between offender and victim was known, about 25 percent of murders occurred between strangers. These murders tend to be "thrill" killings—done for the immediate thrill and with no personal motive. Examples are random drive by shootings, dropping a rock on a car from an overpass or bridge, or shooting at cars on highways. Roughly 22 percent of murders were between family members. In 53 percent of murders the offender and victim were acquaintances. At the start of the twenty-first century approximately one thousand individuals per year were killed in gang-related activities. The victim may or may not have known his or her murderer. Teenage gangs often operate in a culture where violence and killing is not only expected but encouraged.

Over time, the most common traits of murderers have found them to be male, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, and an acquaintance of the victim. The weapon of choice is a firearm.

Cady Goldfield
06-16-2008, 02:41 PM
Hi Jennifer,
"Muggers" --- the punks and marginals -- maybe. But they are only part of the equation. There are plenty of predators who are more sociopathic and less likely to be deterred by rationale, bluffs or any "non-confrontational" approach. I've met a few. Nothing short of being able to physically dismantle them will give you a chance.

The "average Jane," if she sticks to "average streets," may encounter the lesser ills, but I wouldn't count on "avoidance of physical confrontation" to be an across-the-board possibility at all times, no matter where you live.

Cady Goldfield
06-16-2008, 02:45 PM
BTW,
The comment about most child kidnappings being by known people, and actually mostly as part of child custody "issues," is pretty accurate. My mother, both an attorney and a psychologist, worked as a court-appointed guardian-ad-litem (the child's representative/agent in a custody battle) for decades, and such abductions were common. She once had to trace a guy to Italy, and another to Saudi Arabia (among many such abductions), to get children back to the mothers who had received legal physical custody. And many times, sadly, the children were never seen or heard from again.

giriasis
06-16-2008, 03:29 PM
Anne Marie,
Good on Penny, but it sounds like her attackers weren't typical of the kinds of guys I've encountered in other parts of the New World. Just tenkan wouldn't be enough to end most conflicts. :)

You certain about that Cady? Dania Beach is a pretty seedy place. Not all areas in Florida are peachy keen and if you know what I mean. It's not a place you should hang out at night.

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2008, 03:34 PM
Not all areas in Florida are peachy keen and if you know what I mean.

Miami Dade, after 7:00 pm at night. Glad I was with the entire wrestling team! :D

B,
R (from what I hear, it wouldn't have helped any if someone was serious...and that was back in the real early eighties)

mickeygelum
06-16-2008, 03:51 PM
Greetings all,

For your information, if you are not referencing the FBI-UCR, Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Report, your statistics are not accurate. The FBI-UCR is comprised of all reported crimes, by all reporting agencies, in the United States. Even with that said, there still is a margin of error, as it is the reported crimes/offenses only.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

Train well,

Mickey

MM
06-16-2008, 04:45 PM
Here are some rape statistics for you to chew on: http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32306

*snip*

Seventy-seven (77)% of completed rapes are committed by non-strangers (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1997). A woman is four times more likely to be raped by an acquaintance than by a stranger (Illinois Coaliltion Against Sexual Assault, 2002).

Murder statistics (slightly outdated, but I'm pretty sure the percentages haven't changed much): http://law.jrank.org/pages/11921/Violent-Crime-Crime-Against-Person.html

*snip*

When the relationship between offender and victim was known, about 25 percent of murders occurred between strangers. These murders tend to be "thrill" killings—done for the immediate thrill and with no personal motive. Examples are random drive by shootings, dropping a rock on a car from an overpass or bridge, or shooting at cars on highways. Roughly 22 percent of murders were between family members. In 53 percent of murders the offender and victim were acquaintances. At the start of the twenty-first century approximately one thousand individuals per year were killed in gang-related activities. The victim may or may not have known his or her murderer. Teenage gangs often operate in a culture where violence and killing is not only expected but encouraged.

Over time, the most common traits of murderers have found them to be male, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four, and an acquaintance of the victim. The weapon of choice is a firearm.

You do realize that your reference web site uses data from:
A) surveys, books, reports, and university research but no hard data.
B) mostly outdated from 1992 to 1997, with only one instance of a new report in 2007 and even that was an estimation.
C) Nothing from UCR.
D) Misinformation. Like this, "Acquaintance rape is rarely reported to police. Less than 2% of acquaintance rape victims reported the assault whereas 21% of women raped by strangers reported the crime to police (Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, 2002). " The problem with this is how did the ICASA find out that 98% of acquaintance rape isn't reported. Um, if it isn't reported ...

From this page:
http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc/ncvrw/2001/stat_over_10.htm

It's 1999 stats, so they are within your range of "data". Notice that "Supplemental data for 1999 indicate that 48% of all murder victims knew their assailants. Twelve percent of offenders were identified as strangers, and offenders were unknown in 40% of murders."

That's different than your quoted "about 25 percent of murders occurred between strangers."

In fact, going further, if one removes gang murders from the equation, I'm sure the percentage for murder victims knew their assailant would go down quite a bit from the 48%.

And you really have to wonder about this program:
http://www.ojp.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/ncsrqa.txt

Doing surveys to figure out crime statistics?!?

Whom does the NCVS interview?
------------------------------

The survey collects its data from a nationally
representative sample of individuals age 12 or
older living in U.S. households. Basic
demographic information, such as age, race, sex,
and income, is collected to enable analysis of
victimizations of various subpopulations.
Interviews are translated for non-English speaking
respondents. The NCVS does not cover individuals
living in institutions.

--------------------------------------
How are survey participants selected?
--------------------------------------

Each month the U.S. Bureau of the Census selects
respondents for the NCVS using a "rotating panel"
design. Households are randomly selected, and all
age-eligible individuals in a selected household
become part of the panel.

-----------------------------------

The new NCVS broadens the scope of covered sexual
incidents beyond the categories of rape and
attempted rape. These include:
* sexual assault (other than rape)
* verbal threats of rape or sexual assault
* unwanted sexual contact without force but
involving threats or other harm to the victim.

These new categories, broadened coverage, and more
extensive questions on sexual victimizations have
elicited information on about 3 to 4 times as many
sexual crime victimizations as in the past.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Multiple questions and cues on crimes committed by
family members, intimates, and acquaintances have
been added. The survey also encourages
respondents to report incidents even if they are
not sure whether a crime has been committed. The
survey staff review these reported incidents
using standardized definitions of crimes.

Buck
06-16-2008, 07:52 PM
I just do not think any of your above referenced reasons are reasons exclusively because they are women.

Yep! See the thread being hijack oh, I'd say way back on page one, was the reason for the quotes. You see it was an intermission of sorts to get people back on thinking about Aikido.

I picked women because the thread is about women. No other reason. :D

Bill, I hear ya.

BTW, a bit of info. What most of us wimpy guys keep to ourselves is us wimpy guys have it rough. We are always over-looked by women because we can't protect them. We are not the muscle bound always that strike fear in the hearts of men. If we are lucky we will get a woman who will protect us, but that only last until the verbal confrontation ends. Way down deep in side at that man place, we have this passion, it's a personal issue that drives us to be the hero and protect the fare maiden from the perils of the brutish rapscallions. Once we rescue them they reward us with their hearts and kisses. Fanatsy...yea, I think so. But can't a guy dream?

Heck the thread when south anyway.

Buck
06-16-2008, 09:07 PM
Like I said before the best way to keep women in the dojo is to treat us with respect and not patronize us.

Anne Marie, ummm...thats not what the focus of the thread is. I think respect and not patronizing isn't something only desired by you, but to all people who are short, fat, wimpy etc. I think the US at its worst is a great place for women as compare to other places in the world.

Women are not the only ones, men get the same treatment by both other men and women. The men who complain about it are look down upon by both men and women. The are pushed down to the bottom of the pecking order.

Women who enter the pecking of men become disgruntle because they are not offered a position to the top because they where women. Men who enter the circle of women are pushed away and not allowed to enter. These men as society says should have known better and they are not real men for doing it. Yet, women who enter a men's club house are seen as heroines no matter how ruffled they are or successful in their attempts to enter the men's club of life.

I am done whining now. If you where wondering, I like the bi-sex dojos.

Buck
06-16-2008, 11:11 PM
Women who enter the pecking of men

Women who enter the pecking order of men

Someday I will get a new keyboard or just clean it.

Janet Rosen
06-17-2008, 12:49 AM
I guess I've just lived outside mainstream culture too long: I don't recognize or get affected by anybodys "pecking orders" male or female and I never chose friends, boyfriends, or marriage partners based on the likelihood of them being able to protect me. None of those are things that have any meaning in the world I've lived in, on two coasts, in urban and in rural areas, for over 50 yrs. I guess what I mean is, we each select our boxes and live in them; if you don't like the one you are in, find another.

lbb
06-17-2008, 07:06 AM
I am getting aggressive replies because those individuals are doing so is because they choose too. Anything short of saying all women are victimized by oppressing all men who are insensitive evil sexist monsters with equally sized egos will get negative response from these individuals. If you don't agree with them, you are the enemy.

Once again -- no, make that for the third time, at the very least -- you are presuming to speak for me. I'd really like it if you'd stop doing that. I'd also like it if you'd stop complaining about being "attacked" when I simply ask that you speak for yourself and not for me. You've accused me and others of coming out with guns blazing; sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, here. Would you like me to go back and list everything you've said about me in this thread, together with the entire text that I've posted to date? Then we can discuss whether there's any grounds to accusations such as my "want[ing] to sabotage the friendship and dampen the understanding that does happen between women and men in aikido." (emphasis mine)

lbb
06-17-2008, 07:21 AM
So... All that said... I imagine there are lots of people just like me -- male and female both. They do aikido because it is what they do. No real profound reason, no pressing, critical force that insists they do it. I certainly enjoy my training. And I get antsy when I miss training. And I have the great benefit of training in the dojo 3 times a week and often spend time doing solo stuff the other days (the benefit of being self-employed, working at home, and needing to take breaks periodically -- I get to work on kengi, jogi, aikitaiso, etc.)

Sometimes I think people think too much, look too deep, and try to find reasons when in fact it is just what it is. Kinda like that great zen quote... ""Remember; no matter where you go, there you are."- B. Banzai". :D Sometimes the reasons are no deeper than that...

That would about spell it out for me, too. I don't come to the dojo, either on a given day or in the more general sense, with a laundry list. I've been a list-maker for much of my life, and I've found that it doesn't serve me well for many things. A list is a set of expectations, and expectations can limit our appreciation for what is and our perception of possibilities.

giriasis
06-17-2008, 07:54 AM
Ummmm, Buck, I disagree with your assertion that women who practice aikido have personal issues or reasons and somehow that is the "answer" to the "woman issue" in aikido. Because if there are any personal issues they are not different from a man's experience. And we enter the dojo and continue our train for similar reasons as men. And men, too, have personal issues as well.

The answer is not to teach aikido in a way that some how addresses women's personal issues. The answer is not to water down aikido in some form of AikiAerobics. The answer is to simply treat us, like everyone else on the mat, with dignity and respect. I already said that 99.5% of the time we are treated with respect so why do you bring up the whole pecking order nonsense? (Confused Smiley :confused: )

I feel like I'm in a rocking chair.

Chuck Clark
06-17-2008, 10:52 AM
Ichi go ichi ei... no differences due to gender. We do our best each instant, be responsible, and learn. No agenda... we aren't smart enough to know what's really good for us. Practice for the sake of the practice. All very good "fortune cookie" philosophy, to be sure, but put simply, it works. It's also very difficult, until it isn't.

Bill Danosky
06-17-2008, 12:53 PM
Don't you think absolutely everybody has personal reasons for practicing? That's to say, why they practice martial arts at all and Aikido specifically.

Keith Larman
06-17-2008, 05:07 PM
Ichi go ichi ei... no differences due to gender. We do our best each instant, be responsible, and learn. No agenda... we aren't smart enough to know what's really good for us. Practice for the sake of the practice. All very good "fortune cookie" philosophy, to be sure, but put simply, it works. It's also very difficult, until it isn't.

Yup, that's a good nutshell to put it in. ;)

The process is the reason I train. I enjoy it. I'm sure there are a lot of deep, psychologically interesting reasons why I enjoy training, but for me, ultimately, the "real" reason is just the enjoyment I get out of each moment in the dojo. Ichi go ichi ei.

Much the same reason I've been playing piano for, geez, almost 40 years now... Maybe one of these days I'll get that third movement of the Moonlight *jussst* right. But why should I bother? I'll never play at Carnegie, never play professionally. But I enjoy playing. Can't that be reason enough? And ultimately isn't that really the reason why we do most anything? I ain't gonna be the next great aikido instructor. I'm just plodding along doing my best enjoying the sights along the way...

Buck
06-17-2008, 09:08 PM
Ummmm, Buck, I disagree with your assertion that women who practice aikido have personal issues or reasons and somehow that is the "answer" to the "woman issue" in aikido.

Ahhh... Anne Marie (deep sigh) no, no, no, you got it all wrong.


Because if there are any personal issues they are not different from a man's experience. And we enter the dojo and continue our train for similar reasons as men. And men, too, have personal issues as well.

Ohhh...Anne Marie, I can't say it again or any other way. It is about getting past barriers for solving problems in different ways in the dojo that women can internally relate to. It's not about women vs. men. Why are so many hung up on that. I can't wrap my mind around it. Am I caught in some kind of nightmare! :eek:


The answer is not to teach aikido in a way that some how addresses women's personal issues. The answer is not to water down aikido in some form of AikiAerobics. The answer is to simply treat us, like everyone else on the mat, with dignity and respect. I already said that 99.5% of the time we are treated with respect so why do you bring up the whole pecking order nonsense? (Confused Smiley :confused: )

I feel like I'm in a rocking chair.

I guess, I feel like am on a Vertigo rollercoaster. :crazy:

Buck
06-17-2008, 10:01 PM
On-Ko-Chi-Shin. Gosh, this is invisible culprit of this discussion where some of us will never see eye to eye. That is ok. No one has to get ugly and nasty. Hey, we all have different opinions. I am just glad that am into solving problems. I am kicking it from here.

Buck
06-17-2008, 10:33 PM
Let me review,

Bernath Sensei said, "I started Aikido in 1973. I was 20 years old. I wanted to be able to protect myself so I was interested in taking a martial art. I visited a couple of karate dojos, but they were practicing exactly what I wanted to avoid, direct physical confrontation. I wanted to be able to protect myself without a confrontation. Then I saw an Aikido demonstration in a park. It was energetic and intriguing. It looked like a powerful dance. I signed up, telling myself -- I'm going to take this just one month at a time. Aikido was much more complicated than I expected. But, I'm still going, just taking one month at a time. --- Penny Bernath Sensei Read interview in full (http://www.aikidoonline.com/archives/2003/feb/clmn_0203_penny.html).

Here we have a successful Sensei who happens to be a women. Now in bold is what I want to focus on because it really is a good example of problems, and how personal issue(s) solved those problems. By focusing on personal issue(s), it runs interference to doubt, being unsure, not being over-whelmed.

She seen Aikido as dance, something she related to in contrast to karate. I made this point before on how to attract women to the dojo. By seeing Aikido as a dance and not being confrontational like Karate created a great interest. She looked to Aikido for self-defense - the personal issue that had to exist and the motivator.

I think a huge barrier in Aikido is business as usual attitude, don't change a thing, don't seriously address issues and find real the solutions to the problems beyond the default of cliques, and bable. I think that is what keeps many women out of Aikido. Aikido has the ability to be more accomodating e.g. Bernath's reasons to take Aikido instead of another martial art.

Keith Larman
06-17-2008, 11:24 PM
Phil:

A quote from a movie I watched last night. It comes to mid after reading your various responses to numerous people, mostly women themselves, trying to explain what they perceive as, well, what seems to be a non-issue for them.

My father used to say: "The first time someone calls you a horse you punch him on the nose, the second time someone calls you a horse you call him a jerk but the third time someone calls you a horse, well then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle."

From Lucky Number Slevin...

Just fwiw.

Ron Tisdale
06-18-2008, 01:48 PM
Why are so many hung up on that. I can't wrap my mind around it. Am I caught in some kind of nightmare!

Cough...

You are the only one in this conversation(?) that seems hung up...

Best,
Ron

lbb
06-18-2008, 04:30 PM
Okay. Here's what Anne Marie said:

Ummmm, Buck, I disagree with your assertion that women who practice aikido have personal issues or reasons and somehow that is the "answer" to the "woman issue" in aikido.

Here's what Philip said in response:

Ahhh... Anne Marie (deep sigh) no, no, no, you got it all wrong.

Leaving the deep signs out of it, just what did she get "all wrong"?

Here's what Anne Marie said:

Because if there are any personal issues they are not different from a man's experience. And we enter the dojo and continue our train for similar reasons as men. And men, too, have personal issues as well.

Here's what Philip replied:

Ohhh...Anne Marie, I can't say it again or any other way. It is about getting past barriers for solving problems in different ways in the dojo that women can internally relate to. It's not about women vs. men.

Where, exactly, did Anne Marie say that it was "about women vs. men"?

Why are so many hung up on that. I can't wrap my mind around it. Am I caught in some kind of nightmare!

Given your evident propensity to fabricate statements and attitudes that you then attribute to others, I find it highly ironic that you accuse others of being "hung up". If you're "caught in some kind of nightmare", it is entirely of your own making. Start listening to what people are actually saying, let go of the need to make them into foils for whatever argument you're trying to make, and I predict the nightmare will end in short order.

Buck
06-18-2008, 08:43 PM
WOW can't believe all the negative energy and discouraging words, it can't be Aikido.

I am glad Aikido is different for me. Aikido for me is positive energy and discouraging others isn't love.

A women I knew was shy and introverted, timid in here approach to training even though she finally took Aikido as a way of protecting herself after a terrible incident on the advice of a friend.

The dojo treated this special person no differently then others. They approached her in a traditional manner and really didn't get in touch with her. They gave her the standard lines to her concerns and issues because she was timid.

Unknown to the dojo, this young lady was raped. She was in a shopping mall parking lot. She was walking to her car while her attacker waited behind another car unseen by her. As she approached her and remotely opened the driver side door, her attacker bolted toward her in a split second coming up from behind her slamming her head into the car knocking her silly. The victim dazed and confused was quickly shoved in her car and driven away where she was violated.

The dark cloud of her life loomed over her during her first couple days of being in the dojo. The dojo approached her and treated her has a typical Aikido student. Never having a good connection to the dojo, feeling Aikido wasn't what she needed the women left.

I wonder how many of these women with such hidden needs leave Aikido, because others want them to experience Aikido in a way they think it should be. Aikido is in constant change and is changing, and was founded on change.Why should it not change.

To be at odds with new ideas isn't what I think Aikido is about. Aikido is also about love and not ugly negativity. I don't approve of that type of thing, if I call myself an Aikidoka. I want to help people and not beat them down because I disagree.

rob_liberti
06-18-2008, 09:14 PM
I'm sticking to my radioactivity theory on this one.

It just so happens that the truth happens to work out to be negative to your perspective. It doesn't mean they are just posting to be negative; it really can be that they are just speaking the obvious truth which you don't like. The persecution complex deal is getting old.

Rob

Buck
06-18-2008, 10:49 PM
When I speak of change, I am talking about is applying different tools on how to motivate women. How to get them past barriers that may otherwise prevent women from enjoying Aikido.

Understanding women work better when personal issue(s) are involved, maybe no different them men, but women require a different degree or approach can only help and not hurt. It could solve many problems women face.

I have always believed that the greatest reward is in helping people. It is easy to find an enemy in a person you disagree with because you have nothing meaningful to contribute. It is more difficult to find understanding in disagreement, thus finding a friend rather then a foe when you disagree.

Janet Rosen
06-18-2008, 11:16 PM
A dojo is not a therapeutic community.
People come in with lots of baggage, some very visible, some not.
We can be sensitive to an individual man or woman's physical or psychological limitations to some extent but we cannot take the responsibility to solve people's problems or heal them.
Again, I don't see this as a gender-based issue.

Buck, I don't think you are "wrong" or "bad" but I do think you are trying to address or solve a problem that you have defined in a way that many of us don't see as a gender issue per se.

lbb
06-19-2008, 07:14 AM
To be at odds with new ideas isn't what I think Aikido is about.
If what you were saying were a new idea, perhaps I wouldn't be at odds with it. As it is, telling women what they think, what they feel, and what their issues are is very old hat indeed.

(hey, is telling women what they think aikido? just wondering...)

Ron Tisdale
06-19-2008, 08:10 AM
WOW can't believe all the negative energy and discouraging words, it can't be Aikido.

I am glad Aikido is different for me. Aikido for me is positive energy and discouraging others isn't love.

To me, aikido is often Tough Love (TM).
You contiinue to make up what other people are saying, you don't express clearly your ideas, and you project your own issues on others. If you don't like the box you are in, put it aside.

As others have said, aikido can't be therapy in the medical sense for someone who has been through that horrible experience. The person you refer to should seek counseling from a professional for her trauma (or whatever else works for her). Now, in combination with that, aikido keiko may provide an excellent release for her, and it could even help with issues around feeling powerless, close physical contact, and other things. But that will be up to her to shape and direct. Such spiritual/psychological benefits come from aikido because the individual decides to link the issues to the keiko and to work on them. No one else can do it for you, just like no one else can take them ukemi for her.

To be at odds with new ideas isn't what I think Aikido is about. Aikido is also about love and not ugly negativity. I don't approve of that type of thing, if I call myself an Aikidoka. I want to help people and not beat them down because I disagree.

I haven't seen any new ideas to be at odds with. I haven't seen any "ugly negativity". I haven't seen anyone "beating someone down". You are an adult...stand up, take responsiblity for your own words and perspectives, present your thoughts clearly, and you won't be misunderstood.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
06-19-2008, 08:25 AM
Oh, PS...

The folks who run some of the AKI dojo in the US often combine counseling services and aikido keiko...check out the links for their sites, and maybe contact Steve Trinkle to ask specific questions about how they link aikido keiko and counseling services.

http://www.akisb.com/

Best,
Ron

Trish Greene
06-20-2008, 01:05 PM
I am taking a risk by throwing my hat into the conversation here..

I started Aikido because I wanted to learn how to defend myself if I were ever attacked. I didn’t want to be a “victim” and I wanted to show my daughter what a “strong” women was. Unfortunately she didn’t take to the art like I did. I (was?) one of those women who would look you in the eye, stick my chin out and dare you to tell me no I couldn’t do something because of my gender. I could do anything that you could do, andmaybe better. I tended to gravitate my life towards areas that were considered “male dominated” ( my job, and other areas of my life).

I continued with Aikido because I fell in love with the joy of the art. That understanding gave me the ability to clear my mind and walk away from the preconceived notions I had about who I was supposed to be in this world. There was no reason that I “had” to be as mentally confrontational as I have been driving my life to be so far. In the dojo, I was simply another person on the mat getting sweaty and enjoying every minute of it! The guys never treated me any differently ( I was the only adult female there for a long time) – we were just uke and nage.

Now my two cents on why more women don’t train – it’s called LIFE. There is dinner to be made, kids to help out with homework, running the kids to soccer practice, PTA Meetings, etc etc etc. We are so used to nurturing others, that we do not take the time to nurture our selves. I think it is hilarious that I equate nurturing to being thrown around on the mat by some big blokes!

Ok, those are my thoughts – rip away…

lbb
06-20-2008, 02:08 PM
Now my two cents on why more women don’t train – it’s called LIFE. There is dinner to be made, kids to help out with homework, running the kids to soccer practice, PTA Meetings, etc etc etc. We are so used to nurturing others, that we do not take the time to nurture our selves. I think it is hilarious that I equate nurturing to being thrown around on the mat by some big blokes!

I think that this is one of the main two reasons why more people in general don't train -- aikido or any other martial art requires a lot of time. People will take a month-long or six-weeks intro class and train a couple nights a week, but when they think about giving up a couple evenings of every week indefinitely, it's a different matter -- they can make that time on a short-term basis, but don't want to do it permanently. And, as you say, in a family situation, even today a woman is likely to have a larger percentage of the child-care/family-care responsibilities (whether pressed on her or assumed), which would leave her with less time to train.

Ron Tisdale
06-20-2008, 02:39 PM
You know, now that I think about it, back when I was training 5 or 6 times a week, there is no way I could have done that if I'd been maried, or even dating seriously. Nobody would have put up with that! Now my body wouldn't put up with that...life has already broken me in for the wife!

Best,
Ron

Buck
06-20-2008, 08:22 PM
I am taking a risk by throwing my hat into the conversation here.



I applaud your courage in taking a risk, it was great...Bravo!