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Chantal
02-07-2009, 06:15 PM
First of all, I must say that I was not 100% sure where to post this thread, but thought that General would be ok. Also, this is the second time I try to post ... I appologize if this gets posted twice .. I am experiencing technical difficulties with this piece of crap computer I have right now .. grrrr!!!

Ok .... deep breath!!! Here is my dilema: In class, there are certain techniques that require an arm to be placed against a chest (in a pin technique) or the front of the dogi to be grabbed (for a throw as an example). I understand that aspect and I am comfortable with all of that. The issue is with the men in my class. They will hesitate to allow me to perform a technique where their arm ends up against my chest for me to pin them. OR they are hesitant to grab the front of my dogi for other techniques. I say hesitant because they have that "deer stuck in the headlights" look to them. I see how they train with the men, and training with me is definately different.

My question is: how do I kindly acknowledge their hesitancy but also explain to them that by their not doing these things, it hinders my training? I am looking for some tips on how to talk to them, when to talk to them ...

I must note: I am the only woman in my dojo and therefore I can not say how they are with other women since I am the only one there. This is sort of the reverse to a harassment question. These guys are nice guys by holding back, but I need them to do to me what they do to the other guys in order for me to learn. Hope that makes sense!!

Confused :freaky: thanks in advance,

Chantal

Marc Abrams
02-07-2009, 06:39 PM
First of all, I must say that I was not 100% sure where to post this thread, but thought that General would be ok. Also, this is the second time I try to post ... I appologize if this gets posted twice .. I am experiencing technical difficulties with this piece of crap computer I have right now .. grrrr!!!

Ok .... deep breath!!! Here is my dilema: In class, there are certain techniques that require an arm to be placed against a chest (in a pin technique) or the front of the dogi to be grabbed (for a throw as an example). I understand that aspect and I am comfortable with all of that. The issue is with the men in my class. They will hesitate to allow me to perform a technique where their arm ends up against my chest for me to pin them. OR they are hesitant to grab the front of my dogi for other techniques. I say hesitant because they have that "deer stuck in the headlights" look to them. I see how they train with the men, and training with me is definately different.

My question is: how do I kindly acknowledge their hesitancy but also explain to them that by their not doing these things, it hinders my training? I am looking for some tips on how to talk to them, when to talk to them ...

I must note: I am the only woman in my dojo and therefore I can not say how they are with other women since I am the only one there. This is sort of the reverse to a harassment question. These guys are nice guys by holding back, but I need them to do to me what they do to the other guys in order for me to learn. Hope that makes sense!!

Confused :freaky: thanks in advance,

Chantal

Chantal:

I would thank them for hesitating for an action that might be construed by others as inappropriate. I would then tell them that the best sign of respect is to treat you like any other student and that if you were ever to become uncomfortable with an action you would immediately let them know. Until then, you can encourage them to treat you like any other student.

Marc Abrams

NagaBaba
02-07-2009, 07:49 PM
Yoshinkan fighters are holding back?? .nnnaaaaaaahhhh...........impossible! These guys have no mercy..... you are making huge mistake.
Remember, Yoshinkan is famous to be the toughest style of aikido in the world.

Chantal
02-07-2009, 08:43 PM
Marc ... I like how you worded it "the best sign of respect is to treat you like any other student" makes sense to say this and is not overly wordy ... and I think that it is a polite way of telling them to "train" with me.

Szczepan ...although not intended, your comment made me laugh ...keep in mind that I am the only woman in class ... I am quite small and appear to be "delicate" in their words ... I know that they are afraid of hurting me and I have already had to tell them to actually firmly grab my wrist and that I would tell them if it hurt (so far this is working)

I thought that I should get a man's opinion on how "he" would want to be told that it is ok to grab my dogi and understandably have to lean his hand on my chest .. I did not want to use the wrong words and potentially embarass anyone nor make them feel uncomfortable.

Salut,

Chantal

Lyle Laizure
02-07-2009, 08:57 PM
Oddly I have more women in my class than men. But I think the reason why is that I treat women the same as men, and encourage the men in practice, while there are some things that need slight modification, to pick the women up and throw them down in the same way as other men. I bluntly state that by not doing so cheats thier fellow students out of his/her experience, thus inhibiting their learning.

Chantal
02-08-2009, 10:20 AM
You are quite right Lyle, it is inhibiting my learning. I suppose that it is the sensei that should be telling the students to "train" with me in the same manner as they train with eachother. My sensei has said nothing and I belive that it is my place to let the other guys know that it is ok to train with me ... the sensei sees the guys holding back in reference to a hand on chest or grabbing the dogi, but I assume he says nothing cause he is not female and perhaps doesn't want me to be in an uncomfortable situation. But yes you are right, it is holding me back with respect to learning new techniques properly.

thanks for your perspective,

Chantal

Ketsan
02-08-2009, 12:03 PM
Marc ... I like how you worded it "the best sign of respect is to treat you like any other student" makes sense to say this and is not overly wordy ... and I think that it is a polite way of telling them to "train" with me.

Szczepan ...although not intended, your comment made me laugh ...keep in mind that I am the only woman in class ... I am quite small and appear to be "delicate" in their words ... I know that they are afraid of hurting me and I have already had to tell them to actually firmly grab my wrist and that I would tell them if it hurt (so far this is working)

I thought that I should get a man's opinion on how "he" would want to be told that it is ok to grab my dogi and understandably have to lean his hand on my chest .. I did not want to use the wrong words and potentially embarass anyone nor make them feel uncomfortable.

Salut,

Chantal

I think actions tend to speak louder than words, especially in budo and you have to speak "male" I think, like you're one of the lads.

Try this: When you grab their dogi slightly over emphasise the attack, dump your weight into it or something, so that it grabs their attention and then say "It's ok to attack me properly" with an attitude that indicates that you're serious and not joking around so that they can't confuse it with flirting.

That way you've shown how you want them to be with you and you've stated verbally that you realise what's going on in their head without spelling it out and causing embarrassment.

Eric Webber
02-08-2009, 12:28 PM
Hi Chantel,

I would recommend talking directly about your expierence with the other members of your dojo, see if they are even conscious of treating you differently. Most men in this culture are socialized from little on up to treat women differently, that can be a hard habit to break in the dojo. Give them constructive feedback on the level of force/energy/gusto you would like in an attack and/or technique. I believe all of you will benefit.

DonMagee
02-08-2009, 01:50 PM
I teach judo to a few girls. I also train BJJ with these same girls.

I can't say it's ever occurred to me that what I'm doing to them might be inappropriate. If they didn't want me to do it to them they wouldn't show up.

And these two arts are much more grabby then aikido. Not to mention pins where you are placing your face right in the chest.

jennifer paige smith
02-08-2009, 02:15 PM
You are quite right Lyle, it is inhibiting my learning. I suppose that it is the sensei that should be telling the students to "train" with me in the same manner as they train with eachother. My sensei has said nothing and I belive that it is my place to let the other guys know that it is ok to train with me ... the sensei sees the guys holding back in reference to a hand on chest or grabbing the dogi, but I assume he says nothing cause he is not female and perhaps doesn't want me to be in an uncomfortable situation. But yes you are right, it is holding me back with respect to learning new techniques properly.

thanks for your perspective,

Chantal

Hi Don,
I like your example, it's perfect. I also like your signature quote.

Hi Chantal,
I'm recalling a story my teacher told me about training with Kids in Shingu, Japan. My teacher had bowed onto the mat and saw all of these little asian kids in their, "cute little gi's". My teacher bowed to train with one child and was gonna take it easy on the cute lil' tyke when no sooner than my teacher had softly grabbed the lapel and could say ' Kata Dori Ikkyo Suwari-Waza' did a very quick, strong atemi come up and punch them straight in the face. I guess the young aikidoka sensed the lack of presence, felt the opening, and did what all aikdoka are taught to do; fill the opening (suki = tsuki) and apply.

When we're not present we have suki. No matter the circumstance. Thats what makes aikido such an equal playing field; the principles are there for everyone to actualize. Big guys don't have an advantage in this case. No one does.

As an instructor I'd recommend that you talk with yours. Give them some trust and an opportunity to grow, also.

Best,
Jen

Garth Jones
02-08-2009, 04:00 PM
I've been training with women since day one on the mat and my wife (who has been training a year longer than me) co-run a a little dojo. We have a number of senior women and the last thing I'm thinking about when one of them is pinning me in nikyo, etc. is where my hand is. Usually I'm thinking, 'tap now!' I learned, very early in my training, that we will come in contact with each other in all sorts of ways, some of them awkward and unintentional. If everybody is training seriously and there is no malicious intent then I think people don't even notice - it's just not what they are focusing on.

I'm sure the guys in your dojo are used to this with each other, but they may need some education. I think all the advice you've gotten so far is excellent, so I'll just add that, if your dojo mates are decent folks, a few minutes of conversation may save everybody a whole lot of second guessing and doubt. Talk to your sensei and perhaps any of your seniors you feel would be receptiv to talking about the issue.

Cheers,
Garth

Chantal
02-08-2009, 05:01 PM
wow .. tonnes of great advice I can take to class tomorrow night. We go for beer after class so perhaps I will bring it up there in a conversation. We are a small dojo and the people I am referring to all go for drinks with me. I will figure out a non-threatening way to bring it up quickly and non-challantly (not sure how to spell that) so that I do not linger on the topic but get my perspective heard by the others.

Thanks to everyone,

Chantal

antonis paps
02-08-2009, 06:49 PM
"I say hesitant because they have that "deer stuck in the headlights" look to them"

Lol, I think I am one of them!!

Lyle Bogin
02-08-2009, 11:12 PM
I wonder if you could learn to blend with their hesitation and lead them by their uncomfortableness into some wicked throws....

Guilty Spark
02-09-2009, 01:20 AM
I know that they are afraid of hurting me

Don't feel bad. I'm afraid of hurting the rest of the guys in class :D

I actually don't like training with women. Well maybe better said training with women I am unfamiliar with or who I feel are or might be doing the alpha female thing. Seen it. Hate it.
I realize it's disrespectful and not really fair to women-it's a bias I've picked up from my own work and previous MA experience and something I'm working on. That's not all women of course, I'd LOVE for example to get my ass kicked by Mary.E.

[For the record I don't think you're this type of personality at all]
Anyways probably a argument for a different thread (Feel free to start one :) ) Don't be insulted when some guys are reluctant, it may be that they had a bad experience OR they just don't know know he ettiquette protocal or whatever of how to act.

As far as training with guys in class go, I think it's bound to happen sooner of later that someone is gonna come into contact with your goods.
When it happens to me it's a quick laugh, 'sorry dude' and we carry on. For a woman it might be a little more awkward. What I would do if I were you is that the next time you're out with everyone tackle it head on.

Maybe something like
"Hey guys, I was telling some women a work about me doing Aikido and they asked if anyone ever brushed against me (etc..) by accident. I said it's not a big deal, it's a part of the training and I don't want special treatment.
I hope YOU guys realize I know that stuff is gonna happen and I don't want you to feel weird about it or take it easy on me because then I'm not learning. It's an accident. Just keep training"

This will give the guys an out so they can say NO of course we don't treat you different! and in their head they may become more reassured and comfortable with the close contact. and no that you're not creeped out by it.

Chantal
02-09-2009, 04:06 PM
I understand you being leary on training with women you do not know ... and I understand that the men in my class might also be slightly apprehensive. I will talk to them tonight after class when we go for beer ... in a casual conversation. Usually pretty easy to bring up any subject during beer :)

As far as the accidental "oops" where a guy brushes up against me or grabs the goods... it has happened. Funny enough, it was my sensei. He was patting everyone on the shoulder when they were passing him and he went to pat me on the shoulder but I mived a bit and his aim was thrown slightly off ... so ofcourse, his hand kinda just cupped my boob ... his eyes got huge and he sort of froze ... I had to giggle and quickly say "it's ok, don't worry about it ... it's bound to happen" ... and class continued as normal. With this said, I still only talked to him, and the others did not see or hear the boob grab/conversation. I do imagine that the other guys would have reacted the same way.

Gonna talk to them tonight ... have a good evening/day to all

Chantal

Ron Tisdale
02-10-2009, 11:55 AM
That stuff happens, and most guys are anywhere from mildly appalled to way too horrified.

When accidents happen, treat them casually, and move on.

When enviting a grab in a sensitive area, pull the dogi out away from the bits, and offer it for a grab.

If someone grabs and you don't feel enough to work with, politely ask for some more. **If they give too much then, just as politely ask for a little less**

I think the mentioning it casually over drinks is a great idea. They'll get over it as they train with you more. By never making an unreasonable fuss, you condition them correctly.

At the same time, do not tolerate abuse.

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
02-10-2009, 12:25 PM
This kind of thing can indeed make dudes feel pretty awkward. I guess you're lucky that you're not in one of those creepy dojos that uses this very scenario to fondle the women of the dojo (it does happen).

The cold hard (or should it be "warm soft"?) truth of the matter is that if you (as a guy) do martial arts with women, you will occasionally get a handful of boob. Best thing to do (in my mind) is to acknowledge it, laugh about it and get on with training. I think it's usually clear to everyone when that kind of contact is made in all innocence (as a normal part of training) and when someone is taking advantage of the situation.

If someone seems to have a particular problem grabbing you, you might either try to address it with them after class ("Hey, I know you're not trying to fondle me, but if you could actually grab me I'd really appreciate it. I know you might 'miss' and that's a chance I'm willing to take to get to really train. Can we agree for next time?") or you might even bring it up right on the spot, perhaps with some humor to cut the tension, ("they're not glass, I don't think they'll break...").

Good luck, hope that helps. :)

Phil Van Treese
02-10-2009, 01:19 PM
1st of all, Yoshinkan Aikido is by far not the "toughest" style of Aikido. Have you tried Tomiki Aikido---AKA Shodokan Aikido??? I don't think so. Since we do the tachi waza like you all, we also do Newaza, Kansetsu waza and Shime waza.
As for training with female students, they are treated the same as the men. NO inappropriate touching/actions have ever occurred in our dojo. If the men refuse to train with the women then they need to be talked to. Any horse play etc won't be tolerated but it has never happened yet because of the professionalism of all the aikidoka.

Chantal
02-10-2009, 01:30 PM
ok .. I have something funny to add to the "oops" of stupid stuff I do. Last night in aikido, I was working on techniques for my next belt and I had to do a technique where I pin my partner's wrist to the floor ... well, silly me, I get all in to it and move too fast through the movement and end up having difficulty slowing down to pinn my partner. So instead of losing my balance and falling, I somehow managed to "sit" on my partner in what looks like a **woman rides horse side saddle** ... I burst out laughing immediately and my parter cracks a joke by saying "c'mon now, I am not a pony!!" .. well I lost it about then ... I couldn't control my laughter anymore .. I had tears rolling down my face. It took both of us a while to stop laughing. The rest of the night, we would try and be serious but the slightlest look made me laugh.

Soooo, as far as the chat I was going to have with them at beer last night, that kinda took care of itself ... it showed them I am human and am also bound to do get in to very close contact with them ... eveything said, I think that incomfortable feeling is gone for them ...lol

Chantal

Chantal
02-10-2009, 01:41 PM
Phil ... I think you should perhaps direct your comment to Szczepan. I think he was the only one to make reference that Yoshinkan was the toughest. I do agree that there is tougher out there.

As far as the accidental "oops" or inhibitions relating to training with a woman, you are lucky that your dojo does not experience this as being an issue. In my case, I understand that it "was" a tad bit difficult for the men to adjust to having a female in class. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that we are not professional in our training... all I am saying is that perhaps some topics need to be addressed on the lighter side. I respect the people I train with, therefore I wanted tips on addressing something that might make them feel uncomfortable ... thanks everyone for the tips ... I think the "sitting on my partner" pretty much solved the sensitive issue. ;)

Chantal :o

Ron Tisdale
02-10-2009, 02:47 PM
Ah, Mr. S was making a ***joke***...he trains in the Aikikai as it happens. And from what I hear, he is the ORIGINAL Hard Bastard(TM).
:D

Best,
Ron

Phil Van Treese
02-10-2009, 03:07 PM
Why would you be hesitant to train with women???? When you're in class, it's training at it's best. In my school here in Tampa, we train equally with no inhibitions and everyone is professional in their attitude. If you put on a gi and step on the mat---then get ready to train!!! In Tomiki, our style, we also train on the mat so it gets to be fun.

Chantal
02-10-2009, 05:22 PM
I am not hesitant to train with women or men. In my dojo, I am the one and only woman. Thus the reason I was seeking advice/tips on how to approach then men that did not fully engage in performing a technique on me (when it came to grabbing the chest area of my gi ... or their hand be placed against my chest) ... I have gotten lots of advice ... and by my "oops" last night, I think that the potential issue will clear up just fine.

Chantal :)

Chris Covington
02-10-2009, 05:43 PM
Hello Chantal et al,

I've been in the position your male training partners are in when I did judo. At first it was difficult but when you're in the middle of a match with a skilled female judoka you really stop worrying about things like brushing her chest or being in her guard, because she's trying to kill you on the mat! My advice is try to kill them and make them worry about their safety, then they won't worry about other stuff. Now when I work with ladies, I don't have any trouble training with them. I expect them to try to kill me.

Another thought, given a choice of brushing a chick's goods, or a dude's goods I know which one I'd rather brush :crazy:

Honestly it is something they have to learn and something they have to get over, so you can help teach them. They also may be uncomfortable around you if you are attractive to them. "She's hot, and I like her, but I don't want her to think I like her, and if I brush the wrong part she's gonna think I'm making an advance, and oh man what do I do?!?" Think middle school/jr. high and you'll get the idea.

As for your laughing in class, I'd say your zanshin isn't very good and you need to study harder. You may want to focus on that in your up coming classes. Maybe ask your teacher to help you. We've all been there and something funny happens and we chuckle afterwards, but if it affecting your training the rest of the night you need to really consider how you are training.

Best regards,

Chantal
02-10-2009, 06:05 PM
yes I agree I should have been able to stop laughing!! It doesn't happen often that I lose control ...

Yesterday was a loooong day. Have you ever been so tired that it wouldn't matter what happened, you would laugh?? Well, I had one of those days. My students (I teach grades 5 to 8) had me totally exhausted (it was a snow day today) so I had more than my regular students to teach that day ... soooo, after a long ass day (and no time for a nap before class), something funny happened and I lost control. I am indeed working on "remainig focused" during class though.

Thanks for your advice and POV Chris

Chantal
p.s. I got lots of sleep last night so tonight's class should be without giggles. ;)

Guilty Spark
02-10-2009, 11:11 PM
1st of all, Yoshinkan Aikido is by far not the "toughest" style of Aikido. Have you tried Tomiki Aikido---AKA Shodokan Aikido??? I don't think so.

My style is tougher
No mine is tougher
NO mine is
NO, mine is!

NagaBaba
02-11-2009, 02:53 PM
Ah, Mr. S was making a ***joke***...he trains in the Aikikai as it happens. And from what I hear, he is the ORIGINAL Hard Bastard(TM).
:D

Best,
Ron
well...well!!! Now I'm starting to wonder, how come you can have such very private info about me? :hypno: :eek: :confused:

NagaBaba
02-11-2009, 03:10 PM
1st of all, Yoshinkan Aikido is by far not the "toughest" style of Aikido. Have you tried Tomiki Aikido---AKA Shodokan Aikido??? I don't think so. Since we do the tachi waza like you all, we also do Newaza, Kansetsu waza and Shime waza. .
Look Phil, you have only 2 posts on the forum, and I have more then 600!! As a very fresh newbie you should think twice before posting such horrible statement - only from comparing our aikido experience it is very clear that I'm right and you are very wrong.

1st
As for training with female students, they are treated the same as the men. .
And here you are wrong again. Female students are very different then male students and can't be treated equally. It is true from biological point of view as well as from psychological point of view. All over the world and in any aikido style male students do many adjustments when they practice with female students. Even if external form of technique may looks very similar, internal side is different. I’ll give you few examples:
1. they reduce a power
2. they are trying to appear as the gentlemen
3. they avoid violence to preserve fragile female spirit
4. they will rather fail a technique then break female student
5. they avoid head buts and biting to protect female beauty
6. nobody likes to kill the ladies
Etc…

So before further posting, please do some more reading on this forum, to avoid basic mistakes.

hope it helps

ChrisMoses
02-11-2009, 03:16 PM
3. they avoid violence to preserve fragile female spirit


Don't they have women up there in the great white north? You're funny.

Garth Jones
02-11-2009, 09:54 PM
"Fragile female spirit" ??? I have never, in 20 years of training, met a serious female aikido student who I would describe as having a 'fragile' spirit on the mat. And I know several who would drill me into the mat for suggesting such a thing.

Here's a story as told to me recently by the woman involved: Way back when Terry Dobson Sensei was the head instructor of Bond Street Dojo (New York) a low ranked women was training with a guy who refused to punch her because of her gender. Upon hearing this, Dobson Sensei said, "Heck, I don't have a problem hitting her." With that, he hauled off and came blasting in at her head. Dobson Sensei was a huge guy and, from what I've heard, didn't hold back on much of anything.

I asked her what she did, and she said, "the best tenkan of my life!"

She's still training today, the guy isn't. Fragile spirit.....

Garth

Guilty Spark
02-12-2009, 12:16 AM
"Fragile female spirit" ??? I have never, in 20 years of training, met a serious female aikido student who I would describe as having a 'fragile' spirit on the mat.

No but how many men have you met that wrongly assumed as much?

1. they reduce a power
2. they are trying to appear as the gentlemen
3. they avoid violence to preserve fragile female spirit
4. they will rather fail a technique then break female student
5. they avoid head buts and biting to protect female beauty
6. nobody likes to kill the ladies

These all are things guys are guilty of whether they realize it or not and regardless the actual fact of the matter.

I realise the concept of everyone being equal and everyone being the same on the mat but at the same time I believe different types of people (introvert/extrovert?), male female agressive passive need (at least at times) different methods of teaching and instruction.

Mary Eastland
02-12-2009, 06:42 AM
Each person is an individual regardless of sex....each uke deserves complete attention.
Mary

lbb
02-12-2009, 07:40 AM
Look Phil, you have only 2 posts on the forum, and I have more then 600!! As a very fresh newbie you should think twice before posting such horrible statement - only from comparing our aikido experience it is very clear that I'm right and you are very wrong.

And here you are wrong again. ...

So before further posting, please do some more reading on this forum, to avoid basic mistakes.

hope it helps

Yeah, I'm sure it was wicked helpful. That'll shut him up!

NagaBaba
02-12-2009, 09:34 AM
Yeah, I'm sure it was wicked helpful. That'll shut him up!
Hi Mary,
I know that make jokes over internet is not easy thing, but as far I know myself, I must be kidding ;)

However in every joke there is some part of true :cool:

NagaBaba
02-12-2009, 09:35 AM
You're funny.
I'm doing my best, thanks Christian! :p

NagaBaba
02-12-2009, 09:44 AM
"Fragile female spirit" ??? I have never, in 20 years of training, met a serious female aikido student who I would describe as having a 'fragile' spirit on the mat. And I know several who would drill me into the mat for suggesting such a thing.

Garth
This is only appearance, as usual. Female aikido students are in reality very fragile and vulnerable. They like to looks tough, but nobody practice with them in the same way as with a man of the same weight and force. Be true with yourself. If you are real men, your Nature will never allow you to do that. We have it genetically and we don't need to be hypocrite about it.

NagaBaba
02-12-2009, 09:48 AM
I realise the concept of everyone being equal and everyone being the same on the mat but at the same time I believe different types of people (introvert/extrovert?), male female agressive passive need (at least at times) different methods of teaching and instruction.
We are not talking here about instruction, we are talking here about direct physical interaction by using martial techniques between mal and female aikido student.

The concept of ' everyone being equal and everyone being the same on the mat ' is hypocrisy, and is entirely false.

lbb
02-12-2009, 09:50 AM
I hate being told what we're talking about.

heathererandolph
02-13-2009, 12:31 PM
Chantal:

What it boils down to is you are looking for ways to tell another student how they can improve your practice. It is a good skill to learn because students don't necessarily have to "put up" for lack of another word, with behavior that they feel is not as helpful as it could be. Often students are hesitant to tell uke to attack differently, perhaps because they don't realize it's an okay thing to do.

I think the best place to let other students know your preferences is during the technique itself, unless talking is prohibited. You could say for example: "if it's okay with you can you grab me here (gesturing) the way the instructor showed it?" or something along those lines. If it's a pin, I'd just leave that one alone if I were you just because it's really their practice that is suffering not yours in that situation because your are uke.

I wouldn't get into the whole man/woman thing because although it is probably relevant in your case, what you're really dealing with is communicating to your uke how they can help you to have your best practice at this time. Also, there could be other factors, but why is not so important as how to change the behavior.

Even with you best efforts, not every student may pick up on it or if they are uncomfortable with a particular grab, maybe your instructor can come up with a similar grab. I'm unsure how much your technique will suffer in the long run even with the attacks you describe. Things always change within the dojo, people come and go, maybe there will be some other women eventually or men with different attitudes.

Working with other students is a valuable skill. It's important to let your partner know when you need a different attack, a slower attack, a push, a pull, etc... It's important to focus on your own training. Whatever "vibes" you are getting from them, well that's their problem, not yours, try to ignore it.

Chantal
02-13-2009, 05:54 PM
Heather ... I totally understant what you are saying. Yes, it is about training and letting the others know what they should or shouldn't do to help my training. I was looking for good things to say (in a non-threatening way) that would get that message across ... and I think that if I keep it to "training" .. it should be viewed as acceptable and they should be receptive to my reccomendations. thanks

For the guys out there ... would you see that as good ... being asked by a female student to "grab here like the sensei did ... I think it will work better ... OR ... could you grab a bit more firmly and not let go ..." or should I actually approach it on a "male -- female thing" ?? I know that they are worried about being disrespectful and accidentally grabbing a "boob" or something ... so I understand their discomfort ... or should I approach with humour .... jokingly saying "they are not made of glass, they will not break"??? ideas ... suggestions??

Guilty Spark
02-13-2009, 10:27 PM
We are not talking here about instruction
Well some us were.
*I* was and I'm a pretty big deal.



The concept of ' everyone being equal and everyone being the same on the mat ' is hypocrisy, and is entirely false.

I agree people are different. We should strive for the same standard of training and level of interaction but understand everyone is different.

That said I don't instruct martial arts sooooo

Garth Jones
02-13-2009, 10:32 PM
Chantal,

I don't know if you wear a judo gi, but if you practice various shoulder and lapel grabs, and grabs in the middle of the chest, I would recommend it. In any event, what I often do with various grabs like that is make sure the gi is standing away from my skin a little so that the only thing grabbed is my gi. I have permanent marks on my upper arms where people have grabbed skin as well - no fun! This has the added benefit of indicating to your partner where you want them to grab - a nice subtle hint.

Of course, sometimes things are going on too quickly for that, so... If you are sufficiently senior to your partner, you can simply say, 'hey, grab here.' If you are junior, ask it as a question, "isn't the grab here?" Hopefully at that point your partner will get the idea and just attack you. If not, maybe try a quick, 'don't worry about it' and see what happens. If that doesn't work, then maybe humor, or a longer talk is necessary.

I hope this is helpful.

Cheers,
Garth

Diane Stevenson
02-14-2009, 10:19 AM
This is only appearance, as usual. Female aikido students are in reality very fragile and vulnerable. They like to looks tough, but nobody practice with them in the same way as with a man of the same weight and force. Be true with yourself. If you are real men, your Nature will never allow you to do that. We have it genetically and we don't need to be hypocrite about it.

Szczepan, I appreciate that you are trying to be honest, and I realize that perhaps you train for reasons other than martial application. However, there are many women like myself who do train with martial intent. I don't expect that an assaliant would treat me gently because I am a woman. Any training partner who would use less than a serious attack, and yes I mean using his weight/height/strength to his advantage, is doing me a serious disservice.

If my dojo-mates care about me, they will do their best to help me learn to overcome someone bigger and stronger, not hold back and teach me false self-confidence.

Chantal
02-14-2009, 11:26 AM
However, there are many women like myself who do train with martial intent. I don't expect that an assaliant would treat me gently because I am a woman. Any training partner who would use less than a serious attack, and yes I mean using his weight/height/strength to his advantage, is doing me a serious disservice.

If my dojo-mates care about me, they will do their best to help me learn to overcome someone bigger and stronger, not hold back and teach me false self-confidence.

very well said Diane ... I agree with you. This is the reason I prefer to train with men, because they are bigger than me and stronger. The likelyhood of me having to defend myslef against a smaller and weaker man is next to being nil!!! So yes, I want the guys to train with me seriously.

Garth ... I do wear a gi ... and sometimes the men are hesitant. I think that if they read these posts they would no longer feel akward about grabbing me ...

So far though ... things have been good at the dojo. The guys are training more seriously with me ( i think the fact that I landed on my parter last week and cracked a joke about it ... has made them realize that I have agood sense of humour when it comes to uncomfortable situations .. I really am easy to talk to and get along with)

Garth Jones
02-14-2009, 11:53 AM
Chantal,

Oh, I assumed you wore a gi. I specifically meant the pleated, heavier judo gi top, as opposed to the thinner karate gi. The judo gi top is easier to grab, much less likely to rip, and also soaks up more sweat!

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that your training is getting better.

Cheers,
Garth

Chantal
02-14-2009, 08:59 PM
Chantal,

Oh, I assumed you wore a gi. I specifically meant the pleated, heavier judo gi top, as opposed to the thinner karate gi. The judo gi top is easier to grab, much less likely to rip, and also soaks up more sweat!



yes that is the one!!! ;)

Rosecarmethene
02-15-2009, 05:43 PM
Szczepan-san, et al:

A few more thoughts:

men and women have different strengths and different weaknesses.

Men may be physically stronger than women, but that doesn't mean women are fragile. Oftentimes, women have greater endurance than men, and they are usually emotionally stronger.

Also, if you have to rely on strength to do technique, is it really aikido? There will always be someone who is stronger. A great strength of women is that they can't rely on physical strength but have to make pure technique work for them. Many men I see are used to being strong and tough, and rely on that in their aikido, at the expense of proper technique.

wideawakedreamer
02-15-2009, 09:04 PM
Szczepan, I appreciate that you are trying to be honest, and I realize that perhaps you train for reasons other than martial application. However, there are many women like myself who do train with martial intent. I don't expect that an assaliant would treat me gently because I am a woman. Any training partner who would use less than a serious attack, and yes I mean using his weight/height/strength to his advantage, is doing me a serious disservice.

If my dojo-mates care about me, they will do their best to help me learn to overcome someone bigger and stronger, not hold back and teach me false self-confidence.

For me, it depends on the partner's level of skill and confidence. If I'm training with my former sensei who is a 5th dan, then I can attack without worrying about her safety (Hell, I'd be afraid for my own safety).

But if I'm training with a female 6th kyu who's only been on the mat a couple of times and is still afraid of ukemi and/or atemi, then of course I will have to adjust accordingly - NOT because she's female and "fragile" but because she's still a beginner. Most beginners I treat fairly gently regardless of gender. It's really a matter of degrees.

Guilty Spark
02-15-2009, 09:24 PM
Szczepan-san, et al:

Oftentimes, women have greater endurance than men

Not too sure I agree with this. The job I'm in is one of the more physical ones I think you can find and I don't think physically speaking women have more endurance then men. At all really.

As far as emotionally stronger goes I'd question the references for that too.

I don't know much about Aikido. I do know strength is a MAJOR factor when dealing with any and all physical altercations. In a perfect Aikido (IMO) theory class someone wouldn't need strength and a 98 pound woman could effortlessly control a 250 pound male linebacker.
In reality?
I think you need a blend.

Buck
02-15-2009, 11:12 PM
Ya know I am reading allot about how men are stronger, women are weaker. You can't attack a women like a man etc.

I hate ta tell ya, stereotyping and sexism is at its best here. Fact, there are women who can beat me down as good as a man. There are women who can give men a fight as good as as another man.

Why women any differently than men on the mat? The best thing you can do if your concern about women, is to treat them no differently then men. Now, if they want to be treated differently with kid gloves and the men are treated without kid gloves you are doing a disservice to everyone. Or if you can't control those goosebumps when you work out with a pretty women and it isn't a mutual thing, and she isn't flirting, you should be respectful to everyone and leave. Then don't come back until you have control and discipline. I am not including just straight people.

When you start training in a good dojo you should have your head straight. If you training in a bad dojo and you head isn't straight then you fit right in. That is what a bad dojo is about, people not with their heads on straight.

To have an effective work out in the dojo no one should be treated any differently for any reason. Drop all the sexism etc., and junk. That way everyone gets the most out of training. Those who feel they should be treated different shouldn't train.

wideawakedreamer
02-15-2009, 11:36 PM
Body mass is also a factor here. That's why weight divisions exist in just about every combat sport you can think of, from boxing to MMA. That being said, a 98 pound woman is not likely to be attacked by another 98 pound woman outside the dojo. So it does make sense for her to learn to defend against a 250 pound attacker. Which is why in aikido we mix it up with people bigger than us and with people smaller than us.


I don't know much about Aikido. I do know strength is a MAJOR factor when dealing with any and all physical altercations. In a perfect Aikido (IMO) theory class someone wouldn't need strength and a 98 pound woman could effortlessly control a 250 pound male linebacker.
In reality?
I think you need a blend.

Eva Antonia
02-16-2009, 02:46 AM
Dear all,

wouldn't it depend much on the skills of your adversary if you treat them under consideration of their sex or not?

In our dojo we have several 6th kyu grown ups; two of them are young men with a constitution like bears, and one is a woman in her mid thirties, slender and small. None of them knows how to fall, but everyone takes much more care not to mishandle the woman, just because she is such a featherweight that she is much easier to throw (this might again be different for really advanced aikidoka, but for middling kyus like myself that's it). If you perform nikkyo on the guys' wrists, they are so thick and stiff that it is really difficult to put your hand appropriately; if you take the woman you have to take care not to break them.

Something else: If the guys are tori, they use all their strength and behave as dynamically as they can; they try to smash uke on the floor when doing tenshi nage or direct irimi, and the woman attacks and defends herself quite in a fragile way...as Sczepan wrote. So it's also a question of their behaviour - they are treated as they treat others, and if there are lots of women attacking gently, never grabbing aggressively and holding a wrist like they would hold an embroidering needle, then it's normal that men tend to generalise and treat them softly.

But I also observed that this changes with rank. The soft, reluctant and a bit fearful people also learn to attack frankly, grab firmly and defend themselves vigorously, so I think that the difference of perception towards woman and men is mostly an issue for beginners. I suppose it would be a great insult for a highly ranked women to be treated gingerly because the adversary thinks she might break...it would mean the guy thinks inwardly she had not merited the belt she has.

Best regards,

Eva

raul rodrigo
02-16-2009, 03:25 AM
Rafael, I think we have the same teacher, so I know what you mean about fearing for my own safety.

NagaBaba
02-16-2009, 01:27 PM
Stereotyping and sexism?
No, simply a careful observation what’s happening on the tatami. Let’s take two fresh beginners approximate the same weight, female and male.
I’d say in 99% male student will be much stronger than female student. Only because of that factor, nage will have to apply a technique more powerfully on male student. It is required by construction of his body, nothing to do with stereotyping and sexism LOL
As other students will not want to hurt beginners, they will apply automatically less power against female beginner taking in consideration the strength of her body. Again – this adjustment has nothing to do with training level – don’t forget, both are fresh beginners.
Another important factor are hormones: i.e. male student will have naturally more testosterone. Its level will determine how much ‘violence’ on his body a student will accept as ‘normal’. And again, because of biology of their body, we can apply a technique much more vigorously on male student.
Female students that come to aikido have no ‘fighting’ spirit. Those who have it go righ from the beginning to fighting sport, like judo, kyokushin, kendo, boxing….
Every beginner male student has such spirit – again because of biology. Usually he starts aikido by choice not to use this spirit.

So when you apply a vigorous technique (that produce small amount of pain, but not injury) on male student, his spirit will wake up, and he will respond with all his ‘male’ capacities – even if it is his first class. Female student will go to changing room and start to cry. Some will start to cry immediately on the tatami.

I can continue with much more examples, but I think now everybody understand my point of view. Starting learning point male and female students is not the same, by Nature, and as in aikido we follow laws of Nature, we can’t practice the same way with male and female students.

lbb
02-16-2009, 03:23 PM
I love it when people make statements that are eyeball-deep in subjectivity (not to mention bias) and label them as objective fact. I also really love it when people make deterministic pronouncements about what I want, need and am capable of by virtue of my gender.

I understand your point of view, Szczepan. I don't respect it, I don't agree with it, I don't accept your contention that it is objective and truthful, and I contend that it is both the product and the expression of derogatory, harmful bias. But understand it? You better believe I do. I could only wish that you got to spend a few decades having your nose rubbed into biases about you the way you're doing here. It might teach you a thing or two.

BWells
02-16-2009, 07:12 PM
I've been reading this thread and I guess my question is what does this matter? My job when I attack in training is to give the best attack I can within the a range that my partner can learn and improve his or her aikido. I'm a 245lb former power lifter with 16 years of aikido and about 4 of XingYi Quan. If I put all of my center, power, body weight, etc into an attack I am fairly hard to deal with. If my partner is a smaller man or women or a older student they have a hard time working that that attack, but I'm cheating them if I do this and I'm not really learning anything either. If you think a women can't handel your attack then why don't you help them learn how to handel it. That seem to me to be a more productive use of training time.?

NagaBaba
02-16-2009, 08:41 PM
Hi Mary,
My statements come from experience. And you didn't provide ANY valid argument in this discussion.

Also, my wife is 4th dan aikido, 1st dan MSR iaido and 1st dan in judo. You may say I'm biased, but I learned painfully how to protect myself :)

Buck
02-16-2009, 08:52 PM
Stereotyping and sexism?
No, simply a careful observation what's happening on the tatami. Let's take two fresh beginners approximate the same weight, female and male.
I'd say in 99% male student will be much stronger than female student. Only because of that factor, nage will have to apply a technique more powerfully on male student. It is required by construction of his body, nothing to do with stereotyping and sexism LOL

I can continue with much more examples, but I think now everybody understand my point of view. Starting learning point male and female students is not the same, by Nature, and as in aikido we follow laws of Nature, we can't practice the same way with male and female students.

That is all I read. Ok, I don't know where your live, but are all the woman 95 lbs soaking wet faire maidens and the men are 260 muscle heads? LOL. Isn't Aikido about having something over the stronger opponent in self-defense. I have notice muscle bound hulky people have a tough time doing Aikido in comparing to those of slimmer builds. I think of Shioda as an example of a small frame and stature about the size and strength of many women in that range. I wonder how much Shioda weighed?

Sure you can practice the same, wear blind folds, and don't say a word. :D

Guilty Spark
02-16-2009, 11:03 PM
I don't know if it is because Szczepan's first language may not english but his posts to me seem pretty crude.

Be that as it may I think some of his points are quite valid.
I don't agree with the no fighting spirit but I do agree with the opinion on different hormones and males being more used to violence and perhaps better suited to dealing with it, if at least for the beginning of someones MA training.

I wouldn't say women go off and hide and cry. It does happen I'm sure, but I've seen men being brought to tears in front of other men from someone yelling at them. I think it might be true to say that women require more inoculation against physical and mental violence (on average) to bring them to the same level as men?

I won't say one is better than the other because I don't believe it's a matter of better/worse BUT for those of you teacher types do you believe men and women are equal on the mat? Can you use the exact same training methods on both?

Buck
02-17-2009, 12:27 AM
for those of you teacher types do you believe men and women are equal on the mat? Can you use the exact same training methods on both?

Am not a teacher, but I guess I will say am a teacher type. Here is my formula for the exact training methods. :)

1. Blind folds on both.

2. No verbal communication between the two.

3. No verbal instruction, instead physical instruction, like Anne Sullivan did with Helen Keller. Physically moving body parts around like in the movie.

You do that and you got men and woman learning both the same way, and you won't have this thread's original issues. Sex would not play a role. The way we approach each other- in the way it is being discussed here- has to do allot with how we are trained to perceive the opposite and our own sex, its all in our heads.

lbb
02-17-2009, 07:26 AM
Am not a teacher, but I guess I will say am a teacher type. Here is my formula for the exact training methods. :)

1. Blind folds on both.

2. No verbal communication between the two.

3. No verbal instruction, instead physical instruction, like Anne Sullivan did with Helen Keller. Physically moving body parts around like in the movie.

You do that and you got men and woman learning both the same way, and you won't have this thread's original issues. Sex would not play a role. The way we approach each other- in the way it is being discussed here- has to do allot with how we are trained to perceive the opposite and our own sex, its all in our heads.

Indeed so. How ironic that so many people would need to be blindfolded in order to see that.

God, I am tired of this. Absolutely sick to death of it. It just. Never. Ends.

wideawakedreamer
02-17-2009, 10:34 PM
Rafael, I think we have the same teacher, so I know what you mean about fearing for my own safety.

Macapawa sensei?

raul rodrigo
02-18-2009, 03:35 AM
Macapawa sensei?

Of course. I've even trained with her in Davao a few times, so we may have run into each other there. She's been my teacher for years, so I've never had the preconception that female aikidoka are fragile and our attacks on them must be diluted as a result.

Justin Azevedo
02-18-2009, 02:57 PM
Well, you could always say that because of the constant snuggling and armpit-sniffing we all do when practicing iriminage, the rare accidental boob-grab isn't really going to freak you out. :)

wideawakedreamer
02-18-2009, 08:59 PM
Raul: I only trained with her for a few months back in 2003. I got busy after that, and then our little group in Matina Town Square just stopped training. When I decided to return to aikido, the closest dojo was Bu Yuu Kan, which practices Seiwakai aikido. I still occasionally see her in Davao during aikido seminars.

Justin: Good point:D

wideawakedreamer
02-18-2009, 09:23 PM
I'd be more worried about applying nikkyo on the guys than for the woman. At least with wrists and arms like hers, I feel like I have better control. With thick and stiff limbs, I'm always afraid I'll go overboard and then *SNAP!*

Anyway, I've had the same experiences in my dojo. I'd just like to add that I've also trained with men who are bigger and muscular than I am, and yet are so afraid of ukemi that I had to be really gentle with them. So much for appearances.
Dear all,

wouldn't it depend much on the skills of your adversary if you treat them under consideration of their sex or not?

In our dojo we have several 6th kyu grown ups; two of them are young men with a constitution like bears, and one is a woman in her mid thirties, slender and small. None of them knows how to fall, but everyone takes much more care not to mishandle the woman, just because she is such a featherweight that she is much easier to throw (this might again be different for really advanced aikidoka, but for middling kyus like myself that's it). If you perform nikkyo on the guys' wrists, they are so thick and stiff that it is really difficult to put your hand appropriately; if you take the woman you have to take care not to break them.

Something else: If the guys are tori, they use all their strength and behave as dynamically as they can; they try to smash uke on the floor when doing tenshi nage or direct irimi, and the woman attacks and defends herself quite in a fragile way...as Sczepan wrote. So it's also a question of their behaviour - they are treated as they treat others, and if there are lots of women attacking gently, never grabbing aggressively and holding a wrist like they would hold an embroidering needle, then it's normal that men tend to generalise and treat them softly.

But I also observed that this changes with rank. The soft, reluctant and a bit fearful people also learn to attack frankly, grab firmly and defend themselves vigorously, so I think that the difference of perception towards woman and men is mostly an issue for beginners. I suppose it would be a great insult for a highly ranked women to be treated gingerly because the adversary thinks she might break...it would mean the guy thinks inwardly she had not merited the belt she has.

Best regards,

Eva

Chantal
04-02-2009, 05:59 PM
thanks to everyone!!!

Keith Larman
04-04-2009, 10:02 AM
Um, carefully letting much of the ensuing discussion float on past...

Back to the original point.

When I was first assigning teaching duties it was simple -- I had only adults. And for me the issues isn't male vs. female as much as it is simply being a grown up and being cognizant of proper practice. A push to the chest isn't going to involve full blown breast grabbing -- that's just silly. A push to the chest is to push higher up. A grab from behind isn't a breast cupping but is a bear hug. And like all techniques if someone wants to sit out, fine.

Later I started into our children's program. Again, no issues as the kids were all pre-teens.

Eventually I started teaching an advanced kids/teenagers program. Then it became a bit of an issue, but more for how I was going to teach. I realized that while these kids were maturing, they really needed the same training and the same focus. I just needed to be more aware of the more fragile developing self-image of the kids (both male and female) and to make sure their training maintained a "professional" approach. To me good training is like being a "professional". You have a job to do. You do it. So the focus for me became on my role as an instructor -- we're here to train and I, as instructor, will not accept *any improper* behavior, touching, comments, etc. Period. I will explicitly say that a push to chest is a push high on the chest and I'll remind the students that they know exactly why that is. First of all it is a better attack *and* it is simply more appropriate for training. And they know full well that I won't accept *anything* inappropriate regardless of gender. Zero tolerance.

And fwiw, I have a couple 14-year-old girls who can thump some of the 16-year-old males quite well, thank you. One is more "delicate" in personality, but she can deliver a can of whoop when she decides to. I'm working hard trying to get her to understand that the can of "whoop butt" is okay to practice when appropriate because she's often hesitant to bring it on. And she tends to go defensive quickly when others try to train with the same intensity. So she is figuring it out. She can sometimes dish it out but she can't always take it. And to progress she's going to need to deal with both with confidence. The other delivers power quite regularly, takes good ukemi and I'm not worried about her at all.

The boys used to be hesitant around the girls, but after enough times finding themselves hitting the mat with, um, lots of feeling, they've learned that the young ladies aren't exactly delicate flowers... They still face the "don't hit girls" problem mentally sometimes, but they're getting over it. Which is exactly what I expect of them. All.

I have trained with very small women. And being a big, strong guy pushing 240 who works long hours metalworking and periodic weight training I do sometimes have to be a little more careful. But that's not due to them being a female per se, but them simply being 100 pounds soaking wet with very tiny bone structures. I'm a big barrel chested Norwegian with a low center of gravity. Mongo crush small people. So it isn't about them being women for me -- it is simply being cognizant of where they are in their training and what they can physically handle. We've got a couple smaller less experienced males as well -- the same holds for them. I try not to dish out more than they can handle. The idea is that they do ultimately (hopefully) want to learn to deal with an attacking big guy.

And fwiw one of my female 14-year-old students has laid me out a number of a times with me giving a strong, focused attack. And it is simply because she's good and I and other instructors have spent years getting her to that point by pushing her to get better. Which means she's had years of strong but appropriate attacks. Which is the point, neh?

Proper attack. Proper training. Proper attitude. Proper spirit.

Anjisan
04-06-2009, 09:02 AM
Hello all,

In my training with women I have encountered very few who ask me to slow my attack or hold back-equality. However, that number goes up significantly when the female is a uke attacking me. In know the kneejerk thought is to believe that I am training too rough, but I have checked this out with others both at my school (wboth with my sensei's and peers) and at seminars and they have collectively said no, In fact, many have said that they have had a similar experiences.

I have alwasys taken the position that an Aikidoka is an Aikidoka regardless of gender, but perhaps a double standard can creep in when it comes to being on the receiving end as Uke. Having one's cake and eating it too so to speak--all to willing to throw hard, but raising concerns when the shoe is on the other foot. I can honestly say that to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever missed a single day of training due to haveing trained with me in 15 years so that does add credability to my point of a double standard. I believe that In Aikido, maybe it is indeed better to give than to receive.

Guilty Spark
04-06-2009, 11:35 AM
I'm such a jerk.
When my partner was testing I brought her out to the gym the night before her test and ran her through the hardest workout I had.

I think next time I should do it day of the test. <Menacing Laugh>

Cordula Meyer
04-06-2009, 06:56 PM
In my training with women I have encountered very few who ask me to slow my attack or hold back-equality.
However, that number goes up significantly when the female is a uke attacking me. Yes, of course, taking ukemi is dangerous, being nage is not dangerous. So if someone asks to slow down, of course it is uke (regardless of gender).

Anjisan
04-07-2009, 11:57 AM
As far as the Nage role being less dangerous, I suspect that it depends on who is attacking or the context ie randori. Overall, I would agree that the Uke is more likely to ask to go easy than the Nage. However, my point is that is has been my experience that females above and beyond ask more often. This strikes me as contrary to the gender-neutral approach to training that is advocated by many, if not most dojos.

Moreover, often these are females who have significant experience and/or rank who, one would believe, would be comfortable with their ukemi abilities. I have long held the position that, particularily in Aikido, one's training can only progress as far as the ukes one has the opportuity to train with. Perhaps, overall, ukemi needs to be stressed more through the ranks as much as the waza so their is more confidence as one progresses. If one is for example, a shodan, but hesitant in one's ukemi abilities, there is a problem in my humble opinion.

Chantal
04-07-2009, 04:13 PM
I'm such a jerk.
When my partner was testing I brought her out to the gym the night before her test and ran her through the hardest workout I had.

I think next time I should do it day of the test. <Menacing Laugh>

lol ... you are not a jerk!! Remember, I am the one who agreed to workout with you that day ... :crazy:

Chantal
04-07-2009, 04:24 PM
I have no doubt that you already have plans of how to cause me pain before my next test. Then again, I have a few ideas of my own as well ... look out dear friend, cause this will all come back to you ... on the mat!!! hehe

Mary Eastland
04-07-2009, 06:58 PM
As far as the Nage role being less dangerous, I suspect that it depends on who is attacking or the context ie randori. Overall, I would agree that the Uke is more likely to ask to go easy than the Nage. However, my point is that is has been my experience that females above and beyond ask more often. This strikes me as contrary to the gender-neutral approach to training that is advocated by many, if not most dojos.

Moreover, often these are females who have significant experience and/or rank who, one would believe, would be comfortable with their ukemi abilities. I have long held the position that, particularily in Aikido, one's training can only progress as far as the ukes one has the opportuity to train with. Perhaps, overall, ukemi needs to be stressed more through the ranks as much as the waza so their is more confidence as one progresses. If one is for example, a shodan, but hesitant in one's ukemi abilities, there is a problem in my humble opinion.

I agree with you...I think uke's role is important and should be stressed in training. At our dojo the tester demonstrates in uke and nage roles.

My question is why must anyone be thrown hard?

Mary

Anjisan
04-08-2009, 03:59 PM
It is not so much that I believe that one <has> to be thrown hard, but more that one should in my humble opinion be <able> and at least, occassionally be willing to be thrown hard. This is particulary true at higher rank levels. However, that begs the question how can one take the proper ukemi (which is fluid and on a continuim) if they never practice it??? I certainly realize that the body only has so many hard falls, break falls, etc in it so one has to choose one's circumstances carefully.

Moreover, I have found that Ukemi teaches me so much about the deeper secrects of the waze, but one should not be limeted to only soft practice (which I do as well--if one is striving to be abe to be dynamic and fluid both approaches can contribute to a greater understanding) when one is training.

Further, I certianly make no secret of the fact that I believe any AIkidio practice should have a significant self-defence component to it (in addition to is value in psychotherapy, relationships, relaxations,ect) so being able to take a hard throw only makes sense.

However, if even from a self-preservation perspective say at a seminar one should be able to "go there" if necessary and not shy away even if it isn't the usual way one practives with other partners. There have been and will be some really really good female practicioners who I have trained with and it seems unfortunate for there to be any type of selfimposed double standard. In can only serve to hold therm and the individuals that they train with-- back.

Finally, yes of couse it comes down to the individual and that is how I am on the mat (Aikidoka is an Aikidoka peroid) but as I stated earlier, it seems to be a correlation that I and other cannot help but notice.

Joseph Madden
04-08-2009, 09:11 PM
Chantal,

Feel free to stop by Kimeda Sensei's dojo the next time your're in Toronto. We'll have NO problem giving you exactly what you want.
With regards to your fellow students, maybe a little bit of physical intimidation will do the trick.There's nothing like a threat to get a person's attention. As long as you can remain friends.

Guilty Spark
04-08-2009, 11:54 PM
I have no doubt that you already have plans of how to cause me pain before my next test. Then again, I have a few ideas of my own as well ... look out dear friend, cause this will all come back to you ... on the mat!!! hehe

Ha, make it hurt :) We learn through pain, you'll thank me someday!

Mary Eastland
04-09-2009, 06:41 AM
At a summer camp a few years ago I was training with a woman brown belt. She threw very hard each time....when it as my turn I threw very hard. She stood up and said "let's be softer"...I said "sure."

I can throw very powerfully and receive the same...and I am 51. I would like to train until I die so I am much more careful than I used to be. Serious injury can ruin training.

Mary

Churchill92
04-09-2009, 01:30 PM
I see no difference in training except in relativity to the size and/or experience of the opponent. I've only been in my class twice and my teacher said to all the students "Don't be gentle with him, he knows how to fall" and both sexes stopped being gentle. Consequently there's a male there who isn't as good with rolls who has been there longer so we must be "gentle" with him.

I have a woman in my class and she's as rough and tumble as the men if not more so. If they want to throw as harder or harder than the man, go for it. If the woman feels like she has to "prove" herself hopefully you can mention to her that she doesn't have to do that. I would pray/encourage people NOT to go light on the women, treat them equal as one is nage other is uke, nowhere have I ever read that you have an Uke-major or Nage-minor. Sex means nothing in a fight.

Never know if you are going to be going up against some crazed psycho woman at a bar or her equally blitzed and larger boyfriend. Train for both, come out a winner in the end.

Check out the blog by JCD (something like that with 200+ posts) and you'll see one heckuva woman aikidoist. She would throw me through walls!

Mark Uttech
04-09-2009, 01:59 PM
Onegaishimasu. In my experience, with some throws the throw is hard when done from your own center, but soft when done from uke's center. Has anyone else noticed this? In gassho, Mark

Maarten De Queecker
04-09-2009, 04:34 PM
I agree with you...I think uke's role is important and should be stressed in training. At our dojo the tester demonstrates in uke and nage roles.

My question is why must anyone be thrown hard?

Mary

To be quite honest, I like being thrown hard. I have done judo for two years when I was younger and the thing I loved the most was doing breakfalls. I still love them today. Being able to take hard falls already kept me from breaking some bones when driving against a sign with my bike (yes, I was driving without hands and wasn't looking front of me. It was actually pretty hilarious). I always try to take it to the next level, because I'm training something that comes in handy during everyday life. It's like learning a new language: why stop after having learned the bare basics, when there is a lot more to be learned, thus improving your ability to communicate with foreigners?

Also, the harder you are thrown, the more technical it gets, and the more you have to rely on reflexes. You don't have the time to think anymore; everything has to be right: position of your legs, your arms, you have relax as much as possible etc. Lots of things going on at the same time, but each one of them is as important as the other.

Being able to take hard falls also gives tori the chance to go full out with a technique, instead of holding back because uke hasn't fully mastered his ukemi fully. This is most apparent when training koshinage. Most people where I train are afraid of taking ukemi during koshinage, because you actually fall from a height of 1m or higher. It's not a roll forward, it's a fall downward, head first. You can of course let uke just slide off your back but what's the point in that? There's a huge difference in getting someone on your hips, and actually swinging him or her over.

This doesn't mean that I massacre everyone during training, of course not, but people know that they can go further with me than with others and subsequently do so. I know people with whom I can do the exact same, most of them being experienced (ex-)judoka or jiu-jitsu practitioners. When there's an exercise with lots of throwing, we have the time of our lives.

Ukemi is, or at least should be, one of the most important aspects of aikido, since it is basically protecting yourself from harm.

Sidenote: a friend of mine (a fellow aikidoka) made quite an interesting observation. He said that people who know how to fall or roll, love doing it, and will attempt doing it at every occasion.

But this really doesn't have anything to do with men being hesitant to train with women anymore, does it? :p

Eva Antonia
04-10-2009, 05:43 AM
Dear Maarten,

me too, I like hard and quick throws much more than slow and cautious ones. If someone throws me hard, there is no time to consider how I would do the fall, and normally the result is fine. But if they just want to do it gently, it gets more difficult to do the fall correctly.

Worst is shiho nage. If tori throws dynamically and blocks the twisted arm, the fall comes off brilliantly...but if he makes a pause thinking "should I really throw this frail person or should I just let her down gently?", the arm turns in all three joints, which hurts awfully and makes grinding noises if done repititively but does not really compel to fall.

And I think that all hard attacks with throws are much less dangerous for your joints than the gentle slow ones. You just do a fall dynamically, before the joint can really hurt. One exception is irimi nage omote where the joint in question is the NECK, and which I hate, no matter if dynamically done or slowly. I still think this technique might break my neck (or make me break someone's neck) one day.

I know that I'm also hesitant when training with frailer persons, but still, once you know how to take a fall, the rapid version does less damage (and is more fun).

Best regards from sunny Brussels:) ,

Eva

Maarten De Queecker
04-10-2009, 07:38 AM
Shiho nage done slowly is quite painful when doing a forward roll, especially when the joint lock is really tight, or downright impossible when nage decides to keep your arm close to your back.

I am always more careful with frailer looking people, male or female, if I don't know them. That being said, I hardly ever go full out with anyone since I don't know the extent of my own power, of which according to some people I have a lot so I'm always afraid of hurting people, especially with joint locks.

Chantal
04-10-2009, 12:45 PM
Ha, make it hurt :) We learn through pain, you'll thank me someday!

I have already learned that you like a little more force and contact in aikido than is expected. :rolleyes: You want your partners in training to throw you fast and hard and yet, you are quite gentle with me ... I do understand you holding back since I am several belts below you. While I am learning the technique for the first time, you have done it 100's of times. Note to self next time Grant, on a technique I know well, throw me harder and faster :crazy: ... it fine tunes my skills :hypno:

Esaemann
04-10-2009, 03:14 PM
Mark,
Agree that the throw is hard when from nage's center; at least it seems that way when I'm throwing based on uke's reaction. I really get a good feeling that I've done it right. However, a deeper level would be ...
Re: from Uke's center (me as uke) - it doesn't take much for my partner (nage) to send me across the room when he has my center. Its an interesting feeling. I'm just exploring finding partners center myself. It is easier to find the center when partner is stiff vs. "relaxed".

Eric

gdandscompserv
04-10-2009, 03:47 PM
Onegaishimasu. In my experience, with some throws the throw is hard when done from your own center, but soft when done from uke's center. Has anyone else noticed this? In gassho, Mark
Yes, although I think our centers are supposed to become one, no?

Esaemann
04-10-2009, 04:09 PM
In that vein, I've been told to move toward where I can't tell the difference between myself and partner. Here the mind gets in the way. Similar to enlightenment experience during meditation where you can't tell the difference between yourself and surroundings?

Mark Uttech
04-11-2009, 04:38 PM
Onegaishimasu, on the one hand, there is an ideal of oneness. On the other hand, ( and there always is an other hand!) The reality of duality is there too. It is useful to make something like that part of your practice. In gassho, Mark

Guilty Spark
04-12-2009, 02:16 PM
next time on a technique I know well, throw me harder and faster :crazy: ... it fine tunes my skills :hypno:
My pleasure! Attack me faster and I'll be happy to =)
I have close to a hundred pounds pounds on you so your rolls are gonna have to be pretty decent- and we'll need more mats.

On the other hand, ( and there always is an other hand!)

Not always mark :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLqovX4G8Z0

Chantal
04-12-2009, 03:52 PM
My pleasure! Attack me faster and I'll be happy to =)
I have close to a hundred pounds pounds on you so your rolls are gonna have to be pretty decent- and we'll need more mats.

is having a hundred pounds pounds really that much more than 100lbs ... hmmmm

yes I suppose i need to work on rolls ... I am going to class all week this week (cause i am actually not sick) so that will help.

Guilty Spark
04-12-2009, 04:31 PM
I think the higher tier aikioda will say that someones weight/muscle mass/strength has zero effect on an Aikido technique.

I'm not at that stage yet/don't understand that yet. I still think size and strength can play a significant role in technique.

Before you got to class Bob Claude and I would practically try to murder each other when Sensei wasn't watching, it was a lot of fun. Claude was a lot smaller and lighter but he had 40 years of Martial arts and numerous black belts behind him. Bob and I are at the same level but I found my weight a big advantage when we really started rolling.

Chantal
04-12-2009, 04:54 PM
I know that my opponents weight has a major impact on me. I am not oblivious to the fact that 200 lbs has a GREAT advantage over my 115 lbs. In addition, male attacking female (in training) and female attacking male (in training) will yeild significantly different outcomes .... at least in the beginning. I hope that once I move up the ranks and improve techniques that I will rely (unconsciously) less on body weight and be capable of using posture and balance to my advantage.

Phil Van Treese
04-16-2009, 02:54 PM
Personally, I don't care if you have 6,000,000 posts here. My thoughts are my thoughts like it or don't read it. We have women in our dojo that get mad when we "take it easy" on them. Aikido is to train and if you ever have to use it as a defense, the "bad guy" is not going to take it easy on you so train as if your life depended on it. Someday, and I hope not, it just might.

Guilty Spark
04-16-2009, 05:12 PM
Aikido is to train and if you ever have to use it as a defense, the "bad guy" is not going to take it easy on you so train as if your life depended on it. Someday, and I hope not, it just might.

Hey Phil,

I agree 100%. I've mentioned (I think) you need to take someone outside their comfort zone o stress them, challenge them and prepare them.
That said I think there is a difference between taking it easy on someone and training them at a level sufficient to challenge them yet not remove he value of training all together.

I'm going to treat a 115 pound skinny guy the same way I would a 115 pound skinny girl. For me it's not a matter of gender but physical size, muscle and resilience (as well as level of training)

Buck
04-16-2009, 09:03 PM
Hey Phil,

I agree 100%. I've mentioned (I think) you need to take someone outside their comfort zone o stress them, challenge them and prepare them.
That said I think there is a difference between taking it easy on someone and training them at a level sufficient to challenge them yet not remove he value of training all together.

I'm going to treat a 115 pound skinny guy the same way I would a 115 pound skinny girl. For me it's not a matter of gender but physical size, muscle and resilience (as well as level of training)

Your right, when does the type of genitalia give an advantage in a fight. I was surfing the TV and stopped in the middle of this documentary where a women was telling a story about another women who was insulted (not slightly, but all out) in a bar by the guy she was siting next to. After the insult the women got up behind the guy, grabbed him by the shoulders, spun him around and K.O.ed him with one punch.

To All,

When it comes to muscle, I think women have enough of it, and like some men don't exercise it. How you over-come muscle strength is the same for both men and women if they don't have enough muscle. Size, women don't come in one size, and neither do men. All women are not smaller then all men. The level of training and experience in situations, plays a role. There is a whole generation of MMA fans that only see what MMA promotes in terms of fights and fighters. They think the strongest one wins, or they think that for other reasons. They see the stronger win, they think they see that. What they don't see is a trained female MMA fighter take on a man in their division. Say two featherweights, one male one female. Or they don't see a female MMA fighter up a untrained dude in the ring. They also don't see a male lightweight fighter take a untrained heavyweight on in the ring. Perceptions are tunnel vision and reduced to one single aspect. It takes more then muscle to win a fight.

Yes, I still am on the side of the wimpy guy who is not credited, but subjected to the same faults as those attributed to women. :)

Phil Van Treese
04-20-2009, 03:52 PM
Phillip B. and Grant I am glad you agree. With the stuff out there like rapes, muggings, kidnappings etc those criminal clowns won't take it easy on anyone. It burns me when I hear someone say that "women are the weaker sex" because some of my best instrs. have been women!!! But the training makes the difference and when you "take it easy" on anyone, you're not doing them justice. I know that there are a lot of instructors out there that train like their life depends on it and my hat is off to you all. I'd rather hear the students complain that it was a hard practise rather than not break a sweat because they didn't train hard.