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sam sneed
04-18-2002, 03:14 PM
I have noticed that more women are aikido students than compared to other martial arts. A few of them even run their own dojos in the city where i live. Does anyone have any reason or insight into this?

guest1234
04-18-2002, 04:54 PM
1. Size doesn't matter (in Aikido;) )
2. Some women may not find aggression stressed in other arts as attractive
3. Aikido instructors may be more welcoming to women than other MA instructors (for similar reason as #2) or perhaps a more open mind (I've heard Aikido can help with that:confused: )
4. Size doesn't matter:D

giriasis
04-18-2002, 06:54 PM
I agree with Colleen. It's the nature of the art, I believe.

I definantly feel it's the size doesn't matter. One of the best yudansha I've seen is a 5'0" tall female who weighs about 110 pounds. She has powerful aikido and can easily throw the larger guys. She is just deceptively graceful and fluid.

Anne Marie

Erik
04-18-2002, 07:23 PM
SIZE COUNTS!

Just felt the need to say that.

Chuck Clark
04-18-2002, 07:31 PM
Quality counts!

Just felt the need to say that.

Regards,

IrimiTom
04-18-2002, 09:08 PM
I think size does matter in aikido, not necessarily in a "bigger is better" way, probably it's more the opposite, all I know is that when I practice with someone a lot shorter than me, it is very hard for me to do koshinage on that person, and a lot easier for him to do it on me :)

PeterR
04-18-2002, 09:57 PM
Please remember (yeah I know its obvious) that all techniques are not meant to work on all people. Just like ma ai changes based on who or what you face so does the best technique to employ.

As for women in Aikido - where I train its about 30% but then in the Shorinji Kempo dojo in my village the percentage is about the same. What makes Aikido special I think is that women really do offer something to the dojo. Men make the women tougher, women make the men softer with the overall effect that the Aikido of everyone moves to a higher level. Sounds sexist doesn't it - but I have seen the effect again and again.

Originally posted by IrimiTom
I think size does matter in aikido, not necessarily in a "bigger is better" way, probably it's more the opposite, all I know is that when I practice with someone a lot shorter than me, it is very hard for me to do koshinage on that person, and a lot easier for him to do it on me :)

paw
04-18-2002, 09:57 PM
Size doesn't matter (in Aikido)

I'm shocked such statements still exist in the world...

Colleen, Anne, et al ....

Do you honestly think that a 16 year old child, trained from birth in <insert any martial art here> has a chance against a 245 pound, athletic, adult man with 4 years of training in the same art? (Notice, this example is skewed... the 16 year old has 4 times the training, an unfair advantage)

When training time and experience is comporable, physical attributes, including size and athletic ability matter in every combative sport and nearly every athletic event. Whatever gave you the impression that aikido might be different?

Regards,

Paul

Erik
04-19-2002, 12:02 AM
Rather than hijack a thread with all this size stuff I created a new one.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1774

Kat.C
04-19-2002, 12:18 AM
I don't know about other women but one of the reasons aikido appeals to me so much is that the power for the techniques comes from the attacker, in karate one generated one's own power, not to mention it is less intimidating(to me anyway) to step off the line of attack and throw someone away than it is to stand ground and block everything.

guest1234
04-19-2002, 01:05 AM
While some techniques are easier if you are taller or shorter than your partner, each can be slightly adapted and end up equal. 'Everyone' says shihonage is for short people, but I've been swung around on my tippy toes by a 6'2" nidan (no, he does not go to his knees to get under my arm, he makes sure I get up high enough. And although I always try to get away with not bending my knees, even I have to do so to get things to work...

Paul, why make the difference so much, why not ask two similar age, similar training time, 110 vs 245? The 245 may or may not throw the 110 successfully incorrectly (he can muscle his way through bad technique, but if uke keeps their one point nage may just end up unable to throw), and he will throw if done correctly. The 110 probably will not successfully throw incorrectly, but will throw correctly. So if they are equally trained, and are doing the techniques correctly, yes, I believe it will be as easy for 110 as 245. It is uke's force, after all, not nage's that is used for the throw.

One reason I would say the 16 year old is disadvantaged is not his size, but his maturity (no offense to Chocolateuke or any other younger member)...what is the saying, age and cunning vs beauty and youth? The older student should be better able to read his partner than the teenager.

I have had nage's twice my size complain they can't move me when we are starting from static (I just reply object are heavier than they appear in the mirror), and have thrown ukes twice my size in the middle of them saying there is no way I'm going to move them. Whether you want to believe Aikido is from knowing all the correct breakdown angles, or from leading your partner's ki, or anything inbetween, why would size matter?

erikmenzel
04-19-2002, 05:34 AM
In my experience the reasons for women to start Aikido are as diverse as they are for men.

Some women start for self defence.
Some women seek selfdevelopment.
Some women realy want to train a amrtial art.
Some women start to flush their chakras.

The reason they stay is most of the time because they like it, which probably has to do with the non-competative way of training and (at some places) the lack of testosterone-driven comparison.

As an idea on the size and strength doesnt matter discussion:
I am one of the big guys (6'6'' and 250 lbs. , an irish friend did the calculations for me, as we in the Netherlands only use the metric system), and I find that size and strength only matter in two circumstances:
1) When you get to pulling or pushing instead of aikido!
2) When you are learning aikido

In the first case no real aikido is present anymore and at that point indeed strength and size do matter.
In the second case being strong and big really work against you. Sure it might seem as if a lot of the techniques work, but that is only an illusion if you used your strength and size to come to that point. You didnt do any aikido, you just proved you are stronger and bigger. For a lot of big people this is the pitfall in which they get stuck!! Small people and especially small women lack size and strength. This means that they are not (that much) tempeted to use force, meaning they learn a lot of the technique easier than a lot of the big people.

So, beware of little people :D :D :D

guest1234
04-19-2002, 06:20 AM
Yes, we're fast and sneaky evileyes, and way too low to the ground. I've been know to let ukes trip over me in randori...

paw
04-19-2002, 06:27 AM
Colleen,

Paul, why make the difference so much, why not ask two similar age, similar training time, 110 vs 245?

Why the age difference? I logically extended your argument to make what I thought was an obvious conclusion. Evidently you disagree.

The 245 may or may not throw the 110 successfully incorrectly (he can muscle his way through bad technique, but if uke keeps their one point nage may just end up unable to throw), and he will throw if done correctly. The 110 probably will not successfully throw incorrectly, but will throw correctly. So if they are equally trained, and are doing the techniques correctly, yes, I believe it will be as easy for 110 as 245. It is uke's force, after all, not nage's that is used for the throw.

Forgive me, I know of no other way to say this and I confess this sounds insulting. "Throwing correctly" is nonsense. You are either thrown, or not. In self-defense, if you should throw an attacker, a group of judges will not appear and deduct points because of technical gaffs. In every throwing sport in the world, only the result matters: total victory (sambo) or ippon (judo) for example, you receive no points for "style". You really will be better served by taking the concept of "throwing correctly" and burying it.

I suspect you believe that it as easy for the small person to throw the larger because you have never sparred. Anyone with the same technical knowledge and same experience should have no trouble thwarting the efforts of someone half their size. But don't take my word for it .... glove up and see what happens.

Whether you want to believe Aikido is from knowing all the correct breakdown angles, or from leading your partner's ki, or anything inbetween, why would size matter?

Why would size matter: leverage and mass advantages, potential strength advantages. Again, don't take my word for it, spar and come to your own conclusions.

My apologies for taking this thread astray. If anyone would like to continue this, perhaps we should use Eric's thread.


Regards,

Paul

Johan Tibell
04-19-2002, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by IrimiTom
I think size does matter in aikido, not necessarily in a "bigger is better" way, probably it's more the opposite, all I know is that when I practice with someone a lot shorter than me, it is very hard for me to do koshinage on that person, and a lot easier for him to do it on me :)
Short people like me can do koshinage over the shoulders! *uses 'dodge this!' as kiai ;)*

njnoexit
04-19-2002, 07:14 AM
Because women suck at every other thing, so the only good thing they could do is aikido. No Im kidding.
The reason alot of women do Aikido then other arts, in my humble opinion, is becuase aikido is the most defensive art. and women tend to be more innocent, kind, and more carring then men. well most men. I try to be a nice guy. so becuase of the female atrabutes they would tend to do aikido more then other arts.... like silat for example.... it is the most offensive sport. the women population is like .01% not very high.... so mabye I am right....
or I am wrong like usual but It is just an asumption.

nikonl
04-19-2002, 09:47 AM
Aikido has lots of good looking guys :D :D

Lyle Bogin
04-19-2002, 10:16 AM
The women I have the opportunity to train with are very helpful. Since they are not impressed by strength, they tend to be very sensitive to your movements and can give you advice based on technique rather than simple functionality. In other words, when training with large men I find the goal is often to just get the technique to work. With smaller women, it is easy to get you technique to "work" by pushing pulling, using grip strength etc. But to guide them into clean, safe ukemi requires a different kind of mentality and execution that is very valuable.

giriasis
04-19-2002, 11:28 AM
Man, you guys are lucky my initial post was lost in cyberspace.

Paul, you assume too much. Re-read my post dude. I said that the nature of the art probably draws more women to aikido. The issue of size is but just one factor. It was the post after mine that made it SEEM like that was the only factor. And THAT post didn't help either.

If your "shocked" again. Instead of jumping to conclusions regarding my post why not just ask for clarification? Your little/young v. big question does nothting to understand my position but only puts me on the defensive.

Paul said:Forgive me, I know of no other way to say this and I confess this sounds insulting. "Throwing correctly" is nonsense. You are either thrown, or not. In self-defense, if you should throw an attacker, a group of judges will not appear and deduct points because of technical gaffs. In every throwing sport in the world, only the result matters: total victory (sambo) or ippon (judo) for example, you receive no points for "style". You really will be better served by taking the concept of "throwing correctly" and burying it.

I suspect you believe that it as easy for the small person to throw the larger because you have never sparred. Anyone with the same technical knowledge and same experience should have no trouble thwarting the efforts of someone half their size. But don't take my word for it .... glove up and see what happens.

This is WHY I don't practice these other arts and WHY I practice aikido. Aikido encourages cooperative learning and not condoning plowing over a partner just for a "win." Because of my size and physical fitness, I can't plow most people over. I can't rely on my "size" to succeed. So I work with bigger and stronger partners in class to learn how my techniques will be effective.

I am here to learn aikido, not here to learn to be a brute.

Anne Marie "a 'flower' that doesn't wilt" Giri
3rd kyu
Florida Aikikai

paw
04-19-2002, 11:59 AM
Anne,

This is WHY I don't practice these other arts and WHY I practice aikido. Aikido encourages cooperative learning and not condoning plowing over a partner just for a "win." Because of my size and physical fitness, I can't plow most people over. I can't rely on my "size" to succeed. So I work with bigger and stronger partners in class to learn how my techniques will be effective.

Now who's assuming and defensive? What makes you think bjj, judo, sambo, wrestling, etc... don't encourage cooperative learning or encourage "plowing people over", or a "win" mindset? So all other arts are based on "size" to succeed?


Deep breath....

Ok. I'll try again. I submit size does matter, just like other physical attributes (age, height, strength, endurance, flexibility, etc...). Physical attributes can be overcome with skill and experience, but when skill and experience are similar, physical attributes can and often do make a tremendous difference.

You stated:

I definantly feel it's the size doesn't matter.

In my reply I fail to see how I insulted or disrespected you. If you feel otherwise, let me know and I would be happy to alter my behaviour and offer a sincere apology.

Then you quote my reply which was clearly addressed to Colleen. I assumed that meant I was replying to Colleen and only Colleen. I also tried to make it very clear that I was not trying to insult her but express my strong feeling about a concept she has. Again, if you feel that I insulted or disrespected you in my reply to Colleen, please let me know specifically and I will alter my behaviour and offer a sincere apology.

Does that make things clear? Are we (you and I) ok, or do you feel I've slighted you? I don't want there to be ill feelings between us and I certainly feel we can disagree without being disagreeable. Fair enough?


Ok, back to "throwing correctly" and "gloving up". First, when I say "glove up" I'm talking about what judoka refer to as randori, what boxers call sparring and what bjj'ers call rolling. This is not a contest environment or chance to "win". This is a chance where both folks drop all roles of uke or nage/tori and simply attempt and defend technique to the best of their ability. We can go so lightly that there is absolutely no resistance or we can go so intently that it's just like a tournament --- but it remains a learning environment. The point is, find someone you trust, and see what works.

When I say "throwing correctly" I understand it to mean that the throw must posses certain qualities in addition to be successful. This is not a helpful concept in my opinion. A throw either works (uke is thrown) or it does not. Just because uke is thrown does not mean that we have mastered the throw and can stop training. Particularly in the case of a small person working against an equally skilled large person, our technique (attempt at throwing) must have proper timing, technical correctness, and efficiency. Likewise, the large person must also develop these qualities as they will work with people their own size or larger.

But the bottom line is simply this: if I'm flat on my back and you're standing upright in good posture it is disrespectful and untrue for me to complain that your throw wasn't "correct" or that you "muscled" the throw. I was thrown, period. I need to deal with that reality. Likewise, you would need to deal with throwing larger and stronger classmates (your incentive to continue training). Someone on the forum has the signature "as iron sharpens iron so does one person sharpen another". Totally true. As training partners I don't improve unless you improve.

Regards,

Paul

jimvance
04-19-2002, 01:22 PM
I think that women are attracted by something else (besides what the women on this forum have already described) and this might explain the "size doesn't matter" idea. Perhaps I am just re-explaining what the ladies are talking about. Whatever.
By its very name, Aiki-do creates a common point between two people, it binds them, blends them, connects them. The manipulation of that union is the origination point of all technique. It really has nothing to do with strength or size if the first priority is placed on using The Relationship; the strength and size of one of the participants is subordinate to it. In other words, when two forces come together they create a third force (aiki) that binds both independent forces; the person who controls that third force controls the entire relationship. It is in this respect that quality counts, because the "leader" has to control her force, be aware of the "follower's" force, and manipulate the third force, the combination, the aiki. It requires no real athletic ability, only awareness, sensitivity and strong spirit---all of which every human is capable of, man or woman. This is the great equalizer.

Jim Vance

Chocolateuke
04-19-2002, 01:22 PM
All I know , is the girls are a nice brake from the "beat the crap out of uke guys." I mean I train with some really good tall men but they slam me into the ground so hard i get tired really really fast and next thing I know im up doin it agian. When we switch partners I try to get a girl :) because they usually use more technque and are softer and slower ( at first we have some pretty fast women who toss those big men like rag dolls!) ;) so there you have it women are great int eh dojos!

oh yeah Aikido is not a compition so no male domonice trying to be on top ( acually that has happend to.. but not much).

Erik
04-19-2002, 01:34 PM
Originally posted by giriasis
This is WHY I don't practice these other arts and WHY I practice aikido. Aikido encourages cooperative learning and not condoning plowing over a partner just for a "win." Because of my size and physical fitness, I can't plow most people over. I can't rely on my "size" to succeed. So I work with bigger and stronger partners in class to learn how my techniques will be effective.

Paul, already took a swing at this, but I want a shot at this one too.

You know, I think I hear where you are coming from. Strength, as such, to make a technique work telegraphs a lot and I can often meet strength with strength or counter the technique and prevent it. In a lot of ways strength (more accurately muscling), in terms of making technique work can actually be a disadvantage.

But, like it or not, I've found that size and strength can stop a lot of people's technique. Not everyone's all the time, I've been bounced around by some of the prominent women in the Bay Area and a lot of people round these parts who were also smaller than I, but certainly it stops a lot of people some of the time. What strength and size does is give me a larger margin of error, more mass and power to focus and take center when I attack even when I'm not balanced perfectly. It's an incremental edge and while to rely on it alone might not be the best way to go, it certainly doesn't hurt.

I believe in softness.

Erik
04-19-2002, 01:37 PM
Back on topic.

We're often critical of things like Tae Bo and cardio kickboxing. Ever notice how many women are in those classes? Might be something in there to look at.

giriasis
04-19-2002, 02:00 PM
Now who's assuming and defensive? What makes you think bjj, judo, sambo, wrestling, etc... don't encourage cooperative learning or encourage "plowing people over", or a "win" mindset? So all other arts are based on "size" to succeed?

Man, you really should thank me for fudging the posting of my initial post. If you think that post was defensive, you should have seen the other one. And if I thought those arts were like aikido and if they could give me what aikido gives me, then I would be practicing those. That is my perception of those arts. And that perception comes from somewhere. I just didn't make it up. I've experience the typical BJJ'r attitude and they don't convey cooperative learning to me. Combative learning perhaps. I've heard judoka say that technique is important but if you have the edge of size over the person you should use it. I train with people with a judo background and were new to aikido, and treated aikido training like it was "competition" (i.e. trying to prove you can't do it to them). I've seen wrestling too. Uhh? since has that not been about competition and beating the opponent? Not the wrestling the brother practiced in school.

Deep breath....

Me too. :)

Ok. I'll try again. I submit size does matter, just like other physical attributes (age, height, strength, endurance, flexibility, etc...). Physical attributes can be overcome with skill and experience, but when skill and experience are similar, physical attributes can and often do make a tremendous difference.

First if you wish to be understood, seek to understand. What I mean by size doesn't matter is that I can't depend on my size in aikido. I learn how to deal with a bigger person to the extent that his size should not matter to me.

I see how the phrase "size doesn't matter" can be misunderstood. Obviously it does to some extent because I train so that it won't matter. If a person is so big, that they can rely on their "size" as part of their self defense than I guess "Size does matter." Well, I can't rely on my size.

For example the judoka I mentioned above is a fellow student. He is a big guy 5'10" (200+) and formerly trained on the Soviet (it was the USSR when he trained) Judo Team (I think). Would my size matter in training with him in Judo? heck, yeah. He could clobber me. But I still can do plenty of aikido to the guy. He is so big and stiff he falls like a rock and is easy to topple when he is standing. Does he "let me" do techniques to him? No.

You stated:
:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I definantly feel it's the size doesn't matter.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, I stated. (Despite the grammatical typos...)

"I agree with Colleen. It's the nature of the art, I believe.

I definantly feel it's the size doesn't matter. One of the best yudansha I've seen is a 5'0" tall female who weighs about 110 pounds. She has powerful aikido and can easily throw the larger guys. She is just deceptively graceful and fluid."

This is meant to imply that when watching a yudansha female that it looks like people are going easy on her yet her technique is so good it is fluid, dynamic, powerful and effective. It looks as though her size does not matter. She is still effective although she is barely 5 feet tall and weighs around 110 pounds. One would think the big guys would clobber her, but her technique is so proficient that her and her attacker's "size doesn't matter."

In my reply I fail to see how I insulted or disrespected you. If you feel otherwise, let me know and I would be happy to alter my behaviour and offer a sincere apology.

Your statement: "I'm shocked such statements still exist in the world...

Colleen, Anne, et al .... " Is actually very judgmental. You set the stage in an oppositional and condescending tone. First, the word "shocked". What is so outrageous about my opinion and experience that is shocking. Second, "still exist in the world" what is it about my opinion and experience that is so outdated? Who are you to say how in correct my experience as a woman in aikdo has been?

If you didn't mean to set things up like this, use the emoticons to express your self more clearly. Remember your voice inflections can not be heard on the internet.

"Then you quote my reply which was clearly addressed to Colleen. I assumed that meant I was replying to Colleen and only Colleen. I also tried to make it very clear that I was not trying to insult her but express my strong feeling about a concept she has. Again, if you feel that I insulted or disrespected you in my reply to Colleen, please let me know specifically and I will alter my behaviour and offer a sincere apology."

I didn't say that that portion was insulting did I? I was only using that post to point out that your examples are from other arts that I chose, as a woman and assuming other women, not to participate in because of the nature of those arts. You were proving ourpoint (the reason women chose aikido over other arts--and the size doesn't matter issue). The whole "throwing correctly" part, yeah, is between you and Colleen. I tried to edit it out but I didn't want to chop up too much of your post.

But the bottom line is simply this: if I'm flat on my back and you're standing upright in good posture it is disrespectful and untrue for me to complain that your throw wasn't "correct" or that you "muscled" the throw. ...

No it is not disrespectful. The correction could save your shoulder, elbow, arm, wrist, neck, back, etc. (Actually, that is really the reason why I speak up. "Yo, you almost tore my arm out" That correction can also teach you how to exibit more control over a less aggressive (i.e. non-lifethreating attacker) and save you from legal hassles.

... I was thrown, period. I need to deal with that reality. ... Yes, you were thrown and it "worked" in that it got you to the ground. But you will also have to deal with the fact if you try that on someone stronger than you that it won't work. I know this because if I tried that on you (the stronger person) it wouldn't work. If you don't learn to execute a technique properly, you will be in trouble when it comes down to your life.

... Likewise, you would need to deal with throwing larger and stronger classmates (your incentive to continue training). ... You got that part correct. Question for you: You don't have to deal with stronger attackers? Have you ever had to train with someone bigger, stronger, faster than you?

Someone on the forum has the signature "as iron sharpens iron so does one person sharpen another". Totally true. As training partners I don't improve unless you improve.

I agree. As Peter mentioned above. That both men and women contibute to Aikido. I believe women can contribute substantially to aikido, from being typically less physically strong, having lower centers, and typically more grace. That fact that women and men can train together says a lot about Aikido. The fact that men and women can learn from each other discourages the Aikido community from turning into too much of a male macho environment (which is at least the perception of other martial arts). Because of that Aikido tends to attrack more women than other martial arts.

paw
04-19-2002, 02:55 PM
Anne,

Well, IMO we've both misinterpreted each other's posts. I apologize for any perceived insult as that was not my intention.

I'll not comment on the rest of your post and write it off to a misunderstanding of each other. (If for some reason you rather I do respond, I'll do it in private email, I don't think that dicussion has any value. Fair enough?)

Returning to the topic:

As Peter mentioned above. That both men and women contibute to Aikido. I believe women can contribute substantially to aikido, from being typically less physically strong, having lower centers, and typically more grace. That fact that women and men can train together says a lot about Aikido. The fact that men and women can learn from each other discourages the Aikido community from turning into too much of a male macho environment (which is at least the perception of other martial arts). Because of that Aikido tends to attrack more women than other martial arts.

In every martial art I've trained in or seen, men and women have trained together and learned from each other. The only exception I'm aware of is, ironically, aikido, based on the experiences of someone who trained in Japan for a year.

As far as aikido tending to attract more women, that's not the case the in my neck of the woods. Aikido dojos tend to have about 30% women, roughly the same as karate and tkd. The judo schools in the area have slightly fewer women, about 20-25%. Tai chi has the most women, roughly 85%, with kickboxing/muay thai next at roughly 50%.

This is excluding the health clubs that have some type of aerobic boxing/kickboxing where participation tends to be about 95% women.

These are estimates for adult women. I think the kickboxing/muay thai is very high, and probably unusual. I suspect this is because of the gym environment and the fantastic instructors.

Regards,

Paul

Bruce Baker
04-19-2002, 03:23 PM
Don't women have most of their weight below the waist while most men have the majority weight above the waist?

Although men train to use tan tien it is longer training than women who have been using it all along?

If that doesn't work, pointy elbows, knees, and fingers giving a poke here and tap there releases stiff knees, muscular arms, and stiff bodies?

Since most women are smaller than men, they start learning the tricks of self defense earlier in life, and much quicker .... survival reflex is a real #$%$#!

Why do you think old married men start martial arts?

Lyle Bogin
04-19-2002, 03:34 PM
"Don't women have most of their weight below the waist while most men have the majority weight above the waist? "

Interesting. I wonder where the majority of my mass is. My thighs are very heavy and my arms are light.

"Although men train to use tan tien it is longer training than women who have been using it all along?"

Why do you think this is? Does a light body and lack of strength automatically lead to movement from the dan tien? Does strength and a heavy body necessarily lead away from using the dan tien?

"Why do you think old married men start martial arts?"

I have asked many of them. It seems in general they have always been interested, and now that their kids are out of the house, they have enough money and enough time to practice, they can fulfill their dreams :).

ronmar
04-19-2002, 04:23 PM
For example the judoka I mentioned above is a fellow student. He is a big guy 5'10" (200+) and formerly trained on the Soviet (it was the USSR when he trained) Judo Team (I think). Would my size matter in training with him in Judo? heck, yeah. He could clobber me. But I still can do plenty of aikido to the guy. He is so big and stiff he falls like a rock and is easy to topple when he is standing. Does he "let me" do techniques to him? No.

Don't put yourself down. Of course your size would not matter in a judo match against this guy; you would simply have to apply your aikido principles before he had a chance to grip up, and throw him by blending with his movement and using your perfect technique. It would be easy after training with all these big guys in the aikido dojo. Then of course you could go for the heavyweight mens olympic judo title. You'd probably win that in much the same manner.:rolleyes:

Erik
04-19-2002, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by giriasis
It was the post after mine that made it SEEM like that was the only factor. And THAT post didn't help either.

Hi Anne!

Upon rereading the thread I think I see where you were coming from and I didn't register Colleen's smilies either. Hence, I appear to have knee jerked on your comments. My apologies.

It will never happen again. :rolleyes:

guest1234
04-20-2002, 08:20 AM
Paul,

Perhaps I was not clear enough, but my posts always get so long I try to use less words. In doing a throw correctly, I mean correct technique for Aikido. You may just be refering to knocking someone down on the street. Done correctly, size does not matter as it is using uke's force to effect the throw, so if uke is large with a forceful attack, even a small nage can throw them. Done incorrectly, meaning brute force muscling, a large nage may often throw a small uke, but sooner or later a larger uke will come along, and at that moment the large nage will wish he'd learn to do the technique correctly so he could throw as effortless as the smaller nage, who learns early how to do it correctly (so that size does not matter). I will grant size probably matters in judo, karate, etc, I've heard it does and have never done those. But I know I've thrown not only cooperative uke's twice my size, but a fellow 6'5" 245# to my 5'5" 110# who was not a training partner but a big guy intent on showing he could overpower me.

paw
04-20-2002, 03:29 PM
Colleen,

Perhaps I was not clear enough, but my posts always get so long I try to use less words. In doing a throw correctly, I mean correct technique for Aikido... .

From this response, I believe I do understand what you mean, and I disagree.

What is correct technique for Aikido? Is it the way Saotome Sensei performs the technique? Is it the way Saito Sensei performs the technique? How about Doshu, perhaps his way is the correct one?

My definition of correct technique is one that works. I can think of no other measure than the result.

Therefore, if you throw me, any perceptions I have about your technique being "muscled" or what have you are not my problem. They may very well be yours when you train with someone larger.

Can you imagine someone saying "doctor X has fantastic technique, just look at how they carry that clipboard...or read that x-ray...or wear that pager"? Can you imagine a patient of doctor X saying, "well your surgery was a success, and did help me, but one of the nurses said your tie didn't match"?

Can you imagine someone looking at an army and declaring "clearly these men and women are formidable, just look at the way they march"?

I can't. A doctor is judged by how they perform on the job. An army is judged in battle. A throw is judged by it's effectiveness. That is my assertion. An army that can conquer an empty field isn't much of any army if they cannot conquer the same field properly defended by another force. An aikidoka who can only throw small ukes, but not ukes the same size and skill as they, well they need a bit of training....


Regards,

Paul

guest1234
04-20-2002, 06:08 PM
Paul,

I would say done correctly in lines with Aikido, which I think most would agree is blending with/joining with/directing/leading/choose one or similar, uke's force and redirecting it, resulting in an off-balance and falling uke. In this situation, it does not matter how much bigger uke is than nage, if done along the general guidlines nage will throw uke.

You keep going back to a small nage unable to throw a large uke, so I guess I am still not making myself clear: small nages can easily throw large ukes if doing the technique correctly, because if Aikido is done correctly size does not matter. However, large nages can throw small ukes, even if their technique is bad, but it will show when they use the same bad technique on large ukes. I think for this reason larger students have more trouble learning Aikido, as they naturally muscle and until they hit a large uke, assume they are getting the technique because uke falls. They have made uke fall, they have not necessarily done the Aikido technique correctly. So if making uke fall is the goal, even if your technique is bad, and relying on muscle, then size does matter. But why study Aikido then? Just make sure you only fight those smaller than yourself.

paw
04-20-2002, 08:25 PM
Colleen,

I would say done correctly in lines with Aikido, which I think most would agree is blending with/joining with/directing/leading/choose one or similar, uke's force and redirecting it, resulting in an off-balance and falling uke.

Is there any other martial system/martial art that would not do this when throwing? To the best of my knowledge, the answer is "no".

However, large nages can throw small ukes, even if thier technique is bad, but it will show when they use the same bad technique on large ukes.

Right. That's what I meant when I wrote previously:

An aikidoka who can only throw small ukes, but not ukes the same size and skill as they, well they need a bit of training.... (emphasis added)

Really, we agree on this point and have for several posts. The point where we disagree is what a correct throw is. I assert a correct throw is one that works. That's it. No other criteria. What additional criteria do you feel is necessary?

You keep mentioning, "well, just because uke falls doesn't mean the throw was correct, the throw might not work on someone larger". I fail to see the point here. You could have the throw "correct" and still not throw someone. You could be trying a throw that doesn't work for that situation. You could have the technical details correct and completely mess up the timing. Heck, you could be trying to throw a 7th dan when you're 4th kyu.

If it seems like I'm giving you a hard time about this, it might be because the same attitude exists for beginners in bjj. Folks that have trained for a year or less, will sometime say "well, they made me tap to the choke, but they weren't choking properly". Well then, why did you tap to the choke? In 99.9% of the time, it's the young bjj'ers ego talking...it's sour grapes. They were rolling with someone bigger or stronger or faster or had better endurance or were in "the zone" and they got caught in a choke. Instead of letting it go, they have to defend their hurt ego.

Remember once upon a time Steven Seagal was married to Kelly LeBrock, and she did a commercial where she said "don't hate me because I'm beautiful"? When young bjj'er start saying, "well I tapped but...." That's when I want to say, "hey bro, don't hate your partner because they are bigger than you, or stronger, or faster, or more flexible, or having a great night".

Now, I'm not suggesting you feel this way. Frankly, from your posts, I don't think you do. My concern is simply the thought process that says "they get great results with me, but their method is lacking...." is one that I've seen that consistantly stops progress.

Regards,

Paul

giriasis
04-20-2002, 10:01 PM
I responded to a post asking why it seems like more women are involved in aikido than in other arts. I replied with my experience as a woman. I explained why I did not choose other martial arts because of my experience with those arts and of my perceptions of those arts.

I have seen quite of few women in aikido and it is my experience that they are not all lower ranking. The majority of women in my school are dan ranks (1st dan through 5th dan). I think my school is about 20% female ( a guess here, and I feel it is about the same in the larger community as well--at least from my experience at the USAF - East Winter Camps). And these women are not token members they contribute greatly and are well respected in my school.

Also, just because I say I choose aikido over other martial arts, I'm not saying those other arts are "worse" or even "sexist." I am just talking about my perceptions. I'm not going to stop aikido if those perceptions are proven otherwise. If there are more women participating in other arts, then more power to them. (The only other art I thought had a lot of female participation was tai chi and maybe some TKD schools.) I support that.

Despite the invovlement that there is in martial arts, ask women outside the arts and they might tell you that they think are harsh and brutal. Actually my female friends outside of aikido think its great that I practice aikido, but they wouldn't step in a dojo themselves.

Why do you think cardio kickboxing classes are 95% female? Because they are only interested in the fitness side of the art and not the martial side. They can surely get a great work out in arts with more substantial martial focus, but why don't they choose to? I can tell you why I might have not. (I alread did, but got in trouble for it. :straightf ;))

Am I speaking for all of women -- of course not. We are very diverse and have a variety of intrests and focuses. But by me giving you my view you can get a glimpse into at least one female mind. And I believe the experiences of women here and have to give are very valuable -- especially in regards to this question.

I am a big supporter of women participating in the martial arts. I am a big supporter to giving a voice and support to female martial artists. It is needed because despite, my belief that aikido is a female friendly martial art, that sometimes a woman's voice is not welcome in this world.

George S. Ledyard
04-21-2002, 06:22 AM
None of the posts here address the fundamental question. When you talk about women being able to do Aikido as well as the men, or camoflage the discussion by talking about size (which includes the men of small stature), what aspect of Aikido are you speaking about?

If you are talking about the Art of Aikido, as done in the dojo in a non-competitive setting, then clearly size and strength have little to do with the quality of the pratitioner. My entire Aikido career has been heavily influenced by some amazing women... Mary Heiny Sensei, Patty Saotome Sensei, Raso Hultgren and Linda Holiday Senseis to name a few. Their Aikido is of the highest sophistication. When I train with them they easily handle my superior size and they are quite capable of launching me acroos the dojo.

But if we are talking about the martial art of Aikido we then need to discuss what aspect of this art we are referring to. As I do police training I have a lot of exposure to people trying to bring resistant subjects under control. Anyone who would like to maintain that size and strength do not matter is not talking about the same thing.

Aikido is a shorthand kind of martial art. We make all sorts of assumptions and in many cases the people training are unaware of them. In normal practice you "win" if you accomplish the throw. In fighting the interaction isn't over until the opponent is pinned, disabled, or unconscious. Now here is where you really get into the size issue.

If you are trying to follow the Aikido ideal of winning without destroying the opponent then size and strength is a very big deal. I don't care how much training you have, size is a huge advantage in this area. Power is a huge component of bringing someone under control if you are trying to restrain them.

I am well over 250 lbs, have done some other training on top of my Aikido, which I have pursued for twenty five years. I had a former Navy SEAL, now with the FBI, training in my Defensive Tactics class. He was pretty close to being the strongest person I was ever on the mat with. There was simply no low level force technique that would work on this fellow. If I had met him in an adversarial encounter on the street I would have had to kill him or he would have dismantled me.

Which brings us back to the issue of Aikido as a martial art. If one is discussing Aikido as a mode of fighting, then one is brought back to the use of atemi. Striking the weak spots on the body, eyes, throat, etc. are the great equalizers in the martial arts. Once you get back to the combat nature of the art, speed, fluidity, and precision are more important than power. That is precisely where there is no physical inequality between men and women. Weapons practice points this out as well. Give someone a sword and strength is largely moot. But we do have to address the issue of preference rather than theoretical equality.

Normal dojo Aikido is a labratory much like a phsyics lab. We investigate the fine points of energetic relationships between partners, both of whom are participating in the experiment. This allows us to look at things that don't really occur in nature outside the dojo just as in physics one can create elements in the lab that we currently have no evidence exist in nature.

In this laboratory all practitioners are equal. Mastery can be attained by anyone with the dedication to train every day for a lifetime. Outside tha lab it is a different matter. Aikido in a combat mode has no agreement. The opponent will do anything he can to defeat you. If he doesn't like what is happening he will break connection and then reengage (in the blink of an eye). Victory goes to the first one to strike the other's center. Much of what we do on a daily basis in Aikido doesn't apply directly here.

So training for martial application is a particular type of training. The vast majority of the women Aikidoka I know are simply not interested in that type of training. They are far more likely to pursue the "care taking" aspects of our art. Does that mean their Aikido isn't incredible? No! But if I were going into a fight would I prefer Mary Heiny Sensei with me or Bruce Bookman Sensei?

I think it is pretty clear. Mary Heiny Sensei is devoting her life to the side of Aikido that embodies conflict resolution and harmony. She'd be the one to find the path that didn't require conflict. But if I knew that there was no avoiding a confrontation I would definitely choose Bookman Sensei to be at my side. The manner of his training, Aikido 6th Dan, Machado Jiu Jutsu, Western style boxing, has made him the better choice.

Generally speaking this is a divide that does exist in Aikido between the men and the women. Are there exceptions? Absolutely, Patty Saotome Sensei or Lorraine Dianne Sensei come immediately to mind. They could go toe to toe with most men and not blink. But for the most part I would say that the focus is generally different in the training for men and women. This does result in a difference in their ability to apply technique on a martial basis but it also means that they often take their Aikido to a very high level in the other aspects of the practice.

jimvance
04-21-2002, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
...If one is discussing Aikido as a mode of fighting, then one is brought back to the use of atemi. Striking the weak spots on the body, eyes, throat, etc. are the great equalizers in the martial arts. Once you get back to the combat nature of the art, speed, fluidity, and precision are more important than power. That is precisely where there is no physical inequality between men and women. Weapons practice points this out as well. Give someone a sword and strength is largely moot.I totally agree. I have always been taught Aiki arts were derived from weapons skill, not grappling or pummelling. I just recently saw footage of the late Kyuzo Mifune Sensei. He operates more from the aiki parameters than from classical grappling, and so was able to perform all sorts of nifty things. He was not a big man.
The Western martial mentality is dominated still by ancient infantry combat, where victory was decided by who could push harder, not necessarily those with the most skill. This brought about disastrous consequences in Vietnam for the United States. I have heard aiki arts described as "guerilla warfare" (not GORILLA warfare Bruce :) ) and guerillas have usually been able to stump superior force because they could never directly oppose it. Force is as much a negative factor when engaging a smart opponent as it is a positive one and so is rendered moot or circumstantial.

Jim Vance

guest1234
04-21-2002, 07:48 PM
I think that the question of why are more women in Aikido may be answered, as Ledyard Sensei replied, that there is room for non-aggressive behavior in Aikido (more so than many other MA) and this appeals to women in general more. But I do think that size and strength does not matter, even in the street fight application, if the smaller person (male or female) has learned Aikido correctly. For instance, Saotome Sensei is about my size. Imaizumi Sensei is not much bigger. I'd feel pretty confident with them in a fight. I've never met O Sensei, but I'd bet he was smaller than I. In fact, Ledyard Sensei, I know of at least one of your intructors in Seattle who is about my size.

I think, as Jim pointed out, those who know they are at a disadvantage in size just use means to avoid giving their larger opponent the advantage. I find I can cover a lot more mat space a lot more quickly and for a lot longer than my larger partners. I either move out of grasping range pulling my partner off balance if he wants me, or close the gap quickly to come so close I reduce their striking ability and hopefully off balance them. Large people, like large countries, often seem to find it unfair if small people, or small countries, shift the fight to the small size advantage, vs. getting pummeled in a toe to toe match of size and strength.

When in class we go from empty handed technique to a weapons class, or to suwari waza, I often find myself in an advantaged position. I think this is because to hold my own with much larger partners in empty handed technique I need to really work on my technique being correct. Put a stick in my hand, and I always announce to my partner 'now we're all the same size' or bring everyone down to their knees, and height is not as important as knowing how to move.

warriorwoman
04-21-2002, 07:51 PM
This difference in approach has been the subject of considerable discussion both here and on other forums as well. Thank you for acknowledging that it exists and explaining your understanding of the difference between the two approaches. I believe it gives us all a better picture of why it exists, and explains why sometimes a new student appears to be overly aggressive.
janet dtantirojanarat
www.warriorwoman.org

Deb Fisher
04-21-2002, 08:04 PM
Hello Everyone... as a woman, I feel compelled to respond - especially since the size issue has really enveloped the discussion, and as a woman I have other attributes aside from my stature.

First of all, the most interesting thing about aikido to me is the etiquitte surrounding the *art* of it - the roles and interaction of uke and nage. I have been socialized (as a woman) to think in terms of intimacy and relationships, and so it is intuitive for me to learn to fight in the context of maintaining connection and being responsive to the partner. The emphasis on thanking, on being aware of the relationship between uke and nage, and even on courtesy, helps me to understand that conflict is not bad or foreign, that I can participate in a situation without fear of conflict, that I can control and neutralize conflict without sacrificing my respect for an individual.

I am not interested in doing 'soft' aikido. I am interested in learning how to use all of my energy, ki, strength or whatever, in a responsible and respectful way that is aligned with my worldview (as a woman).

As for the martial aspect - or size aspect, or I-Could-Throw-You-To-The-Moon aspect - so what if size matters? I can't change my size, no matter how much I practice. But the more I practice, the more I understand with my body and my mind what conflict is and what to do with it.

There are two shadows running through this thread that are surely unintentional, but that still raise my feminist hackles a little. First, the persistence of the size issue in the context of a "why women in aikido thread" connotes that women (along with their tiny male counterparts... like O Sensei?) can be as diligent as they want in their practice, but at the end of the day, when their showdown with Steven Segal comes, they will be blended thoroughly into the mat (or better yet the sidewalk). Why is this useful?

There's also this distinction between the art aspect and the martial aspect. Again, in the "why women" forum, it makes it sound as if women are fine for the dojo (or physics lab - I really liked that metaphor!) and doing the work in a controlled environment, but... then what? The idea that women aren't taking anything out of the dojo and into their lives is of course absurd. What is the purpose of making that distinction?

I mean, I feel like a martial artist...

I understand that no disrespect was intended in any previous post, and also acknowledge that a size issue thread was started in hopes of better directing the tangent. I just thought it was interesting that it keeps being an issue *here* and that the idea that women are in aikido dojos to learn how to fight is not really being talked about.

Deb

guest1234
04-21-2002, 08:24 PM
Deb,

Those are some excellent points. I think the reason why size keeps coming back up here, is that size not mattering in Aikido is a reason why women (who usually are smaller) would choose Aikido over say, boxing or karate, where you are matching (besides skill and tactics) how hard you can hit. Since F=Ma, those with more M usually have an advantage. I do acknowledge someone's earlier post that Ali used tactics and speed to overcome the M problem, but there are, afterall, weight classes for a reason. So, even for women interested in what some refer to as the martial aspect, Aikido is the intelligent choice as size does not matter, you are using someone else M and someone elses a to produce the F of the technique. (here, Colleen pauses to thank her college Basic Engineering Physics professor for refusing to allow cheat sheets on tests).

So, as I first said, Aikido appeals to those (male and female) who might prefer an alternative to straight-on aggression (this group is probably more female than male) and I thnk this is not found in all MA. Aikido does not rely on size, so smaller people (male or female) can do Aikido from what some refer to as 'martial' aspect without a disadvantage (women, being smaller, probably make up more of this group) found in other MA. This MA, more than others, probably recognises size is not everything, and the value of different approaches in life, and so may welcome women more (although some of these posts may make me wonder about this one).

Chocolateuke
04-21-2002, 08:28 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Deb Fisher
[B]
(or physics lab - I really liked that metaphor!) [QUOTE]

I was going to say the same thing, that was a great post by George S. Ledyard.!! as for the size issue need we go on?? i throw people bigger than me out side the mat ( when they go "oh you know a martial art? brake my arm" some peice of crap like that, i just go okay stay relaxed make sure i have good body poster and first tell him it would be better if he goes to a dojo then they go " oh no I wanna see the real stuff" next thing I know they are either "where can I train" or they are afraid of me to do more I always ask if i hurt them and they go "it only hurt for like 2 min but i dont wanna do it again" but they never hold any grudge against me. they usually are bigger than me ( football players are nice ukes) i never really "throw" them ill use a lock like Nikkajo or something like that but never really throw them.. and it works :)

Erik
04-21-2002, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Deb Fisher
There are two shadows running through this thread that are surely unintentional, but that still raise my feminist hackles a little. First, the persistence of the size issue in the context of a "why women in aikido thread" connotes that women (along with their tiny male counterparts... like O Sensei?) can be as diligent as they want in their practice, but at the end of the day, when their showdown with Steven Segal comes, they will be blended thoroughly into the mat (or better yet the sidewalk). Why is this useful?

There's also this distinction between the art aspect and the martial aspect. Again, in the "why women" forum, it makes it sound as if women are fine for the dojo (or physics lab - I really liked that metaphor!) and doing the work in a controlled environment, but... then what? The idea that women aren't taking anything out of the dojo and into their lives is of course absurd. What is the purpose of making that distinction?

I mean, I feel like a martial artist...

I understand that no disrespect was intended in any previous post, and also acknowledge that a size issue thread was started in hopes of better directing the tangent. I just thought it was interesting that it keeps being an issue *here* and that the idea that women are in aikido dojos to learn how to fight is not really being talked about.


You make a good point. I'll think about it. My first teacher was a woman and one of my current favorite teachers in the Bay Area is a woman but there could be, probably is, some bias there worth of looking at. I know I don't cut women any slack in terms of how I attack them at least in regards to the prescribed attacks. However, I've also found few women willing to engage beyond the practice if they screw up. Why that is, I can't say exactly but men seem more willing to scrap when things break down whereas women tend to stay more within the prescribed practice. Whether that's my bias or their's I can't say. I'll have to think about it, so again, thank you for raising the point.

You mentioned O'Sensei. I'm also absolutely certain that these rules applied to him but we'll never know how much because he never faced a 225 pound wrestler with 3% body fat who chose to tackle him rather than try to punch or attack him in a prescribed manner. He may have faced some Judo guys as I'm not certain of his dueling history.

I've often wondered what would have happened with Terry Dobsen if he decided to play linebacker and tackle O'Sensei rather than strike him with what I believe was a shomen uchi (an attack he had no competence in) when they first met? Terry likely attacked at a disadvantage with an unfamiliar attack rather than using his size to his advantage and attacking with something he knew very well. Hence, his size was nullified, albeit unintentionally on his part.

paw
04-21-2002, 09:27 PM
For the record:

I do believe that skill and experience can overcome superior physical attributes. Seeing Helio Gracie (then 87) trounce athletic, male 20-somethings when Helio was all of 100 pounds (maybe, including gi and a generous meal) remains one of the most inspiring things I've ever seen.

I further believe that aikido can be effective both as "art" and as "martial system". The time I spent in aikido was ceartainly not time wasted.

Be that as it may, I still contend that physical attributes: endurance, flexibility, sensitivity, quickeness, strength and yes, size (just to name a few physical attributes) do matter. So if any disagreement on this remains on this or any other thread, let us agree to disagree. I see no value in continuing the discussion.

Warm Regards and Pleasant Evening to All,

Paul

George S. Ledyard
04-21-2002, 11:23 PM
I did want to point out that, despite the idea that strength doesn't count in Aikido or that size isn't relevant (O-Sensei being used as an example), the Founder, while short was not small. He weighed about 180 lbs. when he was fifty which at just over 5 feet made him one solid pile of muscle.

Furthermore, if he believed that strength didn't matter he sure didn't show it. He spent his whole life doing strenuous strength conditioning. He was somewhat famous for his just plain physical prowess (pounding mochi, pulling out huge tree stumps etc.) This is the guy who had custom iron tools made for himself so that he could be building muscle as he worked in the garden.

While there are many folks I have run into who maintain that strength isn't important in Aikido O-Sensei didn't seem to be one of them.

Erik
04-22-2002, 12:18 AM
Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
I did want to point out that, despite the idea that strength doesn't count in Aikido or that size isn't relevant (O-Sensei being used as an example), the Founder, while short was not small. He weighed about 180 lbs. when he was fifty which at just over 5 feet made him one solid pile of muscle.


Thanks for adding that. It was a much better way to go than the direction I took.

Bruce Baker
04-22-2002, 09:54 AM
Most people agree that when physical size verses physical size the larger, muscular, more adept individual will win.

Why?

Is it because men practicing with men have come up with the most physically efficient way to do a technique, or is it that the polarity of each human being designates the path of least resistence in this physical struggle?

The creation of cottage healing industrys has created machines that read sound, magnetic resonance, and other strange phenonmenon that in the last twenty years was fantasy but is scientific fact today. Within some tests, women have a slight different polarity to men.

Example.

Positive open right hand of a man, is negative polarity on a woman.

Negative open left hand of a man is positive on a woman.

Consider when you hook up the wiring in you AC electric lights the wrong polarity? No lights, or a blazing short? Right?

My point being, the blazing short would be equal to a correctly placed strike with opposite polaritys which usually results in pain, or knockout.

Women training with physically bigger men have not only a physical disadvantage, but the techniques are developed by "man on man testing" of effectiveness of these techniques. There is an effectivenss of physical action, but the energy of those encounters is tempered to "man on man training and polaritys."

This is an ongoing study, but IF women continue to experiment and explore this possibility of raising a foot, opening or closing a hand, and understand the polarity of cross training with men, then it opens a whole new way to level the playing field with an explainable scientific study to overcome the physical barrier of ... "Size makes a difference."

Check out polarity.

Of course men will have to think to overcome women who understand polarity, but that is the game of MA, new things creating new obsticles?

Of course dirty tricks still rule for smaller people, but that would be pain ... pressure points again, wouldn't it?

Deb Fisher
04-22-2002, 06:27 PM
First of all, thanks for the clarification... in comparison to O'Sensei, I am made of styrofoam.

That said, I still don't think size is the most interesting issue here. Erik's point about women not scrapping when pushed past their skill level, and George's ideas about women perhaps being more interested in the "taking care" aspect of aikido...

These are relevant, honest and debatable opinions that speak specifically to the role we assume women take in general and how these perceived roles play themselves out (or not) in the controlled and socially complex dojo environment. Addressing these specific issues in an environment that is almost risk-free and usually respectful seems like an ideal way to learn from eachother. I think that sexism, like most isms, can only be combatted by openly discussing what expected behavior is and why it happens. I also think that this is hard work to do, and that it is easier to have a debate about size than it is to discuss how you really feel when you train with a woman/ how it feels to be a woman training with a man or another woman or whatever.

To deal with Erik and George's points -

I said earlier that the taking care aspect of aikido really allowed me an intuitive starting point to deal with a bigger paradox, in which conflict happens even though I want things to be harmonious. By hooking into the harmony angle, I have been able to better understand my role and my power in a conflict. I'll bet a lot of women are interested in this facet of aikido - and I would love to know what other women and men learn as harmony creators.

Erik's point is interesting and something I think about a lot. In my dojo, there is a huge emphasis on jiyuwaza, and it terrifies me because as a woman, I grew up with very few venues to practice dealing openly with conflict. I am terrible at jiyuwaza!! And is this a weakness or an opportunity? What can I learn now that I have a solid 3x weekly venue for dealing with conflict? What scrappiness am I going to eventually uncover and learn to trust? And is there anything the men I train with can learn from my hesitation?

I guess, to sum it up, that I make an effort to learn as much as I can from my classmates while I'm training. In an aikido forum, why not continue that? Why obfuscate really interesting and subtle issues that can teach so much by focusing on size?

Thanks,
Deb

warriorwoman
04-23-2002, 04:41 PM
Someone much earlier alluded to the fact that being larger (and stronger) gave them a "margin of error". Please forgive me if I'm not exactly quoting directly, but that was what I understood from the post. In a sense, then it would seem that if your goal is (again, taken from an earlier post)to just throw someone on the ground regardless of considerations of "correctness" of technique, then it would seem that if Plan A doesn't work, then you can resort to Plan B (muscle). This margin of error, I believe is what we lack as women, which would seem to work to men's advantage. If you look at the big picture or the long-term training, however, it probably works to reinforce bad habits, whereas by concentrating more on "correct technique" in the short-run women might appear to be at a disadvantage, but this ultimately produces a better trained person. I think the earlier reference to the "art" rather than the "martial" touched upon this.
janet dtantirojanarat
www.warriorwoman.org

Arianah
04-23-2002, 05:19 PM
The "caring/nurturing woman" topic that was touched upon is interesting. I like to throw hard, but I've been told that my pins are quite "loving." :confused: One of my dojo mates has said, when I've done the three-palms-up (sometimes called the nikyo or sitting) pin, "It's like being in a mother's arms." Although this comment is just a little bit too weird, and quite frankly, icky, for my taste :freaky:, it made me actually think about the way that I pin. I do feel a bit "maternal" when I do, I suppose, and it may go back to my caring/nurturing instincts. Who knows? I wonder if he would have said the same thing about the wicked nikyo I had just put him in :p (still working on that "minimum force necessary" thing. :D)

Sarah

P.S. As a woman, I feel obligated to say what it is about Aikido that I am most drawn to as opposed to other arts. I love the fact that it is non-competitive. But the best part is the kind of people that are drawn to it. Often it is not the overtly violent and excessively competitive types that feel they have something to prove, or "just want to kick some ass." And generally, if someone like that does join an Aikido dojo, s/he probably doesn't stay too long. Give me 1000 random people and 100 random aikidoka, and I'd probably be able to find more people that I would deem "good" among the aikidoka, in my opinion.

njnoexit
04-25-2002, 04:26 PM
Women are kind gentle people. And I love women. I like being a man but I really do love women. There bodys are very butifull and fun to study. *suddenly notices how it is like bird watching except the birds im watching dont run away* I also think women are very important to mankind as well. Without them mankind would not exist(same if men did not exist but I dont know what I am talking about so dont listen to me) I am not even Suprised that there are women out there who love women. The only really sad thing about women is that the really smart ones who have real ideas and opinions have some phisical problem overwhieght or ugly(like the bald egal its a ugly sucker but it is very swift and powerfull). and women who are dumb are really pritty. not all the time just some of the time. I find that this is very true. I will continue my look for a butifull women who has a butifull mind. very rare, alot like them exotic birds everyone looks for when bird watching... now what this has to do with aikido. I have no clue! I just though that this post would be a good place to voice my opinion. if I happen to offend any women here I am sorry. and I love you.

Chocolateuke
04-25-2002, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by njnoexit
(like the bald egal its a ugly sucker but it is very swift and powerfull)

Bald Eagle is not ugly and yes i have seen them in the wild, and yes I am positive that is what I saw, and yes girls rule!!

Bruce Baker
04-25-2002, 11:42 PM
Sometimes the easiest way to gain control of a variable situation is to change the conditions.

Some people are good standing.

Some can do suri waza, knee walking to change the conditions of large person falling like tree, to tree on the ground who has control of the situation?

Sometimes the "Glove up" approach is the very losing thought deeded to Aikido as "...when you have committed to attacking you have already lost?" Or have we forgotten no matter how good your prowess and technique is, without a clear mind you will lose?

The final winning moment to overbearing force will be a sniper's bullet from society's protector's ... but that is for those who are not willing to concede to peaceful protection verses the thoughts of might makes right? The overbearing posturing of larger bodies always winning over smaller bodies because of physicality just won't be tolerated for any length of time in modern society, so put that one to bed cross training tough guys.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what I say, because you will do what is necessary to secure your safety and peace of mind, but hopefully within the tenents of Aikido and Society?

So, with clarity of practice, verses actual situations of fighting, Small people fighting larger people, or women fighting men, are not gonna be the nice playtime like we train in the dojo. When it comes to physicality, it will become a game of who can injure who first with the least amount of damage, that is a fact of street fighting/protection to yourself.

If we advance our brutality to gentleness of knowledge, maybe what we learn in Aikido will help us to do it without malice, or intent of terminal injurys?

As far as any particular type of training or size protecting you, I think a prayer to your religious deity and whole lot of luck is what you are gonna need when the fighting starts with the guns and knives?

Sorry, but the awareness factor usually means being invisable too.

Not something we teach in Aikido, but maybe we should?

I kind of like the approach of most sensei's take at seminars ... tell the practitioners a tip twice, then see who has been watching and listening?

Besides ....

The person who live the longest, best life wins all arguements in the end.

Deb Fisher
04-26-2002, 08:40 PM
In response to Adrian's post, I wanted to make sure everybody knows that I am only 4 feet tall, that I was born with one eye and a harelip, and that I am also immensely obese.

Seriously, what do you think women are, creatures that you study in a zoo? I am deeply offended by your rhetoric, no matter how many times you say the word love.

Keeping the world safe for free-range women everywhere...?
Deb

Deb Fisher
04-26-2002, 08:40 PM
In response to Adrian's post, I wanted to make sure everybody knows that I am only 4 feet tall, that I was born with one eye and a harelip, that my hair is falling out in patches... probably part of my dermatological problem... and well, I admit I'm just downright obese.

Seriously, what do you think women are, creatures that you study in a zoo? I am deeply offended by your rhetoric, no matter how many times you say the word love.

Keeping the world safe for free-range women everywhere...?
Deb

njnoexit
04-26-2002, 11:09 PM
if I happen to offend any women here I am sorry. and I love you. and deb I am sorry or you unfortunate happenings. You had no choice how you were born. and I did not try and hurt you at all or single you out. I ment by ugly people are the people who can make them selves pritty but they just neglect to do it because they dont want to. they are the people who are very kind and intellegent. but the people who think that its all about how they look tend to be more ugly personality wize. now if some one is perfectly capable of being pritty then they should. but I place personality way before looks. and for animals I was not calling women birds. I was simply compairing how watching for a exotic bird, if it exists, is like watching for an exotic women, if she exists. and men are also compaired to animals alot, as well. I dont argue, I dont care. I keep my mouth shut. and deb I love you very much and I am sorry you have to have such disabilities. but dont let that put you down. You can consider it a gift. a gift that singles out the nice people from the crule. but dont get mad at me for having the same phiscal feelings twards women as like anyother man in existance! I am a teenager fresh out of puberty who has raging hormones and I cant do anything about it! and if I happend to offend you in any way I am sorry. And I love you. I love everyone. and I am sorry for hurting you. All I want you to be is happy. so act happy and dont let a silly little post put you down. Because if you do then your in for a big suprise because life is harder then it seams. Just smile and enjoy every moment of your life.

njnoexit
04-26-2002, 11:38 PM
I dont think I was clear on the Over wieght part of women. If you are Perfeclty capable of not being overwieght or not being hidious then thats your fault if you are. and everyhing that is wrong in your life happened because you choose to live that way. Now if you have no choice and you were born that way, or you got sick then it does not matter and all depends on your personality.
I make a post Idolizing women and I get crittics, telling me that I am wrong and I demoted women making them less of what they are. so wrong so wrong. I would choose a women over a man any day. Fat, short, tripple limbed, blind and mute. it does not matter.

As for men, we are called animals more then animals are called animals. we Are more wildly critisized for being bald fat or ugly then any other minority group in existance.

as for death we all die. we are born to some day die. from the moment we are born we start to die so dont complaine just live and be happy.

I guess you just cant please everyone. thats enevitable.

I dont want to argue, dont want to fight. i just want every one to be happy. so Deb please just drop it. no one wants to hear it.

love,
Adrian

Hanna B
04-27-2002, 02:39 AM
Howcome every time people discuss women in aikido, somebody starts ranting about physical appearences :(

If you do want to discuss your feelings about women's number of brain cells in relation to their looks, I believe this would fit better in the chit-chat division.

I make a post Idolizing women and I get crittics

'Idol' means picture. Some of us prefer to consider ourselves people.

Regards,
Hanna

Brian H
04-27-2002, 09:50 AM
OK, yes it is vey nice to have girls/women in your dojo. They tend to be smaller and cannot rely on size/strength to win the day, so they develope good technique quickly.

Also when you muscle your way through technique, a uke half your size can fly pretty far and if they happen to be female they give you a look that makes you feel like a naughty five year old (age/parent status does not matter, women seem to be born with this power).

But, some of the above post are a bit touchy feely about the universal wholesome qualities of the female half of the species. In college one of my professors advised our class on terrorism, "If you are ever taken hostage by a group that includes women, start looking for away to escape or fight back." She went on to sight numerous examples of "mixed" groups where the women were the ringleaders/initiators in harming/killing their victims. A number of fact based movies were made about various inidents in the 60s,70s and 80s (SLA, '72 Olympic Massacre, Entebbe, etc.)