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guest1234
08-14-2000, 10:56 PM
Due to the recent comments on the validity of the polls, I was looking back at past polls, which seem to have a purpose in provoking thought and discussion. I saw that one was perfectly divided in the answer---the poll on training differently with women and men (7/8/00 I think). So for the 50% who do train differently, in what way is it different, and why?

Pete
08-15-2000, 03:04 AM
I don't recall my answer to this poll, but after thinking about it I do sometimes find it different training with the ladies in our dojo. It appears to me that they are more open with their teaching of me than some of the males.

Max Factor
08-15-2000, 04:40 AM
In my training at the dojo i find that we don't train differently with women, because they are women but more so because they are just different people.

for example training with a person who is 6ft and 300lb is coniderably different then someone who is 5'2 and 100lb (and we have them both in our club).

Now will you use the same intent for both, yes but will you will have a different perspective for both based on size, weight and ablility.

so when training with women try not to think of it as "training with a woman" but trianing with anther person.


nate

Victor
08-15-2000, 07:45 AM
I have no idea how to deal with women on koshinage whether she is uke or tori ...

Max Factor
08-15-2000, 08:11 AM
Victor
how do you mean you can't deal with them, as people or teaching or are they getting hit in sensitive areas???

i am not to sure of koshinage???

guest1234
08-15-2000, 10:41 AM
hmmm, koshinage is my favorite technique in which to be uke, and as long as my partner isn't too much taller, they seem to like a lighter uke---the only problem i've noticed is most who are a lot taller are men, and they really have to bend their knees to get low enough. But that is also true of taller women nages. since every dojo i've been in or visited has at least one male shorter/lighter than at least one female, i dislike hearing folks say they treat women differently due to size...the question was not 'do you train differently with smaller partners' but 'with women'. But on the 'excuse' of size: neither Imaizumi Shihan nor Saotome Shihan seemed (to me) to be a whole lot bigger than i am, but i think most of the males who complain about female size wouldn't mind them as partners.

akiy
08-15-2000, 10:54 AM
Victor wrote:
I have no idea how to deal with women on koshinage whether she is uke or tori ...
What's there to "deal" with? You take her balance, put your hips into her balance point, and then she lands on the ground.

I'll say that I learned how to give and receive hip throws with a woman during the first year of my training. It helped that both of us were willing to stay after class quite a lot and neither of us were afraid of taking breakfalls.

-- Jun

ScottyC
08-15-2000, 12:29 PM
Hmmm... Let's start off by saying that I don't believe I tain differently with women than I do with men.

Now having said that, I must admit that I vary my training with _every_ person I work with. That seems pretty "aiki" to me.

Uke's size? Yeah, that makes a difference, depending on what you're doing. Does it make any one size *preferable* to another? Nope. Different, yes. Preferable, no. You need to execute techniques differently on a 6' 6" 300lb person differently than on a 4' 11" 100lb person. And, in general, women tend ON AVERAGE to be smaller than men. So, ON AVERAGE, MANY women may be treated differently than MANY men. But not necessarily due to their gender.

Other factors are equally important, though. Are you training with a newbie? Depending on the personality of the newbie (which you simply have to judge on a case-by-case basis), you may need to work with them "with kid gloves" until their confidence builds up and they feel more comfortable in the situation.

On the other hand, some newbies need to feel some of the power (for lack of a better word) to understand the potential and to be motivated to stay.

There are a zillion other factors, of course: uke's experience, your perception of uke's abilities, any prevailing injuries, how tired you and uke are, etc.

None of these factors (IMHO) are based on whether uke is male or female. However, I have an unsupported belief that if you took a statistical sampling, one would find that ON AVERAGE women tend toward a certain set of behaviors, and men tend toward another.

Neither is "good" nor "bad". Anything taken to an extreme can be bad. Furthermore, there are enough people who do NOT fit this theoretical statistical sample to make it useless to try and prejudge people into neat little categories.

Train with people of all types and flavors. You can learn a lot from working with different types of people. Worst case, you get practice "blending". Best case, you can even learn a lot more.

Thus endeth the sermon. ;^)


Scott

ObNonAikido: Hi, Jun. I'm back!

Suru
08-15-2000, 01:35 PM
I find myself being a little more careful when delivering mune tsuki!! I've thrown a couple "hyperextended" punches, and I've come to the conclusion that women do not enjoy a strike to the breast. I don't go too easy on them, because that's when they really get upset 8).
--Drew

guest1234
08-15-2000, 09:21 PM
i thought mune tsuki was a strike to the middle of the body, or the solar plexus...not even the most well-endowed of us should feel that in a breast. and if your technique is varying that much depending on the size of your partner (100 to 300 pounds, male or female) then you are not affecting their balance or using their momentum, you are using your size to overpower and muscle. i will agree that the ability to take the fall is important, but ON THE AVERAGE i've found that the best ukemi is in the smaller individuals, since they have more incentive to learn how to take the falls the larger students muscle on them. if you want to read that AVERAGE as female, it's up to you.

Victor
08-16-2000, 03:17 AM
1. She is a TORI -
It is hard to make ukemi: usually women don't wear Judo-style dogi - so it is hard to grab her dogi. And where to grab it...

2. - She is an UKE -
I have to be very careful when applying the technique: women don't like bruises very much...

guest1234
08-16-2000, 04:42 AM
gee, the only person who's told me not to bruise their arm is a male, but i had not extended his desire to all men in my dojo, or all men in Aikido. If truely every woman you've ever trained with has told you not to bruise her, then please keep in mind there still may be women who are more interested in the training. Personally, i find some techniques difficult if uke refuses to connect his hand to my wrist (or other required body part).

as for the type of gi, i wear both...the judo gi tends to get more easily pulled off of me than the very nice Bu-jin female gi top---so i'm actually glad for my ukes if i have on a top that will stay put. I can only speak for myself, but here goes: 1) at my first dojo i learned to take a fall from koshi nage without grabbing anything (gi, arm, or any other anantomy :) ...subsequent ones have added the requirement to grab an arm (perhaps an option in some koshi's ?) or the gi. explain to a senior female your hesitancy/predicament, see what she says. 2) in some of the throws, i cannot grab the gi until i am already in motion (eg, nage does not let go of the hand that needs to grab until i am falling)...in this case i either revert to my first dojo method, or i try to hook the arm or grab the gi (if i think nage is watching to be sure this new white-belt transplant will remember to do so :)...one of my taller nages has twice felt me grab for a certain area of hakama instead---i appologise, we laugh, and life goes on. if a male grabs somewhere he wasn't exactly looking for, he appologises, we laugh, and life goes on. that is just me, and i wouldn't expect all women to be the same, just as i don't expect all men to be, try to see us as individuals.

Victor
08-16-2000, 06:23 AM
ca wrote:
If truely every woman you've ever trained with has told you not to bruise her, then please keep in mind there still may be women who are more interested in the training.
No women Aikidoka ever told me not to bruise her. I just don't like when a woman has bruises.

...i appologise, we laugh, and life goes on.

I liked your saying very much.

OK. I'm gonna practice koshinage with a woman next time.

Thinking of bruises I remembered one technique - yonkyo.
It is very easy to bruise when applying yonkyo.

So, my question is:
How to apply yonkyo on women?

Pete
08-16-2000, 07:20 AM
As a newbie could you describe Yonkyo please.

Domo arigato.

andrew
08-16-2000, 07:32 AM
Some people go easier on women partners because of the way society is structured. There's a big stigma attached to men hurting women, there's not one attached to women hurting men. Fact.
This shouldn't happen on the tatami, naturally, but there is a psychological block in many men because of it.
andrew

Victor
08-16-2000, 08:18 AM
Pete wrote:
As a newbie could you describe Yonkyo please.

"Yonkyo", AKA "Tekubi Osae", which means something like "Wrist pinning" is a technique which came from Daitoryu Aikijujtsu (right?) and is very painful. I can't describe this technique any better because of my poor knowledge of English.

It is very interesting technique and I suggest you to ask your teacher to show you it.

Domo arigato.

Iie, Do itashimashite :)

Victor
08-16-2000, 08:30 AM
andrew wrote:
Some people go easier on women partners because of the way society is structured. There's a big stigma attached to men hurting women, there's not one attached to women hurting men. Fact.
This shouldn't happen on the tatami, naturally, but there is a psychological block in many men because of it.
andrew
You know, Andrew, there's something else beyond "the ways of society is structured", called "anatomy". Isn't it natural that women have much softer structure - much closer to children than men.
So, IMHO, my "psychological block" isn't because of "the way society is structured". It's just because I think that a women without bruises a little bit more beautiful than with them.

But maybe you're right - it shouldn't happen on tatami!

Anyway - I still have the "psychological block", and it doesn't depens on who your uke is a woman or a man.

"Take care of your UKE" is my slogan and that's it.

jxa127
08-16-2000, 08:32 AM
I just got back from the AAA Summer Camp 2000. About 40% of the participants were women. This was something new for me since my dojo has only one female student. I didn't find much of a difference at all between working with men and working with women. I'm a big guy, and I worked with some tiny women, and we worked fine together.

I actually found that the bigger difference was rank, and not gender. The female brown and black belts whom I worked with threw me around just as well as the males of the same rank; their ukemi was excellent too. At the lower ranks, that same parity between men and women was also apparent.

If there's one gross generalization that I can make, it's that the only people who tried to use a lot of muscle to pull off a technique were men. But please realize that this is just a generalization.

-Drew

andrew
08-16-2000, 08:41 AM
victro wrote: "You know, Andrew, there's something else beyond "the ways of society is structured", called "anatomy". Isn't it natural that women have much softer structure - much closer to children than men.
So, IMHO, my "psychological block" isn't because of "the way society is structured". It's just because I think that a women without bruises a little bit more beautiful than with them."

OK,true!, but you can do thinks to a shodan far more aggressively than to a beginner and rely on them to take care of themselves. That is what following the technique and good ukemi are about. What I refer to is the tendancy to always hold back when practicing with women, virtually regardless of their level. Not only is this a bit sexist, but it reduces what they can get from training.
I don't think it's a problem that most male aikidoka would have once they're approaching shodan anyhow, but there's a load of hesitant 4th kyus about.

Andrew the hesitant mildly sexistly conditioned 5th kyu.

giriasis
08-16-2000, 03:18 PM
As a woman who has only been practicing aikido for one year, I must tell you that holding back is doing a disservice to the women you are working with. I am glad that the men use a strong grip because it makes me learn how to do the technique right.

Getting a bruise here and there from class is something I expect from aikido. Aikido is a martial art. And martial arts are a contact sport people, both men and women, who participate are consenting to this.

I love it when I work with a man who uses his strength in a grab or a punch. This brings me much closer to reality if I am ever faced with this situation on the street. If this situation happens, I will be very thankful to my much stronger male partners for not going easy on me. Why? Because I will be alive. I would be dead or seriously injured if I truely did not know how to respond to the strong grip of a man's hand.

Please, don't be afraid to leave the occasional bruise. Also ask your female ukes how strong a grip they want. If my male partner gives me a flimsy grip, I pull my hand out. And I then tell them to give me a firm grip.

Now, this is not permission to absolultely pulvarize your uke, but the issue here is that your holding back because you don't like bruises on women. I practice aikido for self-defense reasons, and I like working with male partners because that is who will most likely attack me in the future.

Look at it this way. You are helping a woman to defend herself. Isn't a living woman much more beautiful than a serious injured or dead woman?

Anne Marie Giri

Erik
08-16-2000, 04:30 PM
OK, pet peeve time. My first sensei was a woman and I'm thinking of a handful of others like Wendy Palmer, Pat Hendricks, Mary Heiny, Linda Holiday, Kayla Feder as a starting point. I was just at Tamalpais dojo and trained with Wendy the other day and for the record she throws hard these days. Let me correct that, I hit the ground hard. The thing I like about Wendy is that I can go after her as hard and strong as I want to. She doesn't always hit the technique (mostly though) but the neat thing about it is that she's fine with that. Actually, she encourages it.

My understanding of Mary Heiny's beginning days are that she was very physical, almost to the point of being brutal. And if there is anyone who has seen Pat Hendricks take ukemi and thinks she can't take a koshi they are doing way too much crack. She falls better than anyone I've ever seen.

I'll add that I personally attack men or women pretty much the same way. At least I don't discern a difference in what I do.

The comment on koshi is interesting to me. Personally, I try to rely on something other than getting my hand on a gi. If I'm throwing I have to recognize that outside the dojo I'll just tear a shirt. If I'm falling I try to use a contact point as my base for falling. In other words, rather than grabbing I try and create a point of contact which acts as an anchor for the fall. A lot of times this is as simple as wrapping your arm with nages. Other times it's purely intuitive in that if you could grab it would have been there. In my opinion you can't rely on grabbing the gi during the big ride.

Now to come full circle. I once saw a failed shodan test which involved a woman. She was criticized for not having enough yang if you will. Her response was very interesting because she commented that many women in Aikido seemed to lose their feminine qualities. I'm still working on that one because on some level it seems right to me. It seems like some places train women to be men but the jury's still out on this one in my book.

[Edited by Erik on August 16, 2000 at 04:03pm]

Cas Long
08-16-2000, 06:50 PM
Hi,

Where is it written that techniques have to be executed differently on women than on men?

Certainly, there are clear anatomical differences between the sexes, but I have never experienced any of these difficulties in my years of training either as a nage or as an uke, and above all, as a woman.

Please do not see us as inferior to male aikidoka........

Thank You...

guest1234
08-16-2000, 09:30 PM
Hey Victor,
You can bruise me any day :) ! you seem like you would be fun to work with.
As for yonkyo, everyone is different, and i have my own prejudices there that were pointed out to me: i don't feel the pressure point, and one senior once told me it was because i'm on the small side, and smaller folks have smaller, hard to find nerves...so when i had the next smallest in the dojo as a partner once (a guy about my size) i applied pressure with abandon, surpised to find him yelp and fall to the mat. i told him i thought smaller people didn't feel the pressure point, he quickly corrected me on my error. i tend to get bruised with that when someone (despite my telling them i won't be able to tell if they are in the right spot), insists on continually pushing, trying to find it. but that's ok, they fade. i think most women, if you are in the right spot and they are not as insensitive as i am, will feel the pressure and quickly move away, relieving pain and preventing bruising. My sempai here has a really neat way of just affecting my center, by-passing the pressure point (and bruise) issue entirely.
and for the newbie (from a fellow kohai, mind you) i would say yonkyo is a technique that can be done from a 'failed' ikkyo, or just on its own, with nage's hands holding uke's arm like a sword,connecting though her forearm and shoulder, cutting as in kesa giri in and down toward uke's center to take her balance. the pain part is due to placement of the base of the index finger on one of two locations on uke's arm (one ventral and one dorsal) that (i'm told) sends pain into uke's arm like when you hit your funny bone. the technique does not rely on the pain, but it seems to be what everyone is intent on causing (men and women alike :) )
having a terrible time with getting this to open, hope i'm not just repeating what someone else already said.
colleen

phantom
08-17-2000, 03:13 AM
Hello,

This is my first post here. This topic is of ut-most interest to me has has prompted me to sign-up. I am a woman and have been considering begining Aikido.

As a woman whose career is in a male dominated field (Machine Repair - for an automotive parts manufacturer) I can easily relate Aiki training to my own Machine Repair Training. As has already been stated please treat women as people first. We are people first. Treating us differently does Not do us any good. It may pamper us and make things easier for us, but that does not treat us as people, as individuals, treating us differently is not respecting us as individuals. Just as every man is an individual, every woman is an individual.

I would think that training with people of every size "equally" would only make everyone better. If I only walked in a circle all my life I would not know how to walk a straight line and would not pass a police drunk "walk a straight line test." If a big man tries to rape an Aiki trained women whose big male training partners had always been easy on her she would be raped, unable to defend herself, because she had been treated differently.....because she had not had the proper knowledge and did not have the proper training to teach her how to act and alter her responses. This would be the same for a big man who had never fully trained with a small woman, she could kick his butt if she was fully trained to respond to bigger people.

Just my thoughts

andrew
08-17-2000, 07:23 AM
"And martial arts are a contact sport people, both men and women, who participate are consenting to this."

Aikido is NOT a sport.*** The sporting aspects of martial arts are a modern phenomenon, clearly distinct from traditional budo. Aikido trains body and mind simultaneously, competitiveness encountered in sport hinders this mental development.
Aikido is practised co-operatively, and it's purpose is repeatedly stressed as "the way of great harmony and great love for all beings."

***
I really do recommend reading "The Spirit of Aikido" by Kisshomaru. It's very very good.
***

"This brings me much closer to reality if I am ever faced with this situation on the street."

The question should be whether it brings you to a better understanding of Aikido. I think it'd take several years for Aikido to become "street effective"...people on the street generally stike rather than grab anyhow. Learn Aikido for what it is, the self defense will arrive through it. (Ok, I know you still don't want loose grips, though.)

Incidentally, I don't think pointing out female yudansha can take Ukemi has any relevance when you're throwing a beginner. I know all the spiders in Ireland are harmless, I still have an irrational fear of handling them. Likewise, I'd tend to be easier on a female beginner. (doh!)

Cas Long
08-17-2000, 07:31 AM
Hi,

In my experience, Yonkyo proves more effective on the thinner, more tensile arm , & is more "difficult" to apply on an arm which is thicker.....this is because the technique relies on the compression of the radial nerve which appears closer to the surface of the first type of arm than the latter.

However, although Yonkyo pressure is "easier" to perform on a more slender
arm,it is possible to perform it on a thicker arm if the movement involved in exposing the radial nerve is three-dimensional; therefore the hips play a greater part in the technique than the arms.

Strong, centralised hip movement should always overcome the strength in one arm,
especially when the Uke's balance is completely taken, & everything remains in the Nage's centre.

Hope this helps.......

And, just to add to Andrew's comment,we should all take it easy on Beginners....(but irrespective of sex!) Don't forget, that you could have a female Beginner in Aikido, who is 4th Dan in Karate-you never always know the complete background of the people you train with!

[Edited by Cas Long on August 17, 2000 at 07:01am]

andrew
08-17-2000, 07:51 AM
Posted while I was writing my last post....
"If a big man tries to rape an Aiki trained women whose big male training partners had always.."
AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!
Sorry, but this is all really missing the purpose of Aikido. If you want self defense from rapists or muggers, seriously, take up Krav Maga or something. You're talking years before Aikido will be effective in this situation (although you should take it up anyhow...). In aikido practice, your order of priority here should be 1: don't injure your partner, and 2: do your best to let them train well. The only way to understand the pupose of aikido is by constant training, and that takes time.

The main point I've been trying to me is that treating women differently is a mental problem that some men need to overcome. This allows better training for both, but the purpose of Aikido is NOT for self defense or victory in a fight. Fighting skill is an eventual consequence, NOT an aim, of Aikido.

At my senseis last dan grading, actually, some guy was stabbed in the head when he didn't block a yokomen tanto strike from some girl strongly enough, and had to sit out the rest. I don't know if it was related to her being a woman, but if it was I'll bet he'll never make that mistake again..;)
andrew

Victor
08-17-2000, 08:21 AM
ca wrote:
Hey Victor,
You can bruise me any day :) ! you seem like you would be fun to work with.
Thank you, ca!
Many people (men & women) think the same way so I have much problems choosing whom to say onegaishimas...

ca continues:
As for yonkyo, everyone is different, and i have my own prejudices there that were pointed out to me: i don't feel the pressure point, and one senior once told me it was because i'm on the small side, and smaller folks have smaller, hard to find nerves...I can disagree. One of my fellow Aikido-mates (BTW, a woman) isn't very tall, but isn't very slim also, she doesn't feel yonkyo (and ikkyo-osae looks very funny with her, too). So I have to destabilize her in order to apply the technique.

[Edited by Victor on August 17, 2000 at 07:23am]

Victor
08-17-2000, 08:35 AM
Cas Long wrote:
Hi,

Where is it written that techniques have to be executed differently on women than on men?

Certainly, there are clear anatomical differences between the sexes, but I have never experienced any of these difficulties in my years of training either as a nage or as an uke, and above all, as a woman.

Please do not see us as inferior to male aikidoka........

Thank You...
I can agree with you - men bruise, too.
But women bruise more often than men
for example, on ikkyo almost all the female students have bruises after each practice of defences against shomen/yokomen uchi: many male students are just stopping the hands of their uke... But because the arms of a male student are generally more dense than of female students', many female students get bruised more often than male students, you know.

It's sad to see when a girl rubs his forearms saying "pplease, mmmake itt sofftterr" :(

Victor
08-17-2000, 08:45 AM
phantom wrote:
If a big man tries to rape an Aiki trained women whose big male training partners had always been easy on her she would be raped, unable to defend herself, because she had been treated differently.....because she had not had the proper knowledge and did not have the proper training to teach her how to act and alter her responses.
I've said "take care of your uke"
(uke - the one who attacks tori)
It doesn't mean you shouldn't attack your tori at full strength and speed. (only if your tori asks not to attack him/her too fast)

Just my opinion.

Cas Long
08-17-2000, 09:25 AM
Victor,

Thanks for the reply!

Certainly in the beginning, you can expect bruising from the receiving/blocking of Yokomen strikes,however, I would say that Dojos should teach the correct Ukemi for this (I don't mean "fall" by this, but to "receive through the body"); absorbing
through the body (& especially the hips) is vital (as with my previous Yonkyo post, one-dimensional, muscular Aikido is extremely limiting!)

Two arms crashing together will result in bruising- the correct angle of the arms, lowering the centre of gravity, & a flexible spine are also vital.

Failing this, Arnica is very good!

giriasis
08-17-2000, 02:32 PM
andrew wrote:
"And martial arts are a contact sport people, both men and women, who participate are consenting to this."

Aikido is NOT a sport.***

...Aikido trains body and mind simultaneously, competitiveness encountered in sport hinders this mental development. ...Aikido is practised co-operatively, and it's purpose is repeatedly stressed as "the way of great harmony and great love for all beings."


I agree that is true. However, I was really using the word sport in an overly broad and all encompassing meaning that includes all activity with a partner. I should have been more accurate. Aikido is a contact activity. I was not intending to imply that we are trying to be competitive in aikido. And let us please leave the competitive debate to another thread.

In martial arts much contact occurs with the resulting harm. A person who joins a martial art anticipates a certain amount of damage despite the amount of effort taken to not harm the uke. The damage being minor bruising -- the issue at hand.

In order to be co-operative, one still must interact with their partner. One as a good uke must still help teach their partner by showing the weaknesses in their application of their technique or they will never learn aikido properly. One will never learn to be harmonious if they are never learn to deal with strong attacks -- whether those attacks are physical, mental, spiritual, in or out of the dojo or in the home or on the street.



"This brings me much closer to reality if I am ever faced with this situation on the street."

The question should be whether it brings you to a better understanding of Aikido. I think it'd take several years for Aikido to become "street effective"...people on the street generally stike rather than grab anyhow. Learn Aikido for what it is, the self defense will arrive through it. (Ok, I know you still don't want loose grips, though.)



I find a two-fold purpose in the study of aikido self-development and self-defense. However, I only discussed self-defense because it had the most relevance to your fear of harming female partners. And I also wanted to bring to your attention that I choose aikido because of its effectiveness against stronger attackers. In addition, many other women may be like me, and I want to encourage you to help us learn to be effective sooner. If you are softer on us earlier on, it will take us even longer to become effective on the street.

Anyhow, in aikido we still must commmit our attacks. I want to learn from a committed attacked not a weak well-meaning one. The disservice you are doing to your female nages and ukes are still the same no matter whether the purpose is self-development or self-defense.


Incidentally, I don't think pointing out female yudansha can take Ukemi has any relevance when you're throwing a beginner. I know all the spiders in Ireland are harmless, I still have an irrational fear of handling them. Likewise, I'd tend to be easier on a female beginner. (doh!)


You should be easy on a beginner no matter the gender until you know that they can take harder ukemi and breakfalls. I am not saying these things to say you are a bad nasty man, but to encourage you to look at your fears from my point of view.

I know all to well that Aikido gives us lessons for each indiviual to learn, and that those lessons are not always learning how to do iriminage right. But lessons about who we are as people and how we can better ourselves.

I am glad you are sharing this with us because you are helping me understand my fellow man as well.

Anne Marie


[Edited by giriasis on August 17, 2000 at 01:59pm]

Mike Collins
08-17-2000, 06:54 PM
I'm nicer to women because I like them more than other men. I am not threatened by women. No woman ever stole a date from me. No woman ever beat me up. No woman ever kicked dirt on me.

I like to hurt men more cause they make cool noises when they fall really hard.

Nick
08-17-2000, 07:33 PM
well put Mikey... it's all about the funny noises when they fall ;).

In all seriousness though... the sex of your partner shouldn't matter any more than race, religion or sexual preference. We train to leave these discriminations outside the dojo when we enter, train earnestly thinking not "that's a woman, I'll throw her easier" or "that man is black, I'll throw her harder." Perhaps we should think "This is my opponent. I will use the best of my abilities to end this conflict without hurting this person or myself."

And what of all that discrimination you left at the door? Hopefully you'll have trained hard enough to leave them there, and maybe, hopefully, they will die, for they will not be needed anymore...

-Nick

[Edited by Nick on August 17, 2000 at 06:35pm]

guest1234
08-17-2000, 09:26 PM
i think if a person (male or female) is getting a lot of bruises from blocking shomen- or yokomenuchi, then one (or both) of the partners might be blocking with the 'edge' of their arm, so bone hits bone, rather than using a rolling of the arm, so the initial contact is with the (even on women) more 'padded' back of the arm. but again, who cares about a few bruises here or there. if a partner (male or female) says the grip is too tight, then adjust for that partner (not the entire sex :) ).

andrew
08-18-2000, 07:33 AM
"You should be easy on a beginner no matter the gender"
I thought the point was that some men tend to go pathetically easy on women beginners? There's easy and patronising....
I LIKE this debate.
andrew

guest1234
08-18-2000, 02:05 PM
yes, Andrew, so do I...and hopefully everyone can learn a little---i'm always surpirsed to find out the thought behind someone's actions (often different from what i suspected).
I would interpret 'easy on beginners' to mean don't throw them if they don't know how to fall, or any harder/faster than they know how to fall---men or women.
as a female, i learned ukemi as quickly as i could for two reason: 1) to be the best uke i could, so to help my partners train---and hopefully get good training in return, and 2) so big nages wouldn't have to worry about throwing me. My falls may not be pretty sometimes, but only once have i got hurt (and i never missed a minute of training due to that fall)---so i wish men wouldn't worry about me. the same with grabs---for gosh sake, make contact you guys. not because i'm doing this for self defense---never did, don't now, won't ever---but contact is important to technique. it's tough to do techniques when shomenuchi stops 2 feet above my head and i'd have to jump up to get uke's arm, or nearly chase uke across the mat to get his hand to touch my wrist for katate dori. i've never met a guy who threw me too hard, or who's attack was too fierce to work with...i have met the opposite problem. trust me, if i didn't want to do Aikido, i wouldn't be here. And thanks to all of you for explaining what concerns you.

Erik
08-18-2000, 02:48 PM
ca wrote:for gosh sake, make contact you guys. not because i'm doing this for self defense---never did, don't now, won't ever---but contact is important to technique. it's tough to do techniques when shomenuchi stops 2 feet above my head and i'd have to jump up to get uke's arm, or nearly chase uke across the mat to get his hand to touch my wrist for katate dori.

I don't think it's because you are a woman. I (6', 200 pounds and solid) constantly run into the problem of getting people to follow through on a strike. Even then I've got to get them to actually strike me and not the space to the right or left of me. My usual technique to correct this is to simply stand there. It gets obvious pretty quickly. Plus, I can look smug and really irritate someone when I want to--gives them extra incentive. People don't get that it isn't fake unless it's fake.

Also, sometimes this sort of training gets conditioned. I spent my first 2 years pulling punches and limiting myself. It wasn't until my current sensei pointed this out, at a seminar, in front of everyone, in his unique ascerbic style, that it hit home to me. Things have been a might different ever since.:)

giriasis
08-18-2000, 03:11 PM
andrew wrote:
"You should be easy on a beginner no matter the gender"
I thought the point was that some men tend to go pathetically easy on women beginners? There's easy and patronising....
I LIKE this debate.
andrew

Andrew please complete my quote. By misquoting me you change the meaning of my statement. Please add "...until you know that they can take harder ukemi..." These words are very important to what I am saying.

It is good to be sensitive to your partners. I have found that with most sempai that I work with that we start slow and move up and work faster and harder. Now, if the person already knows me, we just go for it.

Also, you were the one that said you were going easy of female beginners. That is patronizing. Why not male beginners, too? If someone is new (read 1-2 months practice) there is a good possibility that they may not have good ukemi or be comfortable with taking a big fall right away. I see this in new male partners, too.

But, the rest of my point was that we should be only so sensitive until the uke is comfortable with the ukemi, then increase the committment of our attack. That is not patronizing. That is being a good sempai.

Anne Marie

guest1234
08-18-2000, 03:25 PM
Erik,
Doesn't standing there and getting punched hurt? serious question. Some of the guys in my new dojo do that, i guess because they are used to folks not being sincere in their attacks...my first sensei was VERY strict on a sincere attack, and since punches are not my strong suit anyway, i find myself at the last moment trying to stop my tsuki as i realize it is making contact with my nage's solar plexus. even with me putting on the brakes (not much, as i have as much force as my 110 pounds can muster already committed), and allowing for the fact that i still 'hit like a girl' (or a guy who'se never punched someone before :) )---hard to remember all the steps of keeping things aligned correctly---i'm still amazed that that doesn't hurt.

Erik
08-18-2000, 04:30 PM
ca wrote:
Erik,
Doesn't standing there and getting punched hurt?

I only do it when I've noticed they are missing me by about 2 feet (right/left or above). Somebody who knows how to punch gets it pretty quickly so I don't have to stand there. Most beginners can't punch or strike so it doesn't hurt much even if they do make contact. Actually, it doesn't hurt at all because they aren't hitting you.

I do recommend you judge people by a method other than their belt color. You need to watch how they move. Sometimes those white belts can be tricky.

Now someone who can really punch, I'm getting out of the way, assuming I can. I'm not into pain, it hurts.

Keith
08-18-2000, 09:49 PM
Victor wrote:
No women Aikidoka ever told me not to bruise her. I just don't like when a woman has bruises.

You do realize that you've completely changed the source of your problem with training with women, don't you? Before you said that women don't like bruises. Now you're saying that YOU'RE the one who doesn't like them. It's okay not to want to bruise someone, but why doesn't that extend to ALL your training partners?

It is very easy to bruise when applying yonkyo.

So, my question is:
How to apply yonkyo on women?

The same way you apply yonkyo on men. Don't worry so much about grinding your knuckle into the nerve. Concentrate instead on controlling uke's center through the elbow. The nerve is just grins and yuks. Best compliment I ever recieved in the dojo was "You're the only person who has ever done yonkyo on me where it was effective without leaving a bruise."

Keith

Mike Collins
08-18-2000, 10:22 PM
Because I am a big guy, I tend to be very gentle with everyone until I feel they are up to more strenuous force.

The sad fact though is, that I am more gentle with women simply because I feel more protective towards women. If that makes me a patronizing, insensitive pig, then thats cool; I'm gonna be true to my feelings and personality. I like to be a little harder on guys, because it tends to make them go a little harder with me; my experience is, until I know a woman pretty well, if I go hard with her, she'll tend to get defensive and get smaller, and I don't want to cause that in anyone.

I have also trained with some pretty good women who have caused me to get a bit smaller, until they got me turned in the right direction. If I get to be as good at helping others as they are, I will probably go ahead and do things their way.

Oh yeah, and I like the cool noises guys make when the hit the mat.

zen711
08-18-2000, 10:55 PM
wow. a few of my favorite topics. hope ya dont mind if i take this time to vent some ideas out here. first, as far as women go, there is still a giant leap that must be taken in the aikido world as far as women are concerned. yes, due to our society, women, especially beginners, are treated as being much more fragile than men. for some, as men make up a good portion of martial arts schools in general, this may be a good way to start out so as not to discourage them into thinking, hey this is a rough and tough guy thing and cause them to leave. however, as women progress, i believe there is a much greater sense of respect that must be shown towards them that is currently not present. the simplest reason i will say is this. i believe women's potential as an aikidoist will not be reached if we continue to treat them differently on the mat. in its truest form, the techniques of aikido are most effective with fluid and completely relaxed motions. i think we all know this as this is the thing stressed most by o'sensei...that strength was NOT necessary. in our society, men grow up and create this inherit reaction to dangerous situations and really any physical activity with strength and often aggression. call it growing up with a sense that stength is most important or from trying to fit a macho point of view...whatever is, it is quite obvious for many men how hard it is when first starting aikido. most men when in a confrontation can clearly be seen having all their energy rise up to their shoulders and chest and all their muscles tense. most women however have not developed this automatic response. yes, they too get scared and certain reactions to stressful and physically exerting situations are similar. but in no way are they so quick to have all their energy fly to wrong areas (as far as aikido is concerned). therefore, if everyone was treated and taught as equals, i believe that women would and are much better and quicker to learn how to return to their center and keep their energy focused and their body relaxed. i just think that discrimination may be getting in the way of letting them truly develop their abilities. Also. as far as ukemi is concerned. ERIK, at the beginning you may not want to jump in and ram everyone in the face/chest/wherever, to avoid anyone passing judgment on you too quickly. however, once you get to know the people you are training with fairly well and they see you're serious about training, i highly suggest that you do hit them. keep in mind it does not have to be hard. a slow attack can still have an incredible amount of energy and be focused and get the point across if you make contact. but the fact is this; first, it is hard enough in aikido to practice the same techinique and not realize how prepared your body is since it is dealing with the same attack over and over again. there is always a certain amount of assumption and safety in knowing what attack is coming that takes away from the "reality" or even the effectiveness of your practice. so a good focused attack not only will be more realistic as far as what your nage may one day have to deal with to save their life (worse case scenario),but it will also help them by teaching them what it is really like to deal with the different kinds of energy, rather than having some kind uke dance around to make their technique look good. plus, when training with experienced yudansha, it is my opinion that having the technique performed well when you are giving a truly dedicated attack teaches you more about the technique than when you yourself are nage. oh, quick note, do not start attacking faster than you can take the ukemi for. you attack fast, your nage will expect you to be able to adjust to whatever he does at the same speed. so, when you start to feel comfortable, start giving slow focused attacks and as your ukemi imporves increase the speed but stay focused. if your nage, regardless of whether they are higher or lower rank is busy standing around, looking at the clock, or simply if they do not make the correct move, feel free to follow through and make that ontact. wake em the hell up. if they start hitting you when they are uke just to "get back at you" cause they think you're just being rough or if they ask you what the hell you're doing, you tell them hey, you either feel some slight impact here and learn to do the technique correctly, or you wait till theres a knife in this fist on the street or someone whos gonna follow up that punch with many more. hoenstly, if they agrgue past that, feel free to kindly bow and walk away to find someone else who really wants to train. ok. nuff for now. happy training all

Nick
08-19-2000, 07:58 AM
One of the kodansha in my organization is a woman, one of the head instructors where I want to learn Shinkendo is a woman... women shouldn't be given any more special treatment as beginners than men should, and like men, should have to make the decision that's right for them.

-Nick

andrew
08-19-2000, 09:32 AM
"It is good to be sensitive to your partners"
..which is a seperate topic to the one raised. I also (repeatedly) pointed that going easier on female aikidoka is a bad thing, but if people didn't have bad habits we wouldn't need aikido.
The issue I saw raised was "does this happen?" which was clouded by "ha, women can take ukemi like anyone else" which is also an irrelevant (and anyhow obvious) point.

guest1234
08-19-2000, 04:20 PM
Andrew,
I agree, treating women differently in any way (easier or harder) because they are women, is wrong. and yes, it does sometimes happen, usually going too easy. by this, i don't mean i want everyone and their brother to do their best to block my technique---we all know what the technique requires, so men and women can easily thwart their partners---but just give me a good, honest attack. like i said before, the guy who 'takes it easy' on me by stopping his attack 2 feet away from me does two things---makes it hard for me to practice the technique as shown, and implies he thinks i'm unable to handle the attack or get out of the way. the other side of the coin is the guy who feels sincerity requires resistance at all costs, smiling smugly when he has stiffened his arm (that is about the size of my body) in an attempt to prevent ikkyo, ignoring the fact that he presents a tempting elbow target. i'm sure it is equally hard on the guys, who, for whatever reason, really don't want to get thrown/grabbed/punched particularly hard, but do because of the same attitude that prevents some folks from giving a good attack against females (eg, the folks who say 'i'll take it easy on her, and get my workout next turn i get a male partner'). i think we'd all do better if we just treated each other as individuals.
colleen

Erik
08-19-2000, 04:50 PM
andrew wrote:
"It is good to be sensitive to your partners"
..which is a seperate topic to the one raised. I also (repeatedly) pointed that going easier on female aikidoka is a bad thing, but if people didn't have bad habits we wouldn't need aikido.
The issue I saw raised was "does this happen?" which was clouded by "ha, women can take ukemi like anyone else" which is also an irrelevant (and anyhow obvious) point.

Not obvious to everyone or we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Chocolateuke
08-19-2000, 04:57 PM
wow... wow... gee.. wow..

Nice post lots of personal conversations... hehe

anyhow I treat women and men diffrent at diffrents times. 5-10 akidoka in teens class is a women:) great huh? my sensei he treats us all the same ( sex wise but if we have begginers they are treated like begginers they have to learn how to fall and stuff). I treat girls diff in diff situations like cheahs grab I grab for teh gi on a guy but a girl I go for the neck or upper part of gi ( to advoid some very privet places eheh) on a quy who is resisting ill sometimes wreastle ( only if I know that person and not oftin because it is compition) if a girl resist I will go in with the throw for two reasons 1. only the males like to wreasle it seemes in my dojo ( and yes I am a guy so..) 2. girls would give me more shame if they beat me and belieave me they could beat me anyday.

as far as injurys go I have been hurt too

Aikisho-1
08-21-2000, 10:57 AM
Hello-

I don't mind training with woman,as long as they are trying.I have practiced with some who are very good,very dedicated aikidoka.Then there are some who just got into it because they're girlfriends talked them into it.Maybe as a way of meeting guys,who knows.I have trained with both kinds.Aikido is hard enough,but it is even harder when someone doesn't give you anything to work with.

I'm affiliated with AAA,and there are some very tough women in class.They will hit you,if you don't give them an honest attack.I like them! I think that it helps to train with both men,and women.Because it helps you to relate to different ki,and different approaches to techniques.

Magma
08-24-2000, 04:51 PM
I think seeing women on the training floor is cool.

I think seeing aikidoka training hard is cool.

I put those ideas on separate lines because to me they /are/ separate. Regardless of gender, attack without intent is a waste of time, an embarrassment, and potentially dangerous. So if we change our attitude or lose our focus with any uke for even just a moment, we run the risk of injuring our partner perhaps worse than the injury we were trying to "protect" them from. Now I know you are saying that losing our focus isn't the heart of the matter when we're talking about working with women, but I say, "Isn't it?"

If I change the trajectory of my punch, or second guess where my hand is going during an ukemi because of fear of what might get touched, my mind is focused on my partners gender, and not on my attack/my technique. It's the same if I go easy with a partner for any other reason than that the person needs more experience. If I go easier because of gender, then it is a failing on my part in not keeping the correct mindset.

As far as women on the training floor, I enjoy seeing that because it brings more body types to practice with. In my dojo, we run the spectrum of body types:
I'm 6'7", 250lbs., we also have
6'2, 320 lbs.
6'3, 200 lbs.
5'5 110 lbs.
5'4 140 lbs.
And everything in between. However, we have only two actively attending females. So when I train with a woman, I may be training with a new body type that I am getting used to, but that's the same as training with men, too.

What it comes down to, guys, is women have been working with their bodies longer than we have been working with their bodies, and they are more aware of their bodies than we will ever be, so they know better than we do what they can take and what they cannot take. I think you can be sure that you pay a woman as high a compliment believing that she is capable of doing something until she tells you otherwise as you insult her by never allowing her to show you that she can. (Then again, replace all of the 'she's with 'he' and the same truth holds).

The ONLY difference I feel working with women, and the only defensible difference I think anyone can raise, is that a technique is going to be slightly different done to a woman because of the way their body is proportioned (lower center of gravity, wider hips, etc.) But that just gets me back to body types...

M

Erik
08-24-2000, 05:02 PM
Magma wrote:
If I change the trajectory of my punch, or second guess where my hand is going during an ukemi because of fear of what might get touched, my mind is focused on my partners gender, and not on my attack/my technique. It's the same if I go easy with a partner for any other reason than that the person needs more experience. If I go easier because of gender, then it is a failing on my part in not keeping the correct mindset.


This is a little bit off-topic but my first instructor found himself teaching defense against the bayonet whilst in the military. One of his students decided to protect him by striking off the line. Student winds up with a knife in his arm (lost partial use of it) and my instructor wore dentures.

Victor
08-25-2000, 04:44 AM
no matter if your uke is a woman or a man.
That's what I wanted to say.
I'm not practicing Aikido to use Aikido techniques on the street.

that means, that:
I think, practicing martial art in order to use its techniques outside the dojo is wrong. Even if you are a woman.

And if anybody blaims me in being too soft to uke - well I really don't care. That's my own way of practice. And I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.
Because I know how it ends with harder techniques on women - I've already written about bruises...

just my humble opinion.

BTW, I never said that I don't like practicing a technique with a woman. I do like training with women.

akiy
08-25-2000, 10:06 AM
Victor wrote:
And I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.
Because I know how it ends with harder techniques on women - I've already written about bruises...
Quick question, Victor. How many different women do you practice with, say, in an average month? What are their approximate ranks?

-- Jun

Greg Jennings
08-25-2000, 10:24 PM
I subscribe to Saotome Sensei saying: No sex on the mat.

I think we have to extend that to other demographics also. We need to accept our partners for who they are, do our best to be a good partner to them and move on.

YMMV,

stratcat
08-26-2000, 12:25 AM
Hmm. The question of whether or not you train differently w/ a woman as opposed to a man necessarily pertains to each person involved. Personally I don't think there's much difference between how 2 guys train together and how 2 ladies train together. But when it's a guy and a lady... there we run into murky waters. I figure it depends on each person's point of view, and I am particularly in agreement with those who have said that you have to tailor your technique to uke's height, weight and ability. It's been said before, but it bears repeating, you don't koshi a 300lb gorilla the same way you koshi a dainty 100lb lady.

Having said that, I find it difficult to train w/ women because 1) I am a short guy (about 5'9) so I'm more or less their height and 2) I'm fairly new in Aikido (I've been training for about 6 months), so I will come right out and say it: I am afraid of accidentaly grabbing (in the midst of a tecnique, never on purpose, mind you)a girl's... umm, sensitive parts!

Andy G.

Chuck Clark
08-26-2000, 01:17 AM
stratcat wrote:
It's been said before, but it bears repeating, you don't koshi a 300lb gorilla the same way you koshi a dainty 100lb lady.
Andy G.

I guess I have a different experience with aikido. Especially koshi waza. I do koshi waza with 100 pounders the same as 300 pounders (like all waza). The uke provides all of the energy necessary.

The energy the uke is putting out is what they either absorb or redirect with their ukemi. All you need to do with any waza is "entice the uke into putting themselves into a position where gravity makes it impossible for them to regain their posture and they have to fall.

300 pounders fall like 300 pounders and 100 pounders fall like 100 pounders. Sex of the uke has nothing to do with it. Ability and experience is the determining factor in how much speed and intensity is used when we practice with anyone.

DJM
08-26-2000, 11:53 AM
Victor wrote:


And if anybody blaims me in being too soft to uke - well I really don't care. That's my own way of practice. And I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.


Victor,
I don't want you to take this too personally, but isn't this a somewhat selfish sentiment? Surely Aikido is about both uke and tori supporting each other's Aikido.. If an uke asks you to apply technique with more intensity, I feel it's your duty as good tori to oblige - within reason of course - just as if uke is struggling to take ukemi, when you will need ease off a little..
If you're not allowing uke to benefit fully from your practice with them - by improving their ukemi, and their fitness - it changes Aikido away from the cooperative practice it has at the moment, to something closer to a tori/victim style of practice..

Just my personal opinion, and I'm sorry if I seem to be over-reacting, but I feel that ukemi is vital to Aikido practice.. (Perhaps because I'm having so much trouble learning it, I apreciate the difference when I finally manage to perform good (or at least not terrible) ukemi ;)...)

Peace,
David

Victor
08-28-2000, 06:00 AM
akiy wrote:
Victor wrote:
And I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.
Because I know how it ends with harder techniques on women - I've already written about bruises...
Quick question, Victor. How many different women do you practice with, say, in an average month? What are their approximate ranks?

-- Jun
One shodan, one 2kyu, one 3kyu, two 4kyu, one 6kyu and some other women students have no ranks yet.

I like to practice with everyone.

Each keiko I practice, I practice at least one-two techniques with women students.

Each one of them performs techniques her own way, and it is interesting to practice with them all.

Victor
08-28-2000, 06:09 AM
DJM wrote:
Victor wrote:


And if anybody blaims me in being too soft to uke - well I really don't care. That's my own way of practice. And I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.

If an uke asks you to apply technique with more intensity, I feel it's your duty as good tori to oblige - within reason of course - just as if uke is struggling to take ukemi, when you will need ease off a little..
If you're not allowing uke to benefit fully from your practice with them - by improving their ukemi, and their fitness - it changes Aikido away from the cooperative practice it has at the moment, to something closer to a tori/victim style of practice..

Just my personal opinion, and I'm sorry if I seem to be over-reacting, but I feel that ukemi is vital to Aikido practice..
IMHO, you don't have to perform a technique hard to make uke work.
I like aikido techniques, based on kuzushi and dynamics. These techniques make uke think about such things like tai-sabaki and ukemi.

Magma
08-28-2000, 08:35 AM
Maybe I'm taking my experience and applying it to the whole, but across the aikido community, I would say that there are far more men than women in the art. So anybody, man or woman, who works with a female partner is working with the gender less common. In other words, it may be just as new for a female nage to work with a female uke... I'm wondering if they see their technique change in any way working with a woman as opposed to a man?

M

Erika
08-28-2000, 09:11 AM
2. - She is an UKE -
I have to be very careful when applying the technique: women don't like bruises very much... [/B][/QUOTE]

Please do not generalize! I don't mind having bruises as long as they are not on my face (I work in customer service). What makes me angry is that people refuse to train properly with me because of prejudices like that. Ok I'm female and little, but I try to be serious with my practising. "I can't hit a woman" - kind of comment guarantees that I'll both throw harder and make locks more painful for that person. If someone is too hard on me, I can ask them to lighten. but most often my opponents treat me too gentle. Am I supposed to learn something like that?
I feel straight up offended by getting special treatment.
I just want to be respected as an aikidoka. Nothing more.

erika

Victor
08-28-2000, 09:16 AM
Erika wrote:
What makes me angry is that people refuse to train properly with me because of prejudices like that. Ok I'm female and little, but I try to be serious with my practising. "I can't hit a woman" - kind of comment guarantees that I'll both throw harder and make locks more painful for that person.
Do you really think that such a behavior is Aikido?

Erika
08-28-2000, 09:24 AM
"I can't hit a woman" - kind of comment guarantees that I'll both throw harder and make locks more painful for that person.[/B][/QUOTE]
Do you really think that such a behavior is Aikido? [/B][/QUOTE]

Is looking down on me because of my sex/looks aikido? are we not supposed to be equal at dojo? I'm just far too frustrated being treated like that. the majority of my opponents behave, but there are those too that don't. What I'm trying to show to these people is that I'm not a fairy: I won't fall apart by pain or bad ukemis.

Erika

p.s. I should have calmed down before writing my first message. I'm a bit too spontaneous, but aikido is a great tool in learning patience.

Victor
08-28-2000, 09:45 AM
Erika wrote:
Is looking down on me because of my sex/looks aikido?
For me, a hard technique is a sign of looking down, not the soft one. I think, that it is much harder to perform a technique softer, than harder.

are we not supposed to be equal at dojo? I'm just far too frustrated being treated like that.
Is performing the techniques softer discriminating?
I have no idea why do the women hate soft techniques :(

Magma
08-28-2000, 09:55 AM
Victor wrote:
I have no idea why do the women hate soft techniques :(

Victor, if I may speak for women, they don't hate soft techniques. They hate being treated differently on the mat. They hate the implied belief that they are too delicate to take the same treatment as any other uke. If you threw every technique soft for every uke, no one would have a problem.

I, myself, do not like soft techniques 100% of the time... if I'm in that situation I'll normally go to one of my sempai and asked to be thrown around until I'm out of breath. So I do not blame women for taking a stand on this one.

M

Victor
08-28-2000, 10:01 AM
Magma wrote:
If you threw every technique soft for every uke, no one would have a problem.
Please, take a time to read my replies to this thread more carefully - I DO throw every technique SOFT for EVERY uke.

Magma
08-28-2000, 10:10 AM
Sorry, I realized I apparently contradicted myself in that last post, let me clarify:
I wrote without thinking how it sounded:
If you threw every technique soft for every uke, no one would have a problem.

I, myself, do not like soft techniques 100% of the time...

I meant that no one would have a problem as far as the discussion of gender went... if you threw soft for everyone then no problem. Since you throw women softer, there is a problem.

Then - later, new thought - I don't like soft all the time. I like to be pushed.

Hopefully that clears up my thinking...

M

Magma
08-28-2000, 10:48 AM
Victor, I did go back and read your posts (I was worried that I had confused what you said with someone else), and this was what I found. Victor wrote:
I'll always perform a softer technique when I'm practicing with women.

So change from the adjectives of "soft" and "hard" to the comparitives of "softer" and "harder." Do you go softer on a woman than the harder techniques you'd use on a man simply because she is a woman?

At the risk of becoming inflammatory, let me draw a comparison.
Victor wrote:
I have no idea why do the women hate soft techniques :(
Segregated America of the 1960's said:
We have no idea why the blacks hate having their own drinking fountain :(

It's not that you're going too softly. It's that you're going softer on them... And softer or harder simply because of gender I would argue is wrong.

JMO
M

Dan Hover
08-28-2000, 06:17 PM
I was going to say something....until I read those last few posts, yikes!!!

Nick
08-28-2000, 06:21 PM
It would appear we're beginning to make arguments that have already been made, at the expense of the people they are aimed at- I'd say there's not much more that can be said.

As stated before:

An opponent is an opponent. Period.

Kanpai,

-Nick

P.S- if there's a flame war comin, tell me... I'll be ready ;)

Cas Long
08-28-2000, 07:23 PM
All,

Please be aware that if we were talking about any other group within Society,
(& particularly within the UK) that there is such a thing as the "Equal Opportunities Act" within Law.

May I stress to all my well respected colleagues featured in these Forums that
I am in particular, speaking both as a Woman and as a Female Aikidoka
therefore; I HATE to separate the sexes @ the best of times,and & find it sad that within the the world of Aikido, that women have to justify their existence on the mat, just as in the way that they fought for the right to vote....come on Guys- I never saw an Episode of "The Flintstones" where either Fred or Barney wore a hakama....

Andrew, if you treat all your Uke as equal, this is great!

Ca, women have a lot of work to do on the mat; not in terms of technique, but
in terms of attitude......

Maybe if we are seen as the "fairer sex"
we can treat all males as rare-steak-eating fighter-pilots & throw them "over-the-top" & hard in every technique, while we look after the kids in the cave,awaiting our evening meal.

This is IRONY, so please, male Aikidoka
need not respond! I would like us all
to evolve on an equal footing in our Aikido training.....maybe we need to address how women apply technique, not
only how they receive it.

I am extremely proud of my Aikido practice, because I have really worked hard in a male-dominated art, & relish
the thought of training with anyone, despite their background..........

Please let the sexes unite- this is "harmony"- the exception I would always make is training with beginnners (of either sex)

[Edited by Cas Long on August 28, 2000 at 07:03pm]

akiy
08-28-2000, 09:17 PM
Just a quick little snippet I was going to post in another thread but decided it may make more sense here.

From what I've seen, our teacher uses women as much as the men. During training, he throws them just as hard as the men. One of my previous teachers wrote about him that "he has thrown [her] so hard that spit flew out of [her] mouth and snot flew out of [her] nose. [She's] been covered with bruises but he has never hurt [her]."

That is all.

-- Jun

guest1234
08-28-2000, 09:24 PM
hi, tried to reply earlier, but this machine hates me.
first, Magma, whoever you are, i like how you think. good question about how women train with women. i--at least--train the same as with men. i think it cannot be said enough that how a partner falls depends on the strength and sincerity of their attack. if my uke does a good honest attack, male or female, big or small, they fall about the same. probably because i am too small to muscle anyone above say 10 years old. as for bruises, i think we've covered that it seems not to be the women who are bothered by them, so forget that worry. the only time i get a lot of them anyway is when the technique is done INCORRECTLY, ie, lots of muscle making up for poor posture, footwork, balance/grounding, etc, but i am afterall a beginner so i guess i should not criticise....so if any of you are seeing a lot of bruises or 40 foot lofts on your ukes, you may want to take a good look at how you are doing things. i don't get bruised from my falls, from strong grips, or the occasional atemi connection. but for me to correctly do the technique, i need an honest attack. to give less is selfish and wastes both of our time on the mat. i do not think the solution is for women to throw men harder---again, this is just muscle. uhmm, i think that is what we are NOT supposed to rely on. if by harder you mean faster, that's a different issue, but i usually assume a partner who throws slowly either does not know i can take the ukemi (so i tell them i can) or is themselves frightened by the fall (i ask about that when i am nage next). so Erika, next time just smile nicely and ask if that guy refusing to throw you is afraid of the fall himself. and sometimes nage is just going slowly because he/she is trying to figure out the technique. i think the solution is simple: treat your partner just as you would want them to treat you. not as you think you would want them to treat you if you were them. just as you---right now--want to be treated. which means if they ask you to go slower/faster/harder/ easier, well, try to do so (the only exception being attacking harder or faster than you can take ukemi). uke's role is to help nage train, which includes this kind of adaptation (to me, at least). if i'm uke and nage doesn't want to throw me as quickly as i can fall, that's his/her option...but i'd hate to see my male colleagues miss out on the opportunity to throw someone who likes to fall just because i'm female. the only exception i'd make to that is when a senior student, fearing 'hurting' me, doesn't put enough into the technique for me to feel it; now that is stealing my chance at learning.

Chocolateuke
08-28-2000, 11:52 PM
U all should have been born in the women rights movment or at least in my 8 th grade social studies class:). that said I feel women give me a better and purer throw them men. this meaing women most of the time get my balance easier than men. no I am not free falling I think women just know how to do the throwes better:) u know wars have been fought in similiar issues lets not have a post war:)

Erik
08-29-2000, 12:15 AM
At the risk of incensing you all further may I suggest that your partners may be right in going easier on you. AAAAAAAaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhh, the flames, IT BURNS!!!!!

Ok, here's what I mean. I remember working with a guy (he'd done something for a year or so but was new to Aikido) who in the middle of a relatively slow practice said to me, with a fair dose of arrogance, "you don't have to go so easy with me, I can take it." Something about it just pissed me off, so as he came in with the yokomen strike, I dropped an atemi on him full-force. Now my definition of atemi in this case is a very powerful hip energy which when received feels like a strike but isn't. Basically a pulled punch with full blown energy. I'm a bigger guy so this can be a lot of energy if I get it right--I did.

Anyways, after we peeled him off the ceiling, I explained to him why we went the speed we did although I'm pretty sure he got it by then.

My point is that maybe some men are being cautious for your own good and some of you are so hell bent on being equal that you don't realize you really are being treated equal. Maybe these guys do this for a reason. Or maybe they are pigs.:)

For the record, I attack women exactly the same way I do men.

[Edited by Erik on August 28, 2000 at 11:17pm]

guest1234
08-29-2000, 06:00 AM
Chocolateuke,
thanks for your reply...and since i was born well before the women's right movement :) i especially liked it!

guest1234
08-29-2000, 06:08 AM
Erik,
I think we have already acknowleged that partners attack beginners (male and female) more slowly. so i hope your last commment wasn't to say that if a woman feels her male partner is not attacking appropriately, HE knows best...and before someone starts saying 'sempai knows best' this is just as often the problem with those junior to me, if not more often.

guest1234
08-29-2000, 06:49 AM
oh, one last thing, for my fellow females who are more concerned about the 'too easy' nages (my only real complaint is the 'too easy' ukes)...
since i feel my role as uke is to give nage what he/she wants, and if they don't want to throw me, that's their right, i work on my ukemi in three ways: practice rolls/falls by myself, try to grab a partner i know will throw me if it's something i like to fall to (like koshi's), and if all else fails, find someone (male or female) who likes to throw me and just be uke for them before or after class---no one has ever turned me down on an offer to toss me around a bit.

Erik
08-29-2000, 12:13 PM
ca wrote:
I think we have already acknowleged that partners attack beginners (male and female) more slowly. so i hope your last commment wasn't to say that if a woman feels her male partner is not attacking appropriately, HE knows best...and before someone starts saying 'sempai knows best' this is just as often the problem with those junior to me, if not more often.

I'm saying he might know best if he were senior and he might know best if he were junior. Sometimes we overstep our ability without knowing it. It's made worse when we have an issue to prove.

I used that guy as an example because I can imagine a woman worked up about not being treated equally. She works with some guy, who starts soft with her for whatever reason, and she lights him up. The guy looks at her and says, "ok!" Five seconds later the world is black and she has no idea how she wound up at the hospital.

Several responses in this thread were not terribly centered. While I can only imagine the frustration, I just wanted to make the point that sometimes we overstep our ability because of issues not related to what's actually going on at that moment. Everytime, I've gotten really nailed on the mat (non-fluke injuries) it was because I was off-centered over some issue of my own devising.

Note: I'm not saying this isn't a real issue. There's plenty enough idiots in the world. I'm just saying that you might get a hard lesson some day that you will have created.

Am I making any sense?

PS: I don't remember going soft on the guy because of his ability. I remember it being my practice, but his issue encountered one of mine and....

giriasis
08-29-2000, 04:44 PM
Erik,

I see your point about this guy you were talking about. He sounded like someone with an attitude.

I think the issue here is that I was objecting to is that of those who go easy on women for the sake of them just being women. And by going easy, I mean not giving a decent committed attack. If I can pull my hand out of a grip, it is not committed. If the punch is to thin air, it is not committed.

I appropriately assert myself when I find myself in these situations, it is easily resolved by simple communication. Such as "hey, use a firm grip." or "hey, make sure you have proper ma'ai." Then things will not result in what you described.

Also, since there are enough women who are addressing the situation and have found themselves to be in this situation, then perhaps we are not just complaining or having an attitude. We might actually have something constructive to say. Something to improve aikido and relations between the sexes.

Now, if someone comes across with a major attitude, then that's another story. I have had that situation happen before. And that is in another thread.

Also I think a side issue as to why guys go easy is perhaps is that they are learning to not muscle their techniques. As a woman, I can't get away with muscling a man who is significantly stronger than me. But many men are stronger than many women and they can get away with muscling, thereby, doing the technique wrong. In this situation, I have responsibility to tell the guy he is muscling rather than doing proper technique.

Anne Marie

guest1234
08-29-2000, 09:07 PM
Erik wrote:
At the risk of incensing you all further may I suggest that your partners may be right in going easier on you. AAAAAAAaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhh, the flames, IT BURNS!!!!!

Ok, here's what I mean. I remember working with a guy (he'd done something for a year or so but was new to Aikido) who in the middle of a relatively slow practice said to me, with a fair dose of arrogance, "you don't have to go so easy with me, I can take it." Something about it just pissed me off, so as he came in with the yokomen strike, I dropped an atemi on him full-force. Now my definition of atemi in this case is a very powerful hip energy which when received feels like a strike but isn't. Basically a pulled punch with full blown energy. I'm a bigger guy so this can be a lot of energy if I get it right--I did.

Anyways, after we peeled him off the ceiling, I explained to him why we went the speed we did although I'm pretty sure he got it by then.

For the record, I attack women exactly the same way I do men.

[Edited by Erik on August 28, 2000 at 11:17pm]

perhaps if the testosterone level were lower, you might have explained to him why you were going slowly, or have found a medium speed between what you were doing and peeling him off of the ceiling. again, i have no quarrel with those who as nage don't want to practice up to my level, just in an insincere attack when i'm nage.
just as likely (probably more so) as the male in a male-female mix knowing her ability better than she, is that SHE knows best. so all we are asking is to be treated with respect. respect our abilities, and our assessment of them. when so many women are saying they feel men are not treating them based on their abilities, and so many men in this thread admitting they do not treat them based on their abilities (eg, 'i am softer on women'), then i'd say i see a trend.
Magma used a technique i like to use (because the military is race sensitive but still learning to be gender bias free), substitute a minority race for women in any of the sentences you've typed, and see how they sound: I'm softer on Blacks; Mexicans don't like bruises; nage might be a better judge of your ability than you, it has nothing to do with the fact that you are Jewish. then take a long look in the mirror.

Dan Hover
08-29-2000, 09:19 PM
why does it seem that we are beating a dead horse on this? Place your bets, place your bets, round and round it goes, where it stops nobody knows, it is essentially a non-issue. train, and focus on your training, that is the issue, all of these things are distracting us from the real issue, to train, train, train. our real energy should be spent on us. the study of budo is essentially a selfish one, how can WE become better individuals? How can we improve ourselves. Not how we can inmprove others. it is the teachers job to point the way, not to hold our hand and take us there. Train, forget about the differences, they don't exist, we make an issue out of them, we make them out of our own ignorance. Screw our poor perceptions!! Train! some of you will get what I'm saying, some of you won't. And there is no explaining it to you, you just don't get it, those of you who do, there is no need to explain it you either, you already get it.

Magma
08-29-2000, 10:11 PM
While I agree with Dan's fundamental point that we just need to train, and after that we should probably train, and then I was thinking maybe a bit more training... I disagree that discussions like this bear no weight. What we do on the training floor to train our minds and bodies does not preclude discussions about that training, nor does it end on the mat. In fact, on point discussions of issues raised in our training can greatly help the actual benefit we take from our physical workouts.

In other words, this is training, too.

Now, so that we don't drift into an off-topic jaunt which is a discussion about a discussion, let me offer two questions:

(1) So far, the only reason given by the men posting to this thread seems to be that they don't enjoy hurting women. Laudable. But has a woman ever asked you to go more lightly? Maybe, but...

Did she ask you because she was a woman?

(2) We all have the ability to completely thrash our uke because of the control that they surrender to us so that we might train better. That being said, has a man ever asked you to go more lightly? Maybe, but...

Did you apply that across the board to the rest of the sex?

That's just me thinkin' :)
M.

Erik
08-29-2000, 11:10 PM
ca wrote:
perhaps if the testosterone level were lower, you might have explained to him why you were going slowly, or have found a medium speed between what you were doing and peeling him off of the ceiling.

I agree! But I didn't tell the story to point out my failures. I did it for a different reason which I guess I'm the only one crazy enough to have grasped.

just as likely (probably more so) as the male in a male-female mix knowing her ability better than she, is that SHE knows best.

It depends on your partner. I remember Koichi Barrish putting a pin on me when I was a 6th kyu. I slapped like a wounded duck, OW, OW, OW! Once he let go it turned out I was fine, barely stretched. I'd suggest he knew my ability much better than I. Were I female, I think I'd have to suggest he would still know better than I did.

so all we are asking is to be treated with respect. respect our abilities, and our assessment of them.

Works for me! Been doing it for years.

when so many women are saying they feel men are not treating them based on their abilities, and so many men in this thread admitting they do not treat them based on their abilities (eg, 'i am softer on women'), then i'd say i see a trend.

I'd argue the sample is way too small. How many jar heads have admitted they treat women differently? Five? How much combined experience do you think they had? 5 years? How many women have piped up? Five? Plus the original question biased the response. Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely sexism in this world, I'm just not sure this sample is the right proof.

Magma used a technique i like to use (because the military is race sensitive but still learning to be gender bias free), substitute a minority race for women in any of the sentences you've typed, and see how they sound: I'm softer on Blacks; Mexicans don't like bruises; nage might be a better judge of your ability than you, it has nothing to do with the fact that you are Jewish. then take a long look in the mirror.

You've attributed quotes to me that are not mine. You may not have meant to but it reads that way.

Nage might be a better judge of your ability than you are (I did say this one), and in many cases, damn well better be. We call these type of people instructors or seniors. If they couldn't judge our ability better than we do then we've got more problems than I've realized. Also, that kohai you are training with might not be the kohai you think they are. They might be a better judge of your ability than you realize.

Dan! Ukemi takes many forms.

Dan Hover
08-30-2000, 04:45 AM
Erik wrote:

Dan! Ukemi takes many forms. [/B]

Erik! Never said it didn't...

guest1234
08-30-2000, 05:42 AM
201 people (50% of those polled) admitted to prejudice on the mat--- the 'bias' of my question was to ask who that was, and why they held those prejudices. some people are open to changing a prejudiced view, and maybe some of them have now that their particular fears have been addressed (hurting women, being embarrassed if the woman is better, etc)---isn't that what prejudice is all about, fear? so hopefully more than 2.5% of those with fears also had their fears addressed when the five or so who described theirs posted a reply.
at what point does a woman know her abilities better than the man who is telling her she can't do what she thinks she can? and if we don't test and stretch the limits of our ablities, then how do we grow? How do we train, if 50% of those on the mat do not see us as individuals, and try to help us grow by letting us stretch? and if 50% of students and teachers polled said they treated (substitute the minority of choice) differently on the mat than they did Caucasians, would that poll have passed without comment, and would the answer be to ignore it and just train? we talk a lot about other training fears---falling, rolling, etc, why not address these fears of 201 people? we are training; i find those who will let me feel the technique, i find those who will help me practice ukemi---before and after class, if i can't get it during. But some of us would like to see a bit less prejudice.

Chuck Clark
08-30-2000, 09:13 AM
Erik wrote:
How many jar heads have admitted they treat women differently? [/B]

Eric...

Just an aside here to let you know that I'm a "jar head" (USMC veteran on inactive duty) that does not "treat women differently."

I had to laugh when I saw that because in all my years I've never seen anyone use that term other than a reference to us USMC Jarheads.

To be serious, I view people in keikogi as students of budo and try to relate to them in ways that are appropriate to their level of training. The sex of the person isn't relative to that process.

Off the mat isn't much different...

andrew
08-30-2000, 09:35 AM
Cas long wrote: "This is IRONY"

No, that was clearly sarcasm. This is pedantry.
all the best....

andrew

Cas Long
08-30-2000, 09:59 AM
Andrew,

I disagree-it is semantic.

All the best to you too.......

Erik
08-30-2000, 01:38 PM
ca,

The problem with polls is by their very nature they are unscientific. The question of do you treat women differently allows for a great many interpretations. Not all of them heinous to equality.

I guess what strikes me about sexism and the shomen strike is that I've experienced a significant amount of the exact same things you have. I'd like to propose that maybe there are other possibilities here.

1) The pacifist. I bump into a fair amount of people who started Aikido because they don't want to hurt anyone. Consequently they don't want to hit me.

2) The "Aikido is fake" person. They've watched a class and don't believe what they saw. Consequently, they pull their strikes because they think that's how we do it.

3) The "striking arts" people. Some of these people are well conditioned not to hit. You don't spend Karate class hitting each other for obvious reasons.

My thinking is that you might be seeing some of these people and thinking, "sexist bastards" when I get the exact same thing. Sometimes you see what you expect to see or you create what you expect to see. Again, I'm not saying we are free from ism's, far from it, just floating a possibility.

at what point does a woman know her abilities better than the man who is telling her she can't do what she thinks she can? and if we don't test and stretch the limits of our ablities, then how do we grow?

I hear what you are saying and I agree with you, way more than I think you realize. All I want to say is that if we ever meet on the mat I will absolutely make my own judgement as to how we practice. You will be doing the same thing I hope.

would that poll have passed without comment, and would the answer be to ignore it and just train?

Actually, maybe yes. As Dan pointed out, this is a selfish practice. We take and learn from whom we can, sometimes they are not stellar people when held up to our standards. I can think of more than one. One example I can think of has produced a wealth of good students despite flaws which are quite significant and would probably send you off the deep end. This is not as clean as you might think and sometimes you have to work with what you have.

But some of us would like to see a bit less prejudice.

Agreed!

Victor
08-31-2000, 05:16 AM
how to deal with such women as my mom and my sis, who often like to say:
"don't forget that I'm a woman first" ?

andrew
08-31-2000, 05:35 AM
By this time is all just silly, though, Cas.
andrew

Cas Long
08-31-2000, 07:39 AM
Andrew,

Why are you so intimidated by women?:

i·ro·ny (r-n, r-)
n., pl. i·ro·nies.

a)
1.The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
2.An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
3.A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. See Synonyms at wit1.

b)
1.Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: “Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated” (Richard Kain).
2.An occurrence, a result, or a circumstance notable for such incongruity. See Usage Note at ironic.
3.Dramatic irony.
4.Socratic irony.


sar·casm (särkzm)
n.

1.A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound.
2.A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.
3.The use of sarcasm. See Synonyms at wit1.


Just chill: women make good Linguists as well as excellent Aikidoka.

I would love to train with you!

Regards.....




[Edited by Cas Long on August 31, 2000 at 06:55am]

Magma
08-31-2000, 11:33 AM
Victor wrote:
how to deal with such women as my mom and my sis, who often like to say:
"don't forget that I'm a woman first" ?

Not on the mat they aren't. On the mat they need to not forget that they are aikidoka first. Aikidoka of a certain rank and ability, and with a responsibility to improve themselves by challenging themselves, doing what they thought they couldn't, and with the responsibility to help their partner train safely and productively.

Nick
08-31-2000, 08:12 PM
well put magma! Perhaps now we could put this post to rest...?

All the irony and sarcasm (as well defined above) are starting to get repititive...

I suppose I can't really close the post, but I'd like to ask you to at least stop arguing over each other. By this I mean going off-topic and noting a person's shortcomings (of which we all have many) rather than discussing the topic at hand.

I'm sorry, but I feel this has been dragged out for too long...

Gomen Nasai in advance for my temperment,

-Nick

Mike Collins
09-08-2000, 11:11 AM
My mom and dad taught me to be nice to women and protect them. I am never going to hit a woman as hard as I am a man, if something goes wrong, I trust the increased mass of a man's body to absorb the blow better than the typically leaner musculature of a woman.

Bear in mind that I have trained with some women (one in particular) who are capable of physically intimidating me; I'm still bigger than them, but they are probably physically superior to me, in those cases, they get the full deal. I KNOW they can handle it.

I'll also take quite a bit off the top for a man who appears to be physically frail or less capable of taking a poorly distanced or timed strike. It's not purely a gender thang, but my caveman's categorizing mind finds it easier to break it out by sex rather than endomorph, ectomorph or mesomorph.

Some guys (me specifically) are always going to see women as different, and not too suprisingly, they are. Not less, simply different. All differences are okay, and they should all be recognized and accounted for. If a woman trains with me and feels that she is being given too much slack, all she needs to do is turn up the juice a bit, and I'm not too thick to notice it, and I'll respond appropriately.

andrew
09-11-2000, 05:03 AM
Cas Long wrote:

I would love to train with you!

[Edited by Cas Long on August 31, 2000 at 06:55am]

But you wouldn't get proper Ukemi.....
(joke)
andrew

Bussho
09-11-2000, 08:53 AM
Hi

I think that women are great partner, specially in Aikido 'cause they have a natural lower point of gravity, and because of the wider(not ment mean...) hips they can easier go into low stances and the likes, givning them the possiblity of some mean nage's.

Ciao
Terje

Kestrel
09-30-2000, 01:11 AM
Short answer: Yes...I'm a sexist pig. I'm trying to change :)

Long answer: Like many men I've been socialized into believing that women are less physically able than men..not at an intellectual level where I can do something about it, but at a gut level where my reflexes live and where it is much harder to change things.
Because of this..I tend to have a flinch reaction the first time that I go through a form with a female uke. Its not intentional and I usually recognize that I did not use enough conviction when dealing with their attack and I try to fix it. A similar thing happens when I am uke and I fail to give them a committed attack (I do this with men too sometimes..being new). I'm not arguing that this is right..I think that it isnt...it does detract from training. That being said, there are *some* women who flinch if I *do* come at them with conviction. I think that a lot of it involves adjusting yourself to your partners needs. And finally some combinations just dont work well because of psycho-dynamics. I practiced yesterday with one young lady who I was trying to take cues from (she being the more experienced one) and found myself simply becoming more and more confused by her body language. Later during the same practice, I paired with another young lady who quite authoritatively put me on my back :)

My request..ladies..gentlemen ..if I am not putting enough conviction into my forms..please tell me..and I will strive to correct myself. I dont do it on purpose.

Tim

"Are you *sure* this is safe?"

chrisinbrasil
10-03-2000, 05:41 PM
Cas Long wrote:
Just chill: women make good Linguists as well as excellent Aikidoka.

I would love to train with you!

Regards.....






Hi Cas,
R U a linguist? I don´t see an email for you.
At your service,
Christopher

Cas Long
10-03-2000, 06:56 PM
Why do you ask?!

I do not provide my private E-Mail address, how can I be of service?

Regards.....

marga
10-06-2000, 08:13 PM
Hi
being very new to Aikido (1 month), of course I know absolutely nothing, but I have been observing the dynamics between myself (a woman) and the other aikido practitioners, both male and female.

The only person who has bruised me during practice is a woman, and it was the very first time we ever practiced together!!!!! She was testing my mettle. Or so I assumed from her facial expression and other body language.

Sometimes the guys (some of them) get a little soft and mushy around the eyes, and I know that they in some ways limit their aggressive acts because of their soft mushiness. I don't mind that unless they start aikido-ing in a useless way. Then I withdraw somewhat until they regain sanity.

Personal philosophy: I think that you can practice anything and have fun at it. (fun can include low-level flirting, ie/ mushiness around the eyes)

There is a male rookie at our dojo as well, sometimes I see a little extra force being used against him when he's uke than when the same nage is squishing *me* into the mat. Maybe it's just that particular guy, maybe he emits some sort of "beat me up" vibe. I have never been beaten on in my life, I don't think I emit that vibe.

Overall I have not noticed any interesting levels of sex-specific discrimination. People are easy on me, or slow and deliberate anyway, and I don't think it's cause I'm a girl but rather cause I am me.

Marga

lt-rentaroo
10-06-2000, 11:37 PM
Hello all,

I've had the opportunity to train with women by travelling to seminars around the country as well as at my hometown dojo. I personally believe that as Aikido students we are all equal and should be treated as such. When I train with Aikido students who are new to the art, I work with them at a level they are comfortable with regardless of whether they are male or female. My wife and I met while studying Aikido and have been together for two years now. When we train, she expects me to treat her just as I would any other student, and I do. If she wants a strong katatori grab or shomenuchi strike, she gets it. If I were to treat her any different, she would become upset with me. I've found that the majority of the women I've trained with, regardless of rank, want to be treated equally, but at a level they are comfortable with. As a man, lowering the intensity of your attack when working with a women who is more comfortable with training in that fashion makes good sense. You don't want to scare someone away from the art. At the same time, don't get wishy washy with your technique just because your uke is a women. I believe it's important to train in a manner that both partners are comfortable with.

Louis

"Shuchu ryoku" - Focus all your energy to one point

[Edited by lt-rentaroo on October 6, 2000 at 10:41pm]

Elric123
11-02-2000, 03:10 AM
Just curious, and due to the subject, thought I'd ask.
In Japan, with the sexism that has existd for ever, are women treated differently at Hombu, or have they moved beyond that.

Nubie question sorry??
Trent