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Cas Long
08-28-2000, 07:46 PM

I refer to the on-going thread of "Training With Women"; I do not want to be argumentative for the sake of it, but I
do notice that most of the respondents on the original post are male, in a discussion that is primarily about women.
(guys, this is good!)

Can we candidly ask (is this Sexist & against the ethos of your Site?), as to whether
or not, women should "be allowed" to practice Aikido on on equal basis as male
I do not wish to start a "war", but to ascertain where women stand in terms of
our practice as serious Aikidoka, now that women appear to to equal to men in
all other sociological respects.

Many thanks to all in advance & please be as honest as you can.....

Would we be having the same discussion
relating to other sections of the community...or are women "fair game"?

[Edited by Cas Long on August 28, 2000 at 06:54pm]

08-28-2000, 09:08 PM
Cas Long wrote:
I do notice that most of the respondents on the original post are male, in a discussion that is primarily about women.
Any other women lurkers out there wish to speak up?
Can we candidly ask (is this Sexist & against the ethos of your Site?), as to whether or not, women should "be allowed" to practice Aikido on on equal basis as male Aikidoka?
Looks like you just did! And you're welcome to ask such questions since I think it's pertinent to aikido, very much so.
I do not wish to start a "war", but to ascertain where women stand in terms of our practice as serious Aikidoka, now that women appear to to equal to men in all other sociological respects.
I'll say that some of the teachers and students whom I admire most are women....

-- Jun

Cas Long
08-28-2000, 09:20 PM

I would not want to offend anyone under
the Rules of Aiki-Web- just thought it
pertinent to check first....

Many thanks for your moderation.....

[Edited by Cas Long on August 28, 2000 at 08:22pm]

08-28-2000, 10:22 PM
in fairness to the guys, i think (gosh, it's been a while ago and i've slept since then) that i originally asked how anyone who treats men and women differently do that and why---most of the folks who do Aikido are men, so i'm not surprised they are the majority of respondants ... nor am i surprised that the only ones who treat them differently seem to be the men. i am glad that we've had a chance to exchange viewpoints, maybe clear up some worries (we won't break, cry, or scream rape). and i'm really glad at the number of men who've said they treat us just the same.
you are braver than i, however, in asking if women should be taken seriously on the mat...

08-29-2000, 02:45 AM
Hello Cas, hello Jun,

I find this discussion really interesting. Where I train, there never was such a discussion. My teacher does not treat women and men different with regard to their gender nor does anyone else. They make differences because of any person is unique and has his or her own level of knowledge. That's what makes the difference, not gender.

Cas, I'm interested why women should not be allowed to train at an equal base or train at all??? Is there any good reason?



Cas Long
08-29-2000, 08:13 AM
Thanks for your replies....

I read through the last "Training with Women" thread & was wondering on the whole, if anyone honestly has a problem in training with women, and thus wanted to create a slightly different sub-thread.

I have no problems where I train, we are all treated equally in all respects, but in training elsewhere & with other people (& not all the time), I have come across SOME men who have either thrown women in a very soft, flippant way, or harder than the men, both maybe suggesting that they would prefer to train with men only.

Simone, this is what prompted the thread & I would like to stress that not all male Aikidoka treat women in this way, but it does happen to me from time-to- time; either way, this helps us develop our characters, technique & ukemi, I guess!

Nick P.
08-29-2000, 08:31 AM

I tend to agree, and try to put in practice, the idea of practicing with my partner is above all based on their and mine combined abilities. Regardless of gender. That being said, I have noticed that the newer average female student seem to pick up a little quicker than the average male student. I have said openly in class that women do better in aikido than men, maybe because they have a lower center and rely on technique more than men. I just had shiho-nage done on my sorry ass by a brand-new female student, and my wrist still smarts; I love it!

And as far as what Cas mentioned about "I have come across SOME men who have either thrown women in a very soft, flippant way, or harder than the men, both maybe suggesting that they would prefer to train with men only.", those students ('cuz were all students) are for the most part not at peace with themselves and are fighting with what aikido is trying to teach them; love.

Great string Cas.

09-15-2000, 10:13 AM
I train with women as happily as I train with men. I do occasionally go easier on women, but I (quite correctly) regard this as MY problem, certainly not theirs. I think that was the point several people made in that overlong, thankfully dead thread.

To be honest, the question of whether women should be allowed in aikido has never occored to me, because the answer is an obvious yes.

Brian H
10-08-2000, 04:41 PM
How useful would your toolbox be to you if all the tools were the same size and shape and did the same things. It might work wonderfully sometimes and frustrate you in others.

I'm a cop, I work with people from a variety of backgrounds who also happen to be cops. The situation is similar to my dojo, except there we are all akidoka.

In a cop situation where someone is getting the snot beat out of them, I REALLY like it when alot of big, burly, grumpy guys show up. However, if the situation is merely begining to spin out of control and I am trying to maintain order, I REALLY like female Officers. They don't have a lot of weight to toss around, they use their heads before they need to use their hands. And if things go bad, a baton strike (koshi?) delivered by a 120 pound female is not any softer than one by a 210 pound male.

In dojo situations women can also great to practise with. I have to go lower to get under their centers. I have to do my technique more precisely to avoid "muscling" them. When I take ukemi for them I have to be mindful of nimble women or I will hit the mat instead of meeting it.

10-09-2000, 04:59 AM
When most people first see Aikido they can't believe that it really works as it looks so effortless - I was just the same. That was until a 7 1/2 stone female nidan threw me around like I was a leaf.

That completely convinced me that although women and men are physically very different (usually height and strength), Aikido is a great leveller. I like to encourage women into aikido for this reason - because I don't believe any other martial art ustilises the benefits women have (bigger hips, smaller, faster) and aikido does not require the benefits men have over women (strength, size).

However from my limited experience I think it takes women longer to develop the martial attitude.

For street fighting I would say that everything helps; but I think it was Musashi who said that the most important things to win was spirit, technique and strength (in that order) - with which I would totally agree, though I'd like to slip fitness in their somewhere.


10-09-2000, 05:02 AM

I treat women and men no differently in technique - everyone has to be treated differently depending on their resistance, height etc. The only difference I see is that men have to avoid falling with their legs together and women have to avoid falling on their chests.

10-14-2000, 10:58 PM
ok i am gonna get flamed for this but its what i honestly believe. there are many fine woman practicioners. and i enjoy working with them cause they can be a challenge to work with due to their size and "fragileness" not sayn they cant take it, but physically most dont have the structure to receive certain techniques. many are knowledgeable and have clean technique.
but when it comes down to it, and i mean it i think many would agree what would happen if they were attacked with intent. i dont believe many woman can stand up to an attacker of size and strength. i am not putting women down, but i havent come across a woman nage theat i havent felt like i can easily reverse or just plain out stop a technique. though many people can foul anothers technique up it isnt hard to do. i mean no offense and have the highest regards for any that step onto the mat. i just threw my 2 cents in

Cas Long
10-15-2000, 03:53 AM

Let me know when you are in the UK, & then I can show you how wrong you are......

10-15-2000, 05:47 AM
SmilingNage has got a bit of a point. Its easier for a stronger person to lock out a weaker persons technique, especially when they know what they are going to do. However it is to be hoped that in a real situation any female Aikidoka would not be facing a threat from a very experienced male Aikidoka. Women are often faster and more receptive to the direction of attack then men and I believe would ordinarily have no disadvantage from a strong attack - though there would be less likely hood of a powerful punch/kick/atemi attack from a female, which often helps to suppliment techniques in real situations. However I think it does depend sometimes on the club - if there is not a serious martial attitude the women, as well as some men (though men are generally more agressive anyway) get an unrealistic idea of the effectiveness of their techniques and don't develop the 'fighting spirit'.


10-15-2000, 12:16 PM
Hi boys and girls!
I'm not sure whether this was already posted by someone, but I would like to say that I think that with regard to Aikido the physic strength doesn't play such an important role for the effectivity of the technique but the correct performance of it. So it's obvious that women ARE able to protect themselves against a "real" attack, if they execute the technique correctly.
Hope I didn't insult someone by posting that.

Bye, Konni

P.S.: Sorry for my bad english.

10-16-2000, 05:23 AM
A few weeks ago (mid-September), the Yoshinkan Aikido Embukai (demonstration) was held in Tokyo.

At this Embukai, participants from many clubs from across Japan and some from abroad, come to show their stuff. It is an opportunity to observe really incredible Aikido by both young and old, and of course, men and women.

In addition to the fact that I strongly believe that women are not only capable of doing very powerful Aikido techniques, they are also much more graceful and make the art so much more beautiful.

After watching a few groups of testosterone driven jiyu-waza (free style) by some university boys, which was hap-hazard, disorganized and not at all effective from my observation point...

it was really nice to see the graceful and beautiful Aikido of the young university girls... not only can they put on a better show, they have the ability to think more clearly because they don't rush their technique.

Men will often have physically stronger waza, but timing and technique have their place in all martial arts, including Aikido. Women deserve the same, if not sometimes, higher level of credit and respect for their ability to do Aikido.

Personal experience tells me that Aikido done regardless of age or gender makes this art truly harmonious. This is the way O-Sensei would wanted to have seen his art grow.

Let's keep that harmonious Aikido spirit alive!
yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

Sendai, Japan

11-08-2000, 05:46 AM
A reply to Smilingnage. When you said that you could reverse/block/stop a womans technique I assume you were refering to someone of your own grade. Aikido relies on biomechanics whether we like it or not so of course if you know what technique said female nage is going to apply then of course you can prevent it. Who couldn't we all could and if the nage was male we could block/reverse/stop his technique too. Everything we do in the dojo is contrived, from nage knowing which attack to expect to uke knowing which technique is going to be applied. That is why it is crucial, to me anyhow, that we all try to be sincere. Attack with intent forgetting about the technique just try to make contact with your partner. How many of us have landed with a thump after taking ukemi for the instructor the first time a technique is demonstrated? That for me is training everything is unexpected you don't know what is coming so you just attack with everything...........then the bump comes.
Perhaps smiling nage you might ask a female dohai to take part in an experiment with you. You attack, a sincere attack she will know about if it makes contact, and she in return will try to do any technique to the best of her abilities (with atemi if she feels it's required).I think that with good technique surprise and atemi (if required) you won't be able to stop what's happening regardless of nage's gender.

11-08-2000, 01:10 PM
Mmm... maybe I got the point of the question.
Mmm... ok what's Aikido:
Aikido is based on circular techniques, actually on locks and throws.
This means that it is not important how strong or big you are, but how well do you perform the technique.
Now, average women are smaller than men (I do not say weaker because I do not want all the women on Aikiweb to ban me as sexist, cause I'm not :) )Result: Aikido is perfect for everyone, men and women, children and adults...

And finally, let's stop this silly battle of sexes: I think we women as much as they need us ;)


11-08-2000, 03:48 PM
Gross generalizations are pretty dumb. Of course women aren't equal to men, that is to say that not all women are equal to all men. We tend to confuse the ideal that all people should be treated equally under the law with the fact that each person is an individual.

I've had the privilege of working with a number of women, and each of them has had different strengths and weaknesses, just like the men I've worked with. The thing is, the differences I observed and felt could be attributed more to rank/experience than gender.

For me it's pretty simple. I work with what uke gives me, and try to be the best uke I can be. That means being sesitive, keeping an open mind, and giving a strong, committed attack. It doesn't matter to me what gender the person I'm working with is.


11-08-2000, 04:49 PM
errrrrr paul that wasnt my post about the punch block stuff
but i still feel the same way. its nuthn personal but rather my experiences. thats all. u can only make judgements on what u have seen first hand. though i must say since i have worked in many bars, some of the girl fights do get ugly.