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erminio
08-25-2002, 08:55 AM
Hi guys, another thing: I'm watching some photos of Aikido senseis and students; I see many fat guys, and I wonder: what about their agility? Am I confused by movies or you don't need a good shape for Aikido or what? I have to admit that things like this make me a little doubtful about Aikido..:(

Thanks for your answers

Bruce Baker
08-25-2002, 09:21 AM
Depends on what is fat?

Can you roll forward and backward from a throw?

Can you kneel in seiza and stand easily, then kneel back into seiza?

When you stand on the fat guys/ gals belly is it hard like soil, or soft like water.

Skinny is not always a sign of skinny, sometimes muscles of youth turn into a pot belly or belly in middle age.

Try a class, and see if you like it. It should enlighten you to things you may want to use for other endeavors of work, play, and defensive skills.

rachmass
08-25-2002, 09:24 AM
Hi Erminio,

Often weight, agility, and fitness have nothing to do with each other. There are numerous cases of "overweight" people who are very fit physically, run marathons, participate in triatholons, etc. There are also lots of cases of very lean people who are tremendously out of shape! Please don't judge peoples abilities by their body shapes.

That said, often instructors don't have as much opportunity to train as others, as they are busy trying to help the students get better. It doesn't mean they were not in shape before. Aikido doesn't keep the weight off a lot of people. I used to train three hours a day, six days a week, and put on 60 pounds doing so. It took adding in lots of walking, running, weight lifting, and other aerobic activity for me to take the weight off (unfortunately 30 have crept back up because I don't do enough aerobic activity anymore).

As to agility; I know a fellow who is about 6'6, and probably well over 300 pounds. While I really don't want to be near him when he takes ukemi at a seminar (lack of space), he is an incredibly agile, quick and terrific aikidoka! I am sure other folks out there in Aikiweb-land must know of plenty of other examples.

rachmass
08-25-2002, 10:15 AM
"it gives the wrong impression to others about aikido"

??what is the impression?? That aikido is accessible to everyone? True, some people take aikido to get in shape, but if that is the main thrust, why not just join a health club? Aikido is so much more! I like to see people of various ages, body types, and yes, even fitness levels, out on the mat! Great for the fat guys who are out there trying to improve themselves! Our bodies are transient (every part of us is), and as we age, things shift, people get fatter, or thinner, or out of shape, or in shape. Please have tolerance for everyone out there trying to do their best.

SeiserL
08-25-2002, 10:42 AM
I was grateful to see "big" men with both ability and agility. I gave me permission to join and progress.

BTW, I always tell people that my size is the very least of their fears. ;-)

Until again,

Lynn

erminio
08-25-2002, 10:44 AM
Hi guys, this match with a thread of mine ("General " section): I'm thinking of starting Aikido to improve my agility and the control of my moves, mainly;well I wonder: if a guy, how could I see, a little over weight (I don't want to be unpolite, I apologise if it seems so), is a Aikido sensei, what does Aikido can really give to me?

Thanks a lot, have a good day

Erminio

rachmass
08-25-2002, 11:13 AM
How about a better attitude towards other peoples bodies? Really though, a lot of the teachers you see who are overweight trained very hard, were very fit in their heyday of training. Please be a bit more open minded about this. Are you looking to aikido solely to get in shape? If so, maybe you want to look into health clubs instead. Otherwise, do aikido, and take up some other activity as well to help you get in shape. Aikido will help you improve your agility and control of your moves. Weight isn't the issue here, it is the ability to move and be flexible (both in body and mind).

Best wishes on this venture, but please don't look at aikido merely as a weight related topic; it has so much to offer!

erminio
08-25-2002, 11:27 AM
How about a better attitude towards other peoples bodies?
I'm so sorry..:( maybe I couldn't explain myself well: I have no problems about other peoples weight! Sometimes I loose the control on the food I eat and I get weight; when this happens, this makes me feel slow and groggy.

That's why I wonder about practicing Aikido in the way I wrote.

I do apologise if I've been unpolite.

Have a good day

Erminio

DaveO
08-25-2002, 11:53 AM
If it helps, I can compare myself to my Sensei, Mike for you.

I stand 6'4", 205lbs. I'm 35 and, barring enough past injuries to earn a preferred customer card at the hospital, I'm in good fighting trim. I'm a retired Canadian Forces light infantryman, so I'm a good fighter.

My sensei is about 45, about 5'5", somewhat heavier than me. Rather round, but not at all soft. A big jovial santa-claus type of guy. He's about as strong (or maybe a bit more), but neither as fast or agile as I am. Trust me, on the mat, I don't have a hope against him; he's WAY too good for me. I know that, even though I haven't really tested myself against him; he has what I call the 'feel' of a fighter: that indefinable sense of power/dominance that powerful people have. Call it 'ki', call it force of personality, call it whatever you will. Whatever it is, I DEFINITELY wouldn't want to square off against him for real.

Dave

wanderingwriath
08-25-2002, 12:54 PM
Despite the fact that body type has absolutely nothing to do with aikido maybe I can open your eyes a bit friend. It is a western notion that the ideal man has broad shoulders and slim hips with his center of gravity somewhere in his chest. Eastern people, especially the Japanese, think that is silly. Back in the day it was a common joking insult to say that westerners had "high hips." You see the Japanese believe that a man should have powerful hips and that is where the center of gravity should be. Sumo is their national sport for a reason. Your stomach is the house of your spirit to their minds. Hara is the Japanese word for spirit, but it literally translates to stomach unless I'm mistaken. To have a big spirit one must have big stomach. That's not to say that it should be soft, because that would denote a soft spirit.

That's my understanding anywho. Maybe Chris Li could elaborate for me. I've often wondered if I had that right.

rachmass
08-25-2002, 01:03 PM
Erminio, Thank you for explaining. It probably just got lost in translation and that is why it sounded like you were down on fat aikidoka.

James, your are right on in your assessment of the different body types. My sensei always said I had the perfect aikido body even though I am not limber or quick. It is because I am short, have wide hips, somewhat short legs, and a low center of gravity (and a somewhat wide girth). When I was skinny, I lost a lot of my power (but that also had something to do with not having gotten used to my new body). Now I am approximately 20 pounds overweight, have my center back, and my power back. It is interesting....

opherdonchin
08-25-2002, 05:17 PM
For many years, I followed a sensei who was (and still is) quite overweight. There is no question that I learned a great deal from him, or that he was a masterful, insightful, and powerful aikidoka. There is also no question that it changed and in some ways limited his AiKiDo. Now I train in a somewhat more athletic dojo (I didn't leave my teacher, I just had to change towns (and countries) for professional reasons), but I still find I need to do aerobic exercise to stay 'in shape.' This frustrates me, in part because it detracts from the number of hours I can spend training.

It doesn't seem to me that being fat (or, similarly, being old) gets in the way of great senseis being masterful at aikido or masterful teachers. However, I sympathize with Eminio's concerns about devoting himself to an art that will not necessarily keep you in shape.

erminio
08-26-2002, 01:42 AM
Ok guys, I think I've got it; I guess that my opinion about MA was a little biased by movies..it's like X-rated stuff, not so real (not for everybody).. :-)

Thanks a lot

Erminio

mike lee
08-26-2002, 04:59 AM
I think being fit is a basic requisite for any martial art. Fat is hard to justify unless one is in denial.

That being said, I need to lose at least 15 pounds.

DaveO
08-26-2002, 06:43 AM
True; but I really think it depends on your point of view. If a guy (or girl) likes being on the well-rounded end of the scale, that's fine by me - I see no reason to justify it. Same goes if the same guy talkes aikido and becomes very good at it.

Dave

Cyrijl
08-26-2002, 01:21 PM
One must go and try a MA before one can decide the benefits for himself. I tried Aikido and at this point it did not work for me...so now i train at a different place. Sometimes one may want to take a certain MA so badly that he blocks out all of the negative...

My advice is to fine at least three different MA's around you...go and at least watch a class...and then try deciding. Don't decide based on movies or testimonials...maybe if you do not do aikido now...you'll come back to it...Aikido is not going away, so there is no hurry..

erikmenzel
08-26-2002, 04:00 PM
I see many fat guys
I am not fat, I am big boned!! :eek: :D

Ben_t_shodan
08-26-2002, 10:52 PM
Hi guys, another thing: I'm watching some photos of Aikido senseis and students; I see many fat guys, and I wonder: what about their agility? Am I confused by movies or you don't need a good shape for Aikido or what? I have to admit that things like this make me a little doubtful about Aikido..:(

Thanks for your answers
I am uh.. Big boned too and I have no more problem that some skinny Aikidoka. I cant say I don’t have any problems but that’s just my skill. It has taught me to be more proficient with my movements, that way I don’t feel sluggish or anything like that. Aikido has showed my how to control my body (even the Jell-O like flab):blush:.

Fat dose not mean anything, I am in shape enough to be uke for a few dan testes.

Your uke

Ben

P.S. it just means we have bugger and better centers :D

Bronson
08-27-2002, 01:59 AM
I'm in shape...round is a shape :D

Bronson

mike lee
08-27-2002, 03:17 AM
Doing aikido when one is overweight, especially in hot conditions can stress the heart and lead to heart failure. I suggest that anyone who is overweight consider this fact, avoid going into denial, and try to lose some weight.

P.S. It's also a bad example for younger students to see a vastly overweight sensei. MA instructors should be an example of self discipline, not gluttony.

Hogan
08-27-2002, 07:30 AM
...It's also a bad example for younger students to see a vastly overweight sensei. MA instructors should be an example of self discipline, not gluttony.
Being skinny is an example of discipline ? Being heavy is not ? I know of many people who are overweight, but it is more because of low metabolism. I know of many skinny people, but they couldn't "defend themselves" out of a paper bag. I know a vegetarian person, who looks to be in shpe, but can't even finish a kyu test because the have no stamina. I know of a tremenodously overweight man who not only finished a dan test, but was a lot better than the "skinnies".

Lets stop making assumptions of people and their abilities, shall we ? Attitudes of the Aikido people here are really surprising me....

DaveO
08-27-2002, 07:47 AM
I am uh.. Big boned too and I have no more problem that some skinny Aikidoka. I cant say I don’t have any problems but that’s just my skill. It has taught me to be more proficient with my movements, that way I don’t feel sluggish or anything like that. Aikido has showed my how to control my body (even the Jell-O like flab):blush:.
Hee hee - makes the Ki test 'Unraisable Body' REAL easy for ya too, don't it! ;) :D

Dave

mike lee
08-27-2002, 07:48 AM
Lets stop making assumptions of people and their abilities, shall we ?

I never made any assumptions about anyone's ability. I merely said being vastly overweight was a health hazard (a fact that I think most physicians would back me up on), and that it sends the wrong message to younger students (a point that I think most shihan would back me up on).

Jim ashby
08-27-2002, 09:31 AM
As a gravitationally challenged person myself (read the signoff) i went to my doctor for my yearly MOT. He looked at my weight (238 lbs)and then at his "ideal" weight chart. His quote was "according to this chart you need to lose 68 lbs. But looking at your muscle mass and lifestyle I'd be happy with 20". I would agree that starting Aikido as a greatly overweight person may cause problems. However there are beginners I train with that have been encouraged by the fact that there are some large grey-haired people that have reached Dan rank and still train vigorously.

Have fun.

Hogan
08-27-2002, 10:01 AM
I never made any assumptions ...
Ohhhhhh I'm sorry - when you said, "MA instructors should be an example of self discipline, not gluttony" I thought you were making an assumption that being fat is a result of gluttony. That isn't always the case.

My comments are directed at all those, in general, who may have this bias.

Ben_t_shodan
08-27-2002, 10:12 AM
Doing aikido when one is overweight, especially in hot conditions can stress the heart and lead to heart failure.
Aikido is also exercise, fat people should not exercise because it is bad for their heart?:confused:

Your (fat) uke

Ben

mike lee
08-27-2002, 10:16 AM
My complete statement was: "I never made any assumptions about anyone's ability."

I'm not talking about people who are obese because they have a legitimate medical problem.

Yes, I'm biased against teachers who provide a poor example to their students for no apparent reason other than that those teachers eat and drink too much and are vastly overweight.

mike lee
08-27-2002, 10:41 AM
Aikido is also exercise, fat people should not exercise because it is bad for their heart?

I never said they shouldn't exercise. But they might want to consult a physician and get on some kind of weight-loss program.

As people age, the strength of the heart generally declines. If they continue to add excess pounds along the way, they could be endangering their life while remaining in denial about their problem.

opherdonchin
08-27-2002, 11:39 AM
Yes, I'm biased against teachers who provide a poor example to their students for no apparent reason other than that those teachers eat and drink too much and are vastly overweight.Teachers are human. Their job is to provide the best example they can, not some idealized version of what the best example ought to be. Some teachers suffer from gluttony, some probably suffer from anorexia, some suffer from greed, some from lust, some from from a shy personality. The way in which each of these teachers can (in my mind) set an example is by demonstrating that our biggest struggle is always with ourselves. By buying into the struggle and fighting with ourselves to be what we are not, we create a situation in which we will lose (either way it goes). AiKiDo is about finding a different way to think about the problem.

Hogan
08-27-2002, 11:45 AM
...Yes, I'm biased against teachers who provide a poor example to their students for no apparent reason other than that those teachers eat and drink too much and are vastly overweight.
Huhhhh, hello ? Eating and drinking too much are not the sole causes of being overweight. You seem, to me, to view an overweight person as one who is gluttonous and has no self-discipline, when my point is that there are MANY causes to being overweight. People shouldn't make judgements / assumptions based on appearance. And how do you know these people have not already lost a ton of weight through Aikido ? Aikido IS an exercise, also. I myself have lost 30-40 lbs doing it at one point.

Perhaps the "example" that should be set is one of acceptance of other people's bodies. People (not just you - all others who feel this way) don't like to look at fat people, or think it sets a bad example ? Tough shit. I think it sets a bad exapmle to be so unnaccepting of people of all kinds.

mike lee
08-27-2002, 11:56 AM
I think it sets a bad exapmle to be so unnaccepting of people of all kinds.

I am accepting of many kinds of people, just not unnecessarily obese "MA teachers."

Hogan
08-27-2002, 12:29 PM
I am accepting of many kinds of people, just not unnecessarily obese "MA teachers."
Were you accepting of Yamada Sensei ? Or Toyoda Sensei ? Both obese, and both able to practice/teach/demonstrate the essence of Aikido like I have never seen.

mike lee
08-27-2002, 12:41 PM
Were you accepting of Yamada Sensei ? Or Toyoda Sensei ? Both obese, and both able to practice/teach/demonstrate the essence of Aikido like I have never seen.

Yes. I've received instruction from both of these men at various times, and to my knowledge (and I think most physicians would agree) they were/are not obese.

Hogan
08-27-2002, 01:46 PM
Yes. I've received instruction from both of these men at various times, and to my knowledge (and I think most physicians would agree) they were/are not obese.
Obese is defined medically as 30 lb's overweight - trust me, they were "obese" using this definition.

guest1234
08-27-2002, 03:53 PM
well, actually (I believe) obesity is defined by a certain body mass index, related not to weight, per se, but body fat. A large muscular person is not obese. A large young man with a 32% body fat definately is. Neither of which necessarily reflects their skills in Aikido, but many obese people, whether as a result of their weight or a cause of it, do not regularly exercise. Excess body fat increases one's risk of coronary artery disease. They might be wise to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program, including Aikido. Thin people who have additional risk factors (smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) and do not regularly exercise should also consult a physician before starting a new program.

stoker
08-27-2002, 03:56 PM
Hey, I'm in shape. Round IS a shape!

Hogan
08-27-2002, 04:05 PM
well, actually (I believe) obesity is defined by a certain body mass index, related not to weight, per se, but body fat. A large muscular person is not obese. A large young man with a 32% body fat definately is. Neither of which necessarily reflects their skills in Aikido, but many obese people, whether as a result of their weight or a cause of it, do not regularly exercise. Excess body fat increases one's risk of coronary artery disease. They might be wise to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program, including Aikido. Thin people who have additional risk factors (smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol) and do not regularly exercise should also consult a physician before starting a new program.
BMI (Body Mass Index) IS based on weight. That is one of the complaints of the system. People like Arnold Schwarzenneger has a BMI that is over 30 based on his weight for his height, so "techinically" he is obese, but he is certainly NOT, because it is all muscle. So BMI has been criticised as not all that truthfull. Toyoda's and Yamada's excess weight is not muscle but fat, so it is more easily recognizable as "obesity".

I agree, excess fat is bad for your health - but my point is that people shouldn't make judgements and assumptions about a persons abilities because of that. If someone is "fat", believe me, that person knows. And s/he further will know when to take care of it.

The Wrenster
08-27-2002, 04:19 PM
Hey peeps. Im 6'2", and 220lb, needing to lose a few!! i also train in judo, and there is a guy who is around 5'8" ish, and close to 270lbs im sure. He has a huge stomach, but it aint soft!! its solid, REALLY solid!! This doesnt slow him down though!! Hes incredibly fats and agile, he manages to throw some of the yudansha around, which came as a surprise to them, i can tell you (ps, he's 7th kyu) Also, there is a woman, over 40, less than 5'5" whos a 4th kyu aikidoka, and boy, did she teach me a lesson about judging by apearance. it was extremely difficult not to fall over, as her technique was too good! :) aikido is more about the technique than the fittness (though this helps) after all, did no O'sesnei want his MA to be available to all interested parties? The musings of a tuesday evening!

The Wrenster

guest1234
08-27-2002, 04:53 PM
John,

I was commenting on your statement that 30lbs is what is used to determine obesity. A BMI of 30 would be more accurate. And I further said body fat was a better indicator (which can be measured in a variety of easy and not so easy ways). I agree that obese people can have good Aikido skills (as I stated already above). I also don't think Aikido is a good way to lose weight. The fact that Mike said he thought Aikido could be stressful on their health was correct, although any exercise could be, and Aikido would probably be less than a more aerobic program.

It is wrong for people to think obese folks can't have good AIkido skills. It is right for them to think obese folks might be at increased risk for health problems (as are smokers, etc).

batemanb
08-28-2002, 03:15 AM
Having read through the various posts here I have to wonder, does it really matter?

I`m 6` 2" and about 180 lbs, hardly any fat on me (although it does require more work to keep it at bay as I get older:)), BMI is about 19. Can I do 20 ukemi in a row being thrown around by Sensei, just about but I`m left gasping for breath ready to drop courtesy of childhood asthma. Surely the important factor is that regardless of weight, health or physical handicaps or appearance, the important thing is that we/ they are practicing. I`ve been thrown around by a few large chaps in my time, and there has been nothing wrong with their techniques. It`s a lot easier for them to throw me than for me to throw them too :), I have a hell of a job trying to get down and influence their centres;)

A large overweight person may not fit your ideal mental image of a martial artist or teacher, but it doesn`t mean that they shouldn`t be teaching or practicing. If people have a problem with that image, I think that they need to look inside themselves to figure why, not espouce on a public bulletin board about it.

The proof is in the practice, not the pictures

Dennis Hooker
08-28-2002, 07:50 AM
Well lest see, first you go to the dojo and say “hay ya fat sumbitch your a bad example and should not be teaching these people and I think I’ll just kick your ass right out of here” Then get to kicking and that’s when we see if fat means slow, out of shape, lethargic, cardiovascularly challenged, unable, or just plain sluggish.

That seems kind of stupid don’t it? Well so does this unjustified attract on the physical character of cretin people we all no. Some of you seem to be expressing a personal outrage at the lack of what “you” perceive to be physically necessary in a teacher. How many you making this noise are over 60 years old, how about 50 or 40? Many of these teachers are, and have proven themselves in life and combat. I mean hard life and real combat. Not your make believe stuff. Yet you set in judgment criticize and condemning because of your preconceived notion of what right is. One of these sensei had cancer before he died and medication caused his body to grow larger as death grew nearer. Incredibility so did his compassionate heart. Of most of the sensei I know that are over weight most is do to a condition other than overeating and slovenly living. Personally 500 ,mg. of prednisone three time a day for almost a years damn near killed me but also took me from 165 pounds to 210 and changed my metabolism, but I’m still alive. As for my teaching ability, or that of any other teacher ask the hundreds or thousands of people we have taught . Of course there is always the first option.

Dennis Hooker

www.shindai.com

Jeremy H
09-03-2002, 10:37 PM
I have to weigh in my $0.02 here... I used to do Judo and am now taking up Aikido after around 10 years away from MA. I have *ALWAYS* been big without being especially tall - both broad of shoulder of girth, and I have a low centre of gravity. After letting a knee injury dictate the terms of my physicality for 7 years I've finally said "stuff it - I'm going to take the risk of the knee blowing out and just give physicality a go".

For those who have only really worked at athletic dojos and never done randori with someone my size here's some things you need to keep in mind.

1) I'm working from a FAR more stable platform than a lighter fighter. My centre of gravity is lower and it takes a lot more energy to move it to the point where I can be unbalanced. The width of my stance is naturally greater and the strength in my legs makes it possible to compensate for attempts to disrupt my centre.

2) Because I'm big-boned I can wear partial impact from powerful blows easily. A skinny person is more likely to have trouble absorbing a partial impact and be subject to ki no musubi, making it harder to deflect the next move in the channel.

3) I can leg-press 250kg pretty comfortably - sets of 50 etc... Most big guys can. You don't want to find your Hara above ours - you can get launched towards the ceiling when that happens. The judo move Kata Guruma is a classic example of this kind of situation. Follow that move through to its logical conclusion and we're talking serious hang time! ;P

4) A strong individual with a powerful centre can simply deny you permission to enter their sphere of control. I've had lighter judoka try to get in close to try to trip me - my response was simply to stiff arm their grapple and keep them out of range. I didn't need to lean - just used the strength in my arms to maintain my preferred ma ai until they committed forwards (straight to a simple hip throw or similar for easy ippon).

5) Don't confuse slow with ineffective. Even if a large mass is committed late it is far more effective than a small mass committed early.

Now - I know that for everything I've mentioned above there's a counter-truth in favour of the skinny guy. But that's true of all martial contests. Every opponent has strengths and weaknesses - if you can exploit their weaknesses without letting them use their strengths then you will win every time.

I think that sums up my experiences... I'm sure Aikido will teach me the limitations of these techniques as well as their strengths... but keep in mind that Aikido isn't only about fighting. It's a journey in balance of more than simply physicality for the aikidoka.

Cheers

Jeremy

Genex
09-04-2002, 04:38 AM
Okay i weigh about 230lb for all you american people and about 17 and a bit stone for the english, i'm not small i'm 6'4 and disproportionatly built my legs are just muscle where as my stomach is a little protruding (BEER GOOOOOOD!) i'm actualy quite strong dispite having arms like matchsticks (go figure) however i can throw myself around like some of the best aikidoka i know i run i dance i mosh (if your english you'll get this) and generaly i have an active lifestyle, since starting aikido tho i've actualy lost weight.

i think aikido helps but unless we start doing laps around the dojo or we have an intense training sesh where we really try to become one with the mat then maybe you work enough, but otherwise your not really going to do too much.

pete

erikmenzel
09-04-2002, 05:50 AM
Well, IRC I am about 240 lbs and 6'6 (an irish friend did the calculations for me, for in Th Netherlands we use the metric system), which means I am tall and big.

IMHE big people that claim they are slower, more solid, more stable and more centered are most of the time just lazy and ignorant.

There is absolutely no reason a big person cant be quick or light.

Jeremy H
09-04-2002, 10:07 AM
Very true Erik :)

I just said ***I*** was slow. ;P

This shouldn't be surprising considering I'm around 5'9" and about 310lbs (dropping slowly thanks to Aikido, diet change, walking, golf and soon to be commenced gym work).

aikigreg
09-04-2002, 03:10 PM
I'm considered fat by most people but I know how to use that weight, and a lot of it is muscle and not truly "fat". I can do a full split, chinese style. That makes me limber.

But yknow, even when I was skinny, my aikido still sucked :D

David Worsley
09-04-2002, 04:10 PM
My wife is a large!! woman but she has been training actively and powerfully for over twenty years, size has never been a issue. She won`t let it stop her, but then niether can a dojo full of strong fit healthy chaps.

She`s strong, really bendy!! if you know what I mean and is no less an active practitioner than myself, just in a different way.

Thats the great thing about aikido it allows for individual body shapes and sizes. If we all trained the same and looked the same there would be no growth, no developement and a much greater lack of choice for students.

aikigreg
09-04-2002, 04:28 PM
She`s strong, really bendy!! if you know what I mean and is no less an active practitioner than myself, just in a different way.
If that applies to everything and not just Aikido, I'd call you a lucky man ;)

deepsoup
09-04-2002, 05:44 PM
Well, IRC I am about 240 lbs and 6'6 (an irish friend did the calculations for me, for in Th Netherlands we use the metric system), which means I am tall and big.
What is it about the Netherlands that makes everyone so tall!? Is it something to do with living below sea level? :D
There is absolutely no reason a big person cant be quick or light.
At least as far as quick goes, theres no reason a big person cant do it, but there are reasons its harder than it is for a small person.

I believe acceleration (increasing speed, stopping power, and the ability to rapidly change direction) basically comes down to your power/weight ratio. As you get bigger, you have more mass to move. Sure you also have more strength to move it with, but the problem is that you gain mass more quickly than you gain power.

I've read that if you increase the mass of a muscle by 100% you only increase its power by 60%, so as you get bigger and stronger your power/weight ratio actually goes down.

Thats if you gain weight by adding pure muscle, of course if you gain weight by adding fat its tougher still.

I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it ain't easy. (And ok, I admit it, I'm also making excuses for why I'm not quicker than I am! :D)

Sean

(105kg and 1.77m)

Gregory King
09-04-2002, 08:26 PM
Has anyone heard of David Foster? He is a champion axeman/woodchopper from my home state, has won over twentyseven world titles that's right world titles and is still continueing to win, the guy is the size of a house! If you were to see him walking along the street you would definetly consider him fat, but is he unfit I would think not, he just tucks away enormous amounts of tucker. You don't win a world championship by being unfit and you don't lose one just because you are fat.

peace.

paw
09-04-2002, 09:30 PM
Sean,
I've read that if you increase the mass of a muscle by 100% you only increase its power by 60%, so as you get bigger and stronger your power/weight ratio actually goes down.

I'd like to see where you read that. That doesn't make sense to me, and sounds like the result of a studying a specific training method or specific group rather than a general truism.

Regards,

Paul

guest1234
09-05-2002, 12:11 AM
I think smaller people are faster because they have to be to compensate for size. Small and slow just won't cut it, and survival is challenging. Larger folk can get way with more due to their size, but... as Erik says (and he should know, the NL is definately the Land of the Giants) big foks can move if they want to:

The other day another student and I were commenting about our instructor, whom some would liken to a mountain of muscle. He moves darned fast for a big guy, I said. Heck, (OK, some words are cleaned up for the minors in the audience ;) ), my friend replied (who has had a few rough turns as demo dummy), he moves darned fast for anyone. And he was right.

erikmenzel
09-05-2002, 03:22 AM
What is it about the Netherlands that makes everyone so tall!? Is it something to do with living below sea level? :D
Well, officialy it is because we use a lot of dairy products (calcium) and sent our children to bed early. (human growth hormone is produced while sleeping)

Unofficialy, it is because our country is surrounded by dykes to keep the water out. Evolution worked in such a way that those people who were able to look over the dykes had a better chance of survival.:D :D :D
At least as far as quick goes, theres no reason a big person cant do it, but there are reasons its harder than it is for a small person.
And in my believe, the mental reason "I am big so I cant be quick and lightly moving" is the most important reason why it is hard.

Edward
09-05-2002, 03:50 AM
Sean,



I'd like to see where you read that. That doesn't make sense to me, and sounds like the result of a studying a specific training method or specific group rather than a general truism.

Regards,

Paul
This is common knowledge. Maybe the 100 to 60 % ratio is just an approximation by I too have heard about it.

erikmenzel
09-05-2002, 04:40 AM
This is common knowledge.
I would not put my money on common knowledge.

It often turns out that common knowledge is highly cultural determined and wrong.

Just because everybody believes it, that doesnt make it true.

paw
09-05-2002, 06:03 AM
Edward,

I'd like to see something more formal than common sense. As a counter example, consider some world records in powerlifting.

Carlsson (@ 56 kg) squatted 287.5 kg

Alexander (@ 75 kg) squatted 328 kg

Coan (@ 100 kg) squatted 423 kg

All three men performed these lifts in basically the same amount of time. Since power is work / time and work is force * distance. I may be displaying my misunderstanding of basic physics, but it looks to me that the larger lifters are generating more power (particularly since the larger lifter surely moving weight a slightly longer distance).

Oh, in the event I'm wrong, I blame the US educations system, of which I am a product...

Regards,

Paul

mike lee
09-05-2002, 10:08 AM
It's been my experience that those who rely on mass and strength require the most time to learn aikido. Sometimes they never learn. All I can say is if you want to take this approach, you are wasting your time.

Fast feet are essential to good aikido. If you think you can get away with slow, lethargic movements, try going up against a trained swordsman swinging a live sword sometime and see how long you last.

Out muscling each other will teach you nothing. Imagine that you are 108 years old and recovering from the flu -- now how does your aikido work?

P.S. Years ago I could easily bench press 230 lbs. Today I can easily throw someone weighing 330 lbs. It's all about postioning, movement, and technique -- not strength. It's a thinking man's/woman's game.

Chuck Clark
09-05-2002, 03:08 PM
I know some big guys that have very quick feet and hands. Those of you that think being big is synonomous with using lots of muscle inefficiently, you might want to check out Wang Shu Chi. He was a legendary teacher of internal style Chinese arts. He was about 5'8" and weighed somewhere around 300 lbs. or more.

Regards,

Alfonso
09-05-2002, 04:50 PM
I think Erminio hit a sore spot for Aikidoka. I mean the rush of replies ..

... this guy still hasn't gone to his first class, is admitedly purely concerned over his vanity.. and wow he's got everyone jumping!

go to any Aikido dojo and you'll feel and experience the effectiveness of the teachers regardless of their shape.

(from another guy on the heavy side)

deepsoup
09-05-2002, 05:33 PM
Sean,

I'd like to see where you read that
(About the thing where a 100% increase in muscle mass produces a 60%ish increase in power.)

Here it is:

Performance Rock Climbing

Dale Goddard and Udo Neumann

Stackpole Books, 1993

ISBN: 1 871890 72 1

Rock climbing is unsurprisingly a sport in which strength relative to weight is a major issue, the book is very detailed, very scientific, and has more to say that is relevant to budo practice than you might expect. (Thats not why I bought it, I also climb, though not to a very high standard.)

There are about a dozen references cited for the chapter that number crops up in (its the chapter on 'strength', btw), but they dont specify which one they got it from. My best guess is that its one of these:

Komi, P.V., ed. Strength and Power in Sports. Boston: Blackwell, 1992

McMahon, T.A. Muscles, Reflexes and Locomotion. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984

Schmidt, R.F., ed. Strength and Power in Sport. Boston, Blackwell, 1992

I agree with Erik, on the subject of 'common knowledge', btw.

Sean
x

ps: I did some more maths with the power-lifters. Coan is 78.6% heavier than Carlsson, but only 47.1% more powerful, than means proportionately his power is up over Carlssons by 60% as much as his weight is.
(Could be a coincidence, of course. :))

deepsoup
09-05-2002, 06:24 PM
Edward,

I'd like to see something more formal than common sense. As a counter example, consider some world records in powerlifting.

Carlsson (@ 56 kg) squatted 287.5 kg

Alexander (@ 75 kg) squatted 328 kg

Coan (@ 100 kg) squatted 423 kg

All three men performed these lifts in basically the same amount of time. Since power is work / time and work is force * distance. I may be displaying my misunderstanding of basic physics, but it looks to me that the larger lifters are generating more power (particularly since the larger lifter surely moving weight a slightly longer distance).

Oh, in the event I'm wrong, I blame the US educations system, of which I am a product...
Your physics is fine, but actually I think, your example supports my post, heres why:

When we talk about someone being 'fast' in aikido, what we're really talking about is acceleration. Thats because aikido isn't about just moving in a straight line at a constant speed, in aikido a 'fast' person is someone who can speed up, change direction and slow down again rapidly.

(ie: When you tenkan you go from a standstill at A, get moving, turn around and then stop again at B.)

Newton's second law (I think its the second), says that Force = Mass x Acceleration. So for a given acceleration, if you double the mass you're trying to move you've got to double the force you're applying to move it.

In aikido what we're mainly trying to move is our own bodies. In your example, Coan is 79% heavier than Carlsson, but he only lifts 47% more.

Same with Coan/Alexander and Alexander/Carlsson: yes the heavier man is more powerful than the lighter man, but in each case his weight has gone up by more than his power has.

That means that if instead of lifting weights, they were using that power to accelerate their own bodies, Carlsson would accelerate faster than Alexander, who in turn would accelerate faster than Coan.

Sean

x

paw
09-05-2002, 09:37 PM
Sean,

Thanks for the reference, I'll check it out. I had a feeling the study was sport specific (my gut feeling was gymnastics, actually).

I never had any doubts about proportionality or strength/weight ratios, only absolute power, which is a different animal. In any case, when I'm done reading it, we could discuss what is budo relevant about the study if you want.

Thanks to all for this tangential discussion.

Regards,

Paul

Chris Li
09-05-2002, 09:37 PM
I know some big guys that have very quick feet and hands. Those of you that think being big is synonomous with using lots of muscle inefficiently, you might want to check out Wang Shu Chi. He was a legendary teacher of internal style Chinese arts. He was about 5'8" and weighed somewhere around 300 lbs. or more.

Regards,
Then there was that other guy, Morihei Ueshiba - no 300 lbs., but at 5'2" and over 180 lbs. he was pretty hefty for his size. Didn't seem to slow him down all that much, either...

Best,

Chris

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 10:02 AM
Then there was that other guy, Morihei Ueshiba - no 300 lbs., but at 5'2" and over 180 lbs. he was pretty hefty for his size. Didn't seem to slow him down all that much, either...

Best,

Chris
Chris,

Really? Is that what he weighed? Man, at 5'10" and 210 lbs, I don't feel so bad now!

Thanks!

-Mongo

Chuck Clark
09-06-2002, 12:14 PM
Hi Mongo,

You feel fine to me! Big guys that think big & powerful are one thing...a big guy that thinks like he's small and not very strong is a real problem to deal with.

Later,

Guest5678
09-06-2002, 02:39 PM
Hi Mongo,

You feel fine to me! Big guys that think big & powerful are one thing...a big guy that thinks like he's small and not very strong is a real problem to deal with.

Later,
Clark sensei,

Paul delivered your message and my head still hurts! HA! Not sure where I actually fit into your post here, but thanks! Big body small mind is probably a better discription of me though....

We really enjoy your dojo newsletter!

Take care!

-Mongo

Erik
09-06-2002, 02:48 PM
Then there was that other guy, Morihei Ueshiba - no 300 lbs., but at 5'2" and over 180 lbs. he was pretty hefty for his size. Didn't seem to slow him down all that much, either...

Best,

Chris
Did anyone ever put that man on a scale?

I just can't buy that he weighed 180 pounds. I'd guess something much more like 5' 140/150 pounds. Even in the photos of him in the 30's, where he looks really solid, he still doesn't look that heavy to me and he certainly wasn't in his older years. I dunno, maybe he was but the height/weight ratio just doesn't work for me on someone 5' tall.

I think it a lot like an NBA player. They'll come into the league and in their first year they are 6' 9" tall. A few years later they wind up 6' 10" and by the end of their careers they are 6' 11".

Chris Li
09-06-2002, 05:18 PM
Did anyone ever put that man on a scale?

I just can't buy that he weighed 180 pounds. I'd guess something much more like 5' 140/150 pounds. Even in the photos of him in the 30's, where he looks really solid, he still doesn't look that heavy to me and he certainly wasn't in his older years. I dunno, maybe he was but the height/weight ratio just doesn't work for me on someone 5' tall.
That's according to accounts by both Sunadomari and K. Ueshiba. Believe it or not, as you will :).

Best,

Chris

Kevin Wilbanks
09-07-2002, 03:18 AM
Without looking at any references, I have to say that the figure of muscle mass increase only resulting in a 60% relative increase in power sounds like a misapplication of information. Biomechanics and physiology are quite complicated, and one should always beware of applying simple physics to an issue of sporting performance if one is not well versed in the relevant theory and research.

First of all, making a correlation between muscle mass and power is virtually meaningless in any practical context. Either this has been misapplied from the book, or the authors of the book themselves have misapplied it, as I can't see how this is relevant to rock climbing. Unless one is racing up a cliff, rock climbing is not about power anyway.

Speaking practically, power is not only about moving a weight or against resistance a certain distance, but is also determined by the speed in which the distance is covered. When it comes to measuring power, speed is just as important as force. The ability of a muscle to produce power is more a function of neurological adaptation than amount of muscle material, especially at higher speeds, although muscle size can be a limiting factor. Even when the element of speed is removed, and one is only measuring how much resistance can be moved how far (strength), neural adaptations are key, both in terms of how the motor units are recruited and the rate at which they are fired.

Now you might think that if you kept all things equal, then you could compare power output at X muscle weight to power output at 2X muscle weight, but not so. How you went about achieving the increase in muscle weight is the whole story.

If you pumped the subject full of steroids, strapped them in a bed, and achieved the muscle weight that way, the increase in power would likely be zero.

If they gained the mass via resistance training, it would depend upon what type of training they did. Using slow rep, medium resistance bodybuilding methods specifically designed to build mass as the only goal, you might well get a disproportionately low power increase compared to the mass increase. This is not surprising because this type of training generally emphasizes the volume of work the muscle can do, not the muscle's power limits.

On the other hand, the muscle could be trained via Olympic Weightlifting, or some other method in which one was training expressly for maximal power, like sprinting or jumping. By the time it had acheived the specified increase in mass via this type of training, the muscle could easily be capable of expressing many times the original power output.

Anyway, this is getting long. The main point is, that 60% figure isn't 'common knowledge', and it really doesn't even make sense. In general, fears about muscle mass slowing one down or lessening one's mobility are largely ephemeral. If the muscle is achieved through smart, scientifically-based training appropriate to one's functional objectives, it can only help. Even if the muscle is acheived by ignorant training methods and dumb luck, it will still probably help.

Kevin Wilbanks, CSCS

mike lee
09-07-2002, 10:43 AM
Excerpts from a recent New York Times report titled: “MEN WHO STEP UP TO THE SCALE AND CROW”

David Zinczenko, the editor of “Men's Health” magazine, believes that one factor contributing to a new climate of publicized male weight loss is the fact that more American men than ever are overweight or obese -- 61 percent, according to the surgeon general. That bad news is partly behind the harsh new guidelines issued last week by the Institute of Medicine, a government agency, recommending that adults exercise at least an hour a day to maintain health and weight....

Doctors and weight-loss experts say that because men are much less likely than women to perceive themselves as overweight, they frequently are obese before they realize they have a problem. (Obesity is defined by a formula comparing height to weight. A 5-foot-11-inch man weighing 225 pounds would qualify.) ...

Art Cooper, the formerly high-living editor in chief of GQ, who has dropped 55 pounds since January, chronicled the saga in his monthly editor's column (“I'm always sober and always hungry,” he wrote in March.)...

“Thinness today says that you are richer, smarter and more successful than the overweight masses. With our lives and food chain set up to make us fat -- I mean, you can't drive down any highway in America and find a grapefruit -- a guy needs to be smarter and more determined to get lean. So telling people you lost weight is telling them, 'Hey, I can outwit the world; I can beat the system.”'...

Among that smarter, leaner crowd are about 75 members of the New York City Fire Department who two years ago began working with Dr. Howard Shapiro, a Manhattan weight-loss specialist (and diet-book author). “At the beginning, the other guys would be teasing us, talking about soy burgers and soy milk, so there was a certain amount of harassment,” said Michael Carter, former vice president of the firefighters' union, who lost 80 pounds on the program. “But when we started losing weight, they were like, 'Hey, what are you eating over there?”'

justinm
09-09-2002, 09:17 AM
And don't forget, some of us skinny guys would love to be a little bigger! Being thin seems to me to be a dissadvantage in aikido - at least until I achieve a high level of skill in the long distant future!!

(Oops, did I say 'skinny'? I meant 'tall for my weight')

Justin

deepsoup
09-09-2002, 02:49 PM
Biomechanics and physiology are quite complicated, and one should always beware of applying simple physics to an issue of sporting performance if one is not well versed in the relevant theory and research.
No argument from me on this one.
First of all, making a correlation between muscle mass and power is virtually meaningless in any practical context. Either this has been misapplied from the book, or the authors of the book themselves have misapplied it...
I dont think the figure is misapplied in the book, it refers to the increase in power resulting from an increase in muscle mass alone. The chapter in question is discussing the marginal effects on performance of various factors, with an aim to targetting training where it will most benefit performance.

I realise that most people are unlikely to increase their muscle mass through training without also improving the other factors important to power (primarily recruitment and inter-muscle coordination) but we're not talking about one person changing their physique, we're talking about the relative advantages/disadvantages associated with physical bulk.

PAW's example of the powerlifters was a good example of what I'm talking about in my view. All three men are world class athletes, and its reasonable to assume that they all have excellent recruitment, coordination and endurance. The main difference between them is their bodyweight, and proportional to their bodyweight the lighter men are stronger than the heavier ones. (And of course none of the men is anything like as strong as an ant or a spider.)
...as I can't see how this is relevant to rock climbing. Unless one is racing up a cliff, rock climbing is not about power anyway.
Then I guess you dont know much about rock-climbing. Power is important, speed is important and not all moves are static. (Especially when you climb at the kind of level that Goddard and Neumann do - way out of my league I'm afraid.)

Speaking practically, power is not only about moving a weight or against resistance a certain distance, but is also determined by the speed in which the distance is covered. When it comes to measuring power, speed is just as important as force.
Weren't you telling me off for applying schoolboy physics to a complex situation a little while ago?
The ability of a muscle to produce power is more a function of neurological adaptation than amount of muscle material, especially at higher speeds, although muscle size can be a limiting factor. Even when the element of speed is removed, and one is only measuring how much resistance can be moved how far (strength), neural adaptations are key, both in terms of how the motor units are recruited and the rate at which they are fired.
So neurological adaptation a more significant factor than muscle mass in determining power? Care to quote a reference or two?

Incidentally, sorry to nit-pick, but if you just look at how much resistance can be moved how far thats work, not strength. (And power is the rate at which work is done) My understanding of the word 'strength' is that it describes only the amount of force that can be applied, not how much work can be done with it, or how fast.
Now you might think that if you kept all things equal, then you could compare power output at X muscle weight to power output at 2X muscle weight, but not so. How you went about achieving the increase in muscle weight is the whole story.
I agree again, but remember we're not necessarily talking about a single person here, we're comparing different people of different weights. Like the power-lifters again, different masses but comparable performance in other areas.

I dont know, but I suspect that 60% figure came from a comparison of the performance of a number of athletes of differing weights by some statistical method.

Anyway, this is getting long. The main point is, that 60% figure isn't 'common knowledge', and it really doesn't even make sense.
Then please feel free to shoot that figure down in flames. I mean no offence, but I'm giving more credence in what I've read in a very well researched and thourough textbook than I'm putting in your opinion (at least until you quote references, and assuming I can be bothered to check them).
In general, fears about muscle mass slowing one down or lessening one's mobility are largely ephemeral. If the muscle is achieved through smart, scientifically-based training appropriate to one's functional objectives, it can only help. Even if the muscle is acheived by ignorant training methods and dumb luck, it will still probably help.
I dont disagree here really, although if one of ones functional objectives is to move quickly (and in aikido that means acceleration, not straight-line speed), then one ought to think carefully before deliberately gaining weight. (Especially if, as you say, neural adaptation is key. Would it not be possible to improve neural adaptation whilst keeping the increase in mass to a minimum?)

I'm not sure that muscle mass 'can only help', however. Ultimately we're talking about aikido here, and in terms of aikido, time spent gaining muscle rather than learning technique is time wasted.

(Something else rock-climbing has in common with aikido is that beginners often think they aren't strong enough to do a move, when in fact they already have ample strength but are lacking in technique.)

Sean
x

paw
09-09-2002, 05:49 PM
Sean,

First thing: I couldn't find the book in the local library, but I am working on tracking it down.

Second thing:
PAW's example of the powerlifters was a good example of what I'm talking about in my view. All three men are world class athletes, and its reasonable to assume that they all have excellent recruitment, coordination and endurance. The main difference between them is their bodyweight, and proportional to their bodyweight the lighter men are stronger than the heavier ones.

Apples and oranges. The larger men do generate more power, which you conceeded earlier. The smaller men lift more as a percentage of their body weight, which I conceeded earlier. Two separate measurements of "strength".... There are others, like say, static strength (the ability to remain in a position despite forces being applied against the structure) to pick one.

Rant:

In my mind, all of this is tangental to aikido, as I suspect that neither rock climbing nor powerlifting are ideal training methods to improve aikido performance, but both probably have elements that would greatly benefit aikidoka.

Since I've gotten on a soap box... The posts about physical fitness seem incomplete in my mind. Physically fit, FOR WHAT? Lance Armstrong is a tremendous cyclist and as such there is no doubt that he is physically fit. However, I would bet my rent money that a good high-school swimmer would trounce him in a swimming event, certainly a collegiate swimmer would. In a similar vein, I know folks that can train aikido for hours, and yet be huffing and puffing a minute or two into a basketball game. Different activities have different physical demands.

To my knowledge, no one has studied and produced a definative guideline for fitness as it applies to aikido. Maybe someone would like to fill that gap? To me, that would be a much more interesting discussion, and a far beneficial one. I mean, who's going to say their instructor isn't in shape? Everyone's instructor is either in shape, or there's a very good reason why they aren't or don't have to be.



Ok, I'm off my soap box, and I'm done with this thread unless someone has a specific question for me.

Again, thanks to the group for allowing the brief tangent (and sorry about the rant).

Back to the original topic!

Regards,

Paul

Kevin Wilbanks
09-09-2002, 07:43 PM
soup,

As far as the strength/power/work thing goes, the way these words are used in strength training circles is not the same as strict physics definitions. Likewise, my post above was not addressed to biomechanists, but a general reader. If you were a biomechanist, you would not need the post.

Since you seemed to ignore the most important explanatory parts of my post, I'm not sure how to rebut. There simply is no such thing as a muscle size to power correlation without specifying the training means by which the size was acheived. In general, there are three main types of exercise objectives: strength, hypertrophy (size), and muscular endurance. What is commonly referred to as power training is a subset of strength, in which moves are trained explosively - the quintessential example being Olympic Weightlifting. Which of the three adaptations results is a matter of training intensity and method. Neural adaptations are far more important to strength and power training and the resulting strength (or power) gained is consequently more specific to the actual movements trained. It is possible to significantly increase an athlete's strength and power with marginal hypertrophic adaptation. Hypertrophy adaptations are more emphasized by training in which high volumes of moderately heavy loads are lifted. These categories are arbitrarily chosen segments of a continuum related primarily to exercise intensity - usually expressed in terms of a 1 rep maximum.

I could go on, but there is not room for an entire basic education on exercise science here. As for references, I suggest picking up a basic exercise science reference or text book. The one I studied for my certification is the ESSENTIALS OF STRENGTH TRAINING AND CONDITIONING, by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, ed. Thomas Baechle and Roger Earle. There are hundreds and hundreds of references in the back, if you feel like looking them up. A more advanced general reference is SUPERTRAINING by Mel Siff, looking up all the references for which might take most of the rest of your life. Have fun.

As far as training for Aikido, rock climbing or anything, the important thing is to identify the types of movements and energy systems involved and design training appropriate to those objectives. Except in the case of excess body fat that proves a hindrance, gaining or losing weight is a peripheral concern. Changes in weight that adversely effect performance would have to be determined in each individual situation. It is possible for an athlete to gain muscle weight disproportional to gain in strength performance, and this is considered to be a training error - probably the result of inappropriate emphasis on hypertrophy training during a cycle, where appropriate limit strength or power work to take advantage of the increased size afterwards was not done.

I strongly disagree that fitness training for Aikido is a waste of time. Those who excel at every sport and physical discipline devote a portion of their time to supplemental conditioning exercise for good reasons: to prevent injury and improve performance. Aikido is no different.

At the very least, a certain level of general physical preparation is in order. In order to get the most out of practicing a skill, one needs to be safely and comfortably within one's limits in terms of strength, power, flexibility, endurance, etc... Otherwise, training has to be slowed down due to fatigue, modified to accomodate weakness, or halted due to injury. Fitness inadequacies cause wasted time on the mat - as I'm sure you've experienced when you waited for someone to catch their breath when you could have been throwing and taking ukemi, pantomimed a throw on one side due to someone's weakness or injury, etc... As the adage goes: "Get in shape to play, don't play to get in shape."

Kevin Wilbanks
09-09-2002, 08:50 PM
I tried to cram too much into that post. Gaining weight disproportional to accompanying strength wouldn't necessarily be a training error. It would be in sports with weight classes, or potentially those in which propelling the body's own weight was essential to the activity - like rock climbing. Even there, it's not so simple. If one's latissimus dorsi, biceps, and forearms became 30% more massive, but one "only" became 20% stronger at pull ups, would this be a climbing hindrance? I doubt it. The total weight gain might be two or three pounds, whereas a 20% strength gain at pullups is huge - for me that would mean an addition of around 50 pounds to my 1RM.

For Aikido, more weight is probably generally an asset for throwing and a liability for falling, in terms of long term wear and tear. However, once again, from what I've seen, those with the worst wear and tear problems are those with no supplementary fitness regime who lack the muscular strength to maintain postural integrity and protect joints.

deepsoup
09-10-2002, 06:08 AM
Paul,

We have gone off at quite a tangent haven't we. Your "rant" didn't read like a rant to me, and I didn't find anything in it to disagree with. :) Thanks for your input.

Kevin,

I'll take both those posts together if I may..
Since you seemed to ignore the most important explanatory parts of my post, I'm not sure how to rebut
Dont worry about it, I'll give it a few days and then re-read, maybe I'll get it then.

Thanks for the references, I'll look out for them.
I strongly disagree that fitness training for Aikido is a waste of time. Those who excel at every sport and physical discipline devote a portion of their time to supplemental conditioning exercise for good reasons: to prevent injury and improve performance. Aikido is no different.
I agree entirely. As a member of the very small minority for whom aikido is a competitive sport as well as a martial art, I could hardly disagree with you that fitness training is indeed important.

I never meant to suggest that fitness training was a waste of time, what I actually said was that "time spent gaining muscle rather than learning technique" is a waste of time.

My point about strength training vs learning technique was merely this: If someone thinks they're not strong enough to perform an aikido technique, that person is (almost always) mistaken. It is their technique that is lacking, not their strength. Therefore, it is counterproductive to try to get stronger at the expense of trying to learn to do the technique correctly.
Gaining weight disproportional to accompanying strength wouldn't necessarily be a training error. It would be in sports with weight classes, or potentially those in which propelling the body's own weight was essential to the activity - like rock climbing.
Going back to before I went off on this tangent, the discussion was about whether a larger aikidoist can be expected to move as quickly as a smaller one. Since movement in aikido is not in a straight line, I consider short-term acceleration to be the key to 'quickness' in aikido, rather than straight line top speed. As such, I consider propelling the body's own weight to be essential to aikido also.
Even there, it's not so simple. If one's latissimus dorsi, biceps, and forearms became 30% more massive, but one "only" became 20% stronger at pull ups, would this be a climbing hindrance? I doubt it. The total weight gain might be two or three pounds, whereas a 20% strength gain at pullups is huge - for me that would mean an addition of around 50 pounds to my 1RM. Very good point. No doubt this is why so many climbers aspire to look like weight lifters from the waist up and long distance runners from the waist down.

Similarly, the ideal aikidoka's frame might marry the legs and hips of a sprinter to the arms and shoulders of a marathon runner. :)
For Aikido, more weight is probably generally an asset for throwing and a liability for falling, in terms of long term wear and tear. However, once again, from what I've seen, those with the worst wear and tear problems are those with no supplementary fitness regime who lack the muscular strength to maintain postural integrity and protect joints.
More weight may indeed be something of an asset for throwing in terms of idoryoku. (Idoryoku is 'the power of body movement') More strength, on the other hand, is not something I'd consider an asset for throwing. It may even be counter-productive if it masks deficiencies in technique which would otherwise become apparent.

In terms of falling, more weight definitely does seem to be something of a liability, and not just in the long term. As with 'speed', falling is something I would suggest that heavier people need to work at more than their lighter training partners.

Regards

Sean

x

mike lee
09-10-2002, 07:14 AM
If someone thinks they're not strong enough to perform an aikido technique, that person is (almost always) mistaken. It is their technique that is lacking, not their strength.

The sooner students learn this, the better.

But one thing I've noticed in recent years is that young students lack a strong enough grip to even be able to hang on. They just let go, stand there, and say, "I can't hold you!"

As a result, this summer we worked almost entirely on two things: Ken, partly in an effort to increase grip strength; and katate-tori tenkan waza in an effort to teach uke to "hang on" and move his ass!

For those who attended classes regulary, the training worked.

When we begin aikido training, things aren't as natural and easy as we might expect.

P.S. I learned an important lesson when I used to work with mentally and physically challenged individuals. If things aren't going well during classes, DON'T BLAME THE CLIENT. Take responsibility by making adjustments in the program. This often involves breaking things down into smaller steps.

P.P.S. Aikido doesn't teach you everything. It doesn't teach you how to swim for example. It would be unfortunate if someone spent 20 years mastering aikido, and then one day, while on holiday, he fell out of a boat and drowned.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-10-2002, 08:26 AM
"Since movement in aikido is not in a straight line, I consider short-term acceleration to be the key to 'quickness' in aikido, rather than straight line top speed."

I think you are trying to make a distinction here in which there is no practical difference in terms of what we are talking about - the supposed trade-off between bulk and mobility. Quickness, accleration, speed... they all fall under the category of speed-strength or power. There are no straight lines in human movement, as all joints spin or rotate around fulcra. Every movement that starts from non-movement involves acceleration, and usually just as much decceleration at the end, whether that is provided externally or internally.

As far as strength being irrelevant to Aikido - admitting the importance of speed-strength, acceleration, quickness, or whatever you want to call it to Aikido contradicts this. Relevent factors responsible for acceleration such as contractility of the neuromuscular system, recruitment of sacromeres, velocity of muscle shortening can be improved through power training such as plyometrics, explosive weight training etc... Plus, as Mike suggests, a certain amount of beginning strength is needed in order to be able to grip properly, maintain shoulder stability, squat during koshinage, etc...

deepsoup
09-10-2002, 10:54 AM
I think you are trying to make a distinction here in which there is no practical difference in terms of what we are talking about - the supposed trade-off between bulk and mobility. Quickness, accleration, speed... they all fall under the category of speed-strength or power.
hmm... you may have something here. I'll have a bit of a ponder..
As far as strength being irrelevant to Aikido - admitting the importance of speed-strength, acceleration, quickness, or whatever you want to call it to Aikido contradicts this.
Whoa neddy! I didn't say strength is irrelevant to aikido, what I said was:

"If someone thinks they're not strong enough to perform an aikido technique, that person is (almost always) mistaken"

I'm pretty sure thats not the same thing at all. RTFP, as they say on Usenet. :D

And with that, I think I've contributed all I can to this thread. Time for me to follow PAW's lead and make a dignified exit. Thanks to all for putting up with my nonsense.

Regards

Sean

x

Bruce Baker
09-11-2002, 05:48 PM
Well, I have been thin, and now I am somewhat fat and middleaged, so I guess I have the experience to speak on this subject.

The changes from being in gymnastic shape to do an 'L' seat to a handstand, then growing old and somewhat rotund to make getting up from seiza a chore, I would say I qualify.

As the old sayings go,'what you lack in speed, you make up in cunning, what you lack in cunning, make up with dirty tricks.'

The movements of Aikido are not always the use of muscular force, but I been known to pick up an uke to press the point that they were not using the proper techniques to move me. Indeed, the larger, somewhat rotund people are out of shape in relation to the younger more fit youth. Yet, we do find the means to roll, fall, move about in the practice of Aikido. Take it as the tiredness of coming back from an illness in the vain of becoming older, more rotund.

Where the average person would sit out the class, the larger older person must practice with whatever skills he/she posesses. The only danger of being too slow, or being thrown too fast by a younger aikidoka is that the more rotund will actually launch the more agile practitioner.

No pity. Just remember, not all people who are 'fat' are not truly fat. Of course, if you can't move someone, how good will your Aikido practice be?

Time for the front end loader?

mike lee
10-10-2002, 11:12 AM
AP, CHICAGO (excerpts)

Americans are even fatter than they think they are, with nearly a third of all adults — almost 59 million people — rated obese in a disturbing new government survey based on actual body measurements.

One in five Americans, or 19.8 percent, had considered themselves obese in a 2000 survey based on people's own assessments of their girth.

The new 1999-2000 survey puts the real number at 31 percent — a doubling over the past two decades. The new number is considered more reliable since people consistently underestimate their weight.

“The problem keeps getting worse,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. “This has profound health implications.”

In addition, a measurement-based survey of young people found that 15 percent of youngsters ages 6 to 19 were seriously overweight. That is nearly 9 million youths and triple the number in a similar assessment from 1980.

“One of the most significant concerns from a public health perspective is that we know a lot of children who are overweight grow up to be overweight or obese adults, and thus at greater risk for some major health problems such as heart disease and diabetes,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings appear in Wednesday's “Journal of the American Medical Association.”

Twenty-three percent of adults were obese in 1994 and 15 percent in 1980.

Obesity increases the risk for a number of serious ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.

Obesity is defined as having a body-mass index of 30 or above. The index is a measure of weight relative to height.

The latest survey also found that nearly two-thirds of US adults were overweight, or had a body-mass index of between 25 and 30.

In the youth survey, even toddlers were affected, with more than 10 percent of children ages 2 through 5 seriously overweight, compared with 7.2 percent in 1994.

“The numbers are pretty shocking,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“They need to put into place real policy,” such as offering more healthful foods in government meal programs and requiring fast-food restaurants to list calories on menus, she said.

In an accompanying editorial, Dr. Phil Fontanarosa, JAMA's executive deputy director, questioned whether dietary guidelines are adequate and whether doctors have been ineffective in counseling overweight patients.

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 12:10 PM
My 2cents

Wow, this one's kinda complicated, huh? Here are some stream of conciousness ramblings...

Firstly, what is fitness?

If I pump you full of 'roids and train you on Oly lifts and HIIT and all the physiological markers improve (20yard dash, 1RM, Vo2 max etc) are you now fit? Not by my standards.

Similarly, is excess fat an indicator of unfitness?

Seems to me, we need to decide what fitness is and whether one can be fit and fat at the same time. For example, are folks that do the england to france channel swim "fit"? Bear in mind that they have an average 30% fat reading on the skin fold test,(which is well above the recommended 15-25%)

With that in mind, what are the likely fitness components in aikido and how much is required?

(From my ...oh 2 seconds in aikido, I can think of needing the following: - average strength, slightly above average flexibilty, average to above average cardiovascular efficiency and above average kinesthetic ability)

Secondly, how much fitness does the teacher need (assuming the above criteria)?

me - I think the guy should be at least as "fit" as his students, if possible. Humans are notriously prone to judging by first sight - if the guys fat and old, well, he / the style *must* be crap. So from that p.o.v. "fat" must cut into the profit margins ;-)

Having said that, the sensei is a mostly a technical coach, so perhaps he doesn't absolutely need to be as fit as his students?

In the end, as long as his physical condition doesn't interfer with the teaching of the art, who give a stuff what he looks like?

PS: Of course, having attributes above and beyond the minimum level *should* improve one's game.

Sigh, I was right the first time.... it's kinda complicated:p

mike lee
10-10-2002, 12:16 PM
Similarly, is excess fat an indicator of unfitness?

My 2 cents: Denial comes in many forms. Thank you for providing numerous examples.

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 12:29 PM
My 2 cents: Denial comes in many forms. Thank you for providing numerous examples.
Not only do you refute with iron clad logic, but your insults are high brow and erudite. Let me respond in kind -

Wow, mike thanks. Bite me. :)

PS: I took the standard battery of ACHPER test 3 months ago as part of my theroy of movenment / exercise physiology classes. If you want to get into a pissing contest, I'm up for it.

PPS: I could be misreading your post. There's no body language on the net. If so, my bad.

mike lee
10-10-2002, 01:46 PM
If you want to get into a pissing contest, I'm up for it.

Strike a nerve Bob? Ever wonder why so many overweight people are drawn to this thread, only to defend fat with extreme vehemence rather than admit their problem?

Example:

Wow, mike thanks. Bite me.

Maybe some supplemental course work in psychology would help.

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 01:50 PM
supplemental.

Please think twice, both of you, about who your intended audience is and what you are trying to say to them.

Thanks

mike lee
10-10-2002, 01:54 PM
From post No. 81 on this thread:

The latest survey also found that nearly two-thirds of US adults were overweight, or had a body-mass index of between 25 and 30.

I guess this would be my intended audience.

Reasons, also from post 81:

Obesity increases the risk for a number of serious ailments, including diabetes, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 02:03 PM
Then I would say, Mike, that your concern for the welfare of the obese may need more emphasis in your posts. If that's what is really motivating you (and I believe it is), it's important to make sure the people you are addressing perceive that you are really on their side.

mike lee
10-10-2002, 02:07 PM
Then I would say, Mike, that your concern for the welfare of the obese may need more emphasis in your posts.

Would that work? I mean ultimately?

MattRice
10-10-2002, 02:31 PM
Howdy!

I'm a fat guy. It’s a pain in the ass; all my brothers are skinny as rails. I got the fat gene (or whatever). I run and work out outside of class, I eat practically naught. Still fat. Oh well. I don't see it as a problem though; it's just how I am. I have to deal with it. I get red in the face and sweat like an aardvark. Does that mean I shouldn't practice? Or maybe teach someday? I think not. For what it's worth, I can run circles around some of the skinny folks: so what does that mean?

G DiPierro
10-10-2002, 02:54 PM
supplemental.
sup-ple-men-tal adj. [E. supple, pliant or flexible + mental, of or pertaining to the mind.] of or characterized by a limber mind or intellect; mentally flexible (as, "Opher's supplemental post attempted to bring harmony to where there once was discord"); open-minded.

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 03:24 PM
[QUOTE="Mike Lee (mike lee)"Strike a nerve Bob? [QUOTE]


<deep breath... don't bite mike's head off....>

Not in the way you think Mike.

Folks who think they know a hill of beans abt me because of what they infer from one post/incident rub me the wrong way. Doubly so when they come across as arrogant, holier than thou know it alls. (like I said, could be wrong, no body language on the net)

You don't know me friend, you've never met me and yet you've put me in a little sorting box. Instead of furthering the discussion ("hey, I think you're wrong, here's why..) you come up with little snide comments.

Fact is I train in BJJ twice a week (4hrs total), judo twice a week (another 4), lift weights (2x wk), cycle routinely and walk daily.

I'm well within BMI or any other *irrelevant* yardstick you'd like to use for fitness.

Notice the *irrelevant*. The fact that my heart is x per minute, or that I weigh Z kg has zero, nada, nyet, zippo to do with fitness.

Likewise, the fact that joe bloggs is 5 kg overweight has nothing to do how fit he is for his environment. Even less with his ability to teach aikido !!

>Ever wonder why so many >overweight people are drawn to

Ever wonder why so many 5km life long joggers who are skinny as a bean pole fall over and die from heart attack?

Ever wonder if the whole concept of fitness is ass over teakettle,
*wrong*?

>with extreme vehemence rather >than admit their problem?

Vehemence? The only vehemence I see are your snide remarks.

>Maybe some supplemental course >work in psychology would help.

Got my psych diploma in '98, just before spending 3yrs studying health science.

Look I think we got off on the wrong foot here. I'm not saying that being 60 pounds overweight is great. It's not. I'm just saying that it has little to do with ones ability to teach technical skills. As for the nebulous concept of fitness...unless you really want to talk shop...let's just leave it at that.

Truce?

opherdonchin
10-10-2002, 03:28 PM
Actually, Bob, I'm very interested in knowing what you have to say about the definition of fitness. I can sort of understand cases where BMI or resting heart rate or whatever would misrepresent a person's fitness, but I also have always sort of imagined that they are reasonable rules of thumb or first approximations. You seem to be implying that there is something wrong with the entire concept. Can you explain that further? Also, do you have an alternative normative model for fitness?

bob_stra
10-10-2002, 05:09 PM
[QUOTE="Opher Donchin >Opher Donchin >(opherdonchin)"Actually, Bob, I'm >very interested in

knowing what >you have to say about the >definition of fitness.

Sure thing - but it's a bit of a tale and I'm a wordy mutha ;-)

Bear in mind this is still a work in progress - I'm still digesting

these ideas myself. It's more of a general story so far.

Recently, I've been kicking around some ideas on what it actually means to be fit. Frankly, the trend towards compartmetalism bit me in the ass in a very personal way - pain!! I'm big, I'm strong, I know all sorts of tricks for strengthening ligaments and yet... armbar...snap..ouch. Or

choke...hack hack ZzzzzzzZzzz.

So I sat down to work things out. Why was it, I asked, did I keep

getting hurt? It makes no sense - I did what the other guys did and then

some. Why wasn't I adapting?

I wrote "fitness" in the middle of a bit of paper and just let things

freely tumble out. Oddly, where I had expected technical jargon

/training ideas, words like body control, mind, society, defence,

development came out. Oddest of all was philosophy.

Crap I thought...finally blown a gasket. Those two words look really odd

together...fitness + philosophy. I'd never learnt abt "fitness

philosophy" in psych class. Sure, Plato, Aristotle, kant, Descartes - I

knew who they were and what ideas they gave rise to. But fitness

philosophy? WTF?

So my little pea brain racked up a gear. Who invented fitness philosophy

and for what purpose?

After some more brainstorming, I came up with a link to the physical

culture movement that was popular during the early 1900's, which

triggered off links to natural medicine, which triggered off facts and

figures on human physiology.

A really dumb thing that I of all ppl should have know occurred to me

(actually, I drew a little picture of divinchi's universal man) -

holistic. Something went klunk upstairs - for fitness to work, it must

be a combination of parts. Yawn, big deal, everyone knows that these

days. I looked at my bit of paper and saw the parts (society, body

control etc). I also saw the odds and sods I had written abt physiology

and physical culture and then a thought struck me - what if fitness

didn't simply consist of putting the parts together to make something

bigger. What if fitness was "something bigger", that could be hinted at

thru certain aspects. What if, in fact, the whole concept of fitness

(physical and otherwise) was wrong?

Over the following weeks, thru uni, I did all sorts of journal searches

on health. I found some odd stuff (probably cause I used some odd search

critera!!)

And this is where I find myself today, with clashing, inconsistent bits

of data. Things that don't quite add up.

Now, replying to your questions in specific

>I can sort of understand cases where BMI

Even discounting pathology and variations in normal, I should point out

BMI is based on outdated statistics. AFAIK it doesn't take into account

somatotypes etc. I'm always leery of using one number to say "yep, your

100% fit." Fit for what?

There's all sorts of little old wives tales in the fitness world that

are presented as fact to the general populace. The old "muscles make you

sluggish" was popular for years. Or take your age from 220 to get your

max heart rate (this can be out by 60% of the true value). Or "there's

one type of force production by muscles". Or fats are bad for you, carbs

are good. Or don't use ballistic stretching...etc etc

>but I also have always sort of imagined that they are reasonable rules

>of thumb or first approximations.

Well, they're approximations, sure. But so what? This is the thing I'm

grappling with. Think of it this way - your car's fuel tank say its

full and the heat gauge says ok, but the damn thing still ain't running

at 100%. Why? All the part are good to go, and everything measures ok

and yet...

>You seem to be implying that there is something wrong with the entire

>concept. Can you explain that further?

I'll try. My belief is that there are so many old wives tales by which

ppl judge "fitness" which are either distorted or flat out wrong. What's

worse, we take the measuring of these old wives tales as proof of

fitness, without even having a clear idea of fitness is to begin with!

What is fitness??

If I can run 20km, have 10% body fat and resting pulse rate of 50, I

must be fit, yes? Meanwhile, I'm a raving lunatic at work, I slap my

kids abt, never sleep, forever drag a cold out etc.

I guess that's crux of what I'm trying to say. In context, 5, 10 15

kilos overweight means jackshit if you can achieve equilibrium with your

environment / needs. (How nauseatingly aikido of me. Bleah, I'm ashamed

of myself ;)

> Also, do you have an alternative normative model for fitness?

I wish!! I'd sell it like hotcakes, retire and live in Hawaii!! So far,

I'm researching what fitness is. Please, what the hell is it?? What are

all the components of achieving equilibrium with ones environment /

demands and how can I keep track of them?

Like I said, I still trying to work it out... Come back in 2020, I should have it packaged

and ready to go for 4 easy payments of $19.95 :) (hey, by all the preaching I've done

here, maybe I could hook up with Tony Robbins ?

Jim ashby
10-11-2002, 03:30 AM
Just a few ideas. Obesity does, in certain cases, predispose to certain illnesses. These illnesses are not inevitable. Obesity can be nothing to do with what you eat or drink, see Samoans/Fijians/Polynesians.

Jim Fixx (sp?) died of a massive heart attack whilst out jogging. Post mortem discovered massive arterial plaque. Douglas Adams died whilst excercising, same findings post mortem.
I have a BMI of 31 and train regularly, my late father had a BMI of 29 and was a championship mile runner in his day. Obesity can be caused by self-abuse or lack of self-discipline. It can also be genetic.

Just a disjointed stream of thoughts, sorry.

Have fun

SeiserL
10-11-2002, 01:03 PM
As a "ig man" I really do appreciate this thread. It has confirmed for me that "big men" should not demonstrate. The general public, including Aikidokas, would only see the size and not the technqiue.

I tell my Sensei this everytime he ask me to demonstrate. He thinks Aikidokas are beyond the stereotypical pettiness.

Thanks for letting me know that I am right and saving me and my Sensei the embarassment.

Until again,

Lynn

Roy Dean
10-11-2002, 03:07 PM
An excellent (IMO) definition of fitness can be found here:

http://www.crossfit.com/misc/found.html#athlete

Crossfit trains many elite athletes, including Garth Taylor, an American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blackbelt who got second place in last year's world competition. Although many would consider him overweight, he is in world class physical condition. An amazing force on the mat, technically and physically.

Roy

akiy
10-11-2002, 03:19 PM
Hi folks,

Please watch your tone when posting here on the AikiWeb Forums, regardless of the topic being discussed. Inability to do so may result in your account being disabled without any notice. Thank you.

-- Jun

Alfonso
10-11-2002, 05:35 PM
you must've gotten the wrong thread jun. This one for once was being handled real well. Interesting thoughts coming up.

mike lee
10-12-2002, 09:22 AM
Fact is I train in BJJ twice a week (4hrs total), judo twice a week (another 4), lift weights (2x wk), cycle routinely and walk daily.

That's great! Where's the aikido? :blush::ai: :ki: :do: ? :blush:

Anyway, this isn't the fitness thread -- it's the FAT thread.

It's not about people who are naturally large, have a medical or genetic problem -- it's about people who eat and drink too much, never take ukemi, but feel content that they can take ONE forward roll without breathing hard. It's not about cultural biases -- another smokescreen to the root problem.

Someday, there will be a perfect storm for someone (AC broke, high heat and humidity, too much caffine, add a little stress) and KABOOM!!! A heart attack or stroke.

There's also a question as to whether such instructors are good role models for youth.

The solution resides in ditching the excusses and getting out of denial, changing the diet, and adding exercise (ideally aerobic) to start burning calories.

Once again, the issue here is FAT, and how to get rid of it. Discussions on FITNESS should be on a new thread.

I'm bored with smokescreens. I would be interested to hear about some constructive solutions, such as diets that work, calorie ratios, etc.

Hogan
10-12-2002, 09:59 AM
That's great! Where's the aikido? :blush::ai: :ki: :do: ? :blush:

Anyway, this isn't the fitness thread -- it's the FAT thread.

It's not about people who are naturally large, have a medical or genetic problem -- it's about people who eat and drink too much, never take ukemi, but feel content that they can take ONE forward roll without breathing hard. It's not about cultural biases -- another smokescreen to the root problem.

Someday, there will be a perfect storm for someone (AC broke, high heat and humidity, too much caffine, add a little stress) and KABOOM!!! A heart attack or stroke.

There's also a question as to whether such instructors are good role models for youth.

The solution resides in ditching the excusses and getting out of denial, changing the diet, and adding exercise (ideally aerobic) to start burning calories.

Once again, the issue here is FAT, and how to get rid of it. Discussions on FITNESS should be on a new thread.

I'm bored with smokescreens. I would be interested to hear about some constructive solutions, such as diets that work, calorie ratios, etc.
Mike - it's good, I guess, you are concerned about others, but the problem that may people have with your writings is that you seem to be biased towards heavy folks PERIOD. I know you say it's not about people with "genetic" problems, but I get the feeling that if you see a heavy instructor, you will automatically assume they are gluttonous and not in control of themselves. How do you KNOW it is not genetic when you first see a heavy person ? You seem to assume the worst without getting to know them.

In general, this comment is for everyone, let people be - if they are fat, they know it and know what they need to do. Heavy folks don't need people preaching to them about what they need to do.

mike lee
10-12-2002, 10:21 AM
I get the feeling that if you see a heavy instructor, you will automatically assume they are gluttonous and not in control of themselves.

That would be your error, not mine. Why would you ASSUME that I would make a snap judgement about anything? Based on what???

Hogan
10-12-2002, 10:55 AM
That would be your error, not mine. Why would you ASSUME that I would make a snap judgement about anything? Based on what???
Your writings:
"...Fat is hard to justify unless one is in denial.
"...I suggest that anyone who is overweight consider this fact, avoid going into denial, and try to lose some weight."
"...It's also a bad example for younger students to see a vastly overweight sensei. MA instructors should be an example of self discipline, not gluttony."
"...it sends the wrong message to younger students...."
"...Yes, I'm biased against teachers who provide a poor example to their students for no apparent reason other than that those teachers eat and drink too much and are vastly overweight."
MY QUESTION IS, MIKE, HOW DO YOU KNOW THE REASON WITHOUT NOT MAKING AN ASSUMPTION RIGHT OFF THA BAT ? YOU HAVE TO GET TO KNOW THE PERSON.

More quotes:
"...I am accepting of many kinds of people, just not unnecessarily obese 'MA teachers.'"
"...Ever wonder why so many overweight people are drawn to this thread, only to defend fat with extreme vehemence rather than admit their problem?

Just let it go - people are overweight - accept it, and why don't you just focus on your need to lose the 15 pounds you said you needed to lose and let people be. Or are you relying on your "put-downs" of others to function as some sort of incentive for you ?

This thread should be closed, as it has run its course.

mike lee
10-12-2002, 11:27 AM
MY QUESTION IS, MIKE, HOW DO YOU KNOW THE REASON WITHOUT NOT MAKING AN ASSUMPTION RIGHT OFF THA BAT ? YOU HAVE TO GET TO KNOW THE PERSON.

What person?

If you don't like this thread, DON'T COME HERE. :D

Hanna B
10-12-2002, 12:06 PM
My ears hurt. Only six posts since Jun asked people to calm down...?

Kevin Wilbanks
10-12-2002, 12:20 PM
"BMI is based on outdated statistics. AFAIK it doesn't take into account somatotypes"

The Body Mass Index is indeed useful in assessing the degree of obesity in persons over a certain percentage body fat - when skinfold measurement is no longer accurate. Where it fails is with individuals who are closer to normal range, especially those involved in strength-intensive sports who carry greater than normal lean mass.

'Somatotypes' are pseudoscientific nonsense. The theory was originally psychological in nature - developed by a man named William Sheldon almost a century ago, and was originally intended as a personality types indicator - like phrenology or palmistry. While it may seem to have some intuitive descriptive utility, it is crude, unscientific, and worse than useless, in my opinion.

In general, I'm having a hard time following these rants on 'fitness', which encompass everything from resting heart rate to how compassionate one is to one's fellows. I don't think it's that complicated.

Fitness is a meaningless concept without a qualifier. Fitness means something along the lines of "capable of doing ______". If there's nothing in the blank, it's empty - like an adjective with no noun. So if you want to talk about fitness for Aikido, or running marathons, or whatever, there's something to talk about.

I think the confusion arises from thinking fitness is connected with health. While getting fit to do any number of athletic things can contribute to health up to a point, there is no necessary correlation. Many top level athletes are not particularly healthy, especially since many take performance enhancing drugs, push their bodies to such extremes that the functional life of many mechanical structures are shortened, and eat strange diets high in processed supplements and deficient in many long-term disease protective nutrients.

If you want to define health, that may well be a broad ranging discussion including almost every aspect of life, but fitness is fairly circumsribed.

Kevin Wilbanks, CSCS

mike lee
10-13-2002, 10:59 AM
From the news wires:

afp, HONG KONG (excerpts)

Flabby Hong Kongers have been urged to kick their fast food addictions in favour of conventional Chinese diets and head for the nearest gym amid a grim warning that many face “alarmingly high” risks of heart disease.

Image conscious women lacking the willpower to commit to a fitness and diet regime, were also warned that popping slimming pills was a risky and inadequate substitute for half an hour exercise a day in the struggle to win the battle of the bulge.

A recent report by the Chinese University revealed an “alarmingly high” number of middle-aged Kong Kong people were at high risk of coronary heart diseases.

Some 40 percent of 316 men and women respondents, aged 45 on average, were obese while 71 percent of those interviewed did not exercise enough.

Dr Neil Thomas from the Chinese University's Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, the co-author of the report, noted the switch from traditional food to fried fast food takeouts was the main culprit behind wider waistlines among once bamboo-shoot thin Chinese men and women.

“The traditional Chinese diet was very healthy consisting of steamed rice and vegetables -- a very low calorie, low fat diet -- and meat was eaten very rarely,” he said.

“What we need to do is get back to that balanced diet and that means not eating at fast food restaurants on a daily basis.”

Some 70 percent of male and 40 percent of female respondents had two or more heart disease risk factors, far worse than the 12 and 8 percent recorded for men and women respectively in a 1995 study, the report found.

Poor diets combined with sedentary lifestyles and lack of exercise were contributing to the earlier occurrence of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, he said.

“Obesity never used to occur until (age) 30 or 40 and heart diseases at 50 or 60. However, there are now teenagers suffering from diabetes and more kids are obese.

“That will bring forward the whole spectrum of diseases suffered and mean a larger proportion of the population are dying at a young age.”

Growing numbers of obese people is not simply a Hong Kong phenomenon.

A report released by researchers in the United States last week found more than 30 percent of Americans suffered from the problem while it is estimated China could wind up having 200 million obese people over the next decade.

Experts from the International Obesity Task Force estimate that close to 1 billion people worldwide are overweight or suffering from obesity, and the number was growing.

They said there were currently 280 million obese people -- 30 percent or more overweight -- and some 700 million people who are overweight.