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suren
07-27-2004, 11:41 AM
Hi guys,

I'm pretty new in aikido and today was my first time having female uke. That was pretty difficult. I don't have any emotional problem of training with female, but I found out that I was very tense performing technique with her. Even when I try to abstract and think of my uke as a partner regardless of the sex, at the moment of contact I was instinctively trying not to hurt her that was causing me to make mistakes and prevented me from relaxing, learning and having fun.
My question is: is that feeling temporary and how can I overcome it?

Thanks.

P.S. She is a nice person, but I don't have any strong feelings. I'm pretty sure that would happen with any female unless she is very strong and I'm sure I can't hurt her.

Jeff Stallard
07-27-2004, 12:02 PM
We have a responsibility not to give our dojo uke more than they can handle. If you think you're not accurately evaluating how much she can handle, ask her. This applies to everyone, not just women.

MadMyndi
07-27-2004, 12:49 PM
I've found that when my partner does the technique correctly, without trying to muscle their way through it, I won't get hurt, no matter how hard I go down. The problems only arise when someone does the technique incorrectly, and instead of stopping, tries to use force to compensate. As long as you're doing the technique correctly, your partner should be okay, irregardless of gender.

Also, in my experience, it doesn't do me any good to work with someone who's afraid of hurting me. If I don't experience the technique, not necessarily to the point of crippling pain, I have a very hard time learning. When I can't handle the discomfort, if I'm having a sensitive night, or a person does use muscle time and again, I will speak up and I will choose not to work a technique, or request gentler techniques, or whatever it takes for me to practice safely.

Just concentrate on the technique, and trust your partner to know their limits. As Mr. Stallard said, you can always ask what those limits are.

BLangille
07-27-2004, 01:23 PM
Have you ever practiced with a female Yudansha? Have her throw you around for a while and it will knock those worries out of your head. ;)

suren
07-27-2004, 02:14 PM
Have you ever practiced with a female Yudansha? Have her throw you around for a while and it will knock those worries out of your head. ;)

Well, she is pretty close to become one and her throws are pretty knocking :) But I guess this is some psychological barrier.
Thanks for advices. I'll try to trust my uke more next time.

Mary Eastland
07-27-2004, 02:45 PM
Maybe you should be more concerned that she does not hurt you. ;o)
Mir

suren
07-27-2004, 02:57 PM
Maybe you should be more concerned that she does not hurt you. ;o)
Mir

:) 4 years of practicing full contact karate in a country with no laws did not crush me, so I think I'll survive...

suren
07-27-2004, 03:01 PM
Besides she is very experienced unlike me...

Janet Rosen
07-27-2004, 04:02 PM
Hi, Suren. Just keep training; I suspect this will resolve itself for you over time.
I remember at one dojo I trained at, a very nice kohei/young man from another country, who would do a standing bow literally every time we would change role, go to attack, etc. I finally said, "you know, you don't have to bow quite so often" and he blushed just a bit and smiled and said "you know, I'm really not used to treating a lady like this!"
We both laughed heartily, and I had a soft spot for his candor ever since!

skyetide
07-27-2004, 05:18 PM
Also, in my experience, it doesn't do me any good to work with someone who's afraid of hurting me. If I don't experience the technique, not necessarily to the point of crippling pain, I have a very hard time learning.

I would echo what Marguerite has said. I noticed that some of the young men at my dojo do not give me good energy. It is difficult for me to practice or learn a technique when my partner is holding back too much. I think you have to judge your uke not on gender but on what their bodies and minds can take. If I am paired with someone the whole night who isn't really "there" working with me I feel sort of cheated of a workout.

suren
07-27-2004, 07:36 PM
Thanks again for you advices.

I realize that such a behavior is not good for both parties and I'll try to overcome that problem.

Also consider the fact that I'm a beginner, so it's difficult for me to "judge my uke not on gender but on what their bodies and minds can take". I wish I could, but I'm afraid I'm not enough experienced with Aikido techniques to do that correctly. Therefore I'll have to rely on my uke's abilities and knowledge.

Anyway, I think that's a matter of time and I'll learn more about my and other's abilities and how to adjust to particular person.
Thanks a lot.

Troy
07-27-2004, 08:38 PM
I had the same problem in the beginning (been in Aikido for almost 4 months). Part of my Code of Honor is to NEVER harm a woman. I was afraid that when I first had to do anything with a woman at my dojo (they are all Shodan and Nidan), that I would hurt them. After a bit of working with different people, you learn how to tell how much they can handle. But it is always a good thing to go slow in the technique, and not at full force. When in doubt, ask Sensei.

Ian Williams
07-27-2004, 08:42 PM
. When in doubt, ask Sensei.


Why not ask the woman? Communication is the key.. "Do you mind if I perform this faster/stronger", or simply observe them for signs of stress etc.

That's what I do in JJ with female training partners and it works fine.In fact that's what I do with male partners too.

xuzen
07-27-2004, 08:55 PM
Personally I hate or have a dispreferance to initiate technique from mune-mochi (grabbing from the lapel) on lady uke especially during jiyu-waza. This is because I will unintentionally grab their boobs as well. I always feel embarrassed after that, but I will never show it, then it will also embarrasses the uke.

:sorry:
Boon.

Greg Jennings
07-27-2004, 09:06 PM
In life and in aikido, I try to treat each person as an individual rather than generalize them to be a member of some group.

FWIW,

Ian Williams
07-27-2004, 09:26 PM
I personally find the whole training environment on the mat rather asexual. It doesn't bother me to be grappling with sweaty blokes with our limbs entwined or face squashed up against groin etc.. Why should it bother me to touch a female?

If a training environment is so sexually charged, then surely we must all be living out our gay fantasies then?? :rollseyes:

come on people! it's the 21st century! get over it..

suren
07-27-2004, 10:41 PM
If a training environment is so sexually charged

Ian, I'm sorry my question made you to come to that conclusion. Environment in the dojo is far from that and I really enjoy being there. I'm not very religious person, but to me the closes thing to dojo that I can think of is a temple.

come on people! it's the 21st century! get over it..

That's my intention and the reason I started this thread was to find some advices how to overcome that problem in the most effective way.

In life and in aikido, I try to treat each person as an individual rather than generalize them to be a member of some group.

Greg, I know you are a wise man and I appreciate your peaceful and relaxed nature. Maybe one day I'll be close to that state of mind. As for today I will have that in mind as one of my targets.

Troy, Boon. Man I'm so glad I'm not alone. I started to think like I'm some sort of a psycho.

Anyway, probably I'm overreacting since it was the first time having a female partner. Everything is difficult at first, and I guess that's just another training experience :)

Ian Williams
07-27-2004, 11:54 PM
sorry for sounding a bit abrupt there, I didnt mean to imply you were a wacko or anything ..:)

my advice is to treat the dojo as an asexual envionment and to be congiscant of your partners ukemi abilities, whether they be male, female or other.

suren
07-28-2004, 12:25 AM
Ian, no hard feelings at all (I exaggerated by saying "I feel as sort of a psycho"). I just want to make sure my problems are not considered to be initiated by the environment in the dojo. My problems are solely mine and nobody is responsible for them besides me.

shihonage
07-28-2004, 12:31 AM
I have a tendency to give smaller female nages attacks which are as sincere as with larger male counterparts. If they are still struggling with the technique, of course, then I tone it down as much as necessary.

But... too many people just give women the fake,slow, lifeless attacks, CONSTANTLY, thus jeopardizing their ability to react to a real attack if such is to occur at some point in their life.
The physics are very different.

Of course, slow motion training is very important as long as both uke and nage comply to the laws of "slowed down physics" in this mode. It helps to feel how the movement should go.

But, everyone needs to experience fast, energetic attacks which are delivered with a semblance of balance. The world doesnt magically soften up if you're a woman.
When you're giving a smaller-framed female an impression that she can "block" your shomen strike, while in fact, it can drive through her "block" like knife through butter, you're jeopardizing her learning.
She needs to learn to deal with attacks which cannot be stopped.
She needs to modify her "irimi nage" response in a way which allows her to do the technique with a superior-strength attack without trying to put up a direct block.

Often this energy that is given to them can be quite a present and enable them to REALLY throw the uke, using his own energy.
With slow "pity" attacks that is not possible.

happysod
07-28-2004, 02:21 AM
These threads always make me glad that I'm just a git and so hit everyone exactly the same way...

OK, so I'll just go with what's been said before: consistent, honest attacks at all times and I assume if I'm being too rough, my partner will tell me, otherwise it's open season.

raul rodrigo
07-28-2004, 02:25 AM
I had the same problem in the beginning (been in Aikido for almost 4 months). Part of my Code of Honor is to NEVER harm a woman. I was afraid that when I first had to do anything with a woman at my dojo (they are all Shodan and Nidan), that I would hurt them. After a bit of working with different people, you learn how to tell how much they can handle. But it is always a good thing to go slow in the technique, and not at full force. When in doubt, ask Sensei.

I never had a problem with women uke. My first sensei is a woman, and she can wipe the floor with all of us men in the dojo without breathing hard. Also was national judo champion in her weight class at one point. So no, I don't have a problem with treating women with "real energy" in my attacks. Sometimes I wonder if not harming me is part of their code of honor.
:)

RAUL

Bridge
07-28-2004, 05:00 AM
These threads always make me glad that I'm just a git and so hit everyone exactly the same way...
.

Hehe, like it!

Personally I gauge it by their manner. If they look apprehensive, then go easy. If they are well up for it, then go for it! With varying shades inbetween.

That way you're not discriminating.

Then again, I guess I don't have the same moral issues as the guys. Being one of the girls, it's all the same really except when it comes to the juniors.

drDalek
07-28-2004, 06:51 AM
I know this is a stereotype but it seems that women have less of an "I need to prove myself" instinct than men, atleast were Aikido is concerned. So theoretically you can go even harder and faster with the girls before they see it as a personal attack and their egos start suffering than you can with the boys.

Also girls smell nicer and are prettier to look at. :D

Fiona D
07-28-2004, 07:05 AM
I think this is a relatively common situation; most of the male beginners in my jiu jitsu dojo are somewhat reticent about attacking the female jitsuka or throwing them hard.... at first. Generally a lot of ingrained cultural habits (ie. Bad To Hit Women) to get over. But they DO get over it fairly quickly as a rule. Just give it a little bit of time to get used to the idea, and don't worry about it too much!

Terry Donaghe
07-28-2004, 09:32 AM
I'm an aikido newbie - only 11 practices so far. A lot of my training has been while partnered with a very tough female yudansha. I have no choice but to do the techniques the best way that I can. When I've been teamed up with other female partners, the thought never occurred to me to treat them differently. I have no intention of hurting anyone, male or female.

It did amuse me last night when I was partnered with a newbie Japanese female. When we started she was overly apologetic about causing me any pain at all. I told her not to worry about the pain and that I'd scream really loud if it hurt too bad. She got the point and was a good training partner. I grabbed, threw and pinned her the same as any other partner. I guess in class I see everyone as people who can help me learn aikido - gender is something to be considered only off the mat.

Lyle Laizure
07-28-2004, 10:13 AM
On the mat women and men are equal. You shouldn't worry no more about her than you do about anyone else you practice with. You practice the same as you would with anyone else. In doing this you don't have anything to worry about.

Troy
07-28-2004, 11:54 AM
Why not ask the woman? Communication is the key.. "Do you mind if I perform this faster/stronger", or simply observe them for signs of stress etc.

That's what I do in JJ with female training partners and it works fine.In fact that's what I do with male partners too.

Ian,
You are right. I guess my thinking was that if they asked Sensei, then sensei would tell them to ask the uke. I should have thought it threw more. :dead:

Greg Jennings
07-28-2004, 12:10 PM
Greg, I know you are a wise man and I appreciate your peaceful and relaxed nature. Maybe one day I'll be close to that state of mind. As for today I will have that in mind as one of my targets.
Dood! You really need to meet me in person. ; )

I'm afraid that wise, peaceful and relaxed are three conditions that I don't meet. I wish that I did.

Best regards always,

suren
07-28-2004, 12:35 PM
Happy Birthday, Greg.
BTW, I saw Bill Witt Shihan during two classes, but have not had a chance to pass him your regards. Maybe later when I catch him out of class.

Greg Jennings
07-28-2004, 03:56 PM
Thank you, Suren. I've traded a few e-mails with Witt Sensei and I like his approach.

Regards,

xuzen
07-28-2004, 09:43 PM
If you think practicing with female is a problem, try practicing with a female who is your sensei's wife and also with his daughter. You are trying hard to do a good technique but in the same time, to treat them as just a regular practitioner. Something I can't quite get over up until now even... :eek:

Boon

Zato Ichi
07-28-2004, 09:55 PM
I must admit that, initially, I tend to go somewhat softer on female ukes, but not due to their gender: I simply I outweigh the women in my dojo by at least 40 or 50kg. Mind you, I tend to go softer on smaller guys as well. When the roles are reversed, I just see how hard they perform their techniques than that's the level we train it: if tori goes all out, I go all out. If they do things very softly, I do things very softly.

All that being said, some of the quickest, most vicious randori players here are the women: there are two in particular (nidan and sandan, I believe) who can score points with the tanto at will, whereas I can barely touch them! :D

wendyrowe
07-28-2004, 10:58 PM
I'm smaller than most of the others in my class and female besides, so when they first met me they tended to go easier on me than they would with the big guys. Whenever that happens, I just keep asking them to crank it up until they get to the right level. It takes some people longer than others to adjust, but most of them manage.

I figure it's about as hard for some of them to get over the "don't hit a woman" as it has been for me to get over the "women don't hit!" I got over it -- atemi is fun.

dan guthrie
07-29-2004, 07:23 AM
I'm still a newbie and I'm very conscious of causing accidental harm. For example, during shihonage it's very easy to dislocate uke's shoulder if you're not used to it. I'm much more careful with smaller people, which is 80 % of the dojo. With one lady I'm lucky: I get to go down on my knees for shihonage, not because I must but because it's faster and she thinks it's hilarious.
I have noticed the people who treat me like a china doll are usually women. I'm new but when someone is too gentle I give them resistance so they have to physically move me. Is this wrong?

Qatana
07-29-2004, 11:18 AM
Then again, there is also the dilemma of taking ukemi for someone "really old". I learned how to give a committed attack from a 73 year old female sandan- you just Do Not Hit an Old Lady, right? Just bloody well try it! You Can't!

Janet Rosen
07-29-2004, 12:39 PM
I'm still a newbie(SNIP)I'm new but when someone is too gentle I give them resistance so they have to physically move me. Is this wrong?
Hi, Dan. Well, the best folks to check with are your instructors and sempai. But in a general sense, yes. They may be gentle to demonstrate that precision is more important than power, they may be gentle because they know that if they are not they may go beyond your ability to take ukemi, etc. Learning the moves for each attack and technique, in both roles, means initially doing them together, not "making people move" you.
Now I don't know you. It is possible that you have much experience in related m.a. and can actually give appropriate resistance. But for most newbies, "giving resistance" means getting stiff and not moving, waiting to have something done to them, which would actually mean that your attack has stopped and your partner would need to do something other than the demonstrated technique.
Again, your best bet is to check in w/ your own seniors, as dojo culture/expectations really do vary.

arachnoJill
07-29-2004, 05:20 PM
Being a smaller woman, I have encountered hesitation like you mentioned a few times in the short period that I have been practicing. Our sensei tells the guys that their Aikido is better when us (girls) are their uke because they (the guys) don't try to muscle their way though as much. I do understand what you are saying as I have felt the same sort of hesitation with a couple of newbies, not knowing how they will react. Maybe you could try to practice with her more often so that you break this uncomfortable feeling as you get a better feel for each other.

Ian Williams
07-29-2004, 05:55 PM
last night at training I was paired with an older woman for a majority of our "grading training" - or going through our syllabus... had to laugh and was thinking of this thread often - especially as we were practicing wrist locks&takedowns and reaps :)

Dario Rosati
07-29-2004, 07:10 PM
As a beginner, I think that a female uke (the minority here unfortunately, no females in my dojo for example) is a great opportunity to learn: they're smaller, softer, often with tiny arms/wrists and a lot smaller than me, and this forces you to *think* that you have to adapt your techniques to their proportions (one example for all: shihonage!).

A yudansha female quickly teach me that aikido *works* (they throw me around the mat with ease), no matter their size/strength.

With a female of small proportions, I've learned that many blocks/techinques didn't work as usual (for example, nikkyo/sankyo final arm blocks), and this makes things interesting.

Generally speaking, I've no special regards for female practitioners: this is a matter of respect... REAL respect means you do your best, no matter the sex... as an ex pro chess player, this makes a lot of sense: as I always did my best against a woman (or man) on a checkboard, I do my best on the mat no matter your sex...

Bye!

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
07-29-2004, 11:35 PM
Some people are a bit more fragile than others. I definitely know what you're talking about. There truly is a qualitative difference...some people feel like they're going to break if you're not careful. A lot of women feel like this, and with them I agree societal factors and our stupid hormones can complicate matters further. That said, I think that training with 'lighter' people is good, because it teaches you to keep constant connection and control without cranking on excessive force. Hopefully, we can be good training partners for lighter-framed people in this way. I do sometimes worry that by being light, and inevitably erring on the side of weakness when I can't make that golden mean, I end up being a poor partner.

markwalsh
07-30-2004, 03:49 AM
Man, woman, penguin, it doesn't really matter does it? Saying that generalizations are fun, so on the flip side...

Would anyone say that women are harsher on their ukes than men? I'm training with a group of 10 -12 (small sample) beginners at the mo and without exception the ladies (all young and into sports) are more vicious than the fellas. Perhaps this is a reaction to common stereotypes.

I have also noted some differences as to what "natural" ukemi their bodies take. E.g. The girls all spin out of shiho nage unless you take counter measures.

Mark
x

JoHo
07-30-2004, 04:36 AM
Hello
my personal experience are
beginners will be handled with care :D
because sometimes a lady will say please not so much dynamic so i have to adapt myself to this.
but from ni Kyu up i do not make soh much different of female or male uke.
i think the aikido saying "mushin" is very good on this.
if your mind is free your techniques will be superb.
(again doesn´t matter male or female)

keep training and set a good of Keiko Aikido

best wishes
Horst

Pocho
07-30-2004, 10:36 AM
I will never forget when Sensei Wee-wao Dumlao came to Caracas for a Seminar few years back. That has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I´ve lived in my 9 years in Aikido. I could not understand how this petit person could proyect so much power. I received only what I gave...she would know if didnt try my best. My perception on female partners chanced forever.

Jill N
07-31-2004, 06:58 AM
Mark wrote:
>>Would anyone say that women are harsher on their ukes than men? I'm training with a group of 10 -12 (small sample) beginners at the mo and without exception the ladies (all young and into sports) are more vicious than the fellas. Perhaps this is a reaction to common stereotypes.<<

Mark, I have been known to do technique too viciously, but is inadvertent and It has happened less often as I have gained experience. I think this tendency is likely because as girls we never got into the tussles that boys would, so females have no idea what kind of pain we are causing. The only aggressive encounter I was ever in as a girl was when I grabbed and shook a bully who was picking on someone smaller than him. (he was a bit smaller than me- and he took off!) When I started aikido I was quite aware that a small 39 year old woman is nowhere near as strong as 20-30 yr old guys, so I didn't really realize I could hurt them. (I know better now- and so do they) ;^)

Watch out for the old ladies!

e ya later
Jill.

Sue Trinidad
07-31-2004, 02:23 PM
Jill, I agree about not knowing how to gauge one's own strength as a female nage. I've only been training for about 3 months, and my attacks and my application of technique are just now getting less tentative. Aside from not knowing what I was doing, I was afraid I'd hurt someone, and I didn't have a good sense of how hard I should go. I'm not saying that now I don't care--that wouldn't be very aiki, would it?!--but I am getting better at providing effective protection for uke, as opposed to just wimping out.

As uke, I appreciate it when my partner doesn't treat me like a china doll--though, at 4'11", I can sort of understand why they'd worry. I'm tougher than I look, I guess. :p Though I'm sure they mean well, it's harder for me to learn the technique and the ukemi if they soft-pedal it.

I also think the aspect of encountering a sincere attack is of benefit to women. I definitely couldn't defend myself "in real life" using aikido to throw some big dude who meant to hurt me; but I do think that, as the result of training, I would be able to maintain some mental clarity and would stand a better chance of getting away. There's something to be said for learning to stay relaxed under attack. (How's that for an understatement?)

Sue

giriasis
07-31-2004, 05:04 PM
I've experienced the "i'm not going hard on you because you are a woman" point of view before. The guy would only throw me as hard (I was 3rd kyu at the time, I'm 2nd kyu now) as a day-one-newbie. I just kept pushing him harder. He got mad and finally didn't it right and hard enough, but he was no way near to hurting me. However, if someone is going way to hard, even if they are a yondan, I'll speak up, even fuss at the person, if necessary -- an example would be overly torquing my elbow and shoulder on shihonage. But still, it really takes a lot for me to get there.

If she's close to being shodan then her ukemi should be strong enough to take it. Otherwise, just talk to her, tell her you don't mean to be patronizing, but you are and you want to work on finding out how hard you can go with her. You might find yourself a really great training partner this way. I've found a couple of great male training partners this way.

Just to let you know, my favorite partners are the guys who don't go easy on me and really push me to my limits. I can't stand it when a partner stops halfway into a throw especially one that elicits a breakfall. You're in midair ready to breakfall and all of the sudden they stop and you just splat to the mat. Hurts like the dickens. But, it wouldn't hurt at all if the throw was completed. By attempting to not hurt me they hurt me (with not associated injury of course).

markwalsh
08-01-2004, 03:28 AM
Cheers Jill, good point. The ladies in question aren't mean or anything.

I think they're two main issues here for both sexes:

1. Communication between nage and uke as to an appropriate level of power.

2. Lack of experience of confrontation causing nage to use too much or too little power.

I've also found that stopping throws half way through is a bad idea, but when you're as dozy as me sometimes you have to choose that or the wall!

Mark

p.s. 39's not old :)

Jill N
08-01-2004, 07:41 AM
Hi Mark:

>>Cheers Jill, good point. The ladies in question aren't mean or anything

Thanx.

>>p.s. 39's not old

I'm not 39 any more- wish I was. Well, maybe 49's not old either, but I sure feel it some days.

;^)

Sue:

>>There's something to be said for learning to stay relaxed under attack.

And there's nothing like getting a bunch of good honest attacks from people who are a foot taller and weigh almost twice as much as you to help you learn that.

Ann Marie:

>>The guy would only throw me as hard (I was 3rd kyu at the time, I'm 2nd kyu now) as a day-one-newbie. I just kept pushing him harder. He got mad and finally didn't it right and hard enough, but he was no way near to hurting me.

I've heard guys say that sort of thing as a way to get women to give an honest attack. I find using humour works well too. The esteemed US politician came up with a good one long ago-- the taunt of "girly man" will elicit a better attack from a guy who is treating you like a china doll. I don't
t need to use that one any more. I think I've become one of the guys- hmm. Not sure that's good either. Anyhow, interesting musings. Carry on. I"LL BE BACK!

e ya later
Jill.

Nick Simpson
08-01-2004, 07:59 AM
LOL, girly man, I'll remember that one. I think the issue or sex is second to that of whether your uke is a mudansha or a yudansha, yudansha are fair game (not very often you could cripple them), often fellow mudansha arent as confident with thier ukemi skills, tailor your technique to suit the ukemi skill of your uke, not their sex. Its a bit of a shame when you want to let rip on someone with effective technique but cant, but then again its a learning process and that ukemi worried kyu individual was you a while ago. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Edit: Sorry, the issue of sex isnt second, it's irrelevant. Confused myself :freaky: Saying that, in my limited experiance I havent met a female mudansha who could match a male mudansha for ukemi ability/confidence with taking ukemi, but that isnt a discrimination toward female mudansha, merely what I have observed so far. I havent had the pleasure of training with a female yudansha yet, but I have been taught by a couple now and again and found them to be excellent.

dan guthrie
08-01-2004, 08:13 AM
Hi, Dan. Well, the best folks to check with are your instructors and sempai. But in a general sense, yes. They may be gentle to demonstrate that precision is more important than power, they may be gentle because they know that if they are not they may go beyond your ability to take ukemi, etc. Learning the moves for each attack and technique, in both roles, means initially doing them together, not "making people move" you.
Now I don't know you. It is possible that you have much experience in related m.a. and can actually give appropriate resistance. But for most newbies, "giving resistance" means getting stiff and not moving, waiting to have something done to them, which would actually mean that your attack has stopped and your partner would need to do something other than the demonstrated technique.
Again, your best bet is to check in w/ your own seniors, as dojo culture/expectations really do vary.

The people I "resisted" have a tendency to be overly delicate and I didn't just ground myself or refuse to be moved. I was trying, probably unsuccessfully, to give them an idea of what might happen. I don't think I did it more than a dozen times total.
However, point well taken. The people I was resisting have started throwing me around anyway but I will stop it.

giriasis
08-01-2004, 09:25 AM
The people I "resisted" have a tendency to be overly delicate and I didn't just ground myself or refuse to be moved. I was trying, probably unsuccessfully, to give them an idea of what might happen. I don't think I did it more than a dozen times total.
However, point well taken. The people I was resisting have started throwing me around anyway but I will stop it.

Dan, I'm one of those people who have the tendency to going more delicate with newbies. I can sense their uncertainty in their ukemi so I don't want to take them any harder. From what you've described, I've experienced that from the guys more.

When I started aikido, I didn't think I could hurt the guys, then some of them started teasing me about how deadly my nikkyo's area. So as a response I would go delicately with new comers. What I noticed is that they would started to "challenge" me, as they would resist or even attempt to correct my technique. So I've begun to take that as an indicator that they want to go harder. My fear is that I'm still uncertain that the 3 month newbie (the point at which this kind of thing seems to happen) still doesn't have the ukemi skills of say the dan ranks that I feel totally comfortable going all out with, and I'll still end up hurting them. I'm still trying to find that balance to the point where I'm not going too hard but not too soft so that they still feel the technique without thinking they're just going through the motions with me.

As others pointed out all of this comes down to communication, because you end up risking being interepreted as a know-it-all jerk. As a woman, I noticed that I need to exude more confidence and not come across too sweet on the mat. Otherwise, the "sweetness" gets interpreted as the nice little girl you don't really want to hurt and is just there for the "art" of it all. I'm actually there to really learn to beat you guys up. ;) Just let me know when your ukemi is ready for more intensity and I'll be more than willing to up the ante for you.

Lyle Laizure
08-01-2004, 05:24 PM
I think we have gotten off the subject a bit. Whether or not the female was a newbie or not was not mentioned in the initial post. Just that Suren was fairly new to aikido.

Earlier I posted that it should not matter if it is a man or woman that you practice with you treat them all the same. I believe this is the best way to approach the issue. Obviously, man or woman, as nage we are not going to practice beyond the ability of our uke. Treat them the same.

giriasis
08-01-2004, 08:48 PM
No, we haven't gotten off the subject, not completely. It is related because a few of posts down Suren indicated that she was close to being a dan rank. Whether she is a newbie or not does matter, as he shouldn't really feel inhibited to throwing her just like I don't feel inhibited in throwing someone higher ranking than me -- male or female. I commonly tell the newbie guys I train with that they can go harder on me, and they tell me they are afraid of hurting me. I tell them I've been doing aikido for 5 years and I can take it. It is rare that I get someone who is very adament about refusing to train harder with me because I'm a woman. This behavior does exist even though it "shouldn't."

Whether we like it or not gender does play role as a result of being part of the greater culture the dojo belongs (the U.S., Brazil, Cuba, Turkey, Japan, etc.), and women and men get treated on the mat according to those cultural norms and standards. I'm glad to know that you feel women should be treated fairly and respectfully on the mat. But please recognize, respect and fairness doesn't always happen. It's our role to see that we all get treated fairly and that we break the limiting role that society places on us. In this case, the limiting role is "you don't hurt a woman" and if a man believes that he does treat a woman differently in the dojo. A typical corollary role for the female is that "I can't really hurt the guy" so women tend to go too hard without realizing harm can result. (Note also that women are also commonly afraid of hurting people and this is often manifested in poor attacks and atemi. This is most likely a result of the nurturing role society places on women rather than the protective role society places on men.)

As I posted before, the best way to deal with this is to simply talk to your partner by asking them how they want to be treated. We can talk about the way things should be, but it's best to learn deal with things as they are.

Shakz
08-02-2004, 04:02 PM
Are you sure there are no strong feelings about this person...?
(I'm kidding) But I can't help but notice you sound a lot like myself, I was always afriad I would hurt this "special someone" but as a Nidan he should be able to handle it...
The other student are afriad they'll hurt me, I told them to go full force and I'd let them know if it was too tough.

So if I where you I would tell her to let you know if she isn't comfortable with your speed, etc. It also shows good manners anyway... :)

suren
08-04-2004, 03:22 PM
Are you sure there are no strong feelings about this person...?
Yes.
I don't want a misinterpretation. I think being in love with your uke could be another discussion, and it does not correlate with this one.

suren
09-08-2004, 12:08 PM
I'm resurrecting this old thread just to say how much I learned from my female partner today. From my first post I had couple of classes with her and now this does not seem to be so hard. Instead I found out that training with her revealed some problems in my technique which I was chasing for months. I new something is wrong and even much more experienced folks could not see the problem. She found those problems and pointed them as if they were obvious! I'm so glad I did not choose to stay away from her after my first bad experience!

daniel loughlin
09-08-2004, 12:32 PM
lol silicon valley sorry no offense intended

suren
09-08-2004, 12:50 PM
lol silicon valley sorry no offense intended
If you emphasize the word "silicon" then :D well what I can say... lol.
If you refer to "silicon valley". That's not silicon valley specific. I moved here not so long ago. That's just my experience :)

Richard Chapman
09-10-2004, 09:33 AM
There is a female beginner at my dojo that I pair up with. Once I was doing a Ikkyo technique on her, but the technique didn't feel right, so I approached my sensei and explained. When he tried the technique at first the same result happened. What it was, is that the femaile uke was reluctant to let herself be controlled because she felt that she may get hurt.

What I didn't relise was, because i was concerned about hurting her I wasn't doing the technique correctly. Once I concentrated on doing the technique correctly I found that she had to move otherwise she would hurt herself. Just goes to show.

By the way. If anyone is in the Crawley area tomorrow (UK) There is a club promotion of all types of Martial Arts at the Tilgate Forest Huts. All the MA's that have a hut are promoting there club. This ranges from Aikido of course to Ju-Juitsu, Hapkido, Tae Kwando, Kick Boxing, Karate etc. The huts are situated close to Crawley Football Club.

Qatana
09-10-2004, 11:35 AM
Richard, exactly how is this about "female" ukes? I am female and have had eactly the same problem with almost every beginner after me, male or female.
What exactly does fear of being hurt have to do with gender? And spare me the "size/strenghth ratio"- there will Always be one person in the dojo who is bigger and/or stronger than Everybody Else.

Aardvark
09-12-2004, 10:13 PM
suren, I know what you mean - I have a similar problem on the mat, too. Its wierd - I know full well that most of the girls I train with could throw me around the dojo all night long, and its not like Im afraid of hurting them...but I kinda am. So, I end up giving them poor attacks or grabs as uke, and become a stiff, unresponsive nage (and probably put them at more risk than otherwise would be the case).

Its just one of those psychological bars that somehow manifests itself on the mat - all I can say is that it gets better with time, all you can do is keep training and try work through it. You'll get there :)

MaryKaye
09-12-2004, 11:44 PM
At a seminar I trained with a young woman--I couldn't guess her age exactly, but maybe early teens--about half my size. When we worked on koshinage, I had a difficult time setting aside the idea that I was going to hurt her, even though she was calmly confident of her technique. I think all you can do in such a situation is be as aware as you can of your partner and her(his) capabilities, not pushing them aside in favor of some preconception about women, small people, young people, old people, etc.

As it turns out, she could throw me koshinage with some difficulty due to my greater weight, and I couldn't throw her at all--I couldn't bend my knees far enough to get under her center of gravity, so even with cooperation on both sides it was just beyond me. But we had a good time working this out, and probably both came away knowing more about our capabilities. In retrospect, she was more experienced than me and was probably working harder not to hurt me than vice versa....

While I'm telling stories, though:

I was the worst forward roller in my dojo, just hopeless at it for a long time. I had one patient sempai who kept working with me on this. A month or so after it finally started to click, we were practicing a throw from a back wrist grab. He and I walked through it statically, and he was just nudging me in the right direction and letting me roll on my own. But I'd just seen a demo of how this throw is normally done at a run, grabbing one wrist and the other, so for my next attack I ran at him. He grinned at me fiercely and threw me into a gorgeous, fast, smooth forward roll without any hesitation. That was the moment at which I knew that yes, I was going to stick with aikido. I'd have been cheated of that experience if he'd been too careful with me.

Mary Kaye

Richard Chapman
09-13-2004, 02:38 AM
Jo Adell. The situation that I was describing in a thread above is only relevant to this one lady. The technique that I was doing was Ikkyo (Irimi). The diffidult part was trying to drive the elbow up and over to take her balance and then to complete the technique to the ground. Usually when you start Ikkyo you can see that the elbow bends slightly, which is where you can initiate the beginnings of the Ikkyo technique. What I was facing was a completely straight arm resulting in a messy Ikkyo as I could not drive her elbow up and over. In the end I got the technique right, but only by not be gentle with her, but not being rough, as she is only a beginner.

Qatana
09-13-2004, 10:02 AM
Yes that is exactly my point. I have the exact same problem with every single beginner in the dojo from the only person smaller than me to the teenage boy who is twice my size.
Its up to them to have good ukemi as well as up to us to use proper technique.But they are beginners and just don't yet know how to respond.
its much easier for me to just put the elbow bend in on a person less strong than me, but i could just as easily break the elbow of a big 16 year old male as a tiny 40 year old woman.

billybob
09-13-2004, 11:50 AM
The ladies that train and teach at my dojo are real martial artists.

my sempai was missing me in irimi nage. i'll mention she is much
smaller than i. i took her arm and moved my head around and back,
then through the off balance point. she took me right off my feet and
with no effort!!!!! i think our female sensei is tougher on the female
students. no one minds! the best uke in class the gal i mentioned above.
not all training is grunting, groaning and force. finesses. these ladies
know finesse - and they share with me!

billyboby

DaveO
09-13-2004, 01:22 PM
This is a bit of an interesting question I've thought about from time to time. :)
Basically; the concept of practicing with members of the opposite gender is a non-issue to just about anyone with a normal, mature outlook; I've wondered - just to continue the conversation - about the effect it has on someone who is a bit more nervous concerning these things.
Like myself; when I was a kid.
nowadays; I've got no probs with getting physical with any member of my dojo; female or otherwise; but I think back to when I was a kid - high school IOW. I was seriously 'girlophobic'; terrified of contact with girls. Dance class (you remember public-school dance classes? Ugh!) was an utter nightmare; as was any sport that brought us into close proximity.
(During school dances; I was one of the ones that tried to look like part of the decorations. :rolleyes: )
Heh heh - I remember back when I was taking jiu-jitsu; they once partnered me with a totally knockout blonde 18-year-old. (A few years older than me, IOW.) Given that the technique was something involving a bearhug from behind; practice should've been a lot of fun - 'cept I was too busy thinking "My God - IT'S A GIRL!!! :eek:" for me to enjoy it. :cool:
So in the case of a person like that; such contact on the mat could be a Big Deal. In that event; how do you as an instructor - or the female in question - handle it? :)
Cheers!

suren
09-14-2004, 03:15 PM
Dave, thanks for your input. I'm not sure if you are asking me or other prople or just talking to yourself... :) I'll try to comment on some parts.

Basically; the concept of practicing with members of the opposite gender is a non-issue to just about anyone with a normal, mature outlook;

Well, I'm not sure if I can be considered mature enough... After being married for 6 years and having two kids... Anyway I'm not offended, maybe you are right. Besides when people call me young I accept that as a compliment :D

So in the case of a person like that; such contact on the mat could be a Big Deal. In that event; how do you as an instructor - or the female in question - handle it? :)
Cheers!

That situation resoled somehow by itself... After couple classes with this and other girls. I think instructor and uke just have to be patient until the beginner overcomes his problem by himself. TMO not much could be done from their side.