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Niadh
03-20-2005, 01:15 AM
SO here is a women in the dojo dynamic that this thread has brought up to me. In the dojo where I assist, (about 60m/40w) we have a female student who, among other issues, demonstrates a definite resistance towards accepting instruction from the chief instructor (female) but not from males? This is actually the second such student we have had, one having left. The one who left felt we were too different from her style to continue. the chief instructor Then was also Female, but not the same. I am not asking for a psychological analysis or to have the most obvious (and I believe wrong) point that it must be the chief instructor pointed out. I am simply trying to throw a previously unmentioned angle into the discussion of how to incorporate Aikido in our lives and our lives in Aikido.
Niadh

Lorien Lowe
03-20-2005, 01:29 AM
when I first started, I was a little resistant to one of my dojo's female instructors (we have several) because 1)she's so darn nice that I just couldn't believe she was for real and 2)she weighs about 100 lbs less than me and I have about as much trouble fitting my body into her style of movement as I do fitting my body into the movement of the male instructors who weigh 100 lbs more than me, or are a foot taller.

Since then I've learned that she's not only truly nice, but also very dangerous. :)

Do you think that the woman you mentioned was being disrespectful to the female sensei specifically because she was female, or because of some coincidental factor?

-LK

Mary Eastland
03-20-2005, 06:58 AM
SO here is a women in the dojo dynamic that this thread has brought up to me. In the dojo where I assist, (about 60m/40w) we have a female student who, among other issues, demonstrates a definite resistance towards accepting instruction from the chief instructor (female) but not from males? This is actually the second such student we have had, one having left. The one who left felt we were too different from her style to continue. the chief instructor Then was also Female, but not the same. I am not asking for a psychological analysis or to have the most obvious (and I believe wrong) point that it must be the chief instructor pointed out. I am simply trying to throw a previously unmentioned angle into the discussion of how to incorporate Aikido in our lives and our lives in Aikido.
Niadh

I have noticed some resistance from some students to my instruction. I think some people prefer to be taught by Ron because he is the head instructor. I think my lighthearted approach to Aikido offends some folks.

And I have had a woman tell me that she prefers a male instructor and she does not come to my classes. ;)

Another woman I know really prefers Ron's classes but when she comes to mine I just teach. It does not matter how someone feels as long as they act fine in class. :)

Mary

Niadh
03-20-2005, 03:03 PM
Do you think that the woman you mentioned was being disrespectful to the female sensei specifically because she was female, or because of some coincidental factor?

-LK

Lorien,
Good question. I think the dynamic is because she is female, just from my observations. This also is a student that has other dynamic issues which often come to the for front during practice. I am not trying to psycoanylis this (and I did not take your pst as such) but simply to find responses from women on such. See if others had similar experiences. I know that we as a society often have subconcious reactions to (specifiy gender) in (given role). I too am guilty of this and try to minimize it as much as I can. Luckily I am a part of a dojo that overtly accepts its students for their ability, male or female , 7 years old or 80 years old, and as such places the emphasis on knowing you practice partner's abilities and working with that.
Niadh

Mike Sigman
03-20-2005, 03:37 PM
Good question. I think the dynamic is because she is female, just from my observations. This also is a student that has other dynamic issues which often come to the for front during practice. I am not trying to psycoanylis this (and I did not take your pst as such) but simply to find responses from women on such. See if others had similar experiences. I know that we as a society often have subconcious reactions to (specifiy gender) in (given role). The things you mention are possibilities, but there may also be the simple issue the one instructor is not as good as the other one. In most dojo's where multiple teachers share the teaching, some of the teachers' classes are good and some are often pretty mediocre. It's not uncommon for people to do the obvious and simply not want to attend the classes that are not as good. I know of many cases where people won't attend a certain female instructor's class simply because she's not very good ... and they're not interested in the social BS of attending so that it looks like they're not sexist. No one questions the "sexism" when students avoid a male instructor's classes for the same reasons of mediocrity, so maybe too much is being read into the motives of people not attending females' classes, seminars, etc. Male or female, the demonstrably good instructors will draw students; the not-as-good instructors won't draw the students equally. It's the way things work.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Brion Toss
03-20-2005, 04:41 PM
It might be that, as Mr. Sigman points out, someone won't come to a woman teacher's classes because she is not as good a teacher as someone else who happens to be male. It might be, but that's not the way to bet. There's an old saying that, "A woman has to be twice as good as a man to be considered the equal of a man; fortunately this is not difficult." In gender-stressed roles, like teaching martial arts, I'd say there's a fairly high degree of accuracy in that otherwise humorous saying.
A dear friend of mine studied and taught Aikido for many years, here and in Japan. She was also married to a Japanese instructor. Over the years, she watched as male after less-experienced male was promoted past her. Granted, this was a few years ago, and much of it happened in Japan, but not all of it. I have trained with her, and she is one of the best teachers -- of anything -- that I have ever worked with. Other Aikidoka much more experienced than I concur with this. Eventually, after decades of frustration, then anger, then despair on her part, she was awarded fourth dan. But she retired from Aikido shortly thereafter.
I am reminded of another saying: "A bitch is any woman whose behavior distinguishes her from a doormat." Lots of truth in this one too, in my view. So when I hear about female instructors who bring issues of sexism onto the mat, I have to wonder about the perspective of the person bringing the complaint. Sure, it happens, but my own perspective, though perhaps also flawed, shows that it is at least as rare as overt, preposterone-driven male chauvinism on the mat.
Overall I'd say that Aikido dojos are amazingly safe, supportive places for everyone, places where people tend to take care of each other; I think of it as part of the art. But there are larger forces at work within us, things that tend to produce effects we wouldn't consciously seek. To quote one more old saying, "Your education begins 200 years before you are born." This thread started out with a visceral response to a perceived inequitability; perhaps addressing that inequitability means thinking of centuries past and future, both as a means to reveal our own unthinking prejudices, and a means to begin educating someone born in 2205.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mike Sigman
03-20-2005, 04:55 PM
It might be that, as Mr. Sigman points out, someone won't come to a woman teacher's classes because she is not as good a teacher as someone else who happens to be male. Just out of curiosity, do you even care that what you said is a pretty blatantly dishonest characterisation of what I said and that you stand exposed as being intellectually dishonest for all to see? It might be, but that's not the way to bet. There's an old saying that, "A woman has to be twice as good as a man to be considered the equal of a man; fortunately this is not difficult." Hmmmmm... not in a fight, she's not. We're talking about martial arts (or at least I and a few others are). What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? Give me a name. I say you'll evade this one. (Snip irrelevancies) .... I am reminded of another saying: "A bitch is any woman whose behavior distinguishes her from a doormat." Lots of truth in this one too, in my view. So when I hear about female instructors who bring issues of sexism onto the mat, I have to wonder about the perspective of the person bringing the complaint. Sure, it happens, but my own perspective, though perhaps also flawed, shows that it is at least as rare as overt, preposterone-driven male chauvinism on the mat.
Overall I'd say that Aikido dojos are amazingly safe, supportive places for everyone, places where people tend to take care of each other; I think of it as part of the art. But there are larger forces at work within us, things that tend to produce effects we wouldn't consciously seek. To quote one more old saying, "Your education begins 200 years before you are born." This thread started out with a visceral response to a perceived inequitability; perhaps addressing that inequitability means thinking of centuries past and future, both as a means to reveal our own unthinking prejudices, and a means to begin educating someone born in 2205. Amazing. Again, out of curiosity, are you aware that in the martial community Aikido has a laughable reputation, on the whole? Would you care to hazard a guess as to what kind of people have engendered that reputation for Aikido?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Lorien Lowe
03-20-2005, 07:35 PM
I think the dynamic is because she is female, just from my observations.


There is the dynamic of women who 'don't get along with other women.'
The young woman I mentioned earlier, who left because of 'sexism' etc. was one.

LK

ruthmc
03-21-2005, 03:52 AM
There is the dynamic of women who 'don't get along with other women.'
Agreed. I have been told by some women that they don't like to train with other women, and some have made it clear that they don't like other women training in "their" dojo :eek:

As far as I can gather, the 'reasons' why some women don't like training with female partners are that a) they are more afraid of injuring them, as they are physically less muscular (and muscle protects) than males, and b) that they won't get such a good work-out when not training in a blaze of testosterone-fueled enthusiasm :D And then some women just prefer to be the only woman in the dojo :rolleyes:

It's very sad that any women buy in to any of the above. Training with people of different physical builds develops sensitivity, and intensity in training can occur on so many different levels than the purely physical! Women with a 'queen bee' complex simply disgust me - it's as bad as men with a 'king of the jungle' complex. Neither of these have any place in the dojo.

All IMHO ;)

Ruth

sunny liberti
03-21-2005, 06:44 AM
To answer (I think it was) Lorien's question on the last page:

I've never run across a dojo where sexism is the rule, though certainly I've encountered the rogue a**hole chauvanists. But they generally aren't well liked anyway. But they are out there.

As I posted previously, I've seen a lot of looking for chauvanism where it isn't. I've also trained with women I couldn't stand, as they started the encounter with one of those up-and-down, raised-eyebrow stares, and then did anything but good solid waza to "prove" their superiority. I think it's a lot of that "queen bee" BS. Or fake feminism.

For me dealing with all sorts is a big reason for training. I wouldn't want to homogonize the dojo populations.

Dazzler
03-21-2005, 06:59 AM
What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? Give me a name. I say you'll evade this one. Amazing.

Again, out of curiosity, are you aware that in the martial community Aikido has a laughable reputation, on the whole? Would you care to hazard a guess as to what kind of people have engendered that reputation for Aikido?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I kind of take your first point here Mike...In general Men have certain physical advantages which mean that in the majority of athletic events men outperform women...but in the context of this thread ability to teach isn't one of them.

I'm very aware of the reputation that aikido has among the general martial arts community. ...and I couldn't give a gnats chuff.

I'd agree that aikido contains a lot more 'non fighters' than other martial arts....eg. muay thai. Arguably anyone putting their bodies through the rigorous training demanded by these sport forms without taking it to the logical conclusion is'nt very well in my opinion...I certainly dont fancy 'conditioning' my body to the point of damage for the sake of aikido....and I can't see the sense in it.

On the other hand...I and many others here train hard, Those that look at the core of aikido will view the development of irimi and atemi as the underlying theme of their aikido (perhaps this should go on the without this no aikido thread).

Are these not embodied within the majority of martial arts?

My suggestion to all non aikidoka is recognise that we have an art form that can be practiced by all to a level that suits them.

Don't judge us by those that train to a lower level but judge aikido by the levels achieved by the best.

I assure you I have encountered aikidoists that measure up to the very highest ideals of 'hardness'. In any martial arena they would be considered quality.....by the hordes of TKD puppies, kung fu kids, judo nippers and bjjers that represent the bulk of the martial arts community one or 2 would have godlike presence.

Not that this matters a toss...bottom line is that the individual is more important than the art.

IMHO & respectfully

D

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 07:13 AM
I kind of take your first point here Mike...In general Men have certain physical advantages which mean that in the majority of athletic events men outperform women...but in the context of this thread ability to teach isn't one of them. In the context of the comment by Brion Toss, women perform twice as well as a man and don't get recognized for it. That's the context to which I was replying. It's not true. Those that look at the core of aikido will view the development of irimi and atemi as the underlying theme of their aikido (perhaps this should go on the without this no aikido thread). What about tenkan? What about ki? I.e., you appear to be making some sort of personal assertion and attributing it to "those that look at the core of Aikido". Not that this matters a toss...bottom line is that the individual is more important than the art. No offense, but I didn't really understand what you were arguing. Insofar as "not that this matters a toss", that was a pun I avoided because I suspect Brion has heard it before. ;)

Mike

Dazzler
03-21-2005, 07:31 AM
In the context of the comment by Brion Toss, women perform twice as well as a man and don't get recognized for it. That's the context to which I was replying.


It's not true. What about tenkan? What about ki? I.e., you appear to be making some sort of personal assertion and attributing it to "those that look at the core of Aikido". No offense, but I didn't really understand what you were arguing. Insofar as "not that this matters a toss", that was a pun I avoided because I suspect Brion has heard it before. ;)

Mike
Point 1....fair enough ...I'll let you two guys argue on with this one.

Point 2... Its not true? says who? you? Personal assertion?

Fraid not.

This is what I've been taught by Pierre Chassang..longest practicing aikidoka in Europe to the tune of 50 years.

Sure we work on ki, tenkan maai and the rest of our bases.

But your posts seem to criticise aikido and dismiss it as ineffective.

My point remains that the martial effectiveness of aikido is determined by the presence of irimi and atemi...to enter and strike.

These elements are present in pretty much all martial arts.

Brion ...no pun intended.

My bottom line is still unconcerned with those that are casually dismissive of Aikido due to their ignorance of it.

Respectfully

D

mj
03-21-2005, 08:14 AM
My bottom line is still unconcerned with those that are casually dismissive of Aikido due to their ignorance of it.

Daren I agree wholeheartedly. People who merely wish to stand and say 'aikido is sh*t and so are you' can have all the empty space they require to puff themselves up - I just get on with my training. Why on earth argue?

Better to be the tossee than the tosser, in cases like that. :straightf

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 08:20 AM
Point 2... Its not true? says who? you? Personal assertion? Nope. I can support it with source books by Ueshiba K., Gozo Shioda, and others. I.e., your assertion was limited and did not mention something as basic as tenkan, which is mentioned as an equally key component in available source material by accepted experts in the field.
This is what I've been taught by Pierre Chassang..longest practicing aikidoka in Europe to the tune of 50 years. Just as an aside, do you connote real expertise with "time spent practicing"? I happen to know great numbers of people who have "many years of practice" yet who couldn't find their bum with both hands when their pants are down and the lights are on. ;) No implication of disrespect to your teacher, of course. But your posts seem to criticise aikido and dismiss it as ineffective. I didn't criticise and dismiss Aikido... I criticised and dismissed the too-prevalent western practice that is called Aikido. It's generally useless on many levels, except for role playing, social agendae, cooperative exercise, etc. Would you be willing to hazard a guess about what percentage of western Aikido is martially effective? My bottom line is still unconcerned with those that are casually dismissive of Aikido due to their ignorance of it. I think you're confusing my comments, as I noted above.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-21-2005, 08:21 AM
Are women socialized (not necessariily on purpose) to defend themselves, especially to an authority figure? If this is a main problem manifesting itself in teaching women aikido, how can it best be helped?

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 10:18 AM
Point 2. Do I connote real expertise with time spent on the mat? Do you? It is down to the individual. Then you agree with me that mentioning someone's time on the mat with any implications of expertise is a waste, then. :cool:
I also know many people that have spent many years on the mat that could not fight their way out of the wettest of paper bags. Me, too. I know people that think they can fight who can't. We both know many people, it seems. :)
Point 3... aikido is generally useless? Useless for what? you average 6.57 post per day on something that you consider useless? why? It strikes me that you see nothing in aikido and wish to knock it for everyone else. I find that a bit sad. Why did you deliberately leave off my clarification about "western" Aikido in such a way to imply that I was talking about traditional Aikido? I said:

I didn't criticise and dismiss Aikido... I criticised and dismissed the too-prevalent western practice that is called Aikido. It's generally useless on many levels, except for role playing, social agendae, cooperative exercise, etc.

And if you'll check the general interest in my posts, you'll see where my focus is and where I'm trying to get some information. Point 4 ..Would I be willing to guess about what percentage of western aikido is martially effective? Nope - I couldn't give a monkeys... It was the topic that you jumped in on, though.... I like what I do. I rate what I practice. I dont waste my time criticising others. If they come to me I'll teach them. If I get access to someone better that me I'll learn from them. Good for you. Aikido is fortunate to have someone like you in it.

Mike Sigman

jonreading
03-21-2005, 10:44 AM
I have a dojo of mostly males and a handful of dedicated females. In that group, I have a wide range of age differences and physical handicaps. My question is this, "who do I accomodate?"

The problem with training is that is will (should?) always favor the majority interest of the dojo. Is it fair if I take a senior (age) class and make them constantly take breakfalls? Is it fair if I constantly force a bunch of young, strong students to practice non-physical aikido? Is it fair to constantly make a bunch of girls practice aikido like boys? Is it fair to make a bunch of guys constantly train like girls? NO! It might be good occasssionally, but not always.

I can actually see the girls roll their eyes when I talk about hard aikido; I can see the boys sigh when I start talking about softer aikido; I can see my older students look on with fear when the sutemi begins. Who do I accomodate? No one. Sometimes my instruction is geared towards men, sometimes women; sometimes, I teach a hear-pounding class for my young people to wrestle around. Understand that as an instructor, every class I am challenged to present instruction that will appeal to my entire class.

I think women in general have it tough, but I am not going to make excuses for them. I have heard a lot of posts from women with great attitudes, and I hope they don't get discouraged. To me, sexual equality in a dojo should be:
1. separate changing rooms
2. Variable classes for different interests
3. An understanding that everyone on the mat will equally beat their partner up

Most of my female students want nothing more than those three things. I tell my students the same thing, "Hang in there, keep training. Some days you won't like class, some days you will. But I promise that I will not waste your time either way."

I hope the women today realize they are creating the path for the women tomorrow. Its a tough job, and I respect them for that task alone.

Bill Danosky
03-21-2005, 10:45 AM
I hate to be the one who brings up such an apparently shallow point, but in my observation, the teacher whose image most closely matches the expectation of the prospective student is the one who fills the classes.

Of the many teachers I've had over the last twenty+ years, the one who attracted the most students was GJN Nam Hyong. He is a phenomenally skilled martial artist, and so I don't want to verbally take anything away from his ability to perform or teach. But he really looks the part of the wise old master (and it's worth repeating: he is) who has all the secrets and he had no trouble finding students. (Sadly for me, he was so successful he built up his Chicago school to the point that he sold our local studio so he could devote more time to it.)

So I respectfully submit that to particular segments of students, the classroom experience, including the voice, appearance, style and personal magnetism of the instructor are MORE important than the content of the class or the effectiveness of the techniques. This is probably the source of a lot of the differences we're discussing, IMHO.

Personally, I want the best technical instruction I can get. My teachers are all perfectly pleasant, but that's sundry to the point of the class at my dojo.

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 11:32 AM
So I respectfully submit that to particular segments of students, the classroom experience, including the voice, appearance, style and personal magnetism of the instructor are MORE important than the content of the class or the effectiveness of the techniques. This is probably the source of a lot of the differences we're discussing, IMHO. I absolutely agree. It's what I meant when I said that dojo's are like "filters" and gradually become dominated with the sorts of people who are most attracted to what they perceive is going on (while people interested in solid martial arts tend to flow through and go elsewhere). Tai Chi and Aikido got a huge boost from the New Age crowds, wannabelieves, "spiritual" seekers, etc., and there's a huge base of that sort (worse in Tai Chi, though). Things are gradually changing, but the legitimate question is whether Aikido and Taiji would have succeeded in the West had it not been for the influx of the New Age people. I think not, but that's just a personal opinion.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-21-2005, 03:01 PM
... Things are gradually changing, but the legitimate question is whether Aikido and Taiji would have succeeded in the West had it not been for the influx of the New Age people. I think not, but that's just a personal opinion.


Interesting, in that the yoshinkan doesn't place much (or perhaps any) focus on the new age stuff as an organization, and yet is arguably the 2nd largest aikido association, and does quite well in the US.

But we must have our share of New Age Warriors (TM) I'm sure...

RT :)

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 03:04 PM
Interesting, in that the yoshinkan doesn't place much (or perhaps any) focus on the new age stuff as an organization, and yet is arguably the 2nd largest aikido association, and does quite well in the US.

But we must have our share of New Age Warriors (TM) I'm sure... I was talking about in the old days, Ron.... when you were a pup.... before there was much Yoshinkan. ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-21-2005, 03:12 PM
Actually, I wasn't even a pup then :) perhaps not even a glimmer...oh you get the point. ...I'm sure the yosh goes back to the 50's in the states...Steven Miranda's website has a good chronology...I'll have to find the time to check it again.

RT

SeiserL
03-21-2005, 03:31 PM
IMHO, and just an observation from 38 years of training: Even out here in southern California, the land of new-age twinkies, I have not seem much of it in Aikido. I would agree that the new-age hype has helped, but so have the Seagal movies. Awareness and newness always draws some marketing interest until people see that it is not as easy as it looks. Then the hobbyist drop off and the training continues. There has been an ebb and flow in martial arts.

IMHO, equality is not a new-age concept but a worthwhile goal to strive towards.

Brion Toss
03-21-2005, 03:37 PM
Just out of curiosity, do you even care that what you said is a pretty blatantly dishonest characterisation of what I said and that you stand exposed as being intellectually dishonest for all to see?
Oh no! Not exposed as intellectually dishonest for all to see!
Hmmmmm... not in a fight, she's not.
Who said anything about a fight? What I believe I said was that there was a fair degree of accuracy in an otherwise HUMEROUS [emphasis added, as you appear to have missed it the first time] saying. That's not evasion; that's what I said.
Amazing. Again, out of curiosity, are you aware that in the martial community Aikido has a laughable reputation, on the whole?
Who said anything about reputation? What relevance to reputation do my words bear? Is there some reason not to discuss, at least, the possibility that non-martial issues might have some place in Aikido?
Would you care to hazard a guess as to what kind of people have engendered that reputation for Aikido?
Is this a rhetorical question? Do you assume, for some reason, that I believe that some particular "kind" of people have engendered Aikido's reputation? If so, you are mistaken.
Yours,
Brion Toss

akiy
03-22-2005, 01:31 PM
Hi folks,

Can you please take your personal arguments off of the public forums and into private messages and/or e-mail -- regardless of "who started it"?

Let's try to stick on-topic of this thread, please. Thanks.

-- Jun

akiy
03-22-2005, 01:59 PM
The posts on "Atemi and Irimi" have been relocated here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7769

The non-constructive posts have been removed.

We now take you back to the topic at hand -- gender inequalities in aikido.

-- Jun

Jane Woodcock
03-23-2005, 02:22 PM
I must admit I have never reallt thought about gender in aikido. I have always been told there is not gender and that is how I view it. I have never felt that I am treated any differently to the males that I train with and vice versa. In fact the only problem I have is reminding them that I have a diff chest to them and to ask them to be careful when kneeling and applying the finishes to koshinage for instance. that can get a bit sore.

mj
03-23-2005, 04:27 PM
... In fact the only problem I have is reminding them that I have a diff chest to them and to ask them to be careful when kneeling....
God, I have actually done this. I can tell you I felt extremely embarrassed. And it looked extremely painful.

Paul
03-26-2005, 02:01 PM
Perhaps we should accept this fact and realise that because of this there will always be a lack of equality within the martial arts. I believe that because aikido is Japanese it is male biased. I believe this will change when the last of the original uchi deshi pass away and with them their mind set. Before anyone jumps on this, yes I am saying that all of the Japanese instructors I have trained with are sexist, from our western frame of reference. Woman instructors are coming through and this with time, a lot of time, will address the balance.

I read a very good book, on this very subject when I was wrestling with it as an instructor, the name of the author escapes me. She, the authors, premise was that men are visual learners and woman are auditory learners. Regardless of the science, which she went into in great depth, this rang true with me and certainly went a long way to helping me nuture female students. Any woman out there care to comment on whether they agree with the visual auditory thing. I think that because aikido is taught by men, mainly, that it is automatically biased towards us.

The next question is does it matter? Yes it does. Enough for a string this long. Absolutely no! There are much more pressing issues and much more personal issue to be solved in aikido.

Regards Paul.

P.S. Is everyone aware that Yamada sensei is coming to Edinburgh in October. The only reason I say is that this kind of discussion is better discussed over a pint.

Lorien Lowe
03-26-2005, 05:05 PM
Perhaps we should accept this fact and realise that because of this there will always be a lack of equality within the martial arts.

I wouldn't mind a lack of equality if I could be sure that it was only because women just aren't attracted to martial arts as much as men - which I think is probably true to some degree - and not because they face discouragement from a negative dojo atmosphere. Which, unfortunately, I think also does happen.

-LK

Janet Rosen
03-27-2005, 11:34 AM
She, the authors, premise was that men are visual learners and woman are auditory learners.
Paul, I know you are just passing this along, so I'm not criticising you...but I'm not aware of any studies that support this, I and many women I know are NOT at all auditory learners (its the LEAST usefal path for me) and what about us kinesthetic learners: are we asexual or hermaphrodite?

Karen King
03-27-2005, 10:35 PM
[QUOTE=Paul Finn]Perhaps we should accept this fact and realise that because of this there will always be a lack of equality within the martial arts. I believe that because aikido is Japanese it is male biased. I believe this will change when the last of the original uchi deshi pass away and with them their mind set. Before anyone jumps on this, yes I am saying that all of the Japanese instructors I have trained with are sexist, from our western frame of reference. ]

I am not seeking to undermine or question your experience, but my sensei is a high ranking Japanese male who has been very supportive of women in our dojo. By supportive I mean if you train vigorously and often he will give as much as you give to your training, male or female, he uses just as many women for ukemi as men and so on.

Also, from everything I've seen and heard, having been to a number of seminars with Chiba Sensei and students of Chiba Sensei, and looking at the number of high ranking and really superb female senseis that have studied with him, I don't think its quite right to say that all the uchideshi of O'Sensei are sexist. In fact, just looking at the number of high ranking, really kick butt women in Western Region would put that to rest.

Just speaking from my own experience, I have found for the most part that if I trained hard and put myself out there, my instructors have recognized that. I think if that were not the case, I would have found myself a new dojo a long time ago.

Natasha Bradley
03-29-2005, 02:20 AM
I have no statistics, but from my own observance, I think generally women just don't do martial arts for social reasons. In the town where I live, the council subsidize a scheme where the children have a choice in following introductory courses in all sorts of sports, such figure skating and horse riding. As far as I know, every child at a primary school in this town receives a list of the possibilities. My daughter enrolled in the judo. Of the 18 children, on the course, only 4 are girls. On the other hand, the ballet classes my daughters follow have long waiting lists and I think there are only one or two boys in the junior classes. And talking to my female friends (those not into Aikido) they seem to frightened of the physical aspects of martial arts, of getting hurt. So they don't even get as far as going to a dojo, let alone ever knowing whether males dominate there or not. However, I think this attitude might change slowly if there enough female role models. Perhaps some one ought to make a movie with a female aikidoka who kicks ass but retains her femininity, like Micheline Tissier-Valliant Sensei. After all, however good Steven Seagal's aikido is, most girls don't actually want to be like him.

Natasha.

giriasis
03-29-2005, 12:03 PM
I've felt the same way for the reason we don't see as many women as men walking into a dojo as it's more related to social/ cultural reasons. Once we step in the dojo, my impression from this thread is that they (we) are treated in an equitable manner -- for the most part. What I have begun to notice is that, at least where I train, of the number of women who are registered in the dojo a larger percentage of them practice more regularly. For example, my dojo is about 18% female but we often make up 25-33% of the people on the mat on most nights. And some nights we can make up close to 40% on the mat. But there are days when I'm the only woman on the mat. I don't despair that though as I, at times, like being the only woman on the mat.

In regards to the theory on learning patterns. I'm quite the visual and kinesthetic learner. I need to see something down and feel it done before I really get it. Although it helps that I have verbal instruction when confused but in the end I don't really learn it until I see what I'm doing wrong and then do the right thing.

Just a note: Molly Hale is teaching at the AikiExpo: http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=613

Mary Eastland
03-29-2005, 12:45 PM
Cool...that sounds like it will be a very cool class.

We did part of class on Sunday sitting crosslegged as nage. It was pretty intense and very fun.
Mary

Meggy Gurova
03-29-2005, 01:50 PM
For example, my dojo is about 18% female but we often make up 25-33% of the people on the mat on most nights. And some nights we can make up close to 40% on the mat. But there are days when I'm the only woman on the mat. I don't despair that though as I, at times, like being the only woman on the mat.


Cool! It's exactly the same in our dojo! And I've noticed that the few woman that train are more interested in aikido then most of the men. In our dojo women come and try aikido and if they don't like it they leave after their 6 kyu and if they make it to 4 kyu they usually stay for a long time. And it feels like the men in our dojo are there for other reasons like "I'm expected as a male to do martial arts, but actually I'm more interested in playing piano (or whatever)".

Meggy Gurova
03-29-2005, 01:55 PM
Hmmmmm... not in a fight, she's not. We're talking about martial arts (or at least I and a few others are). What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? Give me a name.
Mike Sigman

Any woman that is heavier than the man in front of her, that's for sure!
Now the nature has made us lighter and shorter, but don't forget there are strong heavy women and very thin and short men!

rob_liberti
03-29-2005, 02:04 PM
"I'm expected as a male to do martial arts, but actually I'm more interested in playing piano (or whatever)"

Really? I have never had the feeling that I was expected to do martial arts because I am a male. I have so many friends who are male that cannot imagine why I do aikido. Most think, why don't you just get a gun, or he mnust not like like watching TV...

I admit that if I could play the piano, I would be a lot more interested, but I would only be willing to play if I could learn to play in like 10 minutes or so! - as opposed to martial arts. I suppose for me, I am pretty good at solving problems, and what attracts me to aikido is that it is a multifaceted problems that keeps having more and more difficult (and interesting to me) things to solve. I wonder if that type of problem-solving is one of those things that more men typically prefer - I have no idea!

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-29-2005, 02:21 PM
Any woman that is heavier than the man in front of her, that's for sure!
Now the nature has made us lighter and shorter, but don't forget there are strong heavy women and very thin and short men! I understand and agree, Meggy. However, the question I asked, just in order to avoid what you're saying, was: What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? .

Although many people in Aikido try to emasculate it, Aikido is still basically a physical martial art... who would honestly expect women to equal men statistically in this sort of thing? I am reminded of the old Irish saying: God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Surely we can recognize what cannot be changed in this instance? Natasha basically pointed out the problem when she said, "After all, however good Steven Seagal's aikido is, most girls don't actually want to be like him." Women are not necessarily driven by the same things men are... and aren't we glad of that in so many cases?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-29-2005, 10:00 PM
We should at least wait until there is a level playing field until we make such comparisons. At this point, it is too early to just jump to a conclusion based on the current situation. Of course I can't think of any extremely well trained females which are at the level of the extremely well trained males - but I think that might just be because those males started training a long time before any of the females. Until the generation of extremely well trained males with no female counterparts dies off, we just don't have the right information to draw the gender based conclusions being alluded to.

Emasculate aikido? I guess I just don't think that aikido had balls to castrate in the first place.

Rob

Meggy Gurova
03-30-2005, 12:36 AM
[QUOTE=Mike Sigman]I understand and agree, Meggy. However, the question I asked, just in order to avoid what you're saying, was: What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? .
I got that all wrong :)

Rob about the piano playing I just have the feeling is like that in Our dojo. Maybe because the men are not there as often as the few women that train, and because of the young age of the men training and the testosterone in the air. I hope I'm wrong, but still I think it's easy to see from how people train, if that's their lifestyle or if they are there because the other alternative for them is sit at home and watch TV (witch they try to avoid).

ruthmc
03-30-2005, 02:46 AM
Although many people in Aikido try to emasculate it, Aikido is still basically a physical martial art...
What on earth do you mean by this Mike? Women are just as physical as men when it comes to sports! (Have you ever seen a mixed hockey game? The guys are often backing off from the girls as they thunder down the pitch, sticks swinging :D ) Equating physicality with masculinity is a non-starter in the 21st Century!

Ruth

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 05:51 AM
Women are just as physical as men when it comes to sports! In that case women and men play on the same teams in the UK? The Rugby and Footy teams, say Manchester United, have professional women athletes? The league teams mix men and women because "women are just as physical as men when it comes to sport"? I can see that realism isn't going to be popular all-around in this discussion.

What I wonder is that there hasn't been a large movement by people who believe as you do that women and men should compete in the same events in the Olympics. I personally think that would be fair. Do you?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 06:02 AM
We should at least wait until there is a level playing field until we make such comparisons. At this point, it is too early to just jump to a conclusion based on the current situation. Of course I can't think of any extremely well trained females which are at the level of the extremely well trained males - but I think that might just be because those males started training a long time before any of the females. Until the generation of extremely well trained males with no female counterparts dies off, we just don't have the right information to draw the gender based conclusions being alluded to. So, Rob.... are you then one of the "nurturists" that believes women would be just like men, particularly in sports, if they'd just been raised like men (the ultimate "playing field")? I don't know if you follow social anthropology and archeology the way I do (it's a hobby), but you need to understand that even in the most liberal colleges of today they're freely admitting that there are gender differences all over the place... something they refused to do in the 70's. Those days are over, Rob. We're just animals with survival strategies that involve having 2 genders with slightly different responsibilities and statistically demonstrable physical traits. I wish it were more exalting than that, but let's work with what we've got and not make it more or less than it is. :) Women as not (statistically) as good in everything that men are (statistically) good in; men are not (statistically) as good in everything that women are (statistically) good in. It's a survival strategy that worked, happily, for us all. Let's recognize that and be happy with all that we've got.

Mike

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 06:29 AM
So, Rob.... are you then one of the "nurturists" that believes women would be just like men, particularly in sports, if they'd just been raised like men (the ultimate "playing field")?

What is this?! Are you taking a discussion to a personal level?!!! I'm shocked and amused! [recovering] Well, okay, good; I'm glad that's settled; moving on...

I certainly do not believe that women would be just like men. I do believe that people can be trained to have the martial judgment to move to the right place at the right time and do the right thing regardless of gender. I find it odd, that you do not.

Rob

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 06:43 AM
What is this?! Are you taking a discussion to a personal level?!!! I'm shocked and amused! [recovering] Well, okay, good; I'm glad that's settled; moving on...

I certainly do not believe that women would be just like men. I do believe that people can be trained to have the martial judgment to move to the right place at the right time and do the right thing regardless of gender. I find it odd, that you do not.

Rob

There is the rub, Rob.......some men consider men people and women objects...... ;)

Mary

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 06:49 AM
I'm sorry that you were rubbed the wrong way... (I couldn't resist.)

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 06:54 AM
What is this?! Are you taking a discussion to a personal level?!!! I'm shocked and amused! [recovering] Well, okay, good; I'm glad that's settled; moving on... It failed as a joke or an implication because asking you about your position is not a personal attack, Rob. I certainly do not believe that women would be just like men. I do believe that people can be trained to have the martial judgment to move to the right place at the right time and do the right thing regardless of gender. I find it odd, that you do not. You're not clarifying anything at all, Rob. You just said that you do not believe that women would be *just like men* and then you go on to indicate that all "people", "regardless of gender" can be trained to "do the right thing". You need to clarify because that statement essentially leaves it that women are just as good at doing the "right thing" in martial arts as men; i.e., they're equal in martial arts. Is that a correct assessment of what you're saying or do you want to qualify it?

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 06:55 AM
There is the rub, Rob.......some men consider men people and women objects...... ;) Which men are those, Mary?

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 07:42 AM
It failed as a joke or an implication because asking you about your position is not a personal attack, Rob. You're not clarifying anything at all, Rob.


First, do you understand that I do not consider you to be the judge of what fails or succeeds?
Second, wasn't I ALSO asking you about your position?! Didn't I start it with "Are you"???


You just said that you do not believe that women would be *just like men* and then you go on to indicate that all "people", "regardless of gender" can be trained to "do the right thing". You need to clarify because that statement essentially leaves it that women are just as good at doing the "right thing" in martial arts as men; i.e., they're equal in martial arts. Is that a correct assessment of what you're saying or do you want to qualify it?


"You need to "... Really? It seems like you think you are in charge. I don't think I _need to_ clarify it at all, but I'll be a sport:
1) It is obvious that people are not all the same.
2) It is obvious that the two genders are different by definition.
3) It is obvious to me, that people can do the right thing given _the situation_ - which takes into account differences like body shape, size, and musculature (because they are doing the right things at the right timing from the right places).

To think otherwise is to say that if an attacker is stronger than their intended victum, there is nothing they could do about it, and that just doesn't hold water. I've seen better fighters back up a bit, trip on a curb, fall and knock themselves out. Anything can happen in a fight. A smaller person can dip under a strike at the right time and the larger person can hit a wall, lose their balance, or simply expose themeselves to counter attack. The smaller person can set the larger person up to play their game - like was done often in those UFC and Pride matches as well as in a real fight.

Just in the symbolic attack world of normal aikido waza training, I've had a number of aikido experiences with successfully doing aikido waza with people well over a hundred pounds heavier and also being totally jammed up and shut down by people maybe 70-75 lighter and a foot shorter than me. I think that's the nature of aikido. Otherwise, all of the shorter and lighter folks in aikido should just quit.

Rob

PS. I know you asked this to Mary, but I'll field it:
Q: " Which men are those, Mary?"
A: Stupid men.

Pauliina Lievonen
03-30-2005, 07:44 AM
I guess the question is - what are the qualities necessary to learn and do aikido at a very high level? Once we decide which qualities we're talking about, it's possible to discuss whether or not women and men equally possess/can acquire those qualities.

I've always thought that aikido required rather different qualities than, say, rugby...OTOH Morihei Ueshiba in the midst of an rugby match , I'd definitely want to be there to see it.... :)

kvaak
Pauliina

giriasis
03-30-2005, 07:49 AM
Cool! It's exactly the same in our dojo! And I've noticed that the few woman that train are more interested in aikido then most of the men. In our dojo women come and try aikido and if they don't like it they leave after their 6 kyu and if they make it to 4 kyu they usually stay for a long time. And it feels like the men in our dojo are there for other reasons like "I'm expected as a male to do martial arts, but actually I'm more interested in playing piano (or whatever)".

I don't necessary think men practice a martial art because they are expected to, but more men walk into a dojo because it is more socially acceptable for them to practice a martial art. They come into the dojo in higher numbers and leave in higher numbers, too.

I think most people join aikido for different reasons and those reasons can not be nailed down to one gender. We can stereotype and say women join to practice the spiritual elements and men join to learn the physicial elements. However, we would do both genders injustice if we stereotyped things that way. In my dojo we have several men who joined with 10+ years of another martial art and choose aikido because it is softer than what they were practicing. Others joined because they though Steven Segal was cool, others DID join for the spiritual elements. Most people -- male and female -- write on our dojo registration sheets that they are joining for mental, physical, and spiritual reasons.

But the hard truth is that martial arts in general is not always appealing to women because women tend to sterotype as well. And the stereotypes come from our cultural upbringings. I was fortunate at a young to have my mother sign me up for Tae Kwon Do instead of gymnastics. Since that time I never really questioned that martial arts were not for me, but sometimes my non-aikido friends just say "martial arts don't appeal to me." Why doesn't it? Because it sounds like they could get hurt, bruised, etc. It's just too rough.

I don't think men feel compelled to take a martial art, unless there culture compels them, too. However practicing a martial art, for a man, seems to reinforce his masculinity -- may be that's the appeal for a guy. I think men tend to practice more sports than women, but that factor is changing. More women are invovled in sports and more are even invovled in sports like boxing. I went to school in the 80's and most girls didn't like sports or were that interested in them with the exclusion of perhaps basketball or volleyball. In my senior year of high school it was a really hugh deal to get a ladies soccer team. I think our culture, right now, is beginning to compel women into more athletic fields (Golf, Boxing instead of just Gymnastics, Figure Skating ["female sports']) eventually I feel it will carry over into martial arts.

I like to feel feminine and pretty and lady like, but that won't keep me away from aikido and it won't stop me from moving from my center and learning to make my aikido strong yet graceful at the same time.

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 08:18 AM
1) It is obvious that people are not all the same.
2) It is obvious that the two genders are different by definition.
3) It is obvious to me, that people can do the right thing given _the situation_ - which takes into account differences like body shape, size, and musculature (because they are doing the right things at the right timing from the right places).

Here was the question that you avoided answering, Rob:

You need to clarify because that statement essentially leaves it that women are just as good at doing the "right thing" in martial arts as men; i.e., they're equal in martial arts. Is that a correct assessment of what you're saying or do you want to qualify it?

Do you think women are statistically as equal in ability in martial arts (including boxing, since it was brought up) as men? Yes or No? If yes, can you support it with anything other than speculation? If no, do you see the logic of why more men would do better than women in martial arts, on the whole?

What's amazing is how long people will avoid saying the obvious because of some perverted idea that "political correctness" is more important than truth and common sense. In fact the trend has become that it's better to lie and call people names than to deal with common sense. Sad. ;) Frankly, I have never been able to understand where some people seriously try to reconcile what Budo really means with the dishonesty of political correctness.

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 08:38 AM
I guess the question is - what are the qualities necessary to learn and do aikido at a very high level? Once we decide which qualities we're talking about, it's possible to discuss whether or not women and men equally possess/can acquire those qualities. It's a good question, Pauliina. I think there are a number of ideas about Aikido that have led to the large participation by New Age and touchy-feely types in Aikido (yes, even the ones who do "rough and tumble" aerobic-Aikido). So I'll posit a couple of thoughts (good for debate; not good for personal attack):

1. Aikido is about not using strength, so weak people can be just as effective as big strong people.

Aikido, like a number of asian martial arts, stresses not resisting an opponent's strength, but using that strength in the technique. However, that does not mean that you can do it with no strength. If it meant that, O-Sensei would not have worked out daily to be extraordinarily strong, would he?

2. Aikido uses ki, not strength.

For all practical purposes, ki skills can be viewed as an unusual form of strength; it's just different. It still has to be trained through knowing how and long, hard work.

3. If I use Aikido correctly in a throw, I should be able to do it with just the weight of my arms and no strength.

Congratulations if your technique is that high and you can respond brilliantly to any subtle movement by your opponent. If Aikido practice didn't involve such cooperative attack and throw, it would be easier to gauge just how many Aikidoka are really at that level and whether many of them could be so subtle in an attack which was not predictable, linear, and not subject to rapid feints, etc. Kisshomaru Ueshiba had a "volunteer" at a demonstration in Hawaii whom he asked to "throw a punch". The volunteer was a trained martial artist and threw a series of punches far too rapid and erratic for Ueshiba to grasp or anything so he finally waved the guy away and asked for another volunteer.

Secondly, in regard to not using strength in the arms and just using the weight, that's sort of true, but there's more to it. I watched Shioda (on video) do some throws involving the same idea... he didn't use muscle, but he used something very powerful and something able to change directions rapidly. I.e.., sometimes the descriptions which get handed out as "standard admonitions" are taken wrongly by the great masses. Just a thought. :straightf

I think that women, small males, non-athletic people in general, etc., *can* learn things from a martial art like Aikido that give them an edge. But there's always someone better, so we have to do the best we can and not whine about the gender, race, economic status, etc., of the other guy or gal.... that's self-defeating and distracts from the goal.

FWIW

Mike

ruthmc
03-30-2005, 08:52 AM
Mike,

Why do you complain that people won't answer your questions when you won't answer other people's questions?

You reap what you sow :)

FWIW

Ruth

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 08:57 AM
Mike,

Why do you complain that people won't answer your questions when you won't answer other people's questions?

You reap what you sow :) What question are you talking about, Ruth?... don't just make a vague statement. Ask me a legitimate question and I'll answer. Right now you're again not answering a question, for the 3rd time, but at least you're trying to make it sound like it's my fault. And don't call me a sow. Or did you mean "sew"? :D

Mike

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 09:23 AM
I made no claim that the extremely well trained women have the same martial ability as the extremely well trained men. I simply pointed out that because the extremely well trained men of today have quite a number of years head start on any of the extremely well trained women at this point in time, you cannot conclude much based on _that_ comparison. That is not politically correct, it is simply a logically correct point of view. It is *also* truth and common sense.

I simply think you jump to conclusions based on grounds that are not as solid as you seem to think, and I'm highlighting that in a forum. On the other hand, are you calling me dishonest because of a personal agenda towards political correctness? Is that bringing a discussion to a personal level? Are you resorting to those same tactics you so despise?

On to the main topic at hand:
Of course marital arts like boxing which are oriented to give the advantage to larger and stronger people will favor them. That's why there are _weight_ divisions as opposed to speed divisions or whatever else. That just doesn't have anything to do with high level aikido in my opinion. I highly doubt that any extremely well trained aikidoka -- regardless of gender - is going to stand there trying to get enough points in to win a round with a boxer -- unless they happen to be boxing…

I don't know all other martial arts well enough to answer your question and I suspect you do not either.

I do think that there is *something* about male psychology that tends to give us an advantage in competition. For instance, I can see no good reason why the top male pool and billiards players are consistently so much better than the top female players. However, I don't see aikido as competition, so drawing conclusions based on such different things still seems silly and illogical to me.

It is possible and -- in my opinion -- likely that O-Sensei worked out daily to be extraordinarily strong when he was exploring one path. When he got older, I am led to believe that he was going down a _different_ path because I am told he actually explained that he wanted us to train to do what he does now as opposed to what he used to do. I don't have a citation (I'm relatively sure there is one because the source I got it from was good enough for me).

I don't think anyone felt that Kisshomaru Ueshiba represented the highest level of aikido ability, even himself. Yamaguchi sensei was effortlessly doing ikkyo with one arm (which was near the wrist -- not the uke's elbow) against people who were seemingly impossible to move -- to anyone else. Maybe they were just falling _only for him_ and very slowly for each other, but it kind of makes you wonder how they got so difficult to move in the first place if they were just people putting on a show. Ask Yaseno sensei or Endo sensei at hombu dojo about their opinions on what I'm saying.

It is a fair point that few people get there -- to a point where you should be able to deal well with attacks that are not "predictable, linear, and not subject to rapid feints, etc."

However, I believe the initial question was in fact "What _high-level_ woman martial artist do you want to put up against a _high-level_ male martial artist? ". You started talking about _high-level_, not me. How rare it is to get to _high-level_ is a different topic all together, but it's not a valid counter point in the scope of the initial question posed.

I'm sure it must be frustrating being logically challenged, but don't take it out on us.

Rob

Don_Modesto
03-30-2005, 09:24 AM
And don't call me a sow. Or did you mean "sew"? :D

Main Entry: 2sow
Pronunciation: 'sO
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): sowed; sown /'sOn/; or sowed; sow·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sAwan; akin to Old High German sAwen to sow, Latin serere, Lithuanian seti
intransitive senses
1 : to plant seed for growth especially by scattering
2 : to set something in motion : begin an enterprise
transitive senses
1 a : to scatter (as seed) upon the earth for growth; broadly : PLANT 1a b : to strew with or as if with seed c : to introduce into a selected environment : IMPLANT
2 : to set in motion : FOMENT <sow suspicion>
3 : to spread abroad : DISPERSE
- sow·er /'sO(-&)r/ noun


Main Entry: sew
Pronunciation: 'sO
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): sewed; sewn /'sOn/; or sewed; sew·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sIwian; akin to Old High German siuwen to sew, Latin suere
transitive senses
1 : to unite or fasten by stitches
2 : to close or enclose by sewing <sew the money in a bag>
intransitive senses : to practice or engage in sewing
- sew·abil·i·ty /"sO-&-'bi-l&-tE/ noun
- sew·able /'sO-&-b&l/ adjective

http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary


Need I add "reap"?

happysod
03-30-2005, 09:49 AM
Of course marital arts like boxing which are oriented to give the advantage to larger and stronger people will favor them. That's why there are _weight_ divisions as opposed to speed divisions or whatever else. That just doesn't have anything to do with high level aikido in my opinion.

Sorry Rob, had to put my popcorn down at this one and join in for a bit - I can't think of any martial art, aikido included, where size, strength and general fitness would not play a part.

One definition I did read which struck a cord was combining strength, size and skill into one bundle and doing the comparison from there.

But at the end of the the day I (as a short puny specimen) have to admit that the large strong unskilled do have an advantageous starting point when it comes down to a full-on confrontation - it sucks, but if winning at violence is your main aim either train until you bleed or get a better weapon than your own bits and go from there.

I'd also happily postulate that anyone serious in their training would end up fit anyway, endorphins are a great rush...

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 09:53 AM
I made no claim that the extremely well trained women have the same martial ability as the extremely well trained men. I simply pointed out that because the extremely well trained men of today have quite a number of years head start on any of the extremely well trained women at this point in time, you cannot conclude much based on _that_ comparison. That is not politically correct, it is simply a logically correct point of view. It is *also* truth and common sense. I like the way you attribute all those glowing things to your remarks. :) No, Rob... not all high-level men have had years of experience. If you've been around real martial arts for any time you'd know that. Some of the best never had anything to do with martial arts until their late teens and early twenties. So telling yourself how logically correct your view is might sound good, but it's not true in all cases. You're just painting an untrue picture to reflect your desires. On the other hand, are you calling me dishonest because of a personal agenda towards political correctness? I didn't call you anything, Rob. You keep making this attempt to play a game about personal attacks, but you're not really successful. But speaking of dishonesty, would you say you distorted things with your "years of training" remark above? On to the main topic at hand:
Of course marital arts like boxing which are oriented to give the advantage to larger and stronger people will favor them. That's why there are _weight_ divisions as opposed to speed divisions or whatever else. That just doesn't have anything to do with high level aikido in my opinion. [QUOTE] You're still playing games. OK. Let's examine a single weight division in martial arts. Do you expect the men to dominate or the women to dominate, Rob?

[QUOTE]It is possible and -- in my opinion -- likely that O-Sensei worked out daily to be extraordinarily strong when he was exploring one path. When he got older, I am led to believe that he was going down a _different_ path because I am told he actually explained that he wanted us to train to do what he does now as opposed to what he used to do. I don't have a citation (I'm relatively sure there is one because the source I got it from was good enough for me). Frankly, until you provide a citation, I'm going to believe that you're attaching a fantasy of your own to what really happened. You're dithering and presenting your "led to believe" stuff as facts in a conversation to support vaguely your idea that women are inherently just as good as men in combat.However, I believe the initial question was in fact "What _high-level_ woman martial artist do you want to put up against a _high-level_ male martial artist? ". You started talking about _high-level_, not me. How rare it is to get to _high-level_ is a different topic all together, but it's not a valid counter point in the scope of the initial question posed. Simple excuses, Rob. You're trying to hold the position that women are just as good as men in combat when you have no facts to back it up and a lot of facts against it.... and you add insults to try to make your point. Show me the facts, Rob. :cool:

Mike Sigman

RonRagusa
03-30-2005, 10:33 AM
Saotome Shihan writes in The Principles of Aikido page 9:
"Aikido is the study of wisdom... The purpose of Aikido training is not to create agressive fighters but to refine wisdom and self-control. As an Aikido student you must study to improve and polish yourself, not to compete with others."

ruthmc
03-30-2005, 10:50 AM
What question are you talking about, Ruth?...
I wasn't talking about any question, Mike. I was simply asking you why you complain :)

Ask me a legitimate question and I'll answer.
Likewise!

Right now you're again not answering a question, for the 3rd time,
And you're whining about it, again.

but at least you're trying to make it sound like it's my fault. And don't call me a sow. Or did you mean "sew"? :D
Don't get needled :D

Ruth

Pauliina Lievonen
03-30-2005, 11:14 AM
Which thread is this? I think I've gotten lost....

woozy kvaak :p
Pauliina

akiy
03-30-2005, 11:38 AM
The posts on "punches" have been split off to this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7817

May I ask people to please stay on subject of the thread or to start a new thread when you wish the subject to veer off? Thank you.

-- Jun

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 12:12 PM
Ian, we must have very different ideas of what high level aikido is. Sorry about your popcorn.

Mike, your telling me what I succeed at and fail at doesn't phase me much, but is there really such a need for such passive-aggressive behavior? You actually discussed high level aikido is when you wrote: "If I use Aikido correctly in a throw, I should be able to do it with just the weight of my arms and no strength." and "Congratulations if your technique is that high and you can respond brilliantly to any subtle movement by your opponent." I don't know many real martial artists at that level period, and none that are very young. The point is that the initial question you asked pre-supposes the women are already at that level. I went with what you said. Obviously something lower level which does require more strength gives an advantage to the strong - that just wasn't what we had been talking about.

We have continued to point out to you a pattern where you jump to a conclusion based on your interpreation of something and call it a fact. I pointed out this one, and you can squirm all you want, but we all have record of what was said. Ron just pointed out something else (which was just split off). For a third example, we can just look back a while in this thread about how your position about rape was based on someone else's _opinion paper_ as opposed to the solid ground based on facts you claimed. I really like it when you discuss integrated movement from a static position, maybe you stick to your forte, and leave the equitable thread alone.

About the fact that I haven't bothered to try to find that citation, well I honeslty don't really care enough to go out of my way, especially reading that thread where you would accept a quote of O-sensei if Tohei or Shioda wrote it down, but not if Tamura wrote it down! However, if I do come across it, I'll post it here.

Pauliina, I feel that this topic has everything to do with the equitable thread. If we are discussing low-level pushing, pulling, cranking, yanking, and threatening in a competitive way to satify ego then women probably shouldn't train aikido - but, then again in my opinion, then I think no one should practice aikido.

Rob

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 12:19 PM
Which men are those, Mary?

The ones that it applies to......if the gi fits...wear it....if not let it slide by....isn't that what Aikido is all about? :D
FWIW
Mary

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 12:29 PM
[QUOTE=Mike Sigman]I understand and agree, Meggy. However, the question I asked, just in order to avoid what you're saying, was: What high-level woman martial artist do you want to put up against a high-level male martial artist? .

Against is an interesting word. Aikido is not about fighting....I think I learned that on the first day of class. Why are we even discussing this? Why would I want to fight a man?......who cares who would win? What is your point? Of course, some men are bigger and stronger and yes, we have been socialized differently. So?

Women have been protecting themselves from men as long as we have been men and women. Something must be working..... we are still here. ;)

Should we just stay home and knit, Mike?....and hope our men will protect us? I hate to break it to ya but it's men who are hurting women. :rolleyes:


Mary

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 01:03 PM
Aikido is not about fighting Well, that's the perspective I thought you have. Aikido is not a martial art to you. That's the big dichotomy in the Aikido community and it's why so many of us left. :cool:

Regards,

Mike

Pauliina Lievonen
03-30-2005, 01:13 PM
Pauliina, I feel that this topic has everything to do with the equitable thread. If we are discussing low-level pushing, pulling, cranking, yanking, and threatening in a competitive way to satify ego then women probably shouldn't train aikido - but, then again in my opinion, then I think no one should practice aikido.


Ok, to try and sum it up: You're arguing that at a high enough level, strength shouldn't matter. Mike disagrees if I'm reading you two correctly?

This could make a nice poll...

kvaak
Pauliina

giriasis
03-30-2005, 01:27 PM
Ok, to try and sum it up: You're arguing that at a high enough level, strength shouldn't matter. Mike disagrees if I'm reading you two correctly?

This could make a nice poll...

kvaak
Pauliina


Here's a similar thread not so many years ago: Size Matters Not, Yes It Dos!!! (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1770&highlight=women+or+woman)

And then the resulting poll: Does Physical Size Matter (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=110)

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 01:27 PM
Ok, to try and sum it up: You're arguing that at a high enough level, strength shouldn't matter. Mike disagrees if I'm reading you two correctly?

This could make a nice poll... Since O-Sensei's actual habits are known to some extent, you'll have to put him on my side, I'm afraid. There's more to Aikido than just technique and pretty black skirts. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 01:38 PM
Here's a similar thread not so many years ago: Size Matters Not, Yes It Dos!!! (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1770&highlight=women+or+woman)

And then the resulting poll: Does Physical Size Matter (http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=110) Well, the poll doesn't settle anything. And size does matter, at least on my planet and among the people who aren't under anaesthesia.

The point I've been making is that this sort of discussion is absurd. Women statistically cannot compete fairly on a one to one basis with equally trained larger men in a martial art. Smaller, less-athletic men statistically cannot compete with larger, more athletic, equally-trained men in martial arts. I'll take all bets. ;) So complaining about the fact that women and smaller, less-athletic males don't get the exact representation that larger, more-athletic, equally-trained males get is a non-winner, ultimately.

Discrimination is wrong. Wrongful claims about discrimination and "repression" are wrong. Workout.

Mike

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-30-2005, 01:53 PM
Discrimination is wrong. Wrongful claims about discrimination and "repression" are wrong.

Agreed...but let's be clear about something. We are talking about Aikido, demonstrations, and teaching. Since Aikido generally (there are exceptions) doesn't have formal competition, we don't have to worry about the whole weight class thingy here. So in demonstrations and teaching, can equally well trained males and females perform on equal footing? I would have to say yes, they can. It doesn't mean that the women have to defeat the men in a fist fight...it means that their movement under the same amount of stress seen in demos and teaching has to embody the same principles of aikido. It means that they have to be able to communicate to and inculcate in their students those same principles at the same level.

I know great male teachers I go to who would not last very long in a fist fight anymore...but I don't stop going to them for demos and teaching just because in competition, younger, stronger men statistically win against older, weaker men.

Ron

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 02:17 PM
Agreed...but let's be clear about something. We are talking about Aikido, demonstrations, and teaching. Since Aikido generally (there are exceptions) doesn't have formal competition, we don't have to worry about the whole weight class thingy here. So in demonstrations and teaching, can equally well trained males and females perform on equal footing? I would have to say yes, they can. It doesn't mean that the women have to defeat the men in a fist fight.. The problem, as I see it, is that although women don't have to defeat men in a fist-fight, there is still a certain amount of athleticism involved. It's sort of like tennis or some other sort of athletics... while great strength, etc., is not demanded, athleticism still plays a role. That's the factor that works against the smaller, less-athletic males and the women.... *statistically*.

Mike

Meggy Gurova
03-30-2005, 02:17 PM
Women statistically cannot compete fairly on a one to one basis with equally trained larger men in a martial art. Smaller, less-athletic men statistically cannot compete with larger, more athletic, equally-trained men in martial arts. I'll take all bets. ;) So complaining about the fact that women and smaller, less-athletic males don't get the exact representation that larger, more-athletic, equally-trained males get is a non-winner, ultimately.

Mike

On second though... yes they can compete :) If a very small lady meets a very heavy big male, he will never catch her ;) :D :D :D

RonRagusa
03-30-2005, 02:25 PM
Well, that's the perspective I thought you have. Aikido is not a martial art to you. That's the big dichotomy in the Aikido community and it's why so many of us left. :cool:

Regards,

Mike

To reiterate:

Saotome Shihan writes in The Principles of Aikido page 9:
"Aikido is the study of wisdom... The purpose of Aikido training is not to create agressive fighters but to refine wisdom and self-control. As an Aikido student you must study to improve and polish yourself, not to compete with others."

I guess, Mike, that Saotome Shihan doesn't view Aikido as a martial art either. That puts Mary in good company.

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 02:45 PM
The problem, as I see it, is that although women don't have to defeat men in a fist-fight, there is still a certain amount of athleticism involved. It's sort of like tennis or some other sort of athletics... while great strength, etc., is not demanded, athleticism still plays a role. That's the factor that works against the smaller, less-athletic males and the women.... *statistically*.

Mike

Now do you have a source for this one? :crazy: Can't you just acknowledge that there is some sexism in Aikido? Would it hurt? And aren't you being just a wee bit general...saying 'the women"?

It has nothing to do with athleticism...I am a very good athelete as are most of the women in our dojo....

Before Title 9 very little money was spent on girl's athletics....now that more money is being spent more women are becoming great athletes. :)

Mary

Chris Li
03-30-2005, 02:50 PM
To reiterate:

Saotome Shihan writes in The Principles of Aikido page 9:
"Aikido is the study of wisdom... The purpose of Aikido training is not to create agressive fighters but to refine wisdom and self-control. As an Aikido student you must study to improve and polish yourself, not to compete with others."

I guess, Mike, that Saotome Shihan doesn't view Aikido as a martial art either. That puts Mary in good company.

That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 03:00 PM
That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris
Chris, I think Ron was being sarcastic....just because we don't think of Aikido as being a fight does not mean that we don't consider it a martial art. :) Mike made a rather big leap there.

For me Aikido is not a sport....it is not about who wins a contest. It is about becoming stronger and safer, not just physically but emotionally as well.
Mary

rob_liberti
03-30-2005, 03:14 PM
Ok, to try and sum it up: You're arguing that at a high enough level, strength shouldn't matter. Mike disagrees if I'm reading you two correctly?


Pretty close; of course size matters to a degree but there are other factors. How about: I'd say that at a high enough level, having less strength than the attacker shouldn't matter so much that it cannot be compensated for in other ways. Like, it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Am I really the only one who has seen a smaller person defeat a larger one? I do understand that the UFC and Pride matches were not actual combat, but I'd say they are pretty decent competitions where some big guys were defeated by smaller ones. It seems like a logical extention to me.

Here are some interesting questions that come to mind. Of the people that O-sensei defeated in challenges, where they all smaller and weaken than him? Where the uchideshis O-sensei was bouncing around all over the place all smaller and weaker than him? Or was he just in the optimal postion to render their power less useful to the attacker?

You know, if O-sensei were alive to settle the argument, I have a strong feeling, I wouldn't be very upset about his verdict.

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-30-2005, 03:27 PM
Now do you have a source for this one? :crazy: Can't you just acknowledge that there is some sexism in Aikido? Would it hurt? Sure there's some sexism in Aikido. There are also women screwing instructors, breaking up marriages, flirting, etc., etc. There is also dojo politics. There is back-biting, favoritism, and so on. It's all part of life. The trick is not to get embroiled in it and to focus on what you want to accomplish.

I went into Aikido looking for how to do these odd ki-strengths, etc. After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out I.e, I try to keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by every side-issue that can draw you off the mark. So my suggestion is figure out exactly what you're trying to do, focus, and do it. Quit getting so distracted.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

RonRagusa
03-30-2005, 03:48 PM
That's a big leap from a single quote. I've only trained with Saotome once in the last 15 years, but I got my shodan and nidan from him before that, and he definitely viewed Aikido as a martial art, if you ask me.

Best,

Chris
Chris -

Mary's right, I was being sarcastic. I think what's at issue here is the pursuit of loftier goals than laying one's opponent out with one blow via Aikido training. All of the first generation masters I have read about speak of Aikido as a path to higher wisdom and personal growth as opposed to a pure fighting system. Maruyama Sensei stressed this over and over in his teachings.

On these boards, those of us who ascribe to that view have been labeled 'New Agers' in less than a flattering context. The need to see myself as tough began to lose significance after around 15 years of training. I've learned that it doesn't take an 'Arnold' to be able to kick someone in the nuts or drive a fist into a throat or execute a palm heel strike to the base of someone's nose or any of dozens of other lethal strikes.

Anyway, I meant no offense with my prior post.

sunny liberti
03-30-2005, 05:34 PM
That's the big dichotomy in the Aikido community and it's why so many of us left.had little to show for it, and walked outGee Mike, if you left Aikido seeing as it's worthless, why are you here on aikiweb? More specifically, if you left in disgust of the very issues of the topic of *this* thread, why are you even reading it??

Please, don't let the door hit you...

Jeanne Shepard
03-30-2005, 06:51 PM
I'd back Mary Heiny Sensei against alot of men of her rank, and she had polio as a kid.

Jeanne

Brion Toss
03-30-2005, 07:48 PM
Gee Mike, if you left Aikido seeing as it's worthless, why are you here on aikiweb? More specifically, if you left in disgust of the very issues of the topic of *this* thread, why are you even reading it??

Please, don't let the door hit you...

Ouch. Sunny, I think I understand why you might want to say this to Mike; I am tempted to say similar things to him on an almost daily basis. But he has a right, within limits, to be here, regardless of his level of activity in our art. Let's not make Jun play cop again here, okay?
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mary Eastland
03-30-2005, 08:06 PM
[

I went into Aikido looking for how to do these odd ki-strengths, etc. After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out I.e, I try to keep my eye on the ball and not get distracted by every side-issue that can draw you off the mark. So my suggestion is figure out exactly what you're trying to do, focus, and do it. Quit getting so distracted.

FWIW

Mike Sigman[/QUOTE]

I am not the least little bit distracted. I go to class all the time...in fact I just got back from teaching one.

Your response did not provide a source.

You were saying that atheltism is why women don't advance in Aikido...I am saying that has nothing to do with it and sexism does.

I am not whining about it. I love to train and will continue to no matter what :) .

Mary

sunny liberti
03-30-2005, 08:35 PM
I am tempted to say similar things to him on an almost daily basis.Just curious, are you tempted to say similar things to *anyone* else on a daily basis?But he has a right, within limits, to be here, regardless of his level of activity in our art.I never thought otherwise. I do strongly question his motives for involving himself in this thread, though. He *left* Aikido disgusted with it. And yet here he is.

If I had trained in a Chinese MA for example, and left in a huff over the male chauvanist jerks there, I can't imagine bothering to hunt down their forums and spending a second of my time harassing them for their training choices. Guess I'm just being "gratuitous" though...

I'm quite comfortable with Jun's judgement on how he wants to run his board...

Don_Modesto
03-30-2005, 10:26 PM
Agreed...but let's be clear about something. We are talking about Aikido, demonstrations, and teaching. Since Aikido generally (there are exceptions) doesn't have formal competition, we don't have to worry about the whole weight class thingy here. So in demonstrations and teaching, can equally well trained males and females perform on equal footing? I would have to say yes, they can. It doesn't mean that the women have to defeat the men in a fist fight...it means that their movement under the same amount of stress seen in demos and teaching has to embody the same principles of aikido. It means that they have to be able to communicate to and inculcate in their students those same principles at the same level.

I know great male teachers I go to who would not last very long in a fist fight anymore...but I don't stop going to them for demos and teaching just because in competition, younger, stronger men statistically win against older, weaker men.

Ron

Worth repeating.

Very nice post, Ron. You've spoken for me better than I have for myself on this topic in the past.

happysod
03-31-2005, 02:09 AM
Agree with Don on Ron's post, nice summation

Ian, we must have very different ideas of what high level aikido is. Sorry about your popcorn. Rob, slightly different question for you then - can you please name me one instructor who has a high level of skill in any martial art who hasn't also been known as being fit? Use of poor frail old Ueshiba isn't a good example as even in his later years he was still a fit frail old bugger. I honestly cannot think of a single decent instructor who has ever suggested you can be unfit or frail and still have a decent level of skill - technical expertise I'd grant you, but knowledge is different to application.

If I could ever find a martial art where training involved extreme couch potato methods while still being able to reach the "higher levels" I'd join like a shot.

Slurpy now in hand while continuing to read this fascinating thread...

ruthmc
03-31-2005, 03:44 AM
There are also women screwing instructors, breaking up marriages, flirting, etc., etc.
Men do these things too. Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.

After 8 years of all the BS in a number of Aikido dojo's, I evaluated my progress in ki-related strengths, had little to show for it, and walked out
So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive.

I sincerely hope that you have now found a training environment where you can learn without being side-tracked by other issues, where the leadership is good, and where progress can be made. I hope that one day you will leave the bitterness behind you and no longer allow it to distort your view.

Ruth

sunny liberti
03-31-2005, 05:27 AM
can you please name me one instructor who has a high level of skill in any martial art who hasn't also been known as being fit?Well, I'm sure Rob will field this soon, but in the meantime... Are you equating women at high levels of aikido (or in general) with frailty or lack of fitness? I don't understand the connection you are making, seeing as the topic of this portion of the thread is women and men at the highest levels of aikido.

happysod
03-31-2005, 06:17 AM
Sunny, this was in response to Robs viewpoint concerning skill not being dependent on a practitioners fitness (which I believe was an offshoot of the male vs female at highest levels debate) rather than directly part of the on-going gender discussion. But to answer your questions

1. Do I equate women with frailty - nope
2. Do I equate women with less skill in aikido - nope

However, I do include a persons physical attributes with their ability to successfully defend themselves. Skill can help negate differences in body types and strength, but only to a degree which is set by the relative skill levels between the two people involved. I don't feel that any level of technical skill can help if your body is just plain not able to perform the necessary techniques.

However, for transmission of knowledge etc. I'd go with Ron's summation.

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 06:24 AM
Men do these things too. Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.


So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive. Ruth... that was my reply to the women who keep complaining that you're reading from. So let me take your words and apply it to the comments about the "sexist" men in dojo's. To the women who keep complaining:

Neither sex has the monopoly on bad behaviour within the dojo! In a good, well-run dojo, with strong leadership, these things are not permitted to cause problems.


So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Dragging your bad experiences from your previous dojos into this thread isn't acheiving anything constructive.

There. Nicely said, Ruth. But if you think about it, that's what a lot of us have been politely saying from the start. It seems like no one will be happy or satisfied if everyone doesn't make the proper noises about the poor victims, though. Hence you see people like Sunny shaking her golden curls and stamping her tiny foot in rage. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 06:28 AM
So you didn't find the best training environment for you first off. Neither did I, nor quite a few others here! Rather than remaining bitter about the experience, I suggest that you learn from it. Incidentally, you apparently totally misread what I said. I said very few people in Aikido really can understand or do the ki-related things so I went elsewhere for information. If you knew what I was talking about, I'm sure you would agree.

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-31-2005, 07:34 AM
Ian,

You initially quoted this from me:Of course marital arts like boxing which are oriented to give the advantage to larger and stronger people will favor them. That's why there are _weight_ divisions as opposed to speed divisions or whatever else. That just doesn't have anything to do with high level aikido in my opinion.And you responded with:Sorry Rob, had to put my popcorn down at this one and join in for a bit - I can't think of any martial art, aikido included, where size, strength and general fitness would not play a part.
I never mentioned "general fitness". I also didn't say (nor do I think) that any of these things would not play a part. 1. Do I equate women with frailty - nope
2. Do I equate women with less skill in aikido - nope
Glad to read that. You clearly do not have major women issues from being beaten by your mother. ;)

-Rob

sunny liberti
03-31-2005, 07:35 AM
Sunny, this was in response to Robs viewpoint concerning skill not being dependent on a practitioners fitness My read on that was that it doesn't solely depend on shear *strength*. I don't remember his saying that there is no need to be "fit". I happen to know he places high importance on fitness.

edit: Well, I'm late to the punch, but I'll leave my post be...

happysod
03-31-2005, 07:55 AM
Rob, Sunny, we're possibly just going in circles here, but I'll have another go. My understanding was that Rob discounts strength and/or size (yes, I changed to using fitness, my bad) when discussing skill.

Now from a technical point of view in terms of performing a technique under controlled conditions, I'm fully in accordance with this view. Where I felt we differed is that when you take into account a "real" (tm) confrontation, strength and size will have an impact as well as skill and that you cannot discount any of the three (here of course you can include terrain, numbers and whatever else springs to mind). Robs one-liner concerning high levels of aikido seemed to indicate another viewpoint.

ruthmc
03-31-2005, 08:33 AM
Incidentally, you apparently totally misread what I said. I said very few people in Aikido really can understand or do the ki-related things so I went elsewhere for information. If you knew what I was talking about, I'm sure you would agree.
Actually, what I wrote was based upon a previous post or two of yours where you mentioned that you'd been frustrated at another dojo by problems that occurred there with women, politics, and (as you put it) BS.

My last reply to you was in response to the 'big picture' rather than to that specific post of yours.

To go deeper, I get the impression that you feel you were unfairly treated at the expense of some female students, which has left you feeling somewhat bitter in this regard. Therefore, I would submit that you are hardly in a position to comment objectively on this thread.

Further, although you claim to be all for treating everyone equally in some of your posts, you also seem to harbor one or two prejudices which come across clearly in other of your posts. It comes across as confused at best, and insincere at worst.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and suggesting that perhaps you step back and take a look at how your previous experiences have distorted your viewpoint on this subject, rather than hiding behind a facade of pernickety point-scoring.

Ruth (giving it to ya straight)

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 09:50 AM
Actually, what I wrote was based upon a previous post or two of yours where you mentioned that you'd been frustrated at another dojo by problems that occurred there with women, politics, and (as you put it) BS.

My last reply to you was in response to the 'big picture' rather than to that specific post of yours. That's a completely disingenuous statement, since you quoted the one I just mentioned, isn't it? You erred, then, but you're dodging the admission. To go deeper, I get the impression that you feel you were unfairly treated at the expense of some female students, which has left you feeling somewhat bitter in this regard. Therefore, I would submit that you are hardly in a position to comment objectively on this thread. You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?

I wasn't "unfairly treated", I was remarking about something that many people have seen in many Aikido dojo's and dojo's in other martial arts... the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts. In ANY non-serious dojo, whether females are there are not, the quality of study deteriorates. Introducing off-topic worries into martial arts is analogous to many of the conversations on M.A. lists.... the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are. You and a few others would rather talk about women's issues than nuts and bolts martial arts, as is obvious by your posts. Further, although you claim to be all for treating everyone equally in some of your posts, you also seem to harbor one or two prejudices which come across clearly in other of your posts. It comes across as confused at best, and insincere at worst.

I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt, and suggesting that perhaps you step back and take a look at how your previous experiences have distorted your viewpoint on this subject, rather than hiding behind a facade of pernickety point-scoring. Don't "give" me anything, Ruth, particularly in regard to your perceptions about equality, the views I should have to pass your criteria, etc. I treat you just like a man... you're insulting and I don't give you a pass "because you're a woman", as you'd like. Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment".

Go back and read the posts in this thread by a select few of the women.... it's a call for "special treatment allowing for women's needs" and it falsely couched in "we want to be treated equally" terms. There are calls for "understanding", but really they are calls for "you better conform to our view of women and their needs". There is an insistence that "these worries about women and their needs is a valid part of "martial arts". It's all BS that has nothing to do with martial arts and all about "look at me, look at me, look at me, I'm a woman". As a valid martial arts topic, it doesn't fly, just as a number of the martial artists have pointed out already.

So don't arrogantly "give me the benefit of the doubt"...instead, "show" me that you know something about martial arts and that you're not just one of the parasites that does not-too-hard and not-too-effective "martial arts" as part of their social life. That's when you'll get my respect, not when you try to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel". You're making the exact case of why I think a lot of women and also a lot of men don't belong in martial arts dojos... they're not really there for the martial arts so they lower the practice standards. How's that for equality???.... *anyone* not seriously focused on martial arts should quit pretending that they're interested in effective martial arts, male or female. :)

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-31-2005, 09:57 AM
Hi Ian.

Sorry for the confusion. Because the premise was that a high level male and a high level female would be fighting, I only intended to discount the *differential* between male and females in terms of size and strength as being less of a factor with regard to high level aikido principle application. I didn't mean to imply that having any sort of strength at all was optional. No one would be able to consistently get to the right place, at the right time, and do the right thing without strength, fitness, etc. or that of a typical couch potato. I think the amount of strength, fitness, etc. that a female is capable of compared to what a male is capable of is more than adequate for them to take advantage of/exploit that male's committed attacks (real or otherwise) even if he is just as highly trained and regardless of the terrain or what have you.

I hope that clears up the viewpoint I was trying to put forth.

Rob

rob_liberti
03-31-2005, 10:56 AM
You and a few others would rather talk about women's issues than nuts and bolts martial arts, as is obvious by your posts.Newsflash...this just in...YOU ARE IN THE EQUITABLE THREAD. If you don't like the topic of the thread, and want to post about other topics, do them in ANOTHER thread.

It's all BS that has nothing to do with martial arts.No one, but you, seems to think you are in charge of what's BS and what is not..

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 11:18 AM
Newsflash...this just in...YOU ARE IN THE EQUITABLE THREAD. If you don't like the topic of the thread, and want to post about other topics, do them in ANOTHER thread.

No one, but you, seems to think you are in charge of what's BS and what is not.. Please, Rob... this is getting tiresome. I used to think you were deliberately misreading things, but I've come to realize that you just misread, all the while thinking you're having brilliant insights.

On AikiWeb as a whole, which is what I was talking about obviously (except to you, of course), you can envision the forum as sort of a virtual dojo. There are a FEW serious threads among the mostly light-weight threads (bearing in mind that there are always some serious posts within the "lightweight" threads). But on the whole, it's pretty easy to spot the serious martial artists who contribute ("workout for real") in the virtual dojo. You can also spot the lightweights, the genuinely curious newbies and which of them are serious, the social types, etc, etc.. If you go back in the archives and look at the "serious" threads, the nuts-and-bolts threads, (i.e., the people who do some serious working out in the virtual dojo), see how many of the few women complaining about "equality" and "women's representation" are there. Want to make a few bets? So what I'm saying is that I have respect for people in the dojo who earn the respect... and that's the serious people. Let's see some of the "Equality" people working out seriously instead of standing in the corner complaining that their names aren't listed as high on the rank board in numbers suitable to their "gender".

And Rob.... stop posting to me personally... post to the issue and debate the points. You've obviously got a grudge that's probably and obviously related to the personality stuff your wife is doing (notice you never comment on the nastinesses in her posts?), so it looks a little absurd for your negative personal posts to keep coming to me. Complain about the substance or the issues, but don't get the idea that the cause-and-effect hasn't occurred to a lot of people already. I.e., get real.

Mike Sigman

Mary Eastland
03-31-2005, 11:41 AM
Why? Are you or other males like you the experts? This is exactly what I am talking about. What you want and need is not what I want and need. It does not make you right and me wrong.

Mike, your experiences are just that yours. Mine are mine. This does not make my Aikido any less valuable or valid than yours.

Your unwillingness to look at anyones opinion other than your own in really scary.

I really think you have an agenda other than discussion. I think you are promoting yourself and your seminars. You don't care which way you get attention. You will take it either way. Your ideas around ki and kyoku are things anyone can experience yet you imply that you know secret things and have special power. And your ideas about women are really archaic.

Bless you on your path. You could be right......

Mary

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 11:46 AM
Why? Are you or other males like you the experts? This is exactly what I am talking about. What you want and need is not what I want and need. It does not make you right and me wrong. [snip another immediate turn to discussing Mike personally] Mary, why don't I find meaningful and informative posts from you in some of the nuts-and-bolts threads on Aikido? Why not spend a little time showing us your Aikido?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-31-2005, 01:04 PM
Mike,

Thank you for you fascinating insight. Unfortunately for you, I see this place as an *online forum* and not a *virtual dojo* regardless of how you like to think about it. There is no rank in a forum, regardless of how you would like things to be. Also, in a forum, we have isolated threads here for people to focus on talking about what they want, regardless of your approval. If you want to write more about your ideas about the nuts and bolts of aikido, by all means please start a new thread, or add something to an old one.

Now, if you see this place as a virtual dojo, then wouldn't it be inconsistent with your ideas about just falling for someone if we were to all read your posts and pretend to agree with you as opposed to responding in kind?

As an aside, there have been times on aikiweb when I corrected something Sunny has written - I just have to disagree with it first.

And Mike... of course you can continue to try to tell me what to do, but I still don't think that you're in charge.

Rob

Mary Eastland
03-31-2005, 01:32 PM
Mary, why don't I find meaningful and informative posts from you in some of the nuts-and-bolts threads on Aikido? Why not spend a little time showing us your Aikido?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I can't speak for you but I think the reason you can't find meaningful and informative posts from me is because you dismiss my posts as fluffly or insignificant. I can't be sure because I am not you.

I am not very wordy. I have a hard time reading posts that are really long so I try to keep mine short and to the point.

I also feel that writing about Aikido is very different than feeling it.

Mary

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 01:46 PM
I can't speak for you but I think the reason you can't find meaningful and informative posts from me is because you dismiss my posts as fluffly or insignificant. Mary, you're being passive-aggressive again. If you write significant and interesting posts, trust me I won't dismiss them. I value all good information and gender is meaningless to a data-hound like me. If you write fluffy or insignificant posts, I expect you to be your own critic if you're anything of a person, and improve yourself... I don't expect you to blame me for not being perceptive if the problem is really your own performance. I'm very critical of my own abilities, always trying to improve and always looking for the real-world results. I like to hang with people that do the same, gender notwithstanding. ;)

FWIW

Mike

gracerollins
03-31-2005, 02:13 PM
I didn't read this entire forum but just to get back to the original subject...

The main reason I see for having women role models out there is that it makes a big difference in encouraging other women to join up. It makes it seems like a safe environment that will accept women and treat them "equitably." After joining it doesn't really make a difference whether your role models are male or female as long as the training is good, although since smaller, weaker people, including women, often have to rely more on technical insights than brute force, they're great to practice with. (Although I know plently of brutally forceful little people.)

Organizational discrimination is another thing since it limits opportunities for everyone. We'll never know whether the lack of female senseis at the Expo was due to discrimination or mere clumsy oversight or lack of availability, but we should at least acknowledge that aikido organizations, like any organizations, are not immune to gender politics, unless they're like super unbelievably pure.

giriasis
03-31-2005, 02:50 PM
I didn't read this entire forum but just to get back to the original subject...

The main reason I see for having women role models out there is that it makes a big difference in encouraging other women to join up. It makes it seems like a safe environment that will accept women and treat them "equitably." After joining it doesn't really make a difference whether your role models are male or female as long as the training is good, although since smaller, weaker people, including women, often have to rely more on technical insights than brute force, they're great to practice with. (Although I know plently of brutally forceful little people.)

Organizational discrimination is another thing since it limits opportunities for everyone. We'll never know whether the lack of female senseis at the Expo was due to discrimination or mere clumsy oversight or lack of availability, but we should at least acknowledge that aikido organizations, like any organizations, are not immune to gender politics, unless they're like super unbelievably pure.

Grace,

I think you really hit the nail on the head and that is pretty much how I feel about the whole "gender issue". Once in the dojo, my gender rarely comes up as it relates to my training on the mat. It did help when I first started aikido to just see another woman on the mat. But all in all, gender is just one small factor that is part of the whole of my training, nor the major factor or the whole factor of my training.

Brion Toss
03-31-2005, 05:27 PM
Just curious, are you tempted to say similar things to *anyone* else on a daily basis?I never thought otherwise. I do strongly question his motives for involving himself in this thread, though. He *left* Aikido disgusted with it. And yet here he is.

If I had trained in a Chinese MA for example, and left in a huff over the male chauvanist jerks there, I can't imagine bothering to hunt down their forums and spending a second of my time harassing them for their training choices. Guess I'm just being "gratuitous" though...

I'm quite comfortable with Jun's judgement on how he wants to run his board...

Hi Sunny,
I am sorry if my post seemed presumptuous or otherwise inappropriate.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Brion Toss
03-31-2005, 06:35 PM
That's a completely disingenuous statement, since you quoted the one I just mentioned, isn't it? You erred, then, but you're dodging the admission. You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?

I wasn't "unfairly treated", I was remarking about something that many people have seen in many Aikido dojo's and dojo's in other martial arts... the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts. In ANY non-serious dojo, whether females are there are not, the quality of study deteriorates. Introducing off-topic worries into martial arts is analogous to many of the conversations on M.A. lists.... the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are. You and a few others would rather talk about women's issues than nuts and bolts martial arts, as is obvious by your posts. Don't "give" me anything, Ruth, particularly in regard to your perceptions about equality, the views I should have to pass your criteria, etc. I treat you just like a man... you're insulting and I don't give you a pass "because you're a woman", as you'd like. Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment".

Go back and read the posts in this thread by a select few of the women.... it's a call for "special treatment allowing for women's needs" and it falsely couched in "we want to be treated equally" terms. There are calls for "understanding", but really they are calls for "you better conform to our view of women and their needs". There is an insistence that "these worries about women and their needs is a valid part of "martial arts". It's all BS that has nothing to do with martial arts and all about "look at me, look at me, look at me, I'm a woman". As a valid martial arts topic, it doesn't fly, just as a number of the martial artists have pointed out already.

So don't arrogantly "give me the benefit of the doubt"...instead, "show" me that you know something about martial arts and that you're not just one of the parasites that does not-too-hard and not-too-effective "martial arts" as part of their social life. That's when you'll get my respect, not when you try to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel". You're making the exact case of why I think a lot of women and also a lot of men don't belong in martial arts dojos... they're not really there for the martial arts so they lower the practice standards. How's that for equality???.... *anyone* not seriously focused on martial arts should quit pretending that they're interested in effective martial arts, male or female. :)

Mike Sigman

Wow. Where to start? In the interests of keeping on topic, I will treat this as an opportunity to compare and contrast.
Mike said, "You "get the impression" about what I feel? Have you ever heard of the use of logic in debate?"
From this I hope it is fair to conclude that Mike finds "getting an impression" is incompatible with logic in debate. I believe that telling people what impression one is getting can be of great value in a debate, and does not preclude logical discourse. Far from it; relaying those impressions gives the other person the opportunity to correct, amplify, or agree about the accuracy of those impressions. Stating impressions can be valuable in preventing actions based on inaccurate perceptions. In the context of this thread, my first impression, seeing the disparity of gender in the teaching staff at Aiki Expo was that it was a blatantly unbalanced setup. Subsequent posts led me to modify that impression.
Mike wrote, "...the study of martial arts is disrupted in many dojo's by the insistent injection of extraneous matters by females and some males who are not really there for the focused study of martial arts." No doubt this is true in many dojos, but what some consider "extraneous matters", others might consider essential. O-Sensei, from what I've heard, (in writing and from people who knew him), put some importance on the idea of having a good time while practicing Aikido. In a strictly martial sense, this might seem extraneous. But even if we consider Aikido purely as a martial art, it could be argued that being relaxed and happy will lead to more productive classes for everyone. In the current thread, I believe that unfair treatment of anyone detracts from the quality, the actual, technical, as-implemented-in-a-parking-lot quality of any martial art. Now that of course depends on how one defines "quality"; in my view, there's not much point in being competent but unhappy, especially if there's a chance that I can be both competent and happy. Mike might find happiness in different places than I. If so, we will practice in different dojos. By my lights, I would be guilty of an unfocused study of martial arts if I left out some of the things that Mike considers "extraneous."
Mike writes, "...the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are."
People, serious or not, will tend to write about the things they are knowledgeable in, or interested in, or intrigued by, or curious about. Dilettantes are no different in this regard. Einstein was a professional physicist, and a dilettante sailor. Just because he kept hitting himself in the head with the boom, and didn't formulate a theory about luff tension, doesn't disqualify him on Relativity.
Mike writes, "...Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat. But you're not calling for equal treatment, really, are you? You want "special consideration" for women and their "needs", not "equal treatment"."
I went back and read those posts. I compared them with some of my own. I anticipate being taken outside and knocked flat. I doubt that I will be able to distinguish the person administering the knocking, who will be "someone in real martial arts", from a vicious thug. So I guess I am calling for equal treatment, i.e. the right to type fairly mild-seeming opinions -- or even antagonizing ones -- on the Internet without fearing that someone might threaten me with physical violence on me because of it.
Nowhere in those posts did I find any call for "special treatment." I may be projecting, but in my own life I have sometimes thought that women were asking for special treatment, when they were really asking that I relinquish an artificial advantage. Yes, some people of both genders, and all races and persuasions will ask for, and sometimes receive, special treatment per se, but I do not think that is what is going on here.
Mike goes on to complain that some women are, "... try[ing] to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel"."
Nicely mixed metaphor there. But I believe "browbeating" (to depress or bear down with haughty, stern looks, or with arrogant speech; to abash or disconcert by impudence or abuse) is not what is going on here, either. More in the nature of principled disagreement in detail, no?
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mike Sigman
03-31-2005, 07:14 PM
From this I hope it is fair to conclude that Mike finds "getting an impression" is incompatible with logic in debate. I believe that telling people what impression one is getting can be of great value in a debate, and does not preclude logical discourse. OK. Using those criteria then... I conclude you are a witling, Brion. Do you now see the fallacy of allowing those sorts of comments into logical debate? [snip some comments extraneous to martial arts functions] But even if we consider Aikido purely as a martial art, it could be argued that being relaxed and happy will lead to more productive classes for everyone. In the current thread, I believe that unfair treatment of anyone detracts from the quality, the actual, technical, as-implemented-in-a-parking-lot quality of any martial art. Now that of course depends on how one defines "quality"; in my view, there's not much point in being competent but unhappy, especially if there's a chance that I can be both competent and happy. Mike might find happiness in different places than I. If so, we will practice in different dojos. By my lights, I would be guilty of an unfocused study of martial arts if I left out some of the things that Mike considers "extraneous." Sure, Brion... you first of all miss the point of why O-Sensei did not allow his students to walk on his right side, his sword-hand side, if you think martial arts was not his focus. Secondly, you have interpreted "relaxed" from the English sense and don't seem to understand that it just means "not stiff", not "unconcerned with the world around us". Mike writes, "...the ones who aren't really serious will do their best to discuss any issue but the one which they aren't very knowledgeable in, i.e., martial arts. It's how people are."
People, serious or not, will tend to write about the things they are knowledgeable in, or interested in, or intrigued by, or curious about. Including Hollywood types commenting on medicine, dieting, politics, how to live a full life, etc. "Intrigued" is indeed the operative word, I think. But it's worthy of debate, Brion. Debate, as long as it's civil, brings out points of discussion. I compared them with some of my own. I anticipate being taken outside and knocked flat. I doubt that I will be able to distinguish the person administering the knocking, who will be "someone in real martial arts", from a vicious thug. In other words, you don't really understand violence and death, Brion, you equate any talk of violence as being far removed from "reality" as you see it in the upper Northwest? It's a talking point to you, isn't it? In other words, wouldn't you say that actual fighting seems thuggish and foreign to you? Think about O-Sensei and his not letting a student get between him and his sword arm... do you think he was disdainful of thugs or was he prepared to deal with them as a reality? So I guess I am calling for equal treatment, i.e. the right to type fairly mild-seeming opinions -- or even antagonizing ones -- on the Internet without fearing that someone might threaten me with physical violence on me because of it. I think it's a GOOD thing that you're willing to debate, argue, or even (if it's important enough) FIGHT for a point you believe in, Brion. I'm encouraging you, not trying to stifle your comments. People who call names like "sexist", "racist", "chauvinist", etc., are the people trying to stifle discussion, don't you think? Do you think that stifling discussion is what martial artists do or what someone defensive is trying to do?" Argue your points civilliy, as you seem to do, and fight when you must... but don't argue civilly and then run because ultimately you will lose all. Nowhere in those posts did I find any call for "special treatment." I may be projecting, but in my own life I have sometimes thought that women were asking for special treatment, when they were really asking that I relinquish an artificial advantage. Out of curiosity, what "artificial advantage" are you talking about? I hope that a survival necessity such as splitting of responsibilities is not what you're thinking of as the original artifice. If that's true then you are doom to the species, Brion. Yes, some people of both genders, and all races and persuasions will ask for, and sometimes receive, special treatment per se, but I do not think that is what is going on here.
Mike goes on to complain that some women are, "... try[ing] to browbeat me into the mold of how you "get the impression" I should "feel"."
Nicely mixed metaphor there. But I believe "browbeating" (to depress or bear down with haughty, stern looks, or with arrogant speech; to abash or disconcert by impudence or abuse) is not what is going on here, either. More in the nature of principled disagreement in detail, no? No. Attempting to stifle debate by stigmatizing opposing viewpoints is a well-known debate tactic from far antiquity, Brion. Remember that the next time you attempt to argue by name-calling and not addressing the issues, please.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

sunny liberti
03-31-2005, 08:27 PM
roflmao!!!!!

Sonja2012
03-31-2005, 11:43 PM
Here´s a joke I heard last night, Í thought I´d post it in an attempt to get some lightness back into this thread (I hope it works in American English, too):

Why can´t men make pancakes?

Because they´re useless tossers! :D :p :cool:

"make pancakes" may be replaced by "do aikido" if you like and the shoe fits ;)

Kind regards,
Sonja (who likes men, by the way)

ruthmc
04-01-2005, 02:37 AM
Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat.

Oh yeah? Which universe are you living in?

And no, I don't enter into playground "logic".

Get a life!

Ruth

ruthmc
04-01-2005, 02:41 AM
Here´s a joke I heard last night, Í thought I´d post it in an attempt to get some lightness back into this thread (I hope it works in American English, too):

Why can´t men make pancakes?

Because they´re useless tossers! :D :p :cool:

"make pancakes" may be replaced by "do aikido" if you like and the shoe fits ;)

Kind regards,
Sonja (who likes men, by the way)

:D :D :D Nice one Sonja - and so appropriate!

Ruth

sunny liberti
04-01-2005, 06:18 AM
Go back and read the posts by Sunny Liberti, Mary, and others... if they were men, someone in real martial arts would have taken them outside and knocked them flat.Oooo... I'd better not get a gender change operation!! I guess I would have a line of people waiting to beat me up!!! LOL I better just stay an uppity chick with a big mouth. HaHa! This way I'm beating the system and getting away with it!!

The fact that Mike is still standing disproves his theory, though. So I won't lose any sleep.

deepsoup
04-01-2005, 06:52 AM
Oooo... I'd better not get a gender change operation!! I guess I would have a line of people waiting to beat me up!!! LOL I better just stay an uppity chick with a big mouth. HaHa! This way I'm beating the system and getting away with it!!
Good for you!

The fact that Mike is still standing disproves his theory, though. So I won't lose any sleep.Fortunately for him, the majority of <ahem> real men (TM) can find better ways to express themselves than assaulting people.

And by the by, there are plenty of <ahem> real men (TM) who really rather like uppity chicks with big mouths. :)

Sean
x

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 07:07 AM
Sunny, are you being "passive-aggressive" and "gratuitous"? Or am I stifling discussion by name-calling? Well, maybe I'm just one of those "nurturists". I occurs to me that de"nile" ain't just a river in Eqypt, and apparently "projection" ain't just a type of throw in aikido....

In a level-playing field such as an on-line forum or say driving where people have disagreements in their belief systems, it must make people who normally get their way through intimidation, bullying, and various levels of manipulation very upset. My thoughts are that a dojo should be such a level-playing field. Is there something we can do to help these people not be so upset or do we just have to kick them out?

I suppose that we could just constantly bring up women's issues in the dojo in hopes of tricking them into leaving or have manditory 'bring your mom to the dojo and forgive her' day.

Rob

sunny liberti
04-01-2005, 07:13 AM
Fortunately for him, the majority of <ahem> real men (TM) can find better ways to express themselves than assaulting people.And he misunderstands their kindness. Sad.And by the by, there are plenty of <ahem> real men (TM) who really rather like uppity chicks with big mouths.Thanks, uppity chicks rather like the real men to which you are referring... The ones who have the confidence to value other people.

Rob, it must be that you have no testosterone...

I'm starting to like the "virtual dojo" idea. I didn't see the value in it before. But we never tolerate bullying and hoise those people out... by their own retard.

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 07:39 AM
And he misunderstands their kindness.Sunny, do you have someone's opinion paper to use as a citation for that?

About the the nuts and bolts of equitability, when someone is toxic to many members of either gender in the dojo, what is the best way to deal with them? (I know that when it is the teacher, you leave.) But what about when it is some new student? Or what about some senior student? What about a visitor? Any ideas?

Rob

RonRagusa
04-01-2005, 08:02 AM
Sunny, do you have someone's opinion paper to use as a citation for that?

About the the nuts and bolts of equitability, when someone is toxic to many members of either gender in the dojo, what is the best way to deal with them? (I know that when it is the teacher, you leave.) But what about when it is some new student? Or what about some senior student? What about a visitor? Any ideas?

Rob

We've had our share of toxic students,some not so, some really poisonous. I have yet to ask anyone to leave, I'm too much of a softee in that regard. I should let Mary take care of that kind of stuff she's a lot tougher than I am. :) The toxic ones always seem to weed themselves out anyway.

ruthmc
04-01-2005, 08:40 AM
Oooo... I'd better not get a gender change operation!! I guess I would have a line of people waiting to beat me up!!! LOL I better just stay an uppity chick with a big mouth. HaHa! This way I'm beating the system and getting away with it!!

The fact that Mike is still standing disproves his theory, though. So I won't lose any sleep.
LOL!! Perhaps Mike's instructor is doing the honours right now :D

What starts with "come here" and ends with "arrrgggghhh"? :uch:

:D :D :D

Ruth

ruthmc
04-01-2005, 08:55 AM
About the the nuts and bolts of equitability, when someone is toxic to many members of either gender in the dojo, what is the best way to deal with them? (I know that when it is the teacher, you leave.) But what about when it is some new student? Or what about some senior student? What about a visitor? Any ideas?
These days I just make the boundaries of behaviour clear to any junior or visiting student who chooses to break them with "We don't do this here because ...", or if senior, "You're hurting me by doing ... can you go slower / easier?". If they continue to cause a problem, I step back when partnering them and wait for the dialogue to begin. Usually my sensei notices and we discuss the situation later. After that, it's down to sensei what happens, but I sure wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of him!

If I were the instructor, I'd probably tell a persistent offender that I expected better behaviour from them, pointing out what and why if necessary. If it was not apparent that the student was making any efforts in this direction next time I saw them, I'd just tell them to get off my mat :)

If folk won't respect the system, they miss out on the fun of training.

Ruth

Sonja2012
04-01-2005, 08:57 AM
Glad to see the humour coming up again ;)



About the the nuts and bolts of equitability, when someone is toxic to many members of either gender in the dojo, what is the best way to deal with them? (I know that when it is the teacher, you leave.) But what about when it is some new student? Or what about some senior student? What about a visitor? Any ideas?

Rob

Just yesterday I read in Bolelli´s "On the Warrior´s Path":

In the Mahaparinivvana-sutra is written: "If enlightening beings practice mundane tolerance and thus do not stop evil people, allowing them to increase in evil..., then these enlightening beings are actually devils, not enlightening beings."

(Please note that I am NOT referring to aynone on this forum with this!)

I am not sure I agree with this in the context of O-Sensei´s vision of compassion and the idea of unifying the world. Just food for thought.
Honestly, if anyone managed to come up with a receipe for how to treat trouble-makers in the dojo in a compassionate, yet effective way, I´d suggets them for the nobel peace prize. :)

Best regards,
Sonja

rob_liberti
04-01-2005, 09:13 AM
Sonja,

That was an awesome post. Wow.

Ruth,

I agree. It occurs to me that the offender might actually be so caught up in dilution (thinking that their toxic behavior is righteous and for the good of real aikido or whatever) that there is no chance to tear down their mental playhouse. I know that there is always the major trump card of "get out" but is there an alternative (worthy of a noble peace prize)? I tried telling a toxic student that he may only be in the dojo if he consistently went out of his way to be helpful, humble, and quiet at all times. He resorted to using judgemental postures like standing back with his arms folded, looking down his nose at a beginner who was confused and looking for help (as opposed to what she got). That was my best attempt before telling him to take some time off.

Rob

sunny liberti
04-01-2005, 09:44 AM
I agree with Rob - excellent post, Sonja!!!!I am not sure I agree with this in the context of O-Sensei´s vision of compassion and the idea of unifying the world. Just food for thought.I don't see the ideas in the Mahaparinivvana-sutra and Osensei's teaching of compassion as mutually exclusive. I think compassion can be very strong and direct - not just soft and nice. To me it is compassionate to be fiercely honest, when doing so protects ourselves or another from any kind of harm.

Sonja2012
04-01-2005, 10:07 AM
I know that there is always the major trump card of "get out" but is there an alternative (worthy of a noble peace prize)?


I refuse to give up trying to find the alternative. I just seem to be miles away from finding it ;)

It may be completely OT, but in ref to compassion: my job as a homoeopath actually has helped me a lot to understand trouble-makers. In homoeopathy we learn a lot about people´s state and behaviour by talking with them about *other* people and by watching their behaviour towards others. It may sound very simple (which in practice it is not so much ;) ), but people generally behave towards others in either the way they themselves want to be treated, or in the way they perceive themselves being treated by others.
As I said, it is not quite as easy as that and it is certainly not meant as an excuse for bad behaviour. But it has shown me that when it comes down to it we are all just people suffering from one thing or the other (including myself, heh ;) ) - and in effect that has taught me compassion. There is not a single patient of mine who, when talking to me in my practice, seems unlikeable any more. They are all just human beings that want to be happy.
Now, I wish I could see that when somebody resists my ikkyo in practice to show me that I am just a little girl :grr: All of a sudden it´s just theory again and I forget all about compassion :sorry:

And now, after exploring the lala/soft aspects of aikido, I´ll go straight to the dojo to practice some nasty, martial nikkyo :)

Sonja

Sonja2012
04-01-2005, 10:09 AM
Oh, and by the way:

excellent post

No, just an excellent book ;)

sunny liberti
04-01-2005, 10:25 AM
And excellent that you applied it here!

Very fitting!

Brion Toss
04-01-2005, 11:12 AM
OK. Using those criteria then... I conclude you are a witling, Brion. Do you now see the fallacy of allowing those sorts of comments into logical debate? Sure, Brion... you first of all miss the point of why O-Sensei did not allow his students to walk on his right side, his sword-hand side, if you think martial arts was not his focus. Secondly, you have interpreted "relaxed" from the English sense and don't seem to understand that it just means "not stiff", not "unconcerned with the world around us".... But it's worthy of debate, Brion. Debate, as long as it's civil, brings out points of discussion. In other words, you don't really understand violence and death, Brion, you equate any talk of violence as being far removed from "reality" as you see it in the upper Northwest? It's a talking point to you, isn't it? In other words, wouldn't you say that actual fighting seems thuggish and foreign to you? ... People who call names like "sexist", "racist", "chauvinist", etc., are the people trying to stifle discussion, don't you think? ... Out of curiosity, what "artificial advantage" are you talking about? I hope that a survival necessity such as splitting of responsibilities is not what you're thinking of as the original artifice. If that's true then you are doom to the species, Brion. No. Attempting to stifle debate by stigmatizing opposing viewpoints is a well-known debate tactic from far antiquity, Brion. Remember that the next time you attempt to argue by name-calling and not addressing the issues, please.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Witling (one who aspires to wittiness) is indeed a fair conclusion. Reminds me of Wilde's,"One can pretend to be serious, but one cannot pretend to be witty."
As for O-Sensei's sword arm, I am truly sorry if I gave the impression that I thought that he wasn't focused on martial arts. Also sorry if I gave the impression that I translated "relaxed" from anything at all ---what on Earth are you talking about here?
Ah, violence and death. I understand them; they penetrate even here, to the Hobbit Shires of the Northwest. Fighting is not always thuggish, and I would that it were more foreign.
As far as thugs go, I deal with them as I need to; I just would rather not have to deal with them as a result of typing.
I do not think that people who call names like "sexist", "racist", and "chauvinist" are necessarily trying to stifle discussion, though that is sometimes the case. What they might be doing, instead, is describing a fact, or delivering an emotional outburst, or making a mistaken statement, all of which can be addressed rationally.
And that 'artificial advantage'? Nothing to do with adaptive gender roles necessary for the continuation of the species, nothing to do with division of labor based on physiology, no doom of the species or other hyperbole involved. Just the advantages that have tended to go with being a white male in the West.
Finally, also sorry if I indulged in name-calling, as opposed to naming.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 11:24 AM
Witling (one who aspires to wittiness) is indeed a fair conclusion. Reminds me of Wilde's,"One can pretend to be serious, but one cannot pretend to be witty." "You can only be young once, but you can be immature forever"? ;) I'll think of your Oscar Wilde comment when I stop by Reading (as in "Reading Gaol") in the next week or so. As for O-Sensei's sword arm, I am truly sorry if I gave the impression that I thought that he wasn't focused on martial arts. Also sorry if I gave the impression that I translated "relaxed" from anything at all ---what on Earth are you talking about here?
Ah, violence and death. I understand them; they penetrate even here, to the Hobbit Shires of the Northwest. Fighting is not always thuggish, and I would that it were more foreign.
As far as thugs go, I deal with them as I need to; I just would rather not have to deal with them as a result of typing.
I do not think that people who call names like "sexist", "racist", and "chauvinist" are necessarily trying to stifle discussion, though that is sometimes the case. What they might be doing, instead, is describing a fact, or delivering an emotional outburst, or making a mistaken statement, all of which can be addressed rationally.
And that 'artificial advantage'? Nothing to do with adaptive gender roles necessary for the continuation of the species, nothing to do with division of labor based on physiology, no doom of the species or other hyperbole involved. Just the advantages that have tended to go with being a white male in the West. The species evolves gradually. To look back at all our past behaviours, those same behaviours that were the best we could do at a certain time given the circumstances, and to deplore them is one of the trendy absurdities that I have never understood. That was then. Now is now. Steps must be taken but always there's steps. ;) Finally, also sorry if I indulged in name-calling, as opposed to naming. Not at all. Even in the worst bickering, interesting points come out. I found out something 2 days ago via this list that have really contributed to my knowledge... if you keep digging, you dig things up. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Avery Jenkins
04-01-2005, 11:52 AM
The point I've been making is that this sort of discussion is absurd. Women statistically cannot compete fairly on a one to one basis with equally trained larger men in a martial art.
Mike

Well, not entirely, Mike. My daughter, the ninth-ranked archer of her age in the U.S.A., can -- and has -- outshot bigger, stronger, and older men (including her obnoxiously proud dad).

She's not alone, by a long shot (so to speak). Just compare scores by gender from recent national competitions.

So, Mike, for accuracy's sake, let's rephrase what you said, inserting "unarmed" before "martial art," and then we can discuss truth of that satement, shall we?


--Avery (who is currently off the mat nursing a shoulder separation, and thus has plenty of time to kill with silly (but fun) arguments of this nature)

Mike Sigman
04-01-2005, 12:22 PM
So, Mike, for accuracy's sake, let's rephrase what you said, inserting "unarmed" before "martial art," and then we can discuss truth of that satement, shall we? Fair enough, Avery... and congratulations to her. Incidentally, do women compete against the men in Olympic archery?

Regards,

Mike

ruthmc
04-03-2005, 09:44 AM
I tried telling a toxic student that he may only be in the dojo if he consistently went out of his way to be helpful, humble, and quiet at all times. He resorted to using judgemental postures like standing back with his arms folded, looking down his nose at a beginner who was confused and looking for help (as opposed to what she got). That was my best attempt before telling him to take some time off.
Hmm, tough situation. I guess the guy was more concerned with trying to make a point, and playing the passive aggressive game to do so, than he was in learning Aikido.

In an ideal world all Aikido students would be at the dojo because they sincerely want to learn Aikido. In reality, I think a percentage of students are there for other reasons which become apparent after a while spent taking classes. All a sensei can do is to make sure that the sincere students are getting their needs met, and not pander to the other students, who will eventually either decide to become sincere or leave.

I can't think of a fairer way to handle it than this :cool:

Ruth

Ron Tisdale
04-27-2005, 01:52 PM
from the aiki expo...one more to the mix, and she's a she!

Ron

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=709

John Boswell
04-27-2005, 03:37 PM
The point I've been making is that this sort of discussion is absurd. Women statistically cannot compete fairly on a one to one basis with equally trained larger men in a martial art.
Mike

Well, well, well. Sorry I missed out on all THIS fun. Mike, people are entitled to their opinions and I'll not begrude you yours. However, statistically speaking, generallizations are never a good way to speak. You can contend all day long about "women" this and that, but I pity you saying such things in the dojo of Mary Heiny Sensei or Patricia Hendricks Sensei.

You speak in broad generalizations about "women." Big mistake.
You speak in a lofty and erudite manner about "women." Another big mistake.

Will you ever pay for speaking is such ways? Not likely, no. But I'd pay top dollar to be there the day you eat your words. ;)

Have a nice day! :)

Melissa Fischer
05-11-2005, 12:20 PM
This may be a dead thread, but I just have to note that there are now 4 women coming to Expo which puts the women:men teachers ration pretty much the same for Expo as for the known universe. So I guess we can get over this and back to training.

Melissa
( I am woman hear me roar...)

Jeanne Shepard
05-11-2005, 08:02 PM
This may be a dead thread, but I just have to note that there are now 4 women coming to Expo which puts the women:men teachers ration pretty much the same for Expo as for the known universe. So I guess we can get over this and back to training.

Melissa
( I am woman hear me roar...)

I wish I could come but I am beat with work and school.

JEanne
(I am woman hear me snore...) :p

RebeccaM
05-11-2005, 08:49 PM
I got stuck at work and missed class, so I'll be snoring too...