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Bodhi
03-18-2005, 04:57 PM
Hello everyone.

My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself not to mention get good instruction in meditation, movement awareness, health/healing etc? I have always been more involved in the combat oriented systems so i am at a loss when it comes to anything other than what i have first hand experience with. My fiance is looking for a martial art and has recently become interested in the ki Society, i have experience in other arts and am not able to answer her questions pertaining to Aikido. I have met several instructors though and worked with Aikido students and teachers alike but my take on this art is that it is not the best for self defense until you get to the higher ranks. Even then you should have some sort of cross training not to mention a mindset and willingness to deal with a violent attack, is this correct? All in all i have tried to explain to her what i have found with first hand personal experience but thats just me, someone else may have something totally different to offer. I think Aikido would be great for her as far as mind body cordination, movement awareness etc but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation? Would any of you recommend it to your wives, daughters, sisters, moms etc? Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. She just told me we are going to check out a KI Society class tonite so ill let you all know how it goes!

Michael Young
03-18-2005, 06:09 PM
Hi Jason,

Here is my response...

my wife (http://www.aikiweb.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=663&sort=1&cat=500&page=1)

She is only 5ft 1inches tall (I won't tell you what she weighs just in case she reads this thread :D ) That is her chunking me around...so yead I'd recommend it for my wife, daughter, or my brother's sister's cousin too for that matter. But I may be a bit biased. Insofar as Ki society is concerned, as with any dojo, it all depends on the instructor and how they train.

Best regards,

Mike

P.S. c'mon ladies... weigh in on this!

Mary Eastland
03-18-2005, 07:31 PM
I am not a small woman. I am 5' 10 and weigh 175 lbs. So my experience might not be helpful. There are several small in stature women at our dojo who are not the least bit small in presence. I agree with Mike: the style is not as important as the instructor and the atmosphere at the dojo.
Mary

Michael Young
03-18-2005, 07:37 PM
After looking at my post again, I just realized it may not be very obvious that the words "my wife" are a link to a picture. Make sure you click the link to see the pic...I love looking at it...but once again, I'm probably pretty biased on that subject too ;) .

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-18-2005, 08:09 PM
My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself... If self-defense is honestly her first concern then it would be slightly misleading to encourage her to join an Aikido dojo because of the atmosphere, pictures of cooperative throwing, etc., without noting that most of the Aikido you'll find is not really oriented toward really-effective self-defense. There are pro's and con's to studying Aikido, just as there are to any martial art.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Chris Birke
03-18-2005, 08:28 PM
"My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could":

feel confident in - Yes!
actually use to defend herself - Maybe?
get good instruction in meditation - Possibly, depending on the school.
movement awareness - Absolutely
health/healing - Definately!

Now then, this is going to get messy. So I will retire!

DevinHammer
03-18-2005, 10:42 PM
...my take on this art is that it is not the best for self defense until you get to the higher ranks.
Yes, I think there is some truth to this. It's definitely possible for a relatively new student to execute a very effective defense in a real attack situation. However, I don't think anyone who has trained for less than, say at least ten years feels that they can "rely" on their aikido against all, or even most attacks. That's why part of aikido training covers how to avoid those situations, or to resolve them before they become physical.


...not to mention a mindset and willingness to deal with a violent attack, is this correct?
That would be true for ANY defense, be it any MA, gun or whatever.


I think Aikido would be great for her as far as mind body coordination, movement, awareness, etc but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation?
Yes, aikido can be great for anyone. Physical self defense is only a small part of what it offers, and perhaps that's what has attracted your wife to it. Perhaps the defense part isn't even at the top of her list.

JamesDavid
03-18-2005, 10:57 PM
This is a popular subject! So here is my two bits. I train in Yoshinkan and I think it is very practical self defense training for me.

Think about the attack. Most violent attacks are on drunk young males (me). I am personally worried about a right hook from a drunk footballer or a small group trying to take my wallet. A small lady is really talking about defending against a sexual assault, from most likely a single attacker. If it were my partner (this is hard to imagine as my better half has a black belt in wing chung). I would want her to do a more general self defense class AND AIKIDO. Something that teaches just a few basic principles that she can easily utilize. Awareness training and maybe defense devices such as siren cansÖ.remember that people that are under stress often freeze. I have seen this from people that are new to abseiling and donít know how to deal with the fear. Thatís one of the big things that needs to be overcomeÖ..

Bronson
03-19-2005, 12:29 AM
I think it really comes down to what holds her interest enough for her to study it long term.

It may be true that martial art X can prepare a student for self-defense faster and more reliably than martial art Y, but if the student doesn't like training in maX than maX is useless for that student...regardless of its inherent effectiveness.

Bronson

Mark Uttech
03-19-2005, 05:17 AM
Nothing can really prepare anyone for self-defense.

Mary Eastland
03-19-2005, 05:58 AM
Women are at most risk in their own homes after the age 24 or so. Domestic violence is their number one concern. Young women are at a higher risk because they are dating and going to bars and parties and such. Sadly most women are attacked by someone they know and and care about.

Aikido training can make a huge difference in how a women feel in the world. By having good posture, a positive attitude and a heightened awareness she can be much safer.

I also train in Self-defense but I actually look at it as an extension of my Aikido training. The techniques are much different but the intent is the same.

I have not been attacked once since I started training.
Mary

Mike Sigman
03-19-2005, 07:43 AM
I also train in Self-defense but I actually look at it as an extension of my Aikido training. The techniques are much different but the intent is the same.

I have not been attacked once since I started training. Hmmmmm.... doesn't that answer the question right there? If Aikido were effective for self-defense you wouldn't need to take supplemental self-defense lessons, most would assume.

Besides, you earlier stated that you weigh 175 pounds... that might be why you haven't been attacked (in conjunction with the idea that women aren't constantly being attacked, of course) and why the discussion about someone's petite wife may be a different case.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Mary Eastland
03-19-2005, 08:02 AM
And your point is?
Mary

Mike Sigman
03-19-2005, 08:28 AM
And your point is?
Mary Is that a rhetorical question?

Mike Sigman

Michael Young
03-19-2005, 09:15 AM
The talk of martial art "X" being more "effective" for "self-defense" training is tilting at windmills I think. What are we really talking about in reference to "Martial art X"?...learning to strike, break bones, etc. right? How effective is that really going to be for a small woman? This isn't the movies, and a front snap kick or punch, for example, from a small woman had better have a lot of years of training behind it to have the power and accuracy to be effective in defending herself...and even then it is questionable about whether it would really do the job. It is a small woman we are talking about here, not a 200lb brute. I think it is "unrealistic" to say that simply because a woman learns a particular style of "nasty stuff" martial arts means she is going to be able to effectively apply it to a larger, stronger, male attacker...since that seems to be the general conception of what she would have to deal with. Again, I think it all comes down to the type of training that is done at the dojo, but also what the individual focuses on too. Aikido contains a lot of "nasty stuff" in it if you pay attention to openings and different applications not just the given technique being shown. No martial art is going to "teach" you how to defend yourself...it is something you have to learn and focus on for yourself through increasing your skill, knowledge, intensity of training, and awareness of yourself and your limitations, no matter what MA you take. The great thing about Aikido is that it doesn't matter what your size or strength level is, your effectiveness doesn't depend on being big and strong..thus it is ideal for a small woman (and anybody else). Will it take a long time to learn?...nope...but it will take a long time to master, just like any other MA.

Off the soapbox now....

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-19-2005, 09:45 AM
The talk of martial art "X" being more "effective" for "self-defense" training is tilting at windmills I think. Why is that? Do you think that Sumo Wrestling is just as effective as Savate for the average woman to use? I think some martial arts are better suited for rapid acquisition of *some* self-defense skills than are others. This isn't the movies, and a front snap kick or punch, for example, from a small woman had better have a lot of years of training behind it to have the power and accuracy to be effective in defending herself...and even then it is questionable about whether it would really do the job. It is a small woman we are talking about here, not a 200lb brute. Maybe this calls for techniques not normally seen in the movies? I think it is "unrealistic" to say that simply because a woman learns a particular style of "nasty stuff" martial arts means she is going to be able to effectively apply it to a larger, stronger, male attacker...since that seems to be the general conception of what she would have to deal with. Again, I think it all comes down to the type of training that is done at the dojo, but also what the individual focuses on too. Aikido contains a lot of "nasty stuff" in it if you pay attention to openings and different applications not just the given technique being shown. No martial art is going to "teach" you how to defend yourself...it is something you have to learn and focus on for yourself through increasing your skill, knowledge, intensity of training, and awareness of yourself and your limitations, no matter what MA you take. The great thing about Aikido is that it doesn't matter what your size or strength level is, your effectiveness doesn't depend on being big and strong..thus it is ideal for a small woman (and anybody else). Will it take a long time to learn?...nope...but it will take a long time to master, just like any other MA. That is still assuming that Aikido and all martial arts are basically just as effective as each other. Frankly, as one of my good friends who has done Aikido for 30 years says, "People in Aikido on the whole are very defensive because they can't really use Aikido in a fight." And let's all be grown up enough to admit that's the rule, even though there are a few exceptions.

What's really troubling to me is that all these people who were so concerned about "women" didn't bat an eye when one asks for good self-defense and immediately try to represent that Aikido is as good for self-defense as anything.... potentially leading one of the females they care so much about right into potential destruction. :straightf

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Talon
03-19-2005, 09:57 AM
Mike, may I ask what Martial Art you practice and why?

Mike Sigman
03-19-2005, 10:06 AM
Mike, may I ask what Martial Art you practice and why? I don't think it would be polite to shift the topic of the thread in that manner. PM would be better.

Mike Sigman

Talon
03-19-2005, 10:20 AM
I'm not sure how polite it is to not answer the question while using up the space on this particular thread. Furthermore, by answering the question you may actually be contributing to the thread and giving the lady an idea what she should study for self deffence since in your past responces it is clear that Aikido is definitelly not for her.

Mike Sigman
03-19-2005, 10:37 AM
I'm not sure how polite it is to not answer the question while using up the space on this particular thread. Touche' Furthermore, by answering the question you may actually be contributing to the thread and giving the lady an idea what she should study for self deffence since in your past responces it is clear that Aikido is definitelly not for her. I'm not sure where you get "it is clear that Aikido is difinitelly (sic) not for her". I tried to leave some doors open on all sides. It's possible, but improbable, that Aikido will provide an adequate amount of self-defense, but that probability is not very high, in the real world. If Mary Eastland suggests that the woman take Aikido (when the question was firstly addressed toward self-defense), then Mary admits she takes supplemental self-defense because (logically) her Aikido doesn't provide adequate self-defense, the fact is established and my worries about the ethics are supported. What I do for martial arts is not relevant to any claim or part of the discussion that I can see, but my suggestion would be first that she do one of the model-mugging courses to get a general idea of what's what. Only then should she begin to consider what martial style best suits her needs. If she is indeed of small stature, I'd recommend that she become proficient with a weapon of some sort. In the comfort and security of her weapons skills, she can study meditation. :straightf

FWIW

Mike

L. Camejo
03-19-2005, 11:13 AM
My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself not to mention get good instruction in meditation, movement awareness, health/healing etc?

Hi folks,

Imho the person in question may need to seriously consider what is the main priority of training. If it is primarily for self defence skills (especially over the short term), then forget martial arts altogether and go try out one of the specialised self defence systems like RMCAT or SCARS etc. Self defence is a lot more than just a bunch of techniques to control or injure someone so you can get away. The other important things involved are often not discussed or taught at any level of depth in any martial art.

If the person wants to get a bit of everything mentioned above (meditation, healing etc.), of which some self defence skills may be attained then that is different. However, I believe that the reality of getting this sort of training depends a lot more on the instructor and the mindset of the student herself towards training than the style of training she enters. Having said that however, "generally" (meaning from my experience which may mean nothing) the methods of the Ki school may be a lot better suited to the needs of meditation, health and movement awareness than usable self defence skills imho.

I have met several instructors though and worked with Aikido students and teachers alike but my take on this art is that it is not the best for self defense until you get to the higher ranks.

This has been the general case, but does not have to be. Just like is done in dedicated SD short courses, one has to choose those techniques which are simplest to perform and most effective and employ methods to drill them into the reflexive systems of the mind/body. It does not need to take years or even months to be effective in SD using Aikido techniques, but you need to know which ones to train and how to train them. Also, to revisit what I said above, physical techniques really are the last, worst case scenario in SD training. Knowledge of legal ramifications, psychology, physiology, stress factors etc. may also be important to be effective at self defence. Elements such as the use of weapons need to be joined with a total understanding of situations where their use will not cause one to end up in prison after successfully defending oneself. SD law is different depending on where you are and it is necessary to clearly understand what you may and may not do from a legal standpoint.

I think Aikido would be great for her as far as mind body cordination, movement awareness etc but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation?

Generally I agree that the majority of Aikido training will be useful for all but the last option you give above. It is not that the effective techniques are not there, but the popular training method that Aikido uses does not quickly build skills that are effective in the real world (i.e. the cooperative training only method).

Would any of you recommend it to your wives, daughters, sisters, moms etc? Any responses would be greatly appreciated.
I would recommend it if I knew they'd be in my dojo under my instruction:). But in general I would not recommend "Aikido" (generic) to the average person who wants effective, real world SD training in a short time frame. Not many utilise the methods necessary to develop the basic dojo techniques into something that can also work well under the stresses of imminent social or asocial violence in the majority of environments.

Just my 2 cents. I reserve the right to be wrong.
LC:ai::ki:

giriasis
03-19-2005, 12:36 PM
Hello everyone.

My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself not to mention get good instruction in meditation, movement awareness, health/healing etc?

I would give you an unresounding, "yes". The most impressive people I see on the mat are those of smaller stature.

I have always been more involved in the combat oriented systems so i am at a loss when it comes to anything other than what i have first hand experience with. My fiance is looking for a martial art and has recently become interested in the ki Society, i have experience in other arts and am not able to answer her questions pertaining to Aikido. Haver her come to this bulletin board Women in Aikido (http://p202.ezboard.com/bwomeninaikido) Many of the women there can answer her questions.

I have met several instructors though and worked with Aikido students and teachers alike but my take on this art is that it is not the best for self defense until you get to the higher ranks. Isn't this really the case for most martial arts? It would still take some time for a petite person to learn to punch effectively against someone 50 pounds and 6 inches plus to them. (One of the women in our dojo took Krav Maga for a year and found that just some techniques they taught would not work against someone stronger than her, but she has found that aikido techniques are effective against larger and stronger people. She's been practicing aikiod for two years now.) It does take time to develop technical skill, in any art, but learning to tenkan is the first thing she'll learn. And a tenkan can be very effective means of self-defense. Look at this article: Shidoin Profile--Penny Bernath (http://www.aikidoonline.com/Archives/2003/feb/clmn_0203_penny.html) Penny has only been training exclusively in aikido and no cross-training and has a small frame.

Even then you should have some sort of cross training not to mention a mindset and willingness to deal with a violent attack, is this correct? Not everyone starts aikido with the concern for learning self-defense, although they might discover it later on. We all start for different reasons, but we tend to stick around from ones different than what we initial intended.

I think Aikido would be great for her as far as mind body cordination, movement awareness etc but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation? Yes, I believe knowing aikido definently improves one's odds at defending oneself. Knowing one art over another is not an absolute guarantee. Is self-defense her concern? Or yours? Using ones martial arts skills is the last ditch self-defense effort as self-defense includes everything from locking your doors, trusting your instincts, and general awareness. If she is concerned about self-defense then it's important that the dojo teaches martial effectiveness. Mine does. Like others said this factors is up to the sensei and not just the particular style.

Would any of you recommend it to your wives, daughters, sisters, moms etc? Of course I would.

Bodhi
03-19-2005, 12:59 PM
Hey everybody, thanks for all the great replys! We checked out a class last night, for the most part i liked it as did my fiance. We are going today to meet afew different people i have trained with over the years just so she can get a feel for what all is available to her. I will post more later tonite as i want to give some observations/opinions i have concerning aikido as well as some of my background experience and how it relates to aikido training. I look forward to talking with you all!

Jason

Bodhi
03-20-2005, 10:42 AM
Hello Everyone!

Ok, so here is what we thought of the class, students, instructors etc. It was an advanced class this particular night, i dont think i saw anyone below black belt level. Everyone seemed to be very open and willing to answer any questions we both had, the instructors were friendly, and the general atmosphere of the school seemed to be very laid back.
There were many ki exercizes practiced that really empressed us. Much attention was paid toward proper posture, breathing, balance, movement, and a short meditation and healing session before and after class. These things have always appealed to me in any of the arts, however it was my fiances first introduction to anything of this sort, she really liked it!
Now here is the part where we both kind of looked at eachother and said "there is no way that would work for real" We both noticed right away that the attackers would just give up their attack and let the defender continue with what they were doing.
Now i know there is a place for this type of training, i have done it myself over the years and it does help to polish the mechanics of a given technique. So i asked afew students and a instructor, is this how you train all the time or is it just to learn the technique? They said yes, they train this way for the most part and then went on to tell me about how the cooperative approach teaches both attacker and defender to harmonize and blend with the generated energy. I was told that i was seeing everything from basic to advanced techniques worked that night. My fiance tells me after we leave "those moves really seemed wimpy, i dont even think i could get away with that on my girlfriends much less a man who was really trying hurt me" lol
Now all in all we did like the class, especially the way they focused on posture, breathing, balance, movement etc not to mention the spiritual things that were discussed, it made us feel good :D I do believe that anyone, myself included would benefit from this type of training. By itself however, with nothing else to draw upon, there is no way i would ever tell any female that THIS ALONE will better prepare them for a violent encounter. Now here is alittle bit about my background and the reasons for my last statement.
I am 35 years old, i have been envolved with the martial arts for more than 25 years. At age 9 i began with boxing, wrestling, and some hand to hand combat techniques taught to me by my dad who was a cqc/weapons man and recon scout for the military. At age 15 i was introduced to edged weapons and firearms along with Tom Brown Jrs Survival School, urban/outdoor survival type scenerios, shelter, eatible plants, tracking, hunting, fishing and an overall awareness and respect for nature, human or otherwise. I later found Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido but quit shortly after because i felt what i was learning would get me hurt more than help me out, needless to say i only made it to the middle ranks. It was around this time (just after my 18th b day) that i had my eyes opened as to what would and would not work in a real encounter. I got messed up pretty bad one night, it was mainly do to my overconfidence in what i was learning in Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido that worked against me. I mean the techniques looked cool, plus they were being taught by asians, how could ya beat that lol. Well i forgot everything my dad or Tom Brown ever taught me, what really happens under pressure, and how its the most simple inate primal instincts that will save you, if you let them. But i had tkd and hapkido now, plus my master was Choon Lee and i had seen him do things in class that were amazing, the same things he had taught me. I could use that to deal with most anything, i didnt need my ole pops advice anymore :) My god i got beat down that night, everything was so fast and just kept comming. It wasnt like in class when my attacker held his arm out there long enough for me to grab it. It wasnt like when they lunged at me and i did my series of movements and guided them gently to the floor, and it sure wasnt like when i tried my wrist locks, throws, and pins. He wouldnt even grab my wrist or lunge at me like how we practiced in class, everything was so fast, lots of pressure, with broken rythum. It was more like caos, i would knock him down, he would keep comming, he was resisting me 100%, he wanted to hurt me, and i knew it. I just wasnt used to this type of training partner, it was more like how my dad said it would be. A funny quote comes to mind from Jim Carrey, he was playing a martial arts instructor that had just gotten stabbed with a knife during a training exercize by a new student and he says "LIKE ALOT OF BEGINNING STUDENTS YOU ATTACKED ME WRONG" lol. I felt just like that, he was attacking me wrong, he wasnt letting me do my techniques on him and i just wasnt used to that. Man that sucked that night, to tell you the truth my wounds healed but what was left in my mind and heart stayed with me to this day. I have been in several other encounters sense then, working as a bouncer, military, working law enforcement/security etc but that first experience changed the way i train. I know when i hear other stories of people being attacked what they mean now, its too hard to remember tons of techniques much less apply them in real time against someone that doesnt want you to. So i went back to the beginning, emptied my cup so to speak. At age 21 i ended up becomming friends with some Philipino guys who intern introduced me to the martial arts of their homelands. I liked these arts because they reminded me alot of what dad had shown me those first few years with a blade, and how it related to empty hand making your tecniques so much faster. Come to find out dad was teaching me the Philipino arts all along, just didnt know what they were called at the time lol. Kali led into Kino Mutai, another philipino art, very brutal (biting, eye goudges, pinching etc) this was when i began to see the really nasty side of these life saving systems. From my friends, decendants of tribal warriors that actually used these arts to protect their homelands, their loved ones, to keep the tribe strong, to just survive. They said the techniques they were sharing with me were gained through the blood of the people, no flash, no frills, just pure brutal survival. It wasnt event called by a name back then, no labels, just something that was shared, this was a very enlightened time for me. Through the Filipino arts i came to know some students of Guru Dan Inosanto and yet another door opened. Now i was learning everything from Silat to Jeet Kune Do concepts, Muay Thai to groundfighting and grappling. All the ranges, kicking, punching, trapping, grappling, multiple opponets, weapons etc were drilled, in real time against "resisting attackers" Everything was kept very "alive" we would use padded sticks with no protective equipment or use training knives with chalked surfaces to leave a mark so that there was no debate wether you or your opponet were cut. Siome of these guys went on to train with the "Dog Brothers" probly one of the most realistic training groups around especially in the world of stick and knife work. This brought me to yet another level of what really worked and what did not, we stripped down the arts to the bare essentials of what worked over and over again in "live" sparring sessions. If we couldnt perform it against a "resisting" opponet in a "live" fullspeed attack, if it didnt work over and over again against and with different scenerios, then it was dropped all togather. IMHO this is where Aikido needs to evolve, keep the posture and breathing practices, keep the focus on balance and movement awareness, keep the sensitivity drills, all this is really wonderful stuff. There was a pretty good martial artist who once said "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is uniquely your own" who was that guy :) I have done meditation, yoga, and tai chi everyday for almost 10 years now, just for the pure fact that it make me feel good and helps my martial arts. Without a doubt i am a better person because of it, both mentally, physically, and spiritually, not to mention much more relaxed in everyday life as well as in dynamic situations. BUT IF ONE OF YOUR GOALS IS TO BE BETTER PREPARED FOR A REAL LIFE PHYSICAL ATTACK then you had better adjust your training methods accordingly. TRAIN WITH PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE, that means begin slow just like you would with any exercize program, then add, get confortable with that, then add some more, and so on. A real attacker is going to resist your efforts 100%. If you want to learn how to fight, you have to practice fighting against someone who is fighting back. Progressive resistance allows you to get confortable with this. Try and train to be prepared for many different situations. Have each student actually train in as many self-defense scenarios as possible so that if he or she gets into a bad situation they already have experience in that particular situation. Kicking, punching, grappling, ground, multiple opponets, weapons. Different enviroments such as outdoor/ indoor, closed spaces,up against a wall or car, sitting, standing, unlevel ground, in water, slippery surfaces, from a vehicle, in the daytime, in the night, blind folded, with and without shoes etc. Really try to highten your senses so you feel more confortable in different areas. Is an attacker in the street going to resist you? Absolutely. If you donít practice with resistance in a variety of scenerios then you wonít be able to handle the situation. I will say it again, If you want to learn how to fight, you must practice fighting against someone who is fighting back.
Now by no means is this an attack on aikido or the people that practice it. In my experience over the years and with this last class we attended, they have been very open minded really wonderful spiritual people. There is something that draws me to aikido, i dont know if it is something from when i was young and believed in magic, or something i had read years ago from Wayne Dyer where he said to suspend your disbelief about the unbelievable. Just having the doubt about something will sometimes keep you from experiencing miracles, i know this to be true! So maybe that is why i might be joining my girl in an aikido class one of these days :) but i will also make sure what she learns will work against someone who doesnt want it to ;)

With Respect,
Jason

Mary Eastland
03-20-2005, 11:57 AM
Hi Jason:
I actually read all of your post. ;o) Then I went back to your question.

What has her experience been.? Has she ever been attacked?

Was this really about her or about your opinion of Aikido? I mean that respectfully.

Mary

Mike Sigman
03-20-2005, 12:04 PM
What has her experience been.? Has she ever been attacked? Instead of attempting to change the issue being discussed into an emotional venue, why not rebutt the points related to Aikido and actual self-defense? If Aikido is helpful to self-defense (in relation to other martial arts), surely you can discuss the merits? Perhaps some discussions of how you have used Aikido in actual self-defense, etc.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Bodhi
03-20-2005, 12:34 PM
Hi Mary

As far as any type of experience, she has only done the model mugging thing.
Yes she has been attacked, before i met her some really bad things happened.
She came to me asking what i thought of aikido and i told her what i knew. I then suggested that we check out some schools and let her get an idea for herself. Before i would ever teach her anything i wanted her to know what was available so she might feel confortable with her own decision.
As far as my opinion of aikido, i think its great for certain things! As im sure you know, it is not the style that makes the person, but how that person trains. I left the idea of styles behind long ago in real world situations when i found out that knowledge in and of itself was not true power. The ability to apply your knowledge, especially under pressure, is what really mattered.

Jason

Mary Eastland
03-20-2005, 01:38 PM
I agree.....
Maybe Aikido training supplemented with your stuff would be great for her. You sound like you have have some good stuff to share.
Mary

giriasis
03-20-2005, 02:27 PM
TRAIN WITH PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE, that means begin slow just like you would with any exercize program, then add, get confortable with that, then add some more, and so on. A real attacker is going to resist your efforts 100%. If you want to learn how to fight, you have to practice fighting against someone who is fighting back. Progressive resistance allows you to get confortable with this.

Quite a few aikido schools, do this. I know its done in my school. When you first start the uke will lead you through the technique as you get more advanced then you get more resistance. It's a common way to practice in aikido.

Of course what is being taught in an aikido dojo is -- aikido -- not "street self-defense" so, yes, it will be limited to a budo training paradigm. My instructor often empahsizes the principles behind a technique such as getting off the line of attack, learning to off-balance your opponent, and moving throught their center to effect the throw/ pin. It's not about learning a wealth of techniques such as you do "this" in "X" situation and "that" in "Y" situation, but about learning the principles behind each technique. I believe the ki exercises are intended to teach such principles.

kironin
03-20-2005, 06:17 PM
Kathey Ferland Sensei of the Austin, TX Ki Society School
is barely over 5 feet. She is a 4th dan in Ki-Aikido.
Her reasons changed over time...
http://www.akac.org/welcome.html

many of her students tower over her.

I think given the mixture of wants orginally described, the Ki Society group will be a good fit.

best regards

kironin
03-20-2005, 06:47 PM
Hello Everyone!
It was an advanced class this particular night, i dont think i saw anyone below black belt level. ....

... These things have always appealed to me in any of the arts, however it was my fiances first introduction to anything of this sort, she really liked it!

... We both noticed right away that the attackers would just give up their attack and let the defender continue with what they were doing.



My assumption is that most likely you were watching the class and not participating ?

If she really liked it, whatever she does, she is more likely to practice on a regular basis and that is more likely to go further in
developing self-defense skills than if you push her in to what you feel is necesary and she doesn't stick with it.

As to the rest of what you said starting with the last sentence above, you lost me because that is not how we practice.

L. Camejo
03-20-2005, 07:13 PM
Hi Jason,

BUT IF ONE OF YOUR GOALS IS TO BE BETTER PREPARED FOR A REAL LIFE PHYSICAL ATTACK then you had better adjust your training methods accordingly. TRAIN WITH PROGRESSIVE RESISTANCE, that means begin slow just like you would with any exercize program, then add, get confortable with that, then add some more, and so on. A real attacker is going to resist your efforts 100%. If you want to learn how to fight, you have to practice fighting against someone who is fighting back. Progressive resistance allows you to get confortable with this. Try and train to be prepared for many different situations. Have each student actually train in as many self-defense scenarios as possible so that if he or she gets into a bad situation they already have experience in that particular situation. Kicking, punching, grappling, ground, multiple opponets, weapons. Different enviroments such as outdoor/ indoor, closed spaces,up against a wall or car, sitting, standing, unlevel ground, in water, slippery surfaces, from a vehicle, in the daytime, in the night, blind folded, with and without shoes etc. Really try to highten your senses so you feel more confortable in different areas. Is an attacker in the street going to resist you? Absolutely. If you don't practice with resistance in a variety of scenerios then you won't be able to handle the situation. I will say it again, If you want to learn how to fight, you must practice fighting against someone who is fighting back.

Well said. :cool:

It often shocks me how many martial artists in general and Aikido folks in particular have very interesting (yet delusional) ideas of what constitutes effective self defence training. Your post regarding training and experiences rang true in so many ways for me.:) I am happy your friend (fiancee?) also had the personal ability to recognise what would work realistically for her as against what could not, at least on a basic level. It would be great to keep this sort of honesty about practicality throughout her training.:)

Dealing with resistance effectively is key to being able to apply Aikido effectively outside of the dojo against real aggression. I would even say, not just resistance training as in a generally cooperative Uke standing there and trying to tense or shut down a technique alone, but instead active resistance from one's partner in the form of seriously and aggressively trying to shut down the technique while constantly counterattacking (with serious, targeted attacks) and trying to gain the upper hand. Basically what we refer in our system as randori (seizing chaos).

I think the training in the Ki school (similar to your experience with Yoga and meditation in your training) will be great for everything you initially highlighted except the self defence aspect. I think from the experience you had at the Ki Society dojo the answer for your finacee's self defence training may be a bit obvious. It sounds like you have a vast pool of knowledge in that area.

Just remember, not all of Aikido practices the way you experienced though.;)

Just my 2 cents.
LC:ai::ki:

Mary Eastland
03-20-2005, 07:41 PM
In one of my Intro to Aikido classes a Japanese woman who was very tiny kept nodding at me when I was talking about ki. After the class she came up to me with her friend to tell me about an experience she had.

When she was 13 she had to ride the train to school in Tokyo....many times men groped her underneath her skirt. She told her mom about it and her mom blamed her because her skirt was too short. However, she knew it was not her fault. She talked it over with her friends and they told her to get a hat pin and it anyone touched her to stick them with her hat pin.. She very definitely told me that after she made the decision to defend herself she was never groped again and she never had to use her hat pin. Ki can be very powerful and it manifests itself in many different forms.

Mary

Bodhi
03-20-2005, 09:23 PM
Cool story Mary! There is no doubt that we project great energy with only our intentions. I know in my old neighborhood certain people always seemed to be targets and certain people always seemed to be left alone. Some of the ones that were left alone i knew personally, they couldnt fight a lick, but there is no doubt in my mind they would die before they ever let someone abuse them in any way. There was a "feel" about them, and just the intention that they projected sent off a vibe that we all heard loud and clear.

J

Janet Rosen
03-21-2005, 10:08 AM
Besides, you earlier stated that you weigh 175 pounds... that might be why you haven't been attacked
Women of all shapes, sizes and ages are attacked.

Mike Sigman
03-21-2005, 10:20 AM
Women of all shapes, sizes and ages are attacked. Reminds me of the fact that we lose a few women and teenage boys to mountain lions occasionally here in Colorado. They don't attack large females and normal-sized males. It's a size thing and the attendant risks associated with picking a fight with someone who might damage you.

Mike

Beard of Chuck Norris
05-17-2006, 09:30 AM
Hello everyone.

My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself not to mention get good instruction in meditation, movement awareness, health/healing etc? I have always been more involved in the combat oriented systems so i am at a loss when it comes to anything other than what i have first hand experience with. My fiance is looking for a martial art and has recently become interested in the ki Society, i have experience in other arts and am not able to answer her questions pertaining to Aikido. I have met several instructors though and worked with Aikido students and teachers alike but my take on this art is that it is not the best for self defense until you get to the higher ranks. Even then you should have some sort of cross training not to mention a mindset and willingness to deal with a violent attack, is this correct? All in all i have tried to explain to her what i have found with first hand personal experience but thats just me, someone else may have something totally different to offer. I think Aikido would be great for her as far as mind body cordination, movement awareness etc but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation? Would any of you recommend it to your wives, daughters, sisters, moms etc? Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. She just told me we are going to check out a KI Society class tonite so ill let you all know how it goes!

Aikido was developed by a very small man, even by Japanese standards. Then again I am 6'3" and I cope ok.
I think i agree with you that the "effectiveness" of aikido doesn't really become apparent until after lots of practice (higher grades), but does anything? I don't think so. I certainly would think twice about applying an aikido technique on an attacker; 1 because i'd probably screw it up and 2 would feel like i'm abusing it. I'd go for the old parle approach, so perhaps some course in diplomacy would be good for self defence ;)
I would totally recommend aikido to all females i know, and indeed everybody, of course there are some exceptions. Tis the way of harmony after all, which is nice.

DonMagee
05-17-2006, 09:48 AM
I think aikido is a great art and I encourage you to get her into it. I've been trying to get my wife back into aikido for some time (she quit after getting a shoulder injury and has not wanted to come back fearing more injury). However, I really have to stress that for any female wishing to learn self defense that they study ground fighting. Most men try to grapple with women intead of hit them. A rapist is going to try to pin a woman to the ground. A solid knowedge of how to move on the ground and how ground fighting works could save her life. Aikido will do a lot to improve her life, and that will go a long way to preventing confrontation. I still would not discount some good ground fighting training though. A lot of aiki priciples apply on the ground as well. So she could learn both.

dps
05-17-2006, 10:58 AM
Hello everyone.

My question is, would Aikido, specifically ki Society Aikido, be something a small statured woman could feel confident in and actually use to defend herself not to mention get good instruction in meditation, movement awareness, health/healing etc?

but what do you all think as far as her using it in a self defense situation?

Would any of you recommend it to your wives, daughters, sisters, moms etc?



Aikido is excellent as a foundation on which to build on for self defense, meditation, movement awareness, health/healing .

Techniques in Aikido can take a long time to learn because you are learning how to coordinate your mind with your body. Teach some of the simpler techniques you know to her for her to use until she is proficient with the Aikido techniques.

My ten year old daughter is taking Aikido and I am trying to get my wife back into Aikido after being out of it for sixteen years.

Mato-san
06-06-2006, 09:00 AM
Our dojo here in Japan was affiliated with ki no kenkyukai for 13 years or so, our instructor a shihan and rouned in other styles. Now we have broken away from ki no kenkyukai so sensei runs his own show, a class that is ki driven for women children elderly and others, another class a little harder and yet again another somewhat hhhhharder. I attend all classes and I must say the most painful and effective nikkyo I have ever felt was and still is from a woman 5 foot tall skinny as a rake and to look at her you would think she could not fight her way out of a wet paper bag.Mentally challenged kids with full poer shihonage. Then In contrast with the waza of the police officers I train with, I would have to say that Ki aikido done well is really effective. All Aikido done well is effective.