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suren 07-27-2004 11:41 AM

Female uke
 
Hi guys,

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

Thanks.

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

Jeff Stallard 07-27-2004 12:02 PM

Re: Female uke
 
We have a responsibility not to give our dojo uke more than they can handle. If you think you're not accurately evaluating how much she can handle, ask her. This applies to everyone, not just women.

MadMyndi 07-27-2004 12:49 PM

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

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

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

BLangille 07-27-2004 01:23 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Have you ever practiced with a female Yudansha? Have her throw you around for a while and it will knock those worries out of your head. ;)

suren 07-27-2004 02:14 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Brian Langille wrote:
Have you ever practiced with a female Yudansha? Have her throw you around for a while and it will knock those worries out of your head. ;)

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

Mary Eastland 07-27-2004 02:45 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Maybe you should be more concerned that she does not hurt you. ;o)
Mir

suren 07-27-2004 02:57 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Mary Eastland wrote:
Maybe you should be more concerned that she does not hurt you. ;o)
Mir

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

suren 07-27-2004 03:01 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Besides she is very experienced unlike me...

Janet Rosen 07-27-2004 04:02 PM

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

skyetide 07-27-2004 05:18 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Marguerite Nightingale wrote:
Also, in my experience, it doesn't do me any good to work with someone who's afraid of hurting me. If I don't experience the technique, not necessarily to the point of crippling pain, I have a very hard time learning.

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

suren 07-27-2004 07:36 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Thanks again for you advices.

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

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

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

Troy 07-27-2004 08:38 PM

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

Ian Williams 07-27-2004 08:42 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Troy Copes wrote:
. When in doubt, ask Sensei.


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

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

xuzen 07-27-2004 08:55 PM

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

:sorry:
Boon.

Greg Jennings 07-27-2004 09:06 PM

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

FWIW,

Ian Williams 07-27-2004 09:26 PM

Re: Female uke
 
I personally find the whole training environment on the mat rather asexual. It doesn't bother me to be grappling with sweaty blokes with our limbs entwined or face squashed up against groin etc.. Why should it bother me to touch a female?

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

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

suren 07-27-2004 10:41 PM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Ian Williams wrote:
If a training environment is so sexually charged

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

Quote:

Ian Williams wrote:
come on people! it's the 21st century! get over it..

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

Quote:

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

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

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

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

Ian Williams 07-27-2004 11:54 PM

Re: Female uke
 
sorry for sounding a bit abrupt there, I didnt mean to imply you were a wacko or anything ..:)

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

suren 07-28-2004 12:25 AM

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

shihonage 07-28-2004 12:31 AM

Re: Female uke
 
I have a tendency to give smaller female nages attacks which are as sincere as with larger male counterparts. If they are still struggling with the technique, of course, then I tone it down as much as necessary.

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

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

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

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

happysod 07-28-2004 02:21 AM

Re: Female uke
 
These threads always make me glad that I'm just a git and so hit everyone exactly the same way...

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

raul rodrigo 07-28-2004 02:25 AM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

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

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

RAUL

Bridge 07-28-2004 05:00 AM

Re: Female uke
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
These threads always make me glad that I'm just a git and so hit everyone exactly the same way...
.

Hehe, like it!

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

That way you're not discriminating.

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

drDalek 07-28-2004 06:51 AM

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

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

Fiona D 07-28-2004 07:05 AM

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


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