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George S. Ledyard 01-30-2005 10:18 AM

Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
I originally posted this as a blog on Aikido Journal and received some poitive feedback so I thought I'd place it here as well...

Martial arts have traditionally been the domain of the strong male. Despite the stories of mythic woman warriors who rode with the boys and fought alongside them as equals and even superiors, this was always the exception rather than the rule. Samurai women were taught to protect themselves and their families yet how many of us can name any of these fighting women? No, it's pretty much a boys club and the few females who get let in are the ones able to play as the boys do.

There are probably more women doing Aikido on a percentage basis than any other martial art, although that would be just a guess, I have never seen figures on this. Despite their wide participation, which goes back to the early days in the 1930's in Aikido's development, women are notoriously absent from positions of prominence in Aikido. I know of no female instructors who have regularly taught at the Aikikai Honbu Dojo. In it's hard to find any woman acting in the capacity of dojo cho in Japan, regardless of what organization one is referring to.

The contribution of the wives of the prominent instructors are sometimes alluded to when the Shihan recount their young days as uchideshi but then only in reference to their caretaking roles even though many of these wives trained as well. One almost never hears reference to women in terms of their skill on the mat.

Not until one leaves Japan does one encounter significant female presence in the ranks of those teaching the art. But even overseas, the leadership of virtually all Aikido organizations is almost entirely male. Woman may have significant responsibility, and in fact be indispensable to the various organizations, but their efforts are largely in support of the male leadership of these organizations.

I believe that Aikido should be different. I think that few would maintain that its raison d'etre is imparting fighting skills to the public yet we continuously use a performance standard which places, not just women, but the less athletic, and the elderly of both sexes at a disadvantage when compared with the young male practitioners of the art.

Recently a book on Aikido appeared in which the author, a senior Aikido practitioner, stated that any fourth kyu male in his dojo could take any woman in Aikido in a fight. The sheer lack of sensitivity it took to make such a statement tends to hide the fact that it also shows a complete misunderstanding of what Aikido is all about.

First of all, Aikido is not a combat art as normally taught. The techniques of our art are derived from a system which was taught to members of the samurai class and only make real sense when considered, not as a comprehensive empty-hand fighting system, but as part of a wider system which assumed that both the practitioner and his enemy were armed. When the equalizing effects of weaponry is removed as a factor, a distinct advantage is had by the student who is more physically powerful and can over power his adversary. This advantage exists until the opponent reaches a very high level of technical skill at which time attempts to use that type of physical power would no longer have any advantage but would rather be a detriment to the strong but not as skilled practitioner. If one were to look at Aikido from a true combat standpoint in which the practitioners were armed there would be a great equalizing factor between men and women and pure physical power would be secondary to smooth and quick movement and an understanding of openings.

Since normal practice of Aikido is done empty handed (unless one is doing actual weapons training), a distinct advantage is had by those of larger stature and more aggressive disposition in terms of overcoming their partners. The problem here is, of course, that Aikido isn't primarily about overcoming one's partner. Masakatsu Agatsu is the term the Founder used to describe the point of Aikido training. "True Victory is Self Victory" is clearly not about how to defeat some outside enemy but rather it's about dealing with our own internal demons. When O-Sensei said Aikido is the True Budo, he didn't mean that Aikido was the most bad-assed fighting system. He meant that Aikido was, in his mind, the fullest expression of the aspect of Budo which teaches us how to live fully, to see ourselves as caretakers rather than destroyers.

The Dan system was originally set up in an attempt to assure that a certain quality level was maintained in the art. The real problem with this was that the system tended to focus on only one set of criteria, the technical, martial side of the art has been greatly favored over other factors and not to the overall benefit of the art. We are all familiar, I am sure with various high-level teachers who, while having a certain relatively high level of technical expertise and martial ferocity in no way embody the basic values which we would like to incorporate into our lives. Just as in the case of measuring intelligence in which the focus on the IQ has given way to a recognition that there are actually multiple types of intelligence and that a given individual could excel in one and be quite ordinary in another, our Aikido hierarchy needs to better reflect the different contributions one can make in an art which has so many facets.

I met a woman just recently who had started Aikido well after her fiftieth birthday. She has now been training for well over ten years and feels that Aikido has changed her life. In an Aikido world which only values strength of technique and difficult ukemi this person has no real status. Yet her age, while making it difficult to train as physically as the young folks do, gives such a depth to her practice that she is in a position to address in a meaningful way all sort of folks for whom instruction from someone like myself would have less relevance.

There are all sorts of Aikido teachers out there who are quite capable of going toe to toe with some hypothetical aggressor but who lack the ability to speak in any meaningful way to the hearts of a group of students whose needs don't really encompass daily requirements for self defense techniques. There are a quite large and growing number of teachers who, while not being terribly interested in the martial application side of the art, are taking technique into whole new realms of exploration and can provide great insight into the connection between physical technique and the spiritual side of the practice. Many of these teachers are female instructors who have run dojos for years and have a tremendous depth of teaching experience, often bringing students into the art who would never have been interested in training in the more macho world of traditional martial arts including much Aikido.

This is not to say that there aren't women who have successfully gone toe to toe with the men in their training and succeeded. Virginia Mahew, Pat Hendricks, Mary Heiny, Lorraine Dianne, Patty Saotome, etc. all managed to get ahead in the male dominated hierarchy of Aikido. But this shouldn't be how we measure success. Women should not have to measure their worth according to their ability to be "like the guys." To insist on this is to place only secondary emphasis on the contributions which they make well in excess of what their male counter parts often make.

It has been my experience that women are generally more interested in the social/relational aspects of the art than in the martial. The community bond between dojo members is often created more through the efforts of a group of female students within a dojo than by those of the men. It has been my experience that the women within a dojo are far better at nurturing students who are emotionally damaged or are physically less confident.

In the absence of a different way of recognizing the wide-ranging nature of accomplishments and contributions, the Dan system should be administered in such a way that equal recognition is given to those that are contributing to the growth of the art in any such substantial way. The female instructors who have well over thirty years of experience in both training and teaching but who still find themselves down a rank or two below their equally experienced male counter parts should be brought up to parity. There should be more female instructors on the seminar circuit. The high-level teachers should go out of their way to include senior females as well as males as ukes. It makes a strong and very public statement about the support they can expect from their organizations.

No more should we encounter the dojo which places the male students at the top of the technical and hierarchical heap while the women, all ranked in the second tier, do all of the organizational and administrative work thereby actually keeping the school going for the men. No more should we recognize the accomplishments of women only to the extent that they resemble those of the men but also for the unique contributions they can make which perhaps most of the men can't or won't.

Aikido must be inclusive to accomplish what the Founder saw as its essential mission of bringing people together. People may have exceptional talents teaching children, they may be exceptionally nurturing to those of us who have been damaged in various ways. We will find those individuals who have great insight into the spiritual side of the art and they may not be the ones who are best able to show how to handle a roundhouse kick to the head. Instructors should make it a priority to create a new generation of instructors both male and female, young and old, who are empowered to make their own explorations of what Aikido can become and our organizations should support these teachers in following their visions. It is only by doing this that Aikido can grow in such a way that it is both inclusive and has the elements which a widely divergent group of practitioners requires.

SeiserL 01-30-2005 10:26 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Couldn't agree more with your thoughts posted on the Aikido Journal site or here on Aiki-Web. My deepest compliments and appreciation.

Janet Rosen 01-30-2005 11:44 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
George, thank you for a wonderful and thought provoking essay. A couple of thoughts on first reading:
I would think that many of the things you write would equally pertain to valuing what the older male beginner brings to the art.
"No more should we encounter the dojo which places the male students at the top of the technical and hierarchical heap while the women, all ranked in the second tier, do all of the organizational and administrative work thereby actually keeping the school going for the men." This should be posted on bulletin boards, not just in aikido dojos, but in many places people congregate to work and play together!

malsmith 01-30-2005 12:44 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
that was an amazing article! i totally agree with all of it!!!

George S. Ledyard 01-30-2005 12:59 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote:
George, thank you for a wonderful and thought provoking essay. A couple of thoughts on first reading:
I would think that many of the things you write would equally pertain to valuing what the older male beginner brings to the art.
"No more should we encounter the dojo which places the male students at the top of the technical and hierarchical heap while the women, all ranked in the second tier, do all of the organizational and administrative work thereby actually keeping the school going for the men." This should be posted on bulletin boards, not just in aikido dojos, but in many places people congregate to work and play together!

Hi Janet,
I certainly meant to include men when I said "and everybody else". There is a great contribution to be made by everyone, not just the young, athletic, and tough young males.

From the standpoint of empowerment one would like to see everyone attain all that they are capable of. But it's a recognition that the methods may need to be different that is important for the teachers. I made the mistake for many years of thinking that simply training the women exactly as I did the men was the answer. But I have seen that this doesn't work for the avarega e female student. The ones that hung in there have their own dojos now but the numbers who stayed were always small. It's clear to me now that I can make the training far more accessible and in the long run turn out far more strong female students if I pay attention to the different reuirements which men and women have. This should also hold true for older students and students of smaller stature etc. Everyone needs to be brought along in ways which support their own requirements. Not just using a cookie cutter approach which worked with small groups of exceptionally tough males in Japan. Frankly, looking at how far many Aikido teachers seem to be from what I believe O-Sensei had in mind for his art, the old way of training may not have really worked at all.

giriasis 01-30-2005 02:03 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Everyone needs to be brought along in ways which support their own requirements. Not just using a cookie cutter approach which worked with small groups of exceptionally tough males in Japan.
Ledyard Sensei,

I'm glad your addressing this issue as it is very important to me. But the quote above is key. I like to be treated according to my own individualities and I believe one can easily as much pigeon hole people into "train women like this and train men like that" as easily it has in the past as "train young Japanese men like this." I made a rather lenghty response over in AikidoJournal http://aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=6752 I won't repeat it here, but I have questions, is the answer really changing the ranking structure or is it to truely delve within our own psyches' as well? For the most part the problems I have faced are not really a result of "gender disparities" but dealing with jerks in general. I am well aware of the differences at least organizationally, but how much of that difference is really related to a conflict of cultures rather than just gender bias in general? Because for the most part my experience is quite similar to the man's experience?

Qatana 01-30-2005 08:48 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
[we continuously use a performance standard which places, not just women, but the less athletic, and the elderly of both sexes at a disadvantage when compared with the young male]

And how is this statement exclusively about aikido? It seems to be the pervasive attitude on most of this planet. About everything.

Cmon, look at what women have acheived in the past hundred years as compared to all of history before that. Granted that women have accomplished far more than the average (male) published historian can say, at least now we are being recognised by, and are writing our own history.

I always hear that Change Takes Time. The more we support and encourage Change, in whatever society or community we refer to, the quicker it will come.

George S. Ledyard 01-30-2005 09:44 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jo Adell wrote:
I always hear that Change Takes Time. The more we support and encourage Change, in whatever society or community we refer to, the quicker it will come.

Hi Jo,
I couldn't agree more. But the key to change sooner rather than later is for those who have the power to create change to work for it. For instance I am one of the beneficiaries of the system as it has been. I have rank , certain status within my organization, and two forums for my views (Aiki Web and Aikido Journal). Plus I have my own students for whom I am responsible. I see it as part of the way in which I repay my teachers for all I have received for me to try to leave Aikido better than when I found it. Some of that is by contributing my own take on technique and how to teach it. But another part is by trying to create a more functional Aikido society than the one we first encountered thirty years ago.

George S. Ledyard 01-30-2005 10:00 PM

Dojos Headed by Female Instructors in Japan
 
Ellis Amdur Sensei was kind enough to steer me towards Yoshiko Shindo Sensei, 6th Dan, who has a dojo in Tokyo and I looked up Miyako Fujitani, 6th Dan, whose dojo is in Osaka using the dojo search.

It would be interesting to see how many other female teachers have schools in Japan. It would be great to have a list...

ruthmc 01-31-2005 02:36 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
THANK YOU for writing this article - I'm so glad that you are happy to stand up and say what many of us feel - that Aikido should be about many things, not just how to do technique harder!

Regrettably it has been my experience that the young macho male attitude is still very prevalent, even in dojo where the chief instructor is a strong supporter of women in Aikido. These young men may be able to throw each other around very hard, but they can't teach anybody anything. They are poor training partners, as their measures of success are solely based on their own selfish goals. A large part of Aikido is helping others, and these guys just don't get that.

Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Recently a book on Aikido appeared in which the author, a senior Aikido practitioner, stated that any fourth kyu male in his dojo could take any woman in Aikido in a fight. The sheer lack of sensitivity it took to make such a statement tends to hide the fact that it also shows a complete misunderstanding of what Aikido is all about.

Can you tell me who the author is, and the name of the book? PM me if you'd rather not say on the forum!

Thanks again,

Ruth

skyetide 01-31-2005 06:52 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Very interesting! Thank you for bringing up this subject.

I agree on many points, but I worry about "train women like this and train men like that" as Anne Marie said. Each individual is different…by way of personality, body structure, motivation, psychology, etc. I am attracted to the idea of harmony of mind and body. I am also interested in the martial aspect of the ability to avoid violence or protect if I have to. Another man or woman might be interested in Aikido for different reasons. I would want all aspects available to me when training.

I think the lack of women recognized in Aikido must have to do with cultural and historical traditions. I wonder what O'Sensei's philosophy was on this. I remember seeing film footage of women ukes working with him. Hmm. Now I wonder what happened to them? And, of course, it is not just in Aikido that women have been excluded. An example close to me is the history of women in painting. As you said George, regarding women samurai…how many women renaissance painters can you name? They existed. It really hasn't been until the early to mid 1900s that we see the O'keeffes and Kahlos being given the spotlight. That wasn't long ago. Similarly, it is amazing for me to think that it was only just in my grandmother's lifetime that women won the right to vote in the U.S. As in any minority situation, I think as more women break through the ranks, young women will see themselves reflected in the Aikido image. Then Aikido becomes a more realistic and attractive option. A young girl or a woman can say YES! that CAN be ME! But I think that it will take not only women breaking through the ranks but also taking positions of authority in organizations. Those, I imagine are few and far between.

Cheers, and many thanks to the women pioneers in Aikido who are blazing the trail!

senshincenter 01-31-2005 07:35 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Thanks for writing the article - very interesting and very timely I think.

Granting that one actually wants to keep the dan grading system as part of their Aikido training (which I don't), and being quite accepting that discrimination against women goes much deeper than such a system, if one wants to address these abuses across the board, then isn't the flip-side of all of this NOT GRADING/PROMOTING FOLKS who can only demonstrate physical prowess in the technical application of forms under highly artificial and/or controlled environments?

Though we are an independent dojo, we make use of a grading system, however that grading system only goes up to shodan. The system is used primarily to show folks what they don't have - rather than what they do have. Personally, I can see no other reason for having it.

Someone that can only demonstrate physical prowess in the ideal phases of the art can at best maybe be only reach sankyu or nikyu. In our system, you can't even be considered for nikyu if you don't participate fully in things like zazen, prayer, etc., and fully demonstrate at least a will to developing a nurturing and caring nature to those inside and outside of the dojo.

People can do whatever kind of aikido they would like, but the institution of the dojo has its own position on what aikido is and is not and what it should and should not be. Part of that position is that technical skill in ideal phases ain't worth crap. A person can train how they want, when they want, for how long they want, and they will always be welcome, always be a part of the dojo, but the dojo will never see anyone that gets stuck in the techniques, stuck in the trivia of aikido, as moving beyond an immature practice. The same, however, goes for folks that cannot demonstrate this physical prowess. While a developing mature spirit may make them eligible for ranks like nikyu and perhaps even ikkyu, the absence of such physical proficiency would prevent the dojo from recognizing them as shodan. Underneath all of this, it goes without question that folks should all be respected and treated decently for how they are opting to relate to their own practice. It is understood that there own practice is indeed a meaningful part of their lives and of their self-identity (at whatever level that may be). So it is understood that their contribution to the dojo is alway a very real and vital one.

I've started this system, rejecting rank entirely for myself, precisely because of things that are in the subtext of your article. It is my personal position, that at some moment, when Aikido reaches a deep enough place in one's life, such institutional frameworks have to come under enough scrutiny that they may actually be rejected by the individual or at least totally revamped. In some very real ways, the institution is precisely that thing that prevents all of us from going deeper in our practice. I think that is one reason why you always see some very real protests against institutions whenever you see some very real and potent spiritual systems develop - throughout human history. It is the nature of the two beasts - they are antagonistic to each other. Whereas the valid spiritual system addresses what is most real in human beings, the institution thrives on what is the most unreal in human beings.

Roban 01-31-2005 10:20 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Very interesting article. All I can say is that my sensei is a very petite lady with over 30 years' experience in Aikido (7th Dan) and as far as I am concerned, she has demonstrated great strength in her approach to teaching, both in technique and in mental focus. She is not strong physically but she can flatten me quite easily because she IS so focused.

I am simply very impressed by her whole approach and am enjoying learning from her immensely.

Rob

George S. Ledyard 01-31-2005 11:41 AM

Re: Dojos Headed by Female Instructors in Japan
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Ellis Amdur Sensei was kind enough to steer me towards Yoshiko Shindo Sensei, 6th Dan, who has a dojo in Tokyo and I looked up Miyako Fujitani, 6th Dan, whose dojo is in Osaka using the dojo search.

It would be interesting to see how many other female teachers have schools in Japan. It would be great to have a list...

Steve Miranda was kind enough to write me about Chizuko Matsu who is Rokudan under Terada Sensei in Yokosuka. This is within the Yoshinkan organization.

George S. Ledyard 01-31-2005 11:43 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Rob Young wrote:
Very interesting article. All I can say is that my sensei is a very petite lady with over 30 years' experience in Aikido (7th Dan) and as far as I am concerned, she has demonstrated great strength in her approach to teaching, both in technique and in mental focus. She is not strong physically but she can flatten me quite easily because she IS so focused.

I am simply very impressed by her whole approach and am enjoying learning from her immensely.

Rob

A while back we were making a list of the senior teachers in Aikido world wide and I don't think I remeber a female Seventh Dan where you are. Could you post her name so I can make sure she is on my list?
Thanks.

akiy 01-31-2005 11:50 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
If I remember correctly, Ah Loi Lee sensei who trained under Tomiki sensei is 7th dan.

Hmm... This sort of list could be kept in the AikiWiki...

http://www.aikiweb.com/wiki/people/home

-- Jun

akiy 01-31-2005 11:57 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
With George's permission, I have made the top post in this thread into a column here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2005_01.html

-- Jun

jonreading 01-31-2005 11:57 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Twice recently has this issue come up. I find it very interesting and educational. I respect Ledyard Sensei very much because he tends to have the same feelings towards many things as I. He is right, we should protect Aikido and make it better for those that come after us. That may mean weeding out problem students, that may mean weeding out bad instructors, that may mean weeding out poor dojo, but it can also mean improving how Aikido is passed on, and to whom it is passed on. Pretty tough to change the staus quo though...

I always start with "What is Aikido to the dojo you train in?" In my dojo, aikido is a martial art; I learn with greater emphasis on the principles of combat and training. Some dojos are not as physical, and create a greater sense of the budo of Aikido. When I interview prospects that I see are less interested in the physical aspects of aikido, I send to to a dojo that can satisfy that need. When I interview prospects that I see are more interested in the physical aspects of combat, I send them to a judo dojo or karate dojo that can satisfy that need. My job is to give students the best aikido for them, and if I can't do it I will find someone that can.

But that only addresses half the problem. We still have to improve how we pass Aikido on. I look at Patty Saotome Sensei as a great example of a solid martial artist that can demonstrate a wide range of appeal in aikido; it also happens that she is a women. I have seen some high ranking instructors that can't pull off this demonstration; they happen to be men and women. I think we need to continue to push a better instructional system to encourage and prepare all students, should they choose to become more involved in aikido oragnizations. Today's pioneers need to prepare towmorrow's leaders...

There is a swedish golfer that is a major tournament winner. This golfer is intimidating, inspiring and photogenic - a great catch for the press. This golfer is very knowledgeable about the sport and can be found in major golf magazines instructing better methods to drive, putt, chip, and play. This golfer is simply an all-around great role model that has invigorated golf. In 2003, this golfer missed the men's PGA Tour final cut by only four strokes. Her name? Annika Sörenstam.

Mary Eastland 01-31-2005 01:41 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Thank you for an interesting article.

We are an independant orginazation with a high percentage of women. 80%. We used to belong to an organization where sexism and objectifacation (sp?) of women was commen. Women were regurlarly rejected for uke during testing for their own "protection". When my teacher announced we were leaving the oganization we lost three men.....the women were all estatic that we would no longer be going to camps.

Our new orginazation is very respectful of the indivudual. We believe anyone can train....with respect and patience.

Mary Eastland
Berkshire Hills Aikido

E.D. Gordon 01-31-2005 02:17 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Jun Akiyama wrote:
If I remember correctly, Ah Loi Lee sensei who trained under Tomiki sensei is 7th dan.
-- Jun

In my language ignorance, I could go to this person's seminars and never know the difference.

This is the way it should be.
Women in budo should be a non-event. I will consider us "there" when it becomes so.

Until then, let me share with you an event I was thrilled to participate in, even in absentia, up in Canada:

http://www.ejmas.com/proceedings/GSJSA03klensintro.htm

At about 70 centimeters short of two meters and slightly over 70 kgs, I'm the same size, and (due to manual labor, disposition, and sheer tenacity) very close to as strong as, the average male.

I just have more options.

Should I be disappointed, that it takes a prominent male teacher to bring the subject of Invisible Women up?

I am.

What the hell are we doing, as female budoka?
What more can we do?
What helps us survive and evolve?
How can instructors cultivate female budoka, objectively?

I don't mind not being "marketed" that way lies ruin, but where is the common-sense commentary? I mean, besides "The Mirror" here on Aikiweb (waves to Janet et al).

E.D. Gordon
(first beer's on me, George, next time you're in Bavaria :)

Janet Rosen 01-31-2005 04:45 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Emily Dolan Gordon wrote:
What the hell are we doing, as female budoka?

Training?
Setting as good example as I can.
Balancing training with everything else that is equally (or more) important in my life (which is another way women, esp older women, are often very different from young men (and isn't it telling that some of the very high ranking exemplary American women instructors early on/when fairly young picked up and spent time in Japan?)

Quote:

Emily Dolan Gordon wrote:
What more can we do?
What helps us survive and evolve?
How can instructors cultivate female budoka, objectively?
)

I'm doing what I can. I take responsibility for my survival and evolution. I would like instructors who are sensitive to some of the issues I bring to the mat (the knee, general aging) but frankly don't feel I need to be "cultivated" on account of being female. Just not have my femaleness count as a negative in anybody's eyes. And have me AS AN INDIVIDUAL taken into account.
Every dojo I"ve been a member of called women up for ukemi and women who train regularly are able to advance as quickly as men who train regularly.

Don_Modesto 01-31-2005 06:18 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Can you tell me who the author is, and the name of the book? PM me if you'd rather not say on the forum!

Me, too.

YOROSHIKU.

SteveTrinkle 01-31-2005 10:33 PM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
I'd just like to mention my teacher, Lia Suzuki Sensei,(5th dan, Aikikai). Nine of her 25 years or so of training were in Japan with Takeda Yoshinobu Shihan. Her main dojo is in Santa Barbara, CA. Her skill and dedication to aikido are inspiring to me. Her energy seems boundless. I know very few men who can keep up with her in training.

Roban 02-01-2005 04:46 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
A while back we were making a list of the senior teachers in Aikido world wide and I don't think I remeber a female Seventh Dan where you are. Could you post her name so I can make sure she is on my list?
Thanks.

My sensei is Eve Aitkenhead, who runs the Glasgow Ki Aikido Club - link in my signature.

Rob

George S. Ledyard 02-01-2005 10:59 AM

Re: Women and Everybody Else in Aikido
 
Quote:

Rob Young wrote:
My sensei is Eve Aitkenhead, who runs the Glasgow Ki Aikido Club - link in my signature.

Rob

Thanks! I have added her name to my list of teahers world wide who are 7th Dan and up. I must say it's a big deal for anyone to get that highly ranked, I would think your website would have a bit more about her. I had to dig before I found her name in there..
- George


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