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Old 03-20-2012, 02:05 AM   #25
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 170
Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Or rather, you keep changing the subject and/or your premisses.

You are not up to date with your biological facts.
It is not a biological fact that men are stronger then women. It is a cultural bias. Science has come up with a lot of new facts about this in recent years. And a few tests we could all do again ourselves. This is one of them: Choose 100 men and 100 women from the streets in your hometown. Let them join in a contest; use a large field and let them run 200 meters. Have a look who have won. If you are right and men are stronger then women, then we may expect that the men cross the line first and then a little later the women. But that does not happen. It never does. Scientists have done this test again and again and again choosing young people, adults, older people, children, athletes. Never do we see the men cross the finish line first and then later the women.
Actually, biologically men have a greater muscle mass than women do, period. A quick search on the topic using my school library's system pulled up quite a few scientific studies, I can't link them here, but the results synopsis is this:

We obtained muscle samples from the vastus lateralis from normal
adult subjects, including 15 men and 15 women 20--75 years old.
To limit variability of activity and diet prior to the biopsies,
subjects were admitted to the University of Rochester General
Clinical Research Center for 3 days, where they were provided a
standard weight-maintaining diet and were instructed not to
perform any activity more strenuous than walking. Table 1 shows
their mean body composition (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)
and isometric knee extension strength. The men had more
lean tissue mass overall (mean 41%) and in the legs (mean 48%)
than the women. There did not appear to be a sex difference in
physical fitness—isometric knee extension strength and maximal
oxygen consumption were similar in the men and women when
expressed per kg lean body mass or lean tissue mass of the legs.

This is not to mean there is a difference in levels of physical fitness, just in muscle mass between the two genders. A judoka friend of mine said that if you compare a man and a woman of the same physical size, the man will have about 50% more muscle mass than the woman. I don't know where he got his figures from, but this study seems to back him up at least.

As for muscle mass vs Aikido, I already know that if I am tensing up and using my muscles, I am not doing the technique properly. And if my partner can "muscle" out of the technique, then I am also not doing it properly. One of my favorite ukes is a 6'4" (roughly a foot taller than I am) man who used to play football and has wrists about twice the size of my own. I know from very frequent and personal experience that if I am not applying ikkyo correctly, it simply will not work on him, and I can't force it through. Practicing with someone who is a lot stronger than I am gives me a more realistic expectation of how Aikido will work off the mat, and refines my technique. Just my preference when training.

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