A few weeks ago (mid-September), the Yoshinkan Aikido Embukai (demonstration) was held in Tokyo.
At this Embukai, participants from many clubs from across Japan and some from abroad, come to show their stuff. It is an opportunity to observe really incredible Aikido by both young and old, and of course, men and women.
In addition to the fact that I strongly believe that women are not only capable of doing very powerful Aikido techniques, they are also much more graceful and make the art so much more beautiful.
After watching a few groups of testosterone driven jiyu-waza (free style) by some university boys, which was hap-hazard, disorganized and not at all effective from my observation point...
it was really nice to see the graceful and beautiful Aikido of the young university girls... not only can they put on a better show, they have the ability to think more clearly because they don't rush their technique.
Men will often have physically stronger waza, but timing and technique have their place in all martial arts, including Aikido. Women deserve the same, if not sometimes, higher level of credit and respect for their ability to do Aikido.
Personal experience tells me that Aikido done regardless of age or gender makes this art truly harmonious. This is the way O-Sensei would wanted to have seen his art grow.
Let's keep that harmonious Aikido spirit alive!