I'm quite suprised at this post. From my ealy experience with training with women when I started Aikido - the higher grades (dan grade) could easily control me if they didn't let me get in close. It was one of the things that amazed me about aikido and I was very strong and athletic at the time (though not particularly heavy - which is maybe a different matter).
Also, from personal experience in real situations, I have found that larger people are on the whole a lot slower and their very belief that they think they can destroy you with a single hold or strong punch is often their weakness - it always seems to be the small ones you have to look out for!
In my mind the whole idea of extension in aikido is to prevent a larger opponent gaining the upperhand due to their weight advantage, and getting you into a tight grapple. Wasn't Ueshiba always directing people out of their sphere of strength?
Maybe the focus on static techniques in some clubs is a downfall for womens training. However I would not discredit the use of weapons (even though Ueshiba seemed to consider it less important to teach later in his teaching). For me bokken work does teach timing, miai and spirit; however unarmed training seems technically much harder to achieve and therefore IMO the focus should always be on this.
Last edited by ian : 02-03-2003 at 01:16 PM.