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Old 08-02-2010, 11:47 PM   #25
David Board
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno/NV
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 74
Re: Unhappy being pushed to test

Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
Being a woman is not a handicap. Nor is it a sign of inexperience or enfeeblement. Are you suggesting that being a woman is the same a handicap, like having stiff wrists? That my partner need to adapt to the fact that I am female?

You are right, I expected to be treated as I am: Young, flexible, healthy and capable.
No, being a women is the same as being skinny or tall. An attribute. Women typically have a set of physical attributes in common. Women's hips are different then men's hips. The angle of the femur is different. Female spines are different then male spines. This changes how you move. This changes how I should respond to you.

Just as my height changes how people should respond to me. I have watched multiple times as nages are forced to adapt to my height. Sidesteps are modified to include a slight backwards angle. As nage, I have to change how I do some techniques. My height changes how a technique is performed in subtle and not so subtle ways.

Now there is no doubt that attributes can mislead. When people see me put my legs behind my head they assume I have the flexibility of a Yogi (if they know my wife is yoga teacher the assumption is reinforced) but I can not touch my toes. In fact, I can not even sit at 90 degrees with my legs out straight. As an aside my wife informs me that this peculiarity is associated with males and that she has yet to encounter a women with this mix of flexibility but several males.

I have no doubt that you are a better at Aikido than I am. I have no doubt that you can take better Ukemi than I can. I have no doubt that you could take more than I could dish out. If we were to meet on the mat I would treat you as my better and try to learn from you. I would treat you as are young, flexible, healthy, capable and female. Not because I need baby you but because I want to give you my best.
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