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Old 06-03-2009, 02:45 PM   #26
Janet Rosen
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

I have small arthritis-impaired hands, and I tried my sensei's advice to grasp sanko not on the hand or wrist/hand, but the distant part of the fingers. It makes it easy to find and control the chain of the lock.

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-03-2009, 04:15 PM   #27
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I have small arthritis-impaired hands, and I tried my sensei's advice to grasp sanko not on the hand or wrist/hand, but the distant part of the fingers. It makes it easy to find and control the chain of the lock.
True, actually I teach the kids how to do that for sankyo when working with adults. Their hands just aren't big enough or strong enough to grab the hand. Fingers work really well.

The problem I have is with taking sankyo on the hand with one hand, then using the palm of your other hand to push the fingers back. It simply adds more pain and people tend to rely on that rather than improving their overall technique. Just my own take on things fwiw.

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Old 06-03-2009, 04:34 PM   #28
Fred Little
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

One solution is to ask the smaller person: "Would you mind lowering the force level so that I can work on X with some precision and attention to form instead that stupid muscling through thing I usually do?"

FL

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:44 PM   #29
Janet Rosen
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
The problem I have is with taking sankyo on the hand with one hand, then using the palm of your other hand to push the fingers back. It simply adds more pain and people tend to rely on that rather than improving their overall technique. Just my own take on things fwiw.
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.

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Old 06-04-2009, 03:58 AM   #30
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.
Oooh - I really like that Janet

This has given me great inspiration for something I've been quietly mulling over for whenever Sensei asks me to take a class for him

Thank you

Ruth
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:38 PM   #31
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Yep.
I was lucky in having an instructor some yrs ago who would have us all gather round and we'd study the anatomy/kinesiology of the various locks as he very slowly applied them on somebody, starting with the contact point and progressing up and to the center. Then we'd practice just that part, isolated from attack or completion of technique.
Well, fwiw I do that rather frequently. I find it helps to slow down and work on the connection to understand why the techniques work. Then try to maintain that control and feeling as things speed up. Works for me. Just another method to gain an insight into the bigger picture.

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Old 06-04-2009, 11:16 PM   #32
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Hi there,

Speaking as a petite woman (5"1, 110lbs) who has been training for 7 years now, I would have to second Lynn Seiser's response in regards to asking your training partner instead of simply making an assumption about how capable they are. I could tell some funny stories about guys on the mats making assumptions about me due to my size, but that's for another time. Seriously though, I can certainly appreciate that in asking your question, you're wanting to be considerate of the other person.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if this person is new to Aikido, then like all other new students (regardless of gender) chances are your instructor would prefer that beginners refrain from challenging each other with excessive strength right off the bat so as to give each other "room" to learn proper basic form first. If it seems like your training partner is struggling, you can always ask them if they you to ease up or slow down a bit so that they can concentrate more on the form - and then leave it up to them to decide how they wish to practice.

While I personally enjoy having to move training partners much larger than me, I can also appreciate that when you're a complete beginner, you're already pretty occupied just trying to learn the specifics of how to move and that one of the last things you need (regardless of size or gender) is to think about how to adapt the basic form to your partner's extra force. You're training, not fighting, and the intent is to help each other learn - so definitely when in doubt: ask, don't assume.

Happy training,
J

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"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 06-04-2009, 11:29 PM   #33
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Talking Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Ashley Carter wrote: View Post

Also, watch her face. If she is making faces when she lands, then it just may be hurting her.

Good luck.
*chuckles* Or she could be enjoying it...

I've certainly been known to make faces (mostly the smiley kind) while airborne - but instead of the dreaded "bicycle face" disease doctors diagnosed women with in the 1890's, maybe they'll come up with "ukemi face"?

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Old 06-05-2009, 01:13 AM   #34
Eva Antonia
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Hi Abasan,

this is just to inform you that I tried to use the "letting-down" method for shiho nage you showed in your photo - and it WORKED .

I tried it on a blue belt, and as it worked fine, I suppose I could also try it on the white belts - just slipping the wrist down over the leg instead of letting poor uke spiral down with a free hanging torn wrist.

Thanks a lot for the insight,

Eva
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Old 06-05-2009, 10:26 AM   #35
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Quote:
Jamie D. Ducusin wrote: View Post
I've certainly been known to make faces (mostly the smiley kind) while airborne
So I am not the only person with this problem. HAH! People think I am weird because I actually love to be thrown. I would rather be thrown then throw in all honesty. Much more fun.
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Old 06-06-2009, 08:54 AM   #36
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

No probs eva. Glad I can be of help. But let that be a start into the many many ways of doing it. Pretty soon you'll be able to do the flipping shihonage without pain as well. Just as long as you maintain proper connection with uke and he understands how to flip with shihonage.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:15 PM   #37
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Smile Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Rationally, this seems to me like something that comes with experience (knowing how much force to use with a given partner). I still worry about it though, because I don't want her to feel like I'm judging her strength due to gender (if I am using too little force).
Kudos to the original poster for being sensitive enough to worry about the issue but my two cents (being a small woman myself) is that you are highly unlikely to come across as patronizing. It is a fact of life that there are general correlations between size and strength as well as between gender and strength. I'm a lot stronger than most women my size but I don't get particularly offended if people assume otherwise...I just enjoy surprising them.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:23 AM   #38
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:21 AM   #39
Mark Uttech
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.
Onegaishimasu. I think that is because minimum force is the ideal. If I were to use no force at all on the keyboard, I would not be able to type this reply.

In gassho,

Mark

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Old 05-19-2010, 07:01 AM   #40
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Mark it's not a question of minimum force. If you use force there will always be someone stronger who can use more force. The point about aikido is that there is no force. It's not using force when you brush the hair out of your eyes. A baby doesn't use force. That's what aikido should be like.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:00 AM   #41
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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It's not using force when you brush the hair out of your eyes. A baby doesn't use force. That's what aikido should be like.
Yes it is. A very small force is just as much a force as a big force. F = ma. Nothing can accelerate without a force. Nowhere in the universe, whether it's the electrons orbiting around an atom or planets and galaxies or anything in between.

But a very very small force by human terms, yes, sure.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:10 AM   #42
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

To the original question, just ask her every now and then and try not to worry so much about it. It's not an unreasonable question, just being safe. Actually it's probably good to get feedback from people every now and then in general, especially if you don't know them well, even if it's just a brief "OK?" after throwing -- some of the 'big' people may actually be inexperienced, stiff, injured, etc...
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:12 AM   #43
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
I just noticed the title of this thread and I don't think anyone made the basic point that you shouldn't be using any force - on anyone.
Hi Niall, that's interesting. Since I thought the question was about providing a proper attack for the smaller person to work with-- what is your take on how an attack should/could be provided without force?

I have a feeling that for training, all we need from the attacker is the intent to produce force.. but in practice we seem to expect that the attacker will indeed follow through with the force, not just the intent. Makes things clearer.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:21 AM   #44
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

I don't think it's useful to get into a discussion about physics equations because that's probably not going to help your aikido to improve. Thinking about not using force definitely will help your aikido to improve. Perhaps I should have said conscious force but I thought it was clear from the original post. I thought it was worth clarifying that if you use [conscious] force you are blocking yourself and certainly blocking your growth.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 05-19-2010, 09:36 AM   #45
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Hi Jonathan. I assumed like a lot of the other people posting comments that it was about how to do the technique with a smaller uke.

Good point about ukemi because you have to create a sincere attack or the tori doesn't have anything to work with.

But in ukemi too you should always be relaxed and attacking from your centre, and your shoulders should never be stiff or raised. I already said once today (in a comment on ninjaqutie's blog) that ukemi should be honest.

Your point was even more subtle because you were talking about intent. In fact maybe Basia will be pleased because we can get back to physics. The forces of the attack can be pictured as shafts or planes or vectors or arcs of energy that we can join with and use. I'll talk about energy in my blog one of these days.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 05-19-2010, 10:14 AM   #46
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

whoa, battle on the zombie thread!


epic.

MM
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:47 AM   #47
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Quote:
In fact maybe Basia will be pleased because we can get back to physics.
LOL! I'm always happy to get back to physics . Just ask anyone who knows me...

Quote:
I don't think it's useful to get into a discussion about physics equations because that's probably not going to help your aikido to improve.
Well, I may just be weird that way, but I do find sometimes thinking about physics equations is just what I need to help me understand something. Not always, but often enough.

In any case, as far as force goes, as far as I can understand so far to me it seems like more a matter of using force right, and using force generated the right way, and particularly, not directly opposing your force to uke's. Certainly people seem to throw ME with a lot of force sometimes .

Last edited by Basia Halliop : 05-19-2010 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:40 AM   #48
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

If I understand Niall's original point a few posts back, the idea is that uke provides the force, and nage/tori only needs to provide the conduits to harmless resolution of that force. Then the throw happens purely because uke continues to attack. (Uke's force throws him.)

I've always liked the idea, and the internal folks' descriptions of application seem to jive with it.
But I keep wondering how complete a picture that is:
Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Certainly people seem to throw ME with a lot of force sometimes .
It would be easy for us to say those partners are just doing it wrong, they should let uke's force do all the work. But maybe they are not so wrong-- what about "aikido is 99% atemi" (oh my the number gets higher every time)? Even if atemi can mean things other than your fist traveling through the air to impact your partner, doesn't it still mean there are lots of times when nage should provide force?

Still mulling this over. Sure is fun to put some force in, at certain times, in certain places. And effective at resolving the interaction. But it is a nice challenge to do without adding of forces.. does that mean it is the right way? Or just something good to play with?
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:01 PM   #49
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

Quote:
If I understand Niall's original point a few posts back, the idea is that uke provides the force, and nage/tori only needs to provide the conduits to harmless resolution of that force. Then the throw happens purely because uke continues to attack. (Uke's force throws him.)
But then uke has to provide that energy in their attack -- which comes back to the original topic of the thread -- how much force to use when attacking someone smaller -- I don't believe you can attack with the kind of minimal force Niall described (I'm not going to say no force, because as I've said I don't think that even exists). Defend? More so...

The other thing is for me, I don't think the distinction about conscious vs. unconscious use of force is quite how I'd put it -- because then it's more about how much effort it's taking you -- if it's very very easy for you, you may _feel_ like you're not using significant force, but it might just be that you're really strong. But you might be exerting force in exactly the same directions and using the same muscles as the person who is obviously forcing it -- but since you're so strong it's so easy that it _feels_ to you like you're not really exerting any effort

Like pushing back your hair -- if you had some muscle wasting disease you would feel like you were doing very hard work -- it's just because you're so much stronger than you need to be to move your own arm and push a hair that it feels insignificant.

If I'm helping a small child and they're uke, I very often feel like I'm not using any significant force, even if I'm doing it completely wrong and just overpowering them. They're just so small and light it takes so little effort either way and I can feel like I'm just moving in a totally relaxed way even when really I'm just directly opposing their attack and overpowering them with a stronger force.

This is why I think it's an advantage to be one of the smallest people in the dojo, like me .

To me it seems to be more about the direction of the force as well as where it's coming from (if both are right, the amount of force needed really plummets).
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:06 PM   #50
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Re: Using less force on a smaller person w/o being patronizing

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Still mulling this over. Sure is fun to put some force in, at certain times, in certain places. And effective at resolving the interaction. But it is a nice challenge to do without adding of forces.. does that mean it is the right way? Or just something good to play with?
What if you do the technique 'right' in such a way that it doesn't require almost any force -- then you increase the force without changing how you're doing it -- wouldn't you then get a throw that is correct and crazily powerful? That's what it feels like to me, anyway, when some people (Sensei, sempais, etc) throw me...
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