Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #1
Andrew Macdonald
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 126
Offline
Sensei and size

I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 12:39 AM   #2
crbateman
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,479
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
does anyone have any thought on this
I would, if I could reach my keyboard...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 12:58 AM   #3
Nafis Zahir
 
Nafis Zahir's Avatar
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Pennsylvania
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 425
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this

Many, but not all, have stopped training. They may instruct, but many of them do not train anymore.

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 01:50 AM   #4
Darryl Cowens
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 46
New Zealand
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I remember visiting a dojo a couple of times, and the dan grades did not train with the 'students'. They didn't even warm up, or take warm up. That was delegated to one of the higher kyu grade. They would demonstrate the techniques for the evening using a senior kyu grade, but didn't actually train with the students.

Each of the instructors alternated a night each to instruct the training, but I did have a chuckle that on the night the highest ranked instructor was set to instruct, the 'least senior' of the instructors took training instead, while he kinda just looked on watching the whole night.. lol..
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 05:10 AM   #5
Shadowfax
 
Shadowfax's Avatar
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido, Pitsburgh PA
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 917
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

When you have been training for as long as they have you will have your answer, I suspect.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 06:14 AM   #6
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,282
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this
Their dojo is prosperous?

David
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 06:30 AM   #7
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 864
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this
That's because the most exercise some of these people get is standing up from and getting into seiza and maybe a bit of walking around the mat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 06:58 AM   #8
fisher6000
Dojo: NY Aikikai
Location: Brooklyn
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 31
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I've always attributed that to the notion that aikido is supposed to be really efficient.

There are often a good number of shihan on the mat at my dojo, and they don't work very hard when they train. Instead, they work smart.

It's interesting, at a well-attended class, to look down the row and see someone like me who's in the kyu zone and working really hard, next to a pair of younger shodan who are still figuring out how to find efficiencies, next to someone who's found a lot of power in efficiency like Harvey Konigsberg. Everyone's doing the same technique, but very differently.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 07:14 AM   #9
Mark Peckett
Dojo: Aikido Fellowship of Great Britain
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 84
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I'm all in favour of efficient aikido. Also eating and drinking sensibly and exercising moderately.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 07:36 AM   #10
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

This is how ninja's win fights against aikidoka. They get you hooked on cheeseburgers. Then while you are worried about strikes from katanas and teh deadly street you don't even notice the slow death from heart disease.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,803
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Perhaps because Aikido is based in skill not physical strength size does not matter (large or small)?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 09:14 AM   #12
TreyPrice
 
TreyPrice's Avatar
Dojo: Capitol City Aikido Club
Location: Montgomery
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

The weight issue is different from the training issue. I am 30lbs. above my weight when I was 20 and training. I am also 25 years older. For most of us weight comes with age. It should not become a problem with our health.

as for the training issue...

I have been in several dojos and saw dan grades doing more talking than training. It burns me. I train hard from start to finish. If anything I allow lower grades to get a few more reps in when they are making progress.

Excessive weight and "stand around" aikido hurts credibility, and hinders the training of others. All Aikidoka have a responsibility to train one another when they are in a dojo.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 09:54 AM   #13
DonMagee
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps because Aikido is based in skill not physical strength size does not matter (large or small)?
You and I both know that physical fitness matters no matter what your skill. If your so fat you can't walk 3 spaces without passing out it doesn't matter how much aikido skill you may have had in your youth.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 10:41 AM   #14
Andrew Macdonald
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 126
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

this was at least one of the points i was getting at

A lot of people worry about effective Aikido, one of the very important steps to being effective is being fit enough to fight
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 11:14 AM   #15
oisin bourke
 
oisin bourke's Avatar
Dojo: Muden Juku, Ireland
Location: Kilkenny
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 333
Ireland
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I think chronic joint damage (especially to the hips and knees) has a lot to do with it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 11:58 AM   #16
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I feel like this is a set-up...

Depending on the year and the source, I think the US reports about 30% of its population as "obese"; bump that number up to 60% if you quantify "overweight" (and heavier) Americans. 6 of 10 Americans are heavier [than they should be]. Demographically, there is also a higher concentration of obesity in the South. Look around the dojo... I don't know if its just sensei who packing a couple extra pounds...

I think sensei plays a role model and in that sense we need to be conscious of the image and role we portray. Sensei may have some extra factors which make her more vulnerable to obesity (activity participation, exercise routine, injury, age, etc.). But I think most aikido dojo have an obesity issue, largely because the country has one.

Would you go to a gym whose members were not fit or in the process of becoming fit? It may be superficial...but we want to envision what we will become. ..
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 07:31 PM   #17
fisher6000
Dojo: NY Aikikai
Location: Brooklyn
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 31
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Honestly I think it's too easy to assume that a dan-rank with a "big center" is not fit enough to kick your butt, or otherwise judge.

There are a lot of factors in someone's weight gain over many years. What kind of calories are they consuming? What's their metabolism? How many idle weeks have accumulated because of injury? Desk job? Sleep schedule? Kids?

I've trained hard with a lot of dan-ranked men with big bellies who leave me huffing and puffing.

Fat does not equal lazy.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2010, 09:26 PM   #18
Lyle Laizure
 
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 563
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
I have been checking through a few websites and something occured to me. There seems to be a large number of higher ranking sensei and shihan that are a little on the large side, no disrespect intended but it does raise a few questions.

does anyone have any thought on this
What questions does this raise for you Andrew?

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 12:50 AM   #19
ShanRCarter
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I'm a bit low on the totem pole to have a consternation about my senseis' conformation (which is just fine, if anyone wants my opinion). I'm just trying to keep up. I think I can learn from someone whatever one's size.

And here's a thought: I wear a larger gi jacket to ensure full coverage. I've also lost 1 stone 6 (keeping up is hard work!), but one can't tell with all of that fabric. Perhaps gentlemen with barrel chests have this predicament?

My point is that what I get out of aikido has little to do with subjective factors of someone else's state of fitness. I have plenty of other stuff to worry about.

"I am different than yesterday's me."
--Sakamoto Ryoma
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 01:24 AM   #20
ShanRCarter
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
United_States
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Would you go to a gym whose members were not fit or in the process of becoming fit? It may be superficial...but we want to envision what we will become. ..
I thought the purpose of a gym was to get people in shape as well as maintaining fitness. One would be very intimidated being the only "Before" in a room full of "Afters." So I'm comfortable seeing people of all shapes and sizes improving their health. Same with the dojo.

As far as envisioning what we become--if I "envision" an unattainable goal based on the images thrown at us on what society thinks I should be, what are my chances of "becoming" it without resorting to destructive behaviour? I could throw up everything I ate, exercise five hours a day everyday, go on a fad diet, and resorted to cosmetic surgery, and there's still no guarantee I'll end up like a Victoria's Secret model. I have guaranteed I'm worse off than I was before I did all of that.

What I envision is being able to practice aikido until I breathe my last breath. Health, not so much size, is a big component of that. I say that because we spend a lot of time "worrying" about obesity and say nothing about the health risks of being underweight. There's a middle ground, a balance we're looking for, are we not? And shouldn't our individual balance come from within instead of external factors like statistics or other people's appearances?

Last edited by ShanRCarter : 06-17-2010 at 01:37 AM. Reason: Spelling and continuing my thought

"I am different than yesterday's me."
--Sakamoto Ryoma
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 02:19 AM   #21
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 912
Germany
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

interesting ...

Only very few sensei I know are large. 95% are very well trained and have a sporty figure.
So I don't worry and don't think about the two or three who are large.

Can't believe that it should be really different in the US?

And: Don't take those sensei ukemi for their sensei or shihan?

Carsten
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 02:31 AM   #22
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 212
Belgium
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Hello,

I made the same observation but got to another conclusion. In my opinion aikido is just a martial art that rather favours heavy people. They have a better equilibrium, are more difficult to get out of balance, roll better ...the only disadvantage they might have is that once they move dynamically and someone MANAGES to take their balance they rather thunder down than fly.

So I suppose this encourages them to go on. If they would do something else, let's say athletics, either they wouldn't succeed or the would become thinner. In aikido, they can become very good and still remain with their initial size.

Another question, to which In have NOT found an answer, is - why doesn't hard aikido training make people lose weight?

Best regards,

Eva
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 04:53 AM   #23
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 912
Germany
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Eva Röben wrote: View Post
Another question, to which In have NOT found an answer, is - why doesn't hard aikido training make people lose weight?
Well one year after I started aikido, I wanted to lose weight and lost some 25 kg.
So the way we train it works, if you want to. In my experience it works a lot better than e.g. runnig.

Quote:
I made the same observation but got to another conclusion. In my opinion aikido is just a martial art that rather favours heavy people.
Hm, I don't agree. Most of the few heavy people doing aikido I know have problems with stamina - they run out of air fast - and with their flexibility - they can't move for proper ukemi.

Quote:
So I suppose this encourages them to go on. If they would do something else, let's say athletics, either they wouldn't succeed or the would become thinner. In aikido, they can become very good and still remain with their initial size.
Well my experiences are different.
We only have one person with overweigth in our dojo: He formerly did kyokushinkai karate than had an accident, stayed in hospital nearly one year and became very large. But his ability stayed on.
There are very few beginners with overweight who try aikido. And up to this day none of them stayed with us.

Im a little confused.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 07:59 AM   #24
Eva Antonia
Dojo: CERIA
Location: Brussels
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 212
Belgium
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

Hi Carsten,

maybe (we) Germans are different ???

But...here in my Belgian dojo
- the sensei is overweight, huge beer belly but moving swiftly and never, ever getting out of breath
- our dan grades, regardless of age, are all blessed with more or less heavy centres
- so are the 1st kyus

...and I made the same observations in Turkey and Côte d'Ivoire and also in other Belgian clubs. I know one 2nd and one 3rd Dan who really train many hours a week; one of them teaches some twenty classes per week...but somehow their waist remains convex with all the training they do. Well, all this is not statistically representative, but it gives some stuff to wonder about.

Bye-bye,

Eva
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2010, 08:38 AM   #25
ruthmc
Dojo: Wokingham Aikido
Location: Reading, UK
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 393
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Sensei and size

I'm currently training while pregnant, and the weight and 'center' I have gained have made a difference to my Aikido!

I'm 10lbs heavier now than before, and I can definitely feel a better connection with the ground, use the 'weight underside' principle more effectively. and find that having those extra pounds with which to affect uke's balance has improved my overall effectiveness

Sensei commented on it last week in class, so I have independent confirmation that it is having an effect.

I know a beer belly isn't the same as a pregnant one, but I'm guessing some of the same effects probably come into play

btw Baby loves training and gets quite active - he helps me by kicking when I'm applying a pin to uke's arm

Ruth
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Has anyone trained with Kimeda Sensei? Cannea General 10 09-13-2009 11:58 PM
Ki-Aikido or Taiji - effectiveness in developing Qi? Haowen Chan Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 277 04-13-2007 09:44 PM
USAF-ER 25th Anniversary Winter Camp giriasis Seminars 12 02-05-2006 06:20 PM
Saito sensei's funeral June 22-3, 2002 pyarrow General 3 06-14-2004 01:39 AM
Randori Seminar with George Ledyard Sensei aikibaka131 Seminars 11 10-24-2003 01:30 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:04 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2016 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2016 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate