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Old 06-17-2010, 09:21 AM   #26
Keith Larman
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Re: Sensei and size

FWIW I notice a vastly larger correlation between age and "waistline spread". And in general one won't get high ranked really quickly so there will be a correlation between age and rank. Or to put it another way, you're not going to find many godan walking around who are 21 and out of shape. Just like 21 year olds have a great benefit of being younger with (in general) the best metabolic system they can ever expect to have in their life. But someone who's been training for 25 years is generally going to be middle-aged with a dramatically slower metabolism, less testosterone (for men), etc. That translates into a harder time (for some) in keeping weight down. I don't know the exact statistic but men will gain x number of pounds on the average for each 5 years of life after 35. And given the current western "diet" that is over-processed, highly refined, and basically killing us, the effect is magnified. Add in that some of those high ranking folk tend to relax into a teaching role that reduces the work load in terms of ukemi, and... You get the idea.

Of course there is always joining Ch˙nen Butori Ry˙.

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Old 06-17-2010, 09:50 AM   #27
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
FWIW I notice a vastly larger correlation between age and "waistline spread". And in general one won't get high ranked really quickly so there will be a correlation between age and rank. Or to put it another way, you're not going to find many godan walking around who are 21 and out of shape. Just like 21 year olds have a great benefit of being younger with (in general) the best metabolic system they can ever expect to have in their life. But someone who's been training for 25 years is generally going to be middle-aged with a dramatically slower metabolism, less testosterone (for men), etc. That translates into a harder time (for some) in keeping weight down. I don't know the exact statistic but men will gain x number of pounds on the average for each 5 years of life after 35. And given the current western "diet" that is over-processed, highly refined, and basically killing us, the effect is magnified. Add in that some of those high ranking folk tend to relax into a teaching role that reduces the work load in terms of ukemi, and... You get the idea.

Of course there is always joining Ch˙nen Butori Ry˙.
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:51 PM   #28
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Sensei and size

I think each indidvidual is unique and while thier size may play some role in their training I don't beleive it is a determining factor in their skill.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:49 PM   #29
Andrew Macdonald
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Re: Sensei and size

well barring injury or health reasons what causes a person to be overweight

over eating
lack of exercise

what are some of the thing people try to teach in martial arts

self control
discipline
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:20 AM   #30
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Re: Sensei and size

Hi
Quote:
Trey Price wrote: View Post
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.
There is no need to increase in weigth only by growing older.
If you know your body can control that (if you want to) and maybe adjust your life to your age.

Quote:
Deborah Fisher wrote: View Post
...
Fat does not equal lazy.
But maybe it does equal a lack of discipline, selfcontrol, true victory over oneself?

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
What questions does this raise for you Andrew?
Don't know, why Andrew raised the question.
But for me aikido and overweigth don't really fit together. (Sure there are exceptions.)
Neither in theory nor in practice.
That is why I am so confused.

Quote:
Shannon Carter wrote: View Post
My point is that what I get out of aikido has little to do with subjective factors of someone else's state of fitness.
But maybe what I get out of aikido has something to do with the model or the example a senei gives?

Quote:
Eva R÷ben wrote: View Post
maybe (we) Germans are different ???
Hmm, I don't think so.

Maybe we are different because obesity is not accepted here like lets say (so I've heard) in the US or seems Belgium. (Do you know "Asterix bei den Belgiern"? Explains alot. )

But:
When there are international Seminars, I don't see a lot of overweight people from other countrys. Nearly everybody is well trained and especially the higher gradet students are.
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:45 AM   #31
Mark Peckett
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Re: Sensei and size

At 56, I'm not unaware that i'm no longer sure where my jeans should hang - above or below the navel. But I check my weight and my BMI for my own health. I see no reason in carrying all before me!
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:55 AM   #32
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Sensei and size

Some are in their late 50,s, into their 60's and 70's. Most other arts don't have active teachers that age and age and gravity may have taken over. Health issues may be a big cause in that category of teachers also. It may not affect their teaching or skill but may very well take a toll on their training. Still some of us can get in better shape to improve health. I have lost over 40 pounds in the last few months and others have lost 30 to 70 pounds that I know of. A change in diet and medication change or addition may work. Just don;t judge ability by size.

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:07 PM   #33
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Andrew McDonald wrote:
Deborah Fisher wrote:
...
Fat does not equal lazy.
But maybe it does equal a lack of discipline, selfcontrol, true victory over oneself?
Yoshimitsu Yamada Sensei sports a sizable belly. Perhaps you should visit NY Aikikai and let him know that he lacks discipline and self control--that he has not attained true victory over himself.
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:22 PM   #34
Keith Larman
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Re: Sensei and size

This is one of those areas that drives me nuts. I have some health problems. Which require medications. Which cause side-effects. Which cause other effects. Then injuries, etc. I recently went off one medication, on another one, and promptly lost 15 pounds. For no reason. Then went on a hormone replacement only to stay the same but lose some inches. One medication I have to take (keeps my blood pressure down but also prevents horrendous migraine attacks) prevents me from exerting past a certain level. The heart simply doesn't provide enough blood/oxygen for high end exertion. And side effects including dropped testosterone levels means really poor muscle building, healing, endurance, focus, etc. It can be a freaking nightmare. And difficult to balance the various things.

Yeah, maybe 100 years ago I'd be dead already at a relatively young age. But today medications help. But I pay for it in other ways.

And don't get me started on the damage statins did to my muscles, legs, etc. I spent months crippled from that.

It is easy to say it is just about discipline. For many it is. But sometimes it ain't quite so straightforward. And until you've suffered from something like neuropathy and what appears to be permanent muscle damage you might find it hard to believe it is tough to get out there each new day and exert yourself knowing you may end up having trouble walking the next day.

It just ain't so simple.

Getting older isn't always a gentle ride. Sometimes it sucks. Living healthy is a great start, but sometimes it just isn't enough. It is great if you're blessed with the health and don't go down that path. But not everyone is so blessed.

That said some do just let it go. Yup. But after finding out what persistent, chronic pain is all about I've developed a heck of a lot more sympathy for those who suffer from health problems. And the complexity of it in terms of treatment and the tradeoffs the treatments involve.

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:26 PM   #35
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Re: Sensei and size

I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.

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Old 06-18-2010, 01:45 PM   #36
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Re: Sensei and size

Deborah I think Yamada Sensei would be the first to admit he has not yet attained true victory over himself. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. I mean that he would be honest about the answer. But if you think he has just ask him yourself.

Last edited by niall : 06-18-2010 at 01:48 PM.

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Old 06-18-2010, 02:13 PM   #37
Keith Larman
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.
I don't disagree, but I do sometimes think that it is a lot more complicated than some are willing to give it credit. And some wave these things away with statements like self-discipline, etc. I sincerely hope those who do that don't have to face these issues someday in their life. But I think a few maybe will deserve to by how they take it for granted.

It reminds me of a father once telling his schizophrenic daughter to just suck it up and stop paying attention to the voices in her head. Or the people who've told me that pain is "just a state of mind". Yeah, try being crippled with constant pain for a few months and let me know how that works for you then...

Sure, some let themselves go.

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Old 06-18-2010, 02:17 PM   #38
Janet Rosen
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Yeah, maybe 100 years ago I'd be dead already at a relatively young age. But today medications help. But I pay for it in other ways......Getting older isn't always a gentle ride. Sometimes it sucks. Living healthy is a great start, but sometimes it just isn't enough. It is great if you're blessed with the health and don't go down that path. But not everyone is so blessed.
Yep.

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Old 06-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #39
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I don't disagree, but I do sometimes think that it is a lot more complicated than some are willing to give it credit. And some wave these things away with statements like self-discipline, etc. I sincerely hope those who do that don't have to face these issues someday in their life. But I think a few maybe will deserve to by how they take it for granted.

It reminds me of a father once telling his schizophrenic daughter to just suck it up and stop paying attention to the voices in her head. Or the people who've told me that pain is "just a state of mind". Yeah, try being crippled with constant pain for a few months and let me know how that works for you then...

Sure, some let themselves go.
Would you agree that because of your fitness level your aikido suffers in the physical aspect? Meaning could you do 5 minutes of very intense randori?

I bring this up because of the whole "he' might be out of shape, but he's a bad ass" thought process many people have. They seem to think that just having the knowledge equals having the physical ability to pull it off.

For example, I know a very awesome judoka. He's 70 year's old. I respect him and his knowledge greatly and he has taught me a lot. But to say even jokingly that he would beat me in a angry fist fight would be a joke. I mean the man can hardly walk and has had knee and hip replacements. I've seen him need help getting up off the mat after laying down to teach a new student how to slap on a breakfall.

What's my point? My point is that many people discount fitness and health when it comes to self defense. They think that being 50-100 pounds overweight is no barrier to being able to hold their own when the shit hits the fan. The truth is that yes, eventually we will all fall to something. We can't stay fit, young, and agile forever. We need to accept that no matter how much we know, at some point just our age means we can't win that fist fight. However, that is no excuse for those of us who are young, but still refuse to do anything to make ourselves healthy.

If you don't have any physical disabilities (besides being lazy and fat) and are not willing to at least try to be is relatively good shape, why even try to pretend you are interested in self defense? Step one to self defense is to get your body into at least moderate shape. You don't need to be GSP, but being able to run a hundred yards, walk up stairs, etc would go a long way in actually being proactive about your health. At the core of self defense it is about protecting your health. Start with the common bad guys first (like learning to defend against big macs).

As for those with physical disabilities, the danger is in letting that disability be an excuse for not doing anything. My wife ran a half marathon the other day. She said there was a lady there with no legs running the race on prosthetics. My point? Overcoming the hurdles put in front of you is the second goal of self defense. Far too many people want easy excuses and cake walk goals. I understand that sometimes you just can't. I wont hold that against anyone. But I see a lot of guys who can and simply don't. They are bad role models in my eyes.

I'm not in the best shape myself. But I can do 100 pushups/situps/squats and run 2 miles in a single workout before boxing/bjj. So I don't feel that extra weight is too much of a hurdle. It doesn't stop me from trying to lose it anyway!

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #40
Keith Larman
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Re: Sensei and size

Actually I'm getting ready to go to an intensive Aikido camp this weekend. I intend to sit out a session or two knowing that if I want to make it through the whole camp that will be necessary. That wasn't the case a decade ago, however. But health problems along with injuries too numerous to count take their toll. So you learn to accommodate.

Could I do 5 minutes of intense randori? Maybe. But with the way my muscles have been damaged I'd probably be unable to walk for a few days as my muscles take excessive damage and don't heal quickly. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't -- no apparent pattern. But now I'm smart enough not to do intensive randori if I feel at all "off".

I'll also point out that I know you're a younger guy, Don. I'm not old by any stretch, but the physical problems cause me to "act" old sometimes. And some of that is due to the damage done when I was younger, rolling with big dogs, trying things out, not getting injuries fixed or letting them heal correctly. So today in addition to the medical problems I have a ton of things I earned all by my own stupidity.

There's no beating youth and ability and experience. But over time the youth goes away. And ability changes. Hopefully you adapt and adjust.

When I was 25 I was in great shape. Pretty good at 35. At 45 health problems were in full swing causing some serious changes in my metabolism and ability to do things. They all fed into each other leaving me with all sorts of problems that are very difficult to balance out.

I have no illusions about my "badassery". Never did. I just like to train. And I hope the body will hold together long enough for me to get it all under control again.

Or to relate a thing I saw an old jazz musician do at a concert I went to. He was helped onto stage, helped into his chair, he pulled over the microphone and said "Yeah, don't let them fool you, getting old sucks." Most people reading this thread will face health problems, some sooner, some later. And most will realize at some point that they took a *lot* for granted. And that it ain't always so simple.

But I'm rambling. Gotta get to camp and get prepared myself.

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Old 06-18-2010, 02:50 PM   #41
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Re: Sensei and size

I'll take this in a vertical direction as opposed to horizontal. I used to like training with Norihiko Ichihashi Sensei at the Aikikai hombu dojo when I had the chance because he was so tall and big for a Japanese man. Teachers who are not so tall often make their bodies even more compact so their techniques even if they are dynamic are difficult to copy for an average to tall person.

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:07 PM   #42
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I bring this up because of the whole "he' might be out of shape, but he's a bad ass" thought process many people have. They seem to think that just having the knowledge equals having the physical ability to pull it off.
For example, I know a very awesome judoka. He's 70 year's old. I respect him and his knowledge greatly and he has taught me a lot. But to say even jokingly that he would beat me in a angry fist fight would be a joke. I mean the man can hardly walk and has had knee and hip replacements. I've seen him need help getting up off the mat after laying down to teach a new student how to slap on a breakfall.!
It seems to me 2 issues are being conflated: being a badass and being an effective teacher.

Please note that I am not defending people who decide that living on processed "food" is a Good Thing (TM) and blow their whole insulin/blood sugar process as a result.

I'm saying, as Keith did, for some people things are much more complicated and poor food choices may not even be part of their equations.

But moreso, I'm saying I'd rather have an older very excellent teacher who can't "kick ass" anymore but who is very good at teaching effective aikido than a young, buff kick ass who can't teach worth a damn.

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:11 PM   #43
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
I think Keith is referring to the minority though...most people don't have to live with such a highly medicated lifestyle.
Adam, in America reaching 6th or 7th dan does not come at a younger age from Hombu dojo as it does for the Japanese in Japan. So here we are talking about mostly older folks from my view point of taking and teaching Aikido for more than 40 years.

General Comment;
Many of us have issues; I have my whole life had to fight Myasthenia Gravis. I have broken disks in my back from Judo, Karate, Aikido and Airborne action. I have diabetes and other physical issues I deal with as do many of us older folks. I think when we talk about this folks should (well the guys) state their age, I am 65 and when I teach and do seminars I don't let uke get away with weak and silly attacks. I must train also in my way. I don't intend on doing 5 or 10 minutes of rondri. In the real world it will be and has been over a hell of a lot quicker than that. I don't intend on fighting at all. I intend on surviving the attack and responding with necessary force as I believe every senior teacher would. Judo and sometimes Karate is a competition where one person is trying to beat another. Aikido is not that at all.

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #44
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Sensei and size

I do love you lady

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
It seems to me 2 issues are being conflated: being a badass and being an effective teacher.

Please note that I am not defending people who decide that living on processed "food" is a Good Thing (TM) and blow their whole insulin/blood sugar process as a result.

I'm saying, as Keith did, for some people things are much more complicated and poor food choices may not even be part of their equations.

But moreso, I'm saying I'd rather have an older very excellent teacher who can't "kick ass" anymore but who is very good at teaching effective aikido than a young, buff kick ass who can't teach worth a damn.

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:20 PM   #45
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
"There's no beating youth and ability and experience. But over time the youth goes away. And ability changes. Hopefully you adapt and adjust."
Ah Keith but age and treachery have often bested youth and speed.

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Old 06-18-2010, 03:25 PM   #46
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Re: Sensei and size

Some of the healthiest people I know are dead...

Some of the most self-injurious and undisciplined people I know are not...

Aikido attracts a wide cross-section of people, so one should expect to meet all types of physical attributes/detriments. There are numerous notable Shihan who are/were "latitudinally gifted". Whether they would have been better aikidoka without their heft is hard to say. To assume they would have been is painting with much too broad a brush. To say they are/were "bad examples" is IMHO not only disrespectful, but also might be disputed by many of their students.

If one is running a marathon or biking the TdeF, extra baggage might be a decided disadvantage, but isn't one of the goals in aikido to anticipate and change the dynamic of an adversarial situation, to seize control "in an instant"? If so, I cant see that a well-trained "heavyweight" would be seriously compromised.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:31 PM   #47
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Re: Sensei and size

Ukemi has helped keep me trim... Shihan do not have to, nor should they be expected be thrown a couple hundred times an hour like the rest of us.

MM
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Old 06-18-2010, 03:35 PM   #48
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Re: Sensei and size

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote: View Post
I don't intend on doing 5 or 10 minutes of rondri. In the real world it will be and has been over a hell of a lot quicker than that.
This is what I'm talking about. How much randori do you need to do to prepare for a 15 second 'fight' in the real world? If you can't do 5 minutes of randori in a nice controlled environment, what makes you think you can in an uncontrolled fight.

To many people think that self defense is nice and confined and easy to train for. They say blanket statements that in the real world X always happens.

Examples:
1) If you go to the ground you will get stomped by his buddy
2) A real fight doesn't last even 30 seconds.
3) The guy will always be untrained thugs throwing haymakers.
4) etc

If a pro fighter was training for a 25 minute fight, do you think he only does 25 minutes of sparring?

I'm simply talking about practical application of theory. Being able to perform what you know. Again, far too many people think their lack of physical attributes mean absolutely nothing when it comes to applying the theory they know by heart. Somehow they just believe their body will do whatever it needs to do regardless of if they have ever actually done it before or the real truth of their physical condition.

I have very inflexible legs. I understand the principles of head kicks and I have helped guys learn how to throw head kicks. I am just not able to throw them myself. I would never claim that I would be able to use them in a real world application, because I can't!

It's about truth in training. The same thing I've been preaching for the last four years on this forum.

- Don
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Old 06-18-2010, 04:31 PM   #49
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Re: Sensei and size

Don, been there done that! You?

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Old 06-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #50
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Re: Sensei and size

When I was young and stupid I did stupid things,
Now that I am older (55) I no longer do those stupid things,
Not because of wisdom,
Because my stupid body can't do them anymore.

David
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