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Old 06-24-2010, 06:12 PM   #1
Daniel Lloyd
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Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I've just been reading another post - Sensei and Size, and it's rather interesting.

So I thought, does being heavier (larger centre) improve one's Aikido?
Due to greater ability to keep weight underside and being more balanced/stable.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:14 PM   #2
Abasan
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

lol

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Old 06-24-2010, 06:15 PM   #3
Keith Larman
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I had a Japanese sensei comment one day that I have the perfect Aikido body. I'm 6 feet tall, 240 pounds, but I have very short legs (under 30" inseam). Ectomorph, wide across the shoulders, and yes, bigger than I should be. But that low center of gravity can be a tough nut to crack for some people. Not to mention the fact I work on swords all day long and have what some call "Popeye" forearms from holding swords for polishing.

Anyway, the point being that there are some advantages to having a lower relative center of gravity. I can get under other people my same height easier than most. Now if I was only good enough to actually take advantage of it...

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Old 06-24-2010, 06:54 PM   #4
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

When I sit on a bench with two or three 6'3" guys, we all look the same height... when we stand up, I come up to their shoulders or so... I'm 5' 7" with an inseam of 27"... in other words... a knuckle dragger. :-)

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Old 06-24-2010, 07:08 PM   #5
Marc Abrams
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I am 5' 5" (at least when I wake up) and 150lbs.. Aikido has failed me so I switched to Midget Ryu and it works great !

Marc Abrams
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:52 PM   #6
David Orange
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
I've just been reading another post - Sensei and Size, and it's rather interesting.

So I thought, does being heavier (larger centre) improve one's Aikido?
Due to greater ability to keep weight underside and being more balanced/stable.
Actually, I think that's why a lot of aikido and judo people get heavier--so they'll be harder for the opponent to move.

On the other hand, the heavier one gets, the harder it is to move him/herself. After all, every time you get thrown, you have to get back up...

And every time you go to a knee, you have to stand back up...

And every time you simply do irimi/tenkan, etc., you're moving extra weight around.

There's definitely an ideal point for every person. Like an airplane, thrust is offset by drag. So you can only benefit by extra heaviness up to a point.

FWIW

David

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Old 06-24-2010, 07:54 PM   #7
David Orange
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I am 5' 5" ...and 150lbs..
Really? You seem bigger in person.

I remember when I first met Mochizuki Sensei, and stood face-to-face with him, I came away with the impression that he was taller than I.

David

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I'm tiny and basically made of styrofoam--very light. In some ways, this helps me. I try to muscle people all the time, but I rarely succeed. I am forced by most of my uke to understand the principles and not clothesline, push or pull. I also feel like my relative lightness helps my ukemi in some ways. It's relatively easy to fly, easy to get up.

But I also have a hard time feeling heavy, feeling the underside of the circle, feeling even the soles of my feet on the mat can be a challenge.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:10 PM   #9
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
So I thought, does being heavier (larger centre) improve one's Aikido?
Due to greater ability to keep weight underside and being more balanced/stable.
Imho power to weight ratio is important. If one is bigger with the requisite core and lower body muscle to move the weight effortlessly then any negative effects may not be immediately felt. But bring in other aspects such as cardiovascular fitness, endurance, flexibility etc. then being too large can definitely have a downside or two.

As for me, I've found that losing 15 lbs recently has increased my speed, neuromuscular response time, overall coordination and precision of technique. In full tanto randori/shiai the difference in time and space because of size can have a serious effect imho. Since timing is critical, that change in weight/size can be the difference between executing effective waza or being stabbed with a rubber knife.

To me, the weight can be advantageous in executing certain types of waza but if it hampers ones tai sabaki too much it may not matter.

My 2 cents.

LC

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Old 06-24-2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Power is not generated from fat, its from technique. Relying on weight for power is nearly the equivalent of relying on strength for muscling through technique. That, and being needlessly overweight is unhealthy. Many of the most powerful aikidoka I've seen are rather small...to include Ueshiba Morihei Sensei (well I didn't see him, of course). To get to his level when he created aikido, Ueshiba Sensei worked very hard on physical fitness and effective technique. Some feel they can start where Ueshiba Sensei finished, which is fine; but for my training I rely on repetition, focus, correct form, robust/austere training for tanren, repetition, etc. Certainly weight begets mass, and mass can be applied to technique....but I feel this argument, which I've heard before, recommends a dangerous pursuit of training.

This reply is for the average aikidoka, not the exception like those with gout, rare blood disorders, paraplegics (the one sensei I know is quite fit, actually), someone with half a lung (actually that sensei is also quite fit and competes jujitsu as well as teach aikido, I think), or what other type of ailness that inhibits fitness.

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Old 06-24-2010, 11:03 PM   #11
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

After reading this thread to this point, I want to make a comment. I would prefer to be a greater value to the reader than my mere comment.

It is my understanding the Japanese didn't have the came concept of exercise that the West had prior to WWII as a general marker. Japanese basically trained in their martial art, it wasn't anything as structured or organized, for example, America did round the late 1800's and early 1900's. Or what the German's had prior to WWII. It was a thing called rajio taisō and other things that had caught on with the Japanese after WWII. But before that fitness (achieving a peak physical form) wasn't such an issue, that is. being fat wasn't considered an issue.

Prior to WWII depending on the period in history the Japanese diet was poor or limited, food wasn't as plenty, and stuff like that contributed to some Japanese being thin, but not fit, like muscular. But, I remember reading somewhere that O'Sesnei in his 30's or so was a husky or large man. Implying he was fat. Not obese, just had more than 10% body fat, and a healthy BMI. (I will come anyone who is a qualified expert in the field to correct any of that.)

Yet, on the other hand, for centuries, Japanese martial artists where fat, no, rather obese, and the more obese the better. A martial art allot of people over look is Sumo.

Some contend that being over weight doesn't help your Aikido, and others feel the opposite. But I don't think Aikido is or was, or even designed for any size or shape in particular. If you are medically obese say 100-200 lbs over weight that is a serious medical problem not an Aikido problem.

Yes the Aikidoka with a pot belly (aesthetics) looks less athletic and goes against our ideal of the perfect human. A pot belly Aikidoka is seen as undisciplined and all that negativity stuff. But that isn't or hasn't always been the case for Japanese until Rajio Taisō which got popular along with other cultural stuff happened to get the public to see the athletic japanese is the ideal.

Just some comments.

Last edited by Buck : 06-24-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:41 AM   #12
ruthmc
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
I've just been reading another post - Sensei and Size, and it's rather interesting.

So I thought, does being heavier (larger centre) improve one's Aikido?
Due to greater ability to keep weight underside and being more balanced/stable.
As I wrote in the other thread, my experience of training while pregnant (now 6 months) has been to find a better connection with the ground, greater ability to use 'weight underside' and having that extra bit of mass to put behind techniques has improved things for me.

On the downside, I can't take ukemi so easily (bump gets in the way) and will probably have to stop forwards rolls soon, plus getting back up from the ground is so much harder I'm slower than I used to be too.

Balance hasn't been an issue so far - I seem to be keeping up with my changing centre ok

Overall I'd say that once I lose the baby weight and resume training, I'll be back on better form having gained some new insight, but I'll get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (and as near as I can shape!) as overall this is more comfortable for training long-term.

Ruth
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #13
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Weight matters to me. Not just saying that as a typical woman who always thinks she's fat.
I was a lot heavier when I started Aikido. My joints hurt more back then. The less weight on those joints the easier it is to move honestly.

Aikido is intuitive to life, therefore, If being over weight is bad for you in every other aspect of your health and life, than why would it not be also bad for Aikido?

MM
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:57 PM   #14
David Orange
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
If being over weight is bad for you in every other aspect of your health and life, than why would it not be also bad for Aikido?
Right. Very well put.

David

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Old 06-25-2010, 03:09 PM   #15
David Orange
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
It is my understanding the Japanese didn't have the came concept of exercise that the West had prior to WWII as a general marker. ... But before that fitness (achieving a peak physical form) wasn't such an issue, that is. being fat wasn't considered an issue.
This may have been true for average Japanese, but it was never true for martial artists or the samurai.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Prior to WWII depending on the period in history the Japanese diet was poor or limited, food wasn't as plenty, and stuff like that contributed to some Japanese being thin, but not fit, like muscular.
Again, maybe for workaday folks, but martial artists were fighters and were very oriented to strength and muscle. They trained fanatically for a high level of fitness and it often literally meant survival or death for them.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
But, I remember reading somewhere that O'Sesnei in his 30's or so was a husky or large man. Implying he was fat. Not obese, just had more than 10% body fat, and a healthy BMI.
I think you've misunderstood this very badly. OSensei ate a very simple diet and exercised constantly. He was powerful--not fat.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Yet, on the other hand, for centuries, Japanese martial artists where fat, no, rather obese, and the more obese the better. A martial art allot of people over look is Sumo.
This, too, is a misundertanding. It's true that the sumo were extremely fat, but martial artists (samurai) were seldom fat. Highly trained and obsessive with exercise, they were not commonly obese.

David

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Old 06-25-2010, 04:01 PM   #16
Janet Rosen
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I find being short and round (wide-boned esp at hips), essentially a badger, is a real advantage. It is very easy for me to connect w/ the earth, sink into my center, and having a lower center of gravity than most of my partners is a real advantage. Of course, since I have no natural talent for any movement based activity, I use any advantage I can :-)
Weight however... no.... not good. Every pound of weight I lose will be four pounds less pressure on my poor knee, which will make it easier for me to move around the mat. Working on it....

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:26 PM   #17
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Weight however... no.... not good. Every pound of weight I lose will be four pounds less pressure on my poor knee, which will make it easier for me to move around the mat. Working on it....
Very true. I am rather young, yet a little overweight (for a Marine, anyway), but am highly physical active and maintain a reasonably high level of fitness given Marine Corps standards. That being said, the little bit of excess fat I have from my indulgences has really made a difference on my knees and, to a lesser extent, my lower back. When I was 8-10% BF, going out for a 7 mile run was not problem....now that I'm around 20% BF a 7 mile run, or a three day seminar, takes its toll on me. To compare fitness level, when I was 10% BF, I had a lower overall physical fitness and combat fitness test scores than I do now (though I could run a lot faster then).

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Old 06-25-2010, 09:43 PM   #18
Buck
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
This may have been true for average Japanese, but it was never true for martial artists or the samurai.

Again, maybe for workaday folks, but martial artists were fighters and were very oriented to strength and muscle. They trained fanatically for a high level of fitness and it often literally meant survival or death for them.

This, too, is a misundertanding. It's true that the sumo were extremely fat, but martial artists (samurai) were seldom fat. Highly trained and obsessive with exercise, they were not commonly obese.

David
I know you are a very intelligent person, I am not going to assume what you're saying is that the samurai had a concept of western exercise and fitness programs, likened to that in the USA say around 1900. I think if I had written out a blog and did it in a formal academic construction there wouldn't have a been a misunderstanding. I stated the above only for clarification purposes so we can discuss this topic without such hinderances.
I was making a broad state as it is too difficult with a result of more confusion to flesh out all the different periods in Japanese history. I generally believe as I stated in my original post, that the Japanese where not into the idea of a structured physical fitness and health (diet) program as Westerners where such as the Germans prior to and into WII. I do agree training, though I am not sure how fanatical it was throughout samurai history it was. I see a clear marker and example (of several) being Judo as a point in time where training was more organized and structured, and such, more then ever before. Hence my purpose for pointing out Rajio Taisō.

I think you've misunderstood this very badly. OSensei ate a very simple diet and exercised constantly. He was powerful--not fat.

I may have, though my point was that Sumo fighters are not looked as weak, rather very strong and powerful. That model of large is looked as power is reflected upon O'Sensei. How many great Martial artists in their biographies mention they where weak, small and sickly kids who where put into martial arts to strengthen them. Of course this is a frequent device. In terms of O'Sensei's case being described as large it shows how he was a powerful and strong man. The obsession we have of with size and weight i.e. the "ideal" weight and size, and BMI was not a consideration. What was focused on was the larger the person, as seen in Sumo, the more power a person was, beside other things. I think what I read was saying O'Sensei when he was say at his peaked age was large with equated to strong and powerful. There was sketch of O'Sensei and how the author of the article perceived O'Sensei. That was much larger then what he actually was. That is what I getting at.

Per the Samurai I don't think all where six packed sinewed zero body fat muscle bound athletes like Mishima. Nor do I believe he represented the samurai of past. Rather the new movement who wanted to revive the romanticized ideal, where Mishima took from and possibly retooled that ideal of a samurai based on Hagakure. Here could be the fallacy so many of us subscribe too. The . thinness or fatness of anyone samurai was based on the Japanese diet for centuries centered around fish and rice food stuffs. And the availability of limited portions in the diet. Thus the control of rice fields in feudal Japanese and alike was critical. Thus, my understanding via classes and books, that many daimyos at certain points in Japanese history hoarded food stuffs and samurai ate well. And they didn't obsessively train 24/7, or have exercise and diet programs to keep the weight down. I could be wrong but that is what I am putting on the table.

This relates to Aikido in the sense that we have a variety of models both concrete and speculative and that this idea of perfect thin fitness is more of Mishima's generation than that of the past. Hence being fat like in Sumo shouldn't effect a person's Aikido. What effects are many other pressing things. That is fat people still can do Aikido, and if their health, as a thin, person is good they can still do Aikido effectively. This is my view. I have seen people thin and it effect their Aikido, and I have seen obese people (by recent re-classifications of lowering the BMI to denote obesity) effect their Aikido. But, that isn't a major factor to success or failure.

Dave thanks for your comments it is always good to have feedback and other people's thoughts. This I think enhances the thread and provides those individuals thinking or concern about this topic a viable resource.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:11 PM   #19
David Orange
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I know you are a very intelligent person, I am not going to assume what you're saying is that the samurai had a concept of western exercise and fitness programs, likened to that in the USA say around 1900.
It seems you mean "fitness for fitness' sake". In fact, they did have something like that, but not in the Western sense. And the samurai were not acting from so casual a base, but were concerned with total expulsion of weakness from the body and mind. And the whole culture was obsessed with "work" to avoid the serious shame of "being lazy." But the samurai in particular were concerned not with "fitness for fitness' sake" but with fitness as a competitive struggle against every other man one might meet, for the vital edge for survival's sake. So, no, they weren't doing exercises based on the appearance of the body or things like that, but for life-and-death edge, for physical power and because their view of the world includes the body as a shrine for divine power.

Still, Jigoro Kano was heavily influenced in the late 1800s by Western thought and he developed judo and promoted it in the school systems as a form of both mental and physical fitness. So, if anything, the Japanese approach has always been a step ahead of (or beyond) Western "exercise".

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
...I generally believe as I stated in my original post, that the Japanese where not into the idea of a structured physical fitness and health (diet) program as Westerners where such as the Germans prior to and into WII.
No, as a society in whole, they were not. But the martial artists among them were. And many people who were not martial artists but spiritual ascetitcs also pursued harsh physical discipline as a form of spiritual forging--not as a "physical" fitness regime but as a way for the spirit to overcome the natural decadent tendencies of the body. Rajio taiku was Western-sourced and Western-reasoned. Martial arts always had their own extreme conditioning and their own rationale for how that was done--for survival and spiritual polishing.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I do agree training, though I am not sure how fanatical it was throughout samurai history it was.
Of course, in the Edo period the austere training fell from its former place and many samurai grew soft. Likewise, older guys with position and security could get more and better food and didn't have to work as hard and a lot of them did become fat. And there were also naturally big-boned men who appeared stout and even fat, but who could still be extremely powerful. And there were those who did become fat, soft and lazy. But they did so at peril from the tough men below them as well as from their own deterioration through all kinds of over-indulgence.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I see a clear marker and example (of several) being Judo as a point in time where training was more organized and structured, and such, more then ever before. Hence my purpose for pointing out Rajio Taisō.
That was for the popular consumption, however, and really not related at all to martial arts.

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I think you've misunderstood this very badly. OSensei ate a very simple diet and exercised constantly. He was powerful--not fat.
They say he was built like a fireplug and was completely solid--though entirely relaxed. Read back in Aikido Journal articles where they describe him living on rice, fish and pickles--and not much of those. He lived an austere life by choice and inclination. He enjoyed living that way and didn't like the feeling of living otherwise.

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I may have, though my point was that Sumo fighters are not looked as weak, rather very strong and powerful. That model of large is looked as power is reflected upon O'Sensei.
But he was really a tiny man: just very powerfully developed. He was small but tremendously sturdy. Compare that to Gozo Shioda, who was similarly small but very skinny and never thick. Kyoichi Murai of the yoseikan was even tinier than that, but very similar to Shioda in the ability to project intense, serious power.

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
...The obsession we have of with size and weight i.e. the "ideal" weight and size, and BMI was not a consideration.
That is correct but the Japanese martial artist seldom relied on weight or associated it with power in and of itself. Look at Yoshio Sugino, one of the tiniest men ever, who quit judo because they created weight classes. He believed that every judo man should fight all comers, regardless of weight, and he excelled in judo before he devoted himself entirely to aikido and katori shinto ryu kenjutsu. Men like that were certainly not concerned with BMI, but they carried no extra fat on their bodies.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
What was focused on was the larger the person, as seen in Sumo, the more power a person was, beside other things.
Again, look at Shioda handling huge men and laughing. And go to Aikido Journal and read up on Yoshio Sugino. Many of the most revered and awesome martial artists were unusually tiny men. Sokaku Takeda, for instance. He was nowhere near the build of Ueshiba, but he controlled the biggest and strongest men in Japan--such as the sumo tori Tenryu.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
The . thinness or fatness of anyone samurai was based on the Japanese diet for centuries centered around fish and rice food stuffs. And the availability of limited portions in the diet. Thus the control of rice fields in feudal Japanese and alike was critical. Thus, my understanding via classes and books, that many daimyos at certain points in Japanese history hoarded food stuffs and samurai ate well.
As in any power position, the one with the gold makes the rules, and the daimyo and their top men could eat and overeat, but the men below them had to fight for what they got. But you are right that some samurai were fat. But they also overindulged in other ways and were not ascetic warriors but bureaucrats over warriors.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
And they didn't obsessively train 24/7, or have exercise and diet programs to keep the weight down. I could be wrong but that is what I am putting on the table.
Well you're right that "keeping the weight down" was not their motivation. For serious samurai, hard physical training was their way. Their motivations were spiritual development and combat survival--or combat supremacy. Survival was less important to them than killing the enemy. But all this was based in a belief that the body is the shrine of divinity, to be strengthened, guarded and constantly groomed as a tribute to divinity. And this is where modern aikido with overly fat teachers becomes very bad aikido even if the outer appearance of the technique is seemingly "correct".

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
This relates to Aikido in the sense that we have a variety of models both concrete and speculative and that this idea of perfect thin fitness is more of Mishima's generation than that of the past.
Let's see...Morihei Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Minoru Mochizuki, in aikido. Add in Koichi Tohei and Morhiro Saito.

Sokaku Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Kodo Horikawa in aikijujutsu.

Where are the fat guys?

Those are our models for aikido. Those are the models for aikido. Mostly rather thin and anyway very fit and not fat.

Of course, if you get down to master Bobby Thomas or Leroy Green, far departed from the models above, if you want to make those guys your models, then there's no telling what you're going to be modeling.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Hence being fat like in Sumo shouldn't effect a person's Aikido.
But what we think of as "fat" is far removed from the power of a "fat" sumo tori and I've yet to meet a "fat" aikido man who approached that kind of power or fitness.

David

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Lao Tzu

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Old 06-26-2010, 09:40 AM   #20
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

To close with you Dave, and it has been a pleasure reading and exchanging ideas. For the sake of those wondering or concerned with their weight in terms of Aikido, those being 100+ pounds over, and depending on weight, skeletal, tendon, muscle structures of the person could affect a person's ability to do Aikido-within the general model of how Aikido technique should be done. But that would also be true for a tall people say a height past 6' 5."

I believe that article I read about O'Sensei was a fabrication a commonly held perception that size equates to strength when overcome others, as modeled by Sumo, and the laws of physics. And that the "idea" that a person has to be at of an idea weight and shape will affect your Aikido positively is a myth. Per O'Sensei and his top Aikidoka, we see know to exact "ki power" -being defined as physics employed at a high level where muscle strength is out of the equation-has nothing to do directly with BMI. The limitations of movement with someone who is 100+ lbs can interfere, but so does something like arthritis, or other aliments.

Dave, it has been a pleasure and I hope we have provided those reading this post who are concerned with weight will have more information to make decisions about their Aikido development.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #21
dps
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

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Daniel Lloyd wrote: View Post
I've just been reading another post - Sensei and Size, and it's rather interesting.

So I thought, does being heavier (larger centre) improve one's Aikido?
Due to greater ability to keep weight underside and being more balanced/stable.
Get a weighted exercised vest.
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:v...rcise-Vest.jpg

Then add fifty pounds to it and attend Aikido practice. Do you feel the difference?

David
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Old 06-26-2010, 03:58 PM   #22
Amassus
 
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I think being in good shape matters, no matter what your size. It makes sense to me to make the most of what you have got and develop your aikido to match your body shape.

I'm 6 foot flat and quite lean. A very similar build to my own instructor in fact. Our aikido has differences to say, a friend of mine who is short and stocky.

Good health is good health.

Happy training!

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:47 PM   #23
Buck
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post

I believe that article I read about O'Sensei was a fabrication a commonly held perception that size equates to strength when overcome others, as modeled by Sumo, and the laws of physics. And that the "idea" that a person has to be at of an idea weight and shape will affect your Aikido positively is a myth. Per O'Sensei and his top Aikidoka, we see now to exact "ki power" -being defined as physics employed at a high level where muscle strength is out of the equation-has nothing to do directly with BMI. The limitations of movement with someone who is 100+ lbs can interfere, but so does something like arthritis, or other aliments.

.
I didn't lay that out as well as I should have. Ki power -developing it, using it, and such has nothing to do with weight, size, or hair color. Yes, being 100+ lbs over weight is going to interfere with Aikido movements, just as too much muscle interferes, mass is mass regardless if it is muscle or fat. Yes, the specifics of interference are not identical, but limited motion is limited motion. If your chest is so big due to muscle or fat to limit motion of your arm to complete a technique effectively, than that is an issue. The solution is either adjust the technique to work or abandon it for another. But size large or small can effect Irimi and Tenkan; everyone is different hence employment is not the same for everyone, as they have to adjust to make it effective. That is to say since no two bodies are identical, each individual must make adjustments as a result of their differing body structure, and all that. Weight doesn't effect either of these principles in the same way as a large chest interferes with the full range of movement of the arm during a technique.

Not to get bogged downed on details I will keep things very basic and simple. We assume such limitations as above are a negative with a large person in applying Irimi or Tenkan. Yet, a positive result with a thin person. But having a large body in terms of developing these principle may reduce over-movement, over-correction or over-stepping. Having a large body may reduce the learning curve. Where as going beyond the right point to apply the principles; making greater gross movements are more likely with a thinner person. Add Taisabaki to that as well. Maybe being heavy has its advantage. And yes, the waza of larger person will be different than a thin. But that doesn't mean either is more beneficial than the other. Just that approach and execution of principles and waza are not going to be identical, there will be differences as a result to size differences. One isn't better than the other.

I am not saying this is the absolute, just an observation placed on the table of discussion.
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Old 06-26-2010, 07:11 PM   #24
Buck
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

I am still not happy with my last post, it is difficult to really layout my thoughts in such a limited form, as a post vs. a full paper. Please understand this is just a shell of an idea and shouldn't be taken too seriously. But hopefully, it is enough to provide a gateway to explore this concept further.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:47 AM   #25
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Does one's size or weight affect one's Aikido?

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Maybe being heavy has its advantage.
In my experience larger persons have to learn everything the very same way as others.
If somebody suffers from overweight he or she even has more diffiuculties to learn and to advance.
Especially the ukemi we do is not easy to do then.

Quote:
One isn't better than the other.
In my experiences there are no advantages if being overweight. It's the other way round.
Overweight hinders training the way we do aikido. And as I said above there are not much people in aikido here, which suffer from overweight. You see this very seldom.

And aikido is meant to educate a person, to develop body and mind, to form a personality. So suffering from overweight or not is not only a "practical" question.



Carsten

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 06-27-2010 at 12:50 AM.
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