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Old 01-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #51
Mark Freeman
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is an article I wrote back in 2005. I think it's relevant...
What a great article, an excellent perspective thank you.

Here in the UK there are probably less women in high ranking positions than the US (although I stand to be corrected on this). Although my teacher is the technical head of the Ki Federation of GB, the President is Sensei Margaret Williams, she is an inspiration to all the many members in our organisation. We probably have a 60/40 male/female ratio, which may be that high, simply due to her being such a great aikidoka and great role model to both sexes.

I have spoken to 30 year plus guys, who remember the older 'harder' days of training and they all agree that using any 'strength' with her is pointless, it just gets you into trouble.

I really like the fact that aikido attracts a higher proportion of women than the other MA's. And for all the reasons, you gave in your article, there is no reason why women shouldn't feature equally alongside men in the higher levels of our art. And it is an art we practice, not a combat system.

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:48 PM   #52
graham christian
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
What a great article, an excellent perspective thank you.

Here in the UK there are probably less women in high ranking positions than the US (although I stand to be corrected on this). Although my teacher is the technical head of the Ki Federation of GB, the President is Sensei Margaret Williams, she is an inspiration to all the many members in our organisation. We probably have a 60/40 male/female ratio, which may be that high, simply due to her being such a great aikidoka and great role model to both sexes.

I have spoken to 30 year plus guys, who remember the older 'harder' days of training and they all agree that using any 'strength' with her is pointless, it just gets you into trouble.

I really like the fact that aikido attracts a higher proportion of women than the other MA's. And for all the reasons, you gave in your article, there is no reason why women shouldn't feature equally alongside men in the higher levels of our art. And it is an art we practice, not a combat system.

regards,

Mark
And the lesson is????? There is no machismo is Aikido. (shhhh, don't tell anyone, they may have to find their feminine side)

Regards.G.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:31 PM   #53
Malicat
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
And the lesson is????? There is no machismo is Aikido. (shhhh, don't tell anyone, they may have to find their feminine side)
I'm not sure how y'all do it, but the yudansha around here are already wearing skirts... how much more feminine do they need to get?

--Ashley
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:27 AM   #54
dalen7
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Well, you would have no problem in my neck of the woods here in Hungary training with people...
... they will throw you up against any size. [In Thai Boxing, especially in the beginning, this can be devastating with potential mishaps...]

In grappling there is no problem with guys grappling with the gals here either.

The only difference that I notice with the women in Aikido here is that they [the men] do take an extra effort to go easy as not to cause an accident. [no 'accidental' over-applied nikkyos, etc.]

Despite the free-flow, I did once see something that stateside would cause some eyebrows to be raised - each place is different... as each milieu filters things through their own [cultural] ideas and experiences, so mileage may vary.

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:59 AM   #55
LinTal
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Yeah! I appreciate guys slowing their nikkyo on me, only because it took too many months to fix the last time. So difference can be great if it's proportional.

Now, when it comes to my sensei... he's got wrists like rubber tree trunks! You'll just hammer and twist away at nikkyo with him and he'll give you a smile and lie down for you calm as anything. Oh how polite he is!!

The world changes when you do.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:44 PM   #56
dalen7
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

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Selin Talay wrote: View Post
Now, when it comes to my sensei... he's got wrists like rubber tree trunks! You'll just hammer and twist away at nikkyo with him and he'll give you a smile and lie down for you calm as anything. Oh how polite he is!!
Indeed... we have a 'rubber' guy as well. [reminds me of the scene from the 2nd Harry Potter film where Harrys arm goes all gooey]

Wouldn't mind a bit more flexibility in my wrist...

dAlen [day•lynn]
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:29 PM   #57
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Jo napot, Dalen. Hello again Selin, just sending along a nikyo story. I was always careful to make sure people worked on their nikyo at our little YMCA dojo. One time I said, it works on me but it won't work on Harvey. Then I was at NYAikikai, my old school for a day while picking up work at my dad's office to do back here and I was in a group of three and Harvey arrived and got changed, and all the time the other two forgot to cycle me back into the group. Finally he was sitting next to me and bowed and it was nikyo. After I couldn't nikyo him I told him what I had told my students and then I told them that I went to NYA and my nikyo didn't work on Harvey either.

Just a funny nikyo story for those who like them
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:42 PM   #58
pezalinski
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

After reviewing this thread, I have one question to ask: I know of many master instructors who happen to be famale, but why don't we have more women recognized as Shihans?


A little danger is a knowledge thing...

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Old 01-22-2012, 09:01 PM   #59
kewms
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Peter Zalinski wrote: View Post
After reviewing this thread, I have one question to ask: I know of many master instructors who happen to be famale, but why don't we have more women recognized as Shihans?
Think about the historical origins and current leadership of aikido for a minute. What do you think the reason is?

Katherine
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:25 PM   #60
Cady Goldfield
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Think about the historical origins and current leadership of aikido for a minute. What do you think the reason is?

Katherine
Case in point, albeit from judo but no less telling:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keiko_Fukuda

Note that Ms. Fukuda, the last surviving student of Jigoro Kano, was awarded her 10th dan rank not by the (Japanese) Kodokan, but by an American judo association. Her male contemporaries in Japan had long before received both their Kodokan 9th dan (Ms. Fukuda did not receive hers from the Kodokan until 2006) and their 10th dan ranks. I wonder whether the Kodokan will relent and award her the 10th dan. She will be 99 in a few months!
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:28 AM   #61
BEleanor
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Hi,

Why are there apparently no women posting to "voices of experience" on this forum? (am I missing some woman who is? I don't think so.) I know you are out there.

B
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:30 AM   #62
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Barbara Knapp wrote: View Post
Hi,

Why are there apparently no women posting to "voices of experience" on this forum? (am I missing some woman who is? I don't think so.) I know you are out there.

B
I have talked to many of my senior (Rokudan level) female friends about posting on-line and virtually none of them post. The normal level of contention on the forums that is at least tolerable for many of the guys simply is of no interst whatever to my women friends. I know for a fact that some of them do read posts occasionally, but the attitude that this is a "debate" rather than a shared "discussion" that seems to be common to many, if not most, threads is of zero interest to them. At least that's the feedback I have gotten. I am really glad that there are more women posting regularly now. Having women who are teachers like Mary Eastland participating is even particularly important.

But I think that, per the original discussion, the martial arts world has largely been the "boy's club". It has always been difficult for owmen to have the same degree of respect and recognition accorded to the men. Aikido has always been quite a bit better in this respect but, given that it's a Japanese art, it's still never been unbiased, even here. The women who have fought their way to some level of recognition, rank wise and as teachers often do not seem terribly inclined to place themselves in a position of vulnerability in an environement that doesn't seem "safe". A male dominated internet forum in which there is quite a bit of uncivil, disrespective communication taking place does not qualify as "safe". It's risky for anyone to participate in these discussions... I think it's not surprising that folks have never had the benefit of "entitlement" and have had to fight for the respect they have gotten wouldn't volutarily put themselves on the firing line simply as something to do i their spare time.

I think that if we guys could get our act together about how we communicate on the forums, we might be able to persuade some of these amazing teachers to particpate. But we've got a ways to go before that happens I think.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:56 AM   #63
Steven
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
I'm not sure how y'all do it, but the yudansha around here are already wearing skirts... how much more feminine do they need to get?

--Ashley
Well, my last name is Miranda, a female given name. I'll admit, I'm in touch with my feminine side. Having three daughters plays a part too.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:36 PM   #64
sakumeikan
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
Well, my last name is Miranda, a female given name. I'll admit, I'm in touch with my feminine side. Having three daughters plays a part too.
Hi Steven,
Miranda was in films a mermaid[played by Glynis Johns .Her measurements were 34 /22/ 5 dollars a k/g. Carmen Miranda was the lady with the tooty fruity hat-one of my all time favorite actresses.
I think its good to be in touch with a less macho side of your personality.I marvel at how my granddaughter aged 5 can get her own way with just a look in her eyes.She really knows how to charm you .True Aikido at such an early age.cheers, joe
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #65
BEleanor
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I have talked to many of my senior (Rokudan level) female friends about posting on-line and virtually none of them post.
Does one need to be rokudan to post on VOE? That would certainly narrow the field considerably. I know there are at least a couple of women posting on aikiweb regularly who have trained 20+ years, and who I believe teach..just wondering why they don't post on that forum, since I thought that 20 years of training was the bar.

The normal level of contention on the forums that is at least tolerable for many of the guys simply is of no interst whatever to my women friends.

I certainly respect that choice. I know quite a few men making it as well - most (all?) of the men in aikido I personally know, actually.

In response to the original post, based on my middle level experience: there are dojos where you will find all the support and respect you need. If you have to make do at one that is less than optimal, focus on your training, and go to a lot of seminars. Do not waste time or breath trying to get anyone to change, or even thinking too much about it. Developing some awareness of how someone might feel who is dressing alone and listening to laughter she is not invited to share is part of their practice, not yours.

My two cents, because I think it would be well for women who have been around the block to show up and be counted.

Thanks

B

Last edited by akiy : 01-23-2012 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:11 AM   #66
Lorien Lowe
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

wrt. the OP, I would suggest asking Sensei to throw you around for a few minutes after each class. It would serve the double purpose of making your ukemi better and getting him used to throwing you more, thus mitigating the problem from two possible directions (if not from all possible directions).

I've had the guys ask what the gals were all giggling about as we get dressed in our dressing room more than once. You might help to solve the problem yourself just by hanging in there, and thus becoming the inspiration for young women to follow in your footsteps.

wrt dogis:
http://www.centurymartialarts.com/Un..._Uniforms.aspx
OMG PINK WTF?!
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #67
Malicat
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Lorien Lowe wrote: View Post
I am as horrified about pink gis as you are Lorien. For some reason companies decided that to make something for a woman, it had to be pink. And then when that didn't sell things as quickly as they had hoped, they turned around and made the products "support" breast cancer research and attempted to guilt us into purchasing pink stuff. (On a side note, the amount of money donated for pink items is so small, you are better off purchasing the regular version of the item and donating the price difference directly) It's a pink conspiracy and I will have none of it! I will admit a healthy bit of envy on wushu uniforms though, especially since I saw a purple and black one I loved.

--Ashley
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:19 AM   #68
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
I am as horrified about pink gis as you are Lorien. For some reason companies decided that to make something for a woman, it had to be pink. And then when that didn't sell things as quickly as they had hoped, they turned around and made the products "support" breast cancer research and attempted to guilt us into purchasing pink stuff. (On a side note, the amount of money donated for pink items is so small, you are better off purchasing the regular version of the item and donating the price difference directly) It's a pink conspiracy and I will have none of it! I will admit a healthy bit of envy on wushu uniforms though, especially since I saw a purple and black one I loved.

--Ashley
Frankly, from a fashion standpoint, one that I always look at as a former Men's Wear Buyer, I have to say I am totally jealous of the hakamas worn by the late Moses Powell Sensei's Sanuces Ryu folks. African prints are quite simply wat more fashion forward than our black and blue hakamas. They are totally cool... But Sensei would croak if I wore one...
Moses Powell

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:28 AM   #69
Janet Rosen
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Frankly, from a fashion standpoint, one that I always look at as a former Men's Wear Buyer, I have to say I am totally jealous of the hakamas worn by the late Moses Powell Sensei's Sanuces Ryu folks. African prints are quite simply wat more fashion forward than our black and blue hakamas. They are totally cool... But Sensei would croak if I wore one...
Moses Powell
LOL! I used to say I wanted to do a series based on couture like an oversized, tailored gabardine hakama a la Claude Montana, a New Look hakama a la Dior, a short braid-edged hakama in boucle a la Chanel, etc....

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:02 AM   #70
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
LOL! I used to say I wanted to do a series based on couture like an oversized, tailored gabardine hakama a la Claude Montana, a New Look hakama a la Dior, a short braid-edged hakama in boucle a la Chanel, etc....
I figure that, if we can't have better Aikido than our teachers, why not at least look better...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #71
Tyson Walters
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

I hope this is not going to far off of the original topic... but if you need a funky (visually funky) gi... well then this just might fit the bill.

http://happykimonos.webs.com/apps/ph...lbumid=3892221

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Old 01-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #72
Janet Rosen
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Tyson Walters wrote: View Post
I hope this is not going to far off of the original topic... but if you need a funky (visually funky) gi... well then this just might fit the bill.

http://happykimonos.webs.com/apps/ph...lbumid=3892221

Oh dear me...even here in Mendopia....this is Just. Too. Much.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #73
danielajames
 
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

At the other end of the spectrum I have seen a very nice 'TAP OR SNAP' printed down the full length of gi pants on some MMA chaps at a collegiate event, got a somewhat nervous laugh out of me

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:22 PM   #74
Malicat
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Tyson Walters wrote: View Post
I hope this is not going to far off of the original topic... but if you need a funky (visually funky) gi... well then this just might fit the bill.

http://happykimonos.webs.com/apps/ph...lbumid=3892221

That would almost be worth purchasing just to see the look on my Sensei's face. To be fair though, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear it to class...

--Ashley
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #75
susanmarie
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Re: On being Female in an Aikido Dojo

Quote:
Ashley Hemsath wrote: View Post
That would almost be worth purchasing just to see the look on my Sensei's face. To be fair though, I'm not sure I'm brave enough to wear it to class...

--Ashley
Oh my -- ditto to both of those.
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