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Old 03-17-2012, 05:35 PM   #1
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Note that I said *equal* skill levels. Sure, women can be more skillful than men, and therefore can make up for their strength deficit. But combat sports have weight classes for a reason.

Consider ikkyo. Nage is taking uke down to the mat, and for a moment is standing between uke's arm and uke's body. There are men who are strong enough to pick me up, with one arm, from that position. How could that kind of strength *not* be an advantage?

Katherine
Katherine,
I did get the "equal" bit.

Not all combat sports have weight classes ! I like watching Sumo because you can often enough see a small guy win from a much bigger and heavier guy. You can also see that some have experience in Aikido. You will find that in many if not most combat traditions there is no such thing as weight classes. Even you would do research in older combat systems, as I have, again you will not find weight classes in those classic and sometimes ancient systems. Weight classes are a modern Western development in an effort to keep the match exciting. From a warrior or Budo point of view it has little meaning.

As for the example of ikkyo; now you are talking about skill - experience - understanding. And by that I mean not just your skill - experience - understanding as shite, but also that of your training-partners as aite. If done well it is not likely that aite can get up once he has been brought down with ikkyo. But getting up in order to try to lift shite is not a valid counter; it is way to dangerous for aite.
There are valid counters for ikkyo, but they do not involve muscle strength or the supposed advantage of weight. I suggest you ask your sensei about ikkyo and its valid counters.

In Aikido there is really no need to make up for a "strength deficit". If we would need that, then what would be the sense of calling it Aikido?

kind regards,
Tom
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Katherine,
I did get the "equal" bit.

Not all combat sports have weight classes ! I like watching Sumo because you can often enough see a small guy win from a much bigger and heavier guy. You can also see that some have experience in Aikido. You will find that in many if not most combat traditions there is no such thing as weight classes. Even you would do research in older combat systems, as I have, again you will not find weight classes in those classic and sometimes ancient systems. Weight classes are a modern Western development in an effort to keep the match exciting. From a warrior or Budo point of view it has little meaning.

As for the example of ikkyo; now you are talking about skill - experience - understanding. And by that I mean not just your skill - experience - understanding as shite, but also that of your training-partners as aite. If done well it is not likely that aite can get up once he has been brought down with ikkyo. But getting up in order to try to lift shite is not a valid counter; it is way to dangerous for aite.
There are valid counters for ikkyo, but they do not involve muscle strength or the supposed advantage of weight. I suggest you ask your sensei about ikkyo and its valid counters.

In Aikido there is really no need to make up for a "strength deficit". If we would need that, then what would be the sense of calling it Aikido?

kind regards,
Tom
I disagree. This is a valid way to counter ikkyo, if the technique is done poorly. Okay, it's not really aikido, but it does effectively point out when nage is doing a technique poorly.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:11 PM   #3
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I disagree. This is a valid way to counter ikkyo, if the technique is done poorly. Okay, it's not really aikido, but it does effectively point out when nage is doing a technique poorly.
Please do not get me wrong here. I am not suggesting that the technique is done poorly, I am assuming that the technique is done correctly. And I think that Katherine also meant to give an example of someone who is doing the technique in itself correct.It is from that starting point that the question on the use of strength comes. Hence my response.

Tom
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Please do not get me wrong here. I am not suggesting that the technique is done poorly, I am assuming that the technique is done correctly. And I think that Katherine also meant to give an example of someone who is doing the technique in itself correct.It is from that starting point that the question on the use of strength comes. Hence my response.

Tom
I'm not suggesting you are saying that, but I am saying it. If the person can use their strength to pick you up with one arm when you are doing ikkyo, then there is something wrong with your ikkyo. I'm not very big myself and it has happened to me many times. It was a good learning experience, and improved my ikkyo a lot.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:48 AM   #5
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Please do not get me wrong here. I am not suggesting that the technique is done poorly, I am assuming that the technique is done correctly. And I think that Katherine also meant to give an example of someone who is doing the technique in itself correct.It is from that starting point that the question on the use of strength comes. Hence my response.
Actually, you entirely missed my point. My point was that a sufficiently strong partner has a potential counter that is simply not available to a smaller person.

Yes, I agree that if the technique is done correctly, no counter is possible. But how many of us have perfect technique every single time?

Katherine
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
As for the example of ikkyo; now you are talking about skill - experience - understanding. And by that I mean not just your skill - experience - understanding as shite, but also that of your training-partners as aite. If done well it is not likely that aite can get up once he has been brought down with ikkyo. But getting up in order to try to lift shite is not a valid counter; it is way to dangerous for aite.
There are valid counters for ikkyo, but they do not involve muscle strength or the supposed advantage of weight. I suggest you ask your sensei about ikkyo and its valid counters.
If your partner ends up on the floor, it was a valid counter.

I'm fairly familiar with the "aikido-like" counters for ikkyo, as my teacher has examined them at length on many occasions. But for the purposes of this conversation, I'm more interested in the practical question of whether uke ends up on the floor and pinned, or not.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 03-18-2012 at 01:01 AM.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #7
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I'm not suggesting you are saying that, but I am saying it. If the person can use their strength to pick you up with one arm when you are doing ikkyo, then there is something wrong with your ikkyo. I'm not very big myself and it has happened to me many times. It was a good learning experience, and improved my ikkyo a lot.
Yes, exactly. My point being that (a) strength creates opportunities that are not available to smaller people and (b) facing a stronger partner raises the level of skill that you must have in order to execute a technique successfully.

Katherine
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:35 AM   #8
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Yes, exactly. My point being that (a) strength creates opportunities that are not available to smaller people and (b) facing a stronger partner raises the level of skill that you must have in order to execute a technique successfully.

Katherine
Where I train I can out muscle pretty nearly every person in my dojo. Some are my skill level, some well above and some below. All levels can take me down easily if their technique is good. If it is not good even the sandans can't move me. And I never give it away. In my dojo we are told that we need to learn not to rely on muscling as there is always going to be someone out there bigger and stronger than you are whether you are a guy or a girl.

Inside the dojo it really does not matter a whole lot if someone can out muscle you be they equal in skill or not. You get to train against that and that can only be useful. After all people in the dojo are there to help one another to learn. outside the dojo things are never going to be equal because you are unlikely to be in a confrontation with someone who has martial arts training. Having trained against the stronger skilled aikidoka in the dojo should give you the advantage. For girls I think that this is a very important aspect and is a big part of why I don't think that segregated training is a good idea.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:28 AM   #9
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Actually, you entirely missed my point. My point was that a sufficiently strong partner has a potential counter that is simply not available to a smaller person.

Yes, I agree that if the technique is done correctly, no counter is possible. But how many of us have perfect technique every single time?

Katherine
Well, I might have missed your point entirely. I thought that your point was that women have a strength deficit in comparison with men.
If that is your point then I disagree. There is no scientific proof for that. It is a cultural bias.

There is no place for such a cultural bias in my classes. In teaching I do not want to create situations or exercises that give the impression that Aikido is about strength after all. Or about men being stronger then women. Or about having to make up a strength deficit with men. As stated before, Aikido is not about strength. Not in my practice and not in my dojo anyway.

If on the other hand your point is that a stronger person has an advantage over a smaller person, then that is a different statement altogether.
A stronger person may have an advantage over a smaller person, but then again a smaller person may have an advantage over a taller person, just like a fast person may have an advantage over a slow person and visa versa.

You came up with ikkyo as an example of a situation where a stronger person/man can lift a smaller person/woman up. Now you are saying that when done correctly no counter is possible. Then does that not disqualify your example of ikkyo as a valid argument to your point that strength gives a man the advantage?

Again, I am not saying that a counter is not possible. It is just that I do not see what it has to do with being stronger.

I do not understand what perfect technique has got to do with it. Your point of departure was already a technique done correctly.

If I have missed your point entirely again, then I do apologize. But I have the impression that I got your point. I simply disagree with it. So let's agree on that and leave it at that.

kind regards,

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:55 AM   #10
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
I disagree. This is a valid way to counter ikkyo, if the technique is done poorly. Okay, it's not really aikido, but it does effectively point out when nage is doing a technique poorly.
It is not really Aikido, but it is a valid counter for ikkyo?

That sounds a bit like home-brew chickensoup made of oxtails, does it not?

If you are just having fun with this, great. If it helps you improve your ikkyo even better!

But if you are serious about learning Budo you want to know why this is not considered a valid counter to ikkyo.

On the other hand, you may very well be the exception to the rule that gets away with it! And then you are right after all !

kind regards,

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:21 AM   #11
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
If your partner ends up on the floor, it was a valid counter.

I'm fairly familiar with the "aikido-like" counters for ikkyo, as my teacher has examined them at length on many occasions. But for the purposes of this conversation, I'm more interested in the practical question of whether uke ends up on the floor and pinned, or not.

Katherine
If your partner ends up on the floor, it was a valid counter?

Perhaps in a Judo contest, but not while learning Aikido.

In archery I can shoot three arrows in the centre of the blazon anytime I want. No problem there. "The result is there" says my teacher, meaning that everything I just did was wrong, except for the result; I hit the target every time. Now I know that I am doing it wrong and I am working hard to improve it. But if I were to follow your standard, you are actually saying that my teacher is wrong, that the result counts. The three arrow hit the target and we can ignore all the rest? Your partner ends up on the floor and therefor what you did was valid?

My archery teacher would see that as a very poor standard indeed. And as an Aikido teacher, I agree.

This may very well be a subject for a new thread?

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

I think we are talking past each other....

The fact that men are stronger than women, on average, is a biological fact. Sorry, but it just is. Even the strongest women in the world -- elite weightlifters and powerlifters -- are not as strong as men their size.

My original point was that the stronger person has an advantage in martial situations. Every counterargument that you have made comes down to skill: if you are skillful enough, strength doesn't matter. Fine, I agree. Strength doesn't matter as much now as it did when I was a beginner. I expect it to matter less and less as I progress. But it still matters. Very few of us will ever reach a level where strength is completely irrelevant. In my experience, a lot of people make that claim who can't actually demonstrate it in practice.

As for your claim that strength-based counters "are not aikido." Who cares? If your technique didn't work, then it didn't work. You can fix your technique, or you can demonstrate through atemi or henka waza that the proposed counter was a bad idea. But if you can't do either of those things, that's your problem, not uke's. IMO, people are far too ready to blame "bad ukemi" for their own mediocrity.

Katherine
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #13
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
If your partner ends up on the floor, it was a valid counter?

Perhaps in a Judo contest, but not while learning Aikido.
I'm not talking about *learning* aikido. I'm talking about using aikido.

In an archery competition, don't three arrows in the center of the target count the same no matter how you got them there? (Within the rules.)

Katherine
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
Amir Krause
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Tom

FOr those looking at Aikido as a practical M.A. Tori should be able to do his Aikido technique even on people who try other ways of countering it. Tori should have his Aikido solution for any counter, an answer of the type "this is wrong" while failing to overcome the counter, belongs to the monti-pyton M.A. teacher.

The results count!
Aikido practitioner with skill should be able to overcome most counters thrown at him (by a less skilled parctitioner), and particularly those based on size, and strength advantage. The Aikidoka may have to switch techniques or variations, but he has to prevail.
I used the word "most" since no one always wins, and some differences are too large to expect any victory.

Amir
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:07 AM   #15
kewms
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
I do not understand what perfect technique has got to do with it. Your point of departure was already a technique done correctly.
No, I concede that an ikkyo which allows nage to be lifted off their feet is not correct. I just don't know very many people who are able to achieve perfect technique against a non-compliant uke every single time.

Katherine
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:33 PM   #16
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
It is not really Aikido, but it is a valid counter for ikkyo?

That sounds a bit like home-brew chickensoup made of oxtails, does it not?

If you are just having fun with this, great. If it helps you improve your ikkyo even better!

But if you are serious about learning Budo you want to know why this is not considered a valid counter to ikkyo.

On the other hand, you may very well be the exception to the rule that gets away with it! And then you are right after all !

kind regards,

Tom
Care to enlighten me? I'm not saying that this is a valid "aikido" counter for ikkyo. I'm also not saying that it will work if your ikkyo is good. BUT, if you do a poor ikkyo, then why shouldn't uke pick you up to show you? Just like if you do a poor sankyo, why shouldn't they aim a punch at your head to show you? That's just the way I train, I'm afraid.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:34 PM   #17
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Tom

FOr those looking at Aikido as a practical M.A. Tori should be able to do his Aikido technique even on people who try other ways of countering it. Tori should have his Aikido solution for any counter, an answer of the type "this is wrong" while failing to overcome the counter, belongs to the monti-pyton M.A. teacher.

The results count!
Aikido practitioner with skill should be able to overcome most counters thrown at him (by a less skilled parctitioner), and particularly those based on size, and strength advantage. The Aikidoka may have to switch techniques or variations, but he has to prevail.
I used the word "most" since no one always wins, and some differences are too large to expect any victory.

Amir
I agree with the first sentences. Although I am guessing at what you mean by Aikido as a practical M.A. There is also an Aikido that is not a practical M.A.? Are there people driving a car without an engine?
I have been training in the martial arts since my early teens. Have practiced all kinds of martial arts and sparred with people from all kinds of M.A. background. I have been teaching Aikido on a daily basis for more then twentyfive years. Often two - three classes per day. Not counting the weekend training sessions and seminars. Not counting my own personal training hours, not counting the classes that I followed or the seminars. I take my study and practice of Budo very serious. But if you feel that there is no need for you to take me serious when I try to help clarify a discussion or come with an alternate argument, by all means call me whatever you like. As the buddhist saying goes; It is like spitting at the sky, you will only foul your own face ( I do not have any pythons on my land, but there are a lot of vipers, so perhaps monti viper is more fitting?).

Furthermore, may I suggest that you read more closely to see what the discussion is really about and what the argument that is presented is really about.
If in a fight or a contest you manage to bring your opponent down then nobody is going to ask you how you did it. Every thinkable take-down becomes valid.
But this is not the case during a regular class where you are learning the ins and outs of a technique. If you then you have a partner who is trying to resist a technique especially with muscle power (wan ryoku) and also does something that any warrior would try to avoid in a real fight, succeeds in bringing you down, then what exactly have you learned? Or has your partner learned?
a. The stronger person always wins.
b. The stronger person can always do techniques a smaller person cannot, because he is stronger.
c. Your technique does not work, because 1. you do not understand the technique or principle. 2. this technique does not work!
d. The way to counter ikkyo is to get straight up.
Over the four decades of training I have found non of these conclusions correct. Partners that are resisting my techniques in a forced way with a lot of muscle power are simply wasting my time. At the age of twenty they would have gotten away with it. Nowadays, without exception I bring them down! When I was taking classes with Tamura sensei he was able to stop my technique with the gentlest touch if I did something wrong. In my twenties I found that quite frustrating, but after a while I began to see that what he did was much more interesting and valid then what al those training-partners did while using muscle power! Tamura sensei used Aiki. And Aiki has nothing to do with muscular strength.

To get back to the ikkyo counter; getting up and lifting your partner after you have been brought down is nothing else then forcing the counter. And while you do that you are open to all kinds of throws and pin downs. There are smarter ways to counter ikkyo, using aiki.
And there are a lot of counters in Aikido. If you still feel the need to search for more counters in other M.A.; by all means!

And yes, your partner needs to have enough skill and experience to have an Aiki solution ready, even if the counter comes from another M.A.. I did not suggest otherwise.
But you are not going to learn any aiki solution if you continue forcing techniques and applying them in an unrealistic way. This is one of the reasons why I do not encourage the use of muscle power in my classes.

Having said all this - this was not what the discussion was about! Ikkyo was only mentioned as an example.

Greetings from the Auvergne,
Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #18
Aikibu
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Re: Countering Ikkyo with Strength

This thread is confusing for me. Ikkyo is a finishing technique...If you're that far along in your execution where there is resistance then that means your atemi has failed you...On the practice mat displays of resistance not withstanding....you should not "counter-resist" anything if someone is non-compliant... either change the execution of technique or soften them up with a few well placed "taps" BEFORE applying Ikkyo.

PS. To the experienced Aikidoka and those who know Aiki...people who try to "out muscle" you have already submitted...they just don't know it yet. The answer is never to "out muscle" them back. Practice Practice Practice.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 03-19-2012 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:46 PM   #19
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Care to enlighten me? I'm not saying that this is a valid "aikido" counter for ikkyo. I'm also not saying that it will work if your ikkyo is good. BUT, if you do a poor ikkyo, then why shouldn't uke pick you up to show you? Just like if you do a poor sankyo, why shouldn't they aim a punch at your head to show you? That's just the way I train, I'm afraid.
If I do a technique poorly then just about anything would work as a counter, would it not? You really do not need to practice Aikido for that or work on the principle of Aiki for that.
If I would also be passive or inexperienced that would make it even more easy for you to counter! You could also ask someone else to tie me down or hold my arms while you do your counter, that would work even better would it not?

But now just for the fun it imagine your opponent is not a nice guy like me, but a genuine Arverni Celtic warrior. And you try to counter by getting straight up and lift your opponent. Changes are you get a blade trough your throat and your vertebra. Recently archeologists found piles and piles of these heads. Heads of the enemies of the Celts taken during and after battle. Some of the Japanese old ryuha still practice techniques whereby you take the head. This becomes a lot easier if aite would be willing to get up. Like in a ineffective counter. Like in trying to lift someone up.

But as I pointed out before - if you think this is a valid counter and that you could go into such a battle, do that counter and live for another day, then that is your prerogative. It is even possible that you know more and better then my teachers (small secret between you and me - I did not figure this out entirely on myself, I learned it from my teachers in Aikido, Shorinji Kempo and the art of knife fighting), not likely but always possible...

The whole discussion was not about this counter. It was about an example where muscular strength gives aite the advantage. It is only in that context that I mentioned that it is not a wise move of aite to try to force his way up. Meaning that this was not a good example to build a foundation of the given argument on. There might be good examples - but this is not one of them.

Best,

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:55 PM   #20
danj
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Re: Countering Ikkyo with Strength

Ikkyo is an idea about getting off the line of attack (some say you stay on the line of attack but thats another story) and cutting ukes centre. The usual vehicle for doing this is through ukes arm, but if uke is very strong just leave it alone and finish the movement as an shomen atemi or an omote side irimi nage (the footwork and arm movement is nearly identical to the ikkyo kata).
I really like the idea from Saito's school (can i say that?) that nage initiates ikkyo by striking uke - this idea rather neatly takes use's centre (and hence their power) right at the beginning

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Old 03-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #21
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I'm not talking about *learning* aikido. I'm talking about using aikido.

In an archery competition, don't three arrows in the center of the target count the same no matter how you got them there? (Within the rules.)

Katherine
Yes, it is as I thought.

You are talking about competition, about winning, about besting the other. I do not use Aikido, I practice it.

I am practicing Aikido for more then one reason. But one of those reasons is that I have no need to compete or to best the other. The other is in Aikido not an opponent but a partner.

I practice archery in the same way. And you are right three arrows in the center of the target makes me the winner of the contest. So? O, I get a medal? And then what?

There is more to Aikido and to archery then just winning or being better then an other. Both are an exercise of the mind. And of the body, but not in a muscular sense. Both are about breath. There is so much to learn, to try out and to practice in Aikido. And there is so much joy in discovering how the idea of Aiki relates to anything that you encounter. That is one reason why I enjoy living in nature.

Anyway, that is just my way. You can ignore that as irrelevant.

Enjoy and have fun with your way of using aikido.

kind regards,

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:17 PM   #22
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I think we are talking past each other....

The fact that men are stronger than women, on average, is a biological fact. Sorry, but it just is. Even the strongest women in the world -- elite weightlifters and powerlifters -- are not as strong as men their size.

My original point was that the stronger person has an advantage in martial situations. Every counterargument that you have made comes down to skill: if you are skillful enough, strength doesn't matter. Fine, I agree. Strength doesn't matter as much now as it did when I was a beginner. I expect it to matter less and less as I progress. But it still matters. Very few of us will ever reach a level where strength is completely irrelevant. In my experience, a lot of people make that claim who can't actually demonstrate it in practice.

As for your claim that strength-based counters "are not aikido." Who cares? If your technique didn't work, then it didn't work. You can fix your technique, or you can demonstrate through atemi or henka waza that the proposed counter was a bad idea. But if you can't do either of those things, that's your problem, not uke's. IMO, people are far too ready to blame "bad ukemi" for their own mediocrity.

Katherine
Or rather, you keep changing the subject and/or your premisses.

You are not up to date with your biological facts.
It is not a biological fact that men are stronger then women. It is a cultural bias. Science has come up with a lot of new facts about this in recent years. And a few tests we could all do again ourselves. This is one of them: Choose 100 men and 100 women from the streets in your hometown. Let them join in a contest; use a large field and let them run 200 meters. Have a look who have won. If you are right and men are stronger then women, then we may expect that the men cross the line first and then a little later the women. But that does not happen. It never does. Scientists have done this test again and again and again choosing young people, adults, older people, children, athletes. Never do we see the men cross the finish line first and then later the women. Now you are bound to come up with the counter-argument that this is surely not the case with olympic athletes and the like. And at first glance there seems to be an exception there. The strongest woman does not get as strong as the strongest man. Power-lifting is a good example. The scientists looked at every sport that would give a measurable figure. So not with points like gymnastics or basketball, etc. But they looked at all the classic athletics, cycling, swimming, etc. The sports that would deliver a list with weights or distances or time. Almost always you would see that the fastest man was faster then the fastest woman, the strongest man stronger then the strongest woman, and so on. So that would proof your point would it not?
But, hold your horses for a minute, then the scientists took the lists with all the data of the men and the lists of all the women and compared them. And lo and behold; there emerged the same pattern! If the men are stronger then the women, we may expect to be able to put the list of the women athletes underneath the list of the men. They could not. A lot of the female athlete could outrun, outjump, etc many of the competing male athletes. So the two lists formed one mixed list, with men and woman randomly on it. Scientific Conclusion; overall men and women are just as fast, just as strong. And that is a biological fact that we see everywhere in nature.

My counter-argument was not just about skill. I was talking about skill, experience and understanding. If you lack those it will be difficult to apply Aiki. And yes it takes time to gain these three, in Aikido we are a beginner for a very long time. And in that period you will face many problems, Aikido can be very self-confrontational.But it does not help your progression much if you have partners that will resist your techniques all the time, that will force a counter by using muscle power or that will block your every move because they think you are doing it wrong.

Aiki overrides muscle power. Always, as it stands on a higher plain. The mistake that many aikidoka make is that as they find they cannot apply Aiki they start using muscular strength. But that is not progression. It will only take you more time to find and understand Aiki.

I am not blaming Uke anything. In itself you are right, Shite should not seek the blame for the mistakes he makes with aite.
But the thing is this (and I know you are not going to like it). Here in the West (I do not think it is much different in Europe or the U.S.or Canada, etc.) we practice a Japanese art. But at the same time we seem to be selective about what we take on board. Or we simply lack the knowledge.
In the traditional arts and crafts, and in Japan Aikido is considered one of them, it is the privilege of the very experienced aikidoka to experiment, to try things out and then as he fails to say to himself " I have to work harder at this" or " I have to go deeper" or "I have to seek a cleansing (misogi)" or something in that order. This has no real meaning for the beginner.
I carry the weight of that privilege, but not my beginner-students. If I do a technique wrong and my partner manages to counter, I may blame myself, I may investigate what I can do to improve or to change. But beginners do not have that privilege - it is their task to learn through what we would call mimesis. And if they come across a barrier it is the teacher's obligation to help take away the barrier and teach them how to avoid that barrier. Often enough that barrier is the use of too much strength. And yes, as a teacher I care about how I teach and about what I teach. I teach Aikido, I do not teach non-Aikido counters or -techniques (or baseball). It is obvious that you do not care about this. This approach has no meaning to you, I understand that. But I do care, it is important to me and my students..

It may take an aikidoka five years to become a shodan and then he is a beginner. It may take him another ten - twenty years or more before he is granted this privilege.

Aikido and muscle power do not match. It is like asking a ballerina to do powerlifting, which would be a terrible mistake.

I wish you all the best with your use of aikido, which ever way you wish to go with it.

Tom
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:53 PM   #23
kewms
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Re: Countering Ikkyo with Strength

Running speed is not strength. I did not say that men are better athletes, I said that they are stronger. Your example is irrelevant. Nor is the fact that some women are stronger than some men proof that women are, on average, as strong.

Take the same 100 men and 100 women from the streets of your hometown. Suppose that a river is overflowing, and have them build stacks of 50# sandbags as fast and as high as they can. See who builds the larger stack, on average.

As for the rest, I'm really not interested in having a philosophical argument about what is or is not "real aikido." Sorry. Enjoy your training.

Katherine

Last edited by kewms : 03-19-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:54 AM   #24
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Countering Ikkyo with Strength

Just look at the results from marathons, weight lifting comps, or track and field. Not rocket science.

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Old 03-20-2012, 02:05 AM   #25
Malicat
Dojo: Suenaka-Ha Aikido of Bloomington
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Re: Differences between female & male practitioners

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Or rather, you keep changing the subject and/or your premisses.

You are not up to date with your biological facts.
It is not a biological fact that men are stronger then women. It is a cultural bias. Science has come up with a lot of new facts about this in recent years. And a few tests we could all do again ourselves. This is one of them: Choose 100 men and 100 women from the streets in your hometown. Let them join in a contest; use a large field and let them run 200 meters. Have a look who have won. If you are right and men are stronger then women, then we may expect that the men cross the line first and then a little later the women. But that does not happen. It never does. Scientists have done this test again and again and again choosing young people, adults, older people, children, athletes. Never do we see the men cross the finish line first and then later the women.
Actually, biologically men have a greater muscle mass than women do, period. A quick search on the topic using my school library's system pulled up quite a few scientific studies, I can't link them here, but the results synopsis is this:

We obtained muscle samples from the vastus lateralis from normal
adult subjects, including 15 men and 15 women 20--75 years old.
To limit variability of activity and diet prior to the biopsies,
subjects were admitted to the University of Rochester General
Clinical Research Center for 3 days, where they were provided a
standard weight-maintaining diet and were instructed not to
perform any activity more strenuous than walking. Table 1 shows
their mean body composition (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry)
and isometric knee extension strength. The men had more
lean tissue mass overall (mean 41%) and in the legs (mean 48%)
than the women. There did not appear to be a sex difference in
physical fitness—isometric knee extension strength and maximal
oxygen consumption were similar in the men and women when
expressed per kg lean body mass or lean tissue mass of the legs.

This is not to mean there is a difference in levels of physical fitness, just in muscle mass between the two genders. A judoka friend of mine said that if you compare a man and a woman of the same physical size, the man will have about 50% more muscle mass than the woman. I don't know where he got his figures from, but this study seems to back him up at least.

As for muscle mass vs Aikido, I already know that if I am tensing up and using my muscles, I am not doing the technique properly. And if my partner can "muscle" out of the technique, then I am also not doing it properly. One of my favorite ukes is a 6'4" (roughly a foot taller than I am) man who used to play football and has wrists about twice the size of my own. I know from very frequent and personal experience that if I am not applying ikkyo correctly, it simply will not work on him, and I can't force it through. Practicing with someone who is a lot stronger than I am gives me a more realistic expectation of how Aikido will work off the mat, and refines my technique. Just my preference when training.

--Ashley
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