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Old 11-01-2002, 10:54 AM   #1
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654

Bruce Baker wrote:
In a few posts, I have been called a troll. Well, imagine a having the body of a troll that trys to be an aikidoka?
Sorry Bruce to take such an extract; I've no idea about your physique myself. However it links in with something I've thought recently. Watching Ueshiba on video I was impressed by the way he does the irimi-nage with a kind of punch (especially that one with a strike to the front and back of head). I wondered for ages how he managed to get in so close and still get punch like that in - then I realised, his arms are much shorter than his attackers.

I've noticed a similar thing with some of the smaller students - very quick and cn get in and do good strikes at short distances.

I'm one that feels aikido has to be personalised to your own body size/shape, speed and strength. Are there any examples of how you lot have done this, or do you ever feel frustrated because your instructor is aking you to do something which suits them, but not your body?

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Old 11-01-2002, 11:26 AM   #2
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,003
Re: adaptation

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
do you ever feel frustrated because your instructor is aking you to do something which suits them, but not your body?
Just extracting a short part of what you asked, but...

My teacher very often says, "Don't do exactly what I'm doing. This works for me because I'm using my body. You have to find what works for your body. Just copying exactly what I'm doing won't work for you."

-- Jun

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Old 11-01-2002, 12:20 PM   #3
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
I've been thinking about this topic from the perspective of professional basketball players. If you watch them you'll see that no two shoot exactly alike. They all have different quirks and styles which have evolved for many reasons: height, speed, jumping ability, reflexes, depth perception, coordination, hand size, etc. There are mechanics which are more optimal but when you are 6' and everyone else is taller those optimizations get tweaked in terms of usable functionality. In other words, what works trumps a standardized ideal form at that level.

Of course, it's also true that much of the learning process for this particular sport happens away from the watchful eye of a coach. I imagine that if you only played with a coach watching those variations would narrow.
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Old 11-01-2002, 06:11 PM   #4
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,888
Yep, adapt. I train under (literally) a Sensei (Phong) who is only 5 feet tall. I am 6'4". He often shows me adaptations after he has a good laugh at my attempt to do it his way.

Until again,


Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-04-2002, 11:16 AM   #5
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
thanks you three - I guess Aikido is a path which is unique for each of us.


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-04-2002, 12:43 PM   #6
MikeE's Avatar
Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 407
That's for sure. I am 6'2" and many of my students are much shorter and smaller than I.

(I often spend time demonstrating technique from Hanmi handachi)

The principles remain constant in Aikido. Waza is expressed differently by different people because of size, psychology, and mentality.

But the principles remain the same.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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