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Old 01-27-2007, 06:40 PM   #1
Adam Alexander
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Dead Does size matter...

Alright girls, over the last couple years, I've learned a little about forum etiquette. One of my most severe deviations of form has been posting 'me too' posts. (Those are where you're just adding your agreement to a preceding opinion. I guess if one feels the need to express their opinion in this way, a poll is in order instead of a post.) Another of my severe deviations is cross-talking or posting off-topic. Since I found no thread that tackled the issue...

Quote:
Keith Lee wrote:
Well, I thought I was very clearly being facetious.

Like Michael posted above, when two people are generally equal in their skillset, the larger/stronger/more athletic person will usually win. It's true in boxing, wrestling, whatever. Yet for some reason some people tend to think that somehow martial artists are immune to this. It's why the UFC/MMA have weight classes and why a bigger person generally beats a smaller person. Flying crane eye-gouge throat-knee double strikes are fantasty.
When I was growing up, I used to get those super balloons that were huge and had a big rubber band attached. I also would get the little ones with a string attached.

Neither ever seemed to care how hard I hit them. When I became bigger, they still didn't care. They just continued as if my size didn't matter.


When I try to move something big, I use a handcart. If it's very big, I use a bigger handcart.

That's a change in technique to adapt to something stronger. I go for the longer lever.

That's what I get out of Aikido...levers.

Size and strength does matter...You might have to have a different lever.
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Does size matter...

I think grip (that's used to get leverage, like in sankyo) does unfortunately matter with strength differences I've just never seen a 95 pound girl apply a iron grip sankyo.
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #3
Adam Alexander
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Re: Does size matter...

I don't know the picture that you have for that situation, so I can't comment. Would you say that since you don't know what picture others have, you couldn't comment on their position?
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:15 PM   #4
charyuop
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Re: Does size matter...

That's the good part of being 5'7" and training in the USA...you get used to facing always bigger people coz it is very hard to find someone smaller than you.

And as per Sankyo...if it is done properly you don't need strength. A good Sankyo is hard to break coz the position of arm and wrist make so that you can't apply strength to break it thus you don't need strength to hold someone in Sankyo...
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:09 PM   #5
Freerefill
 
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Re: Does size matter...

There's much to be said about the size/strength relationship. Several in my dojo are small and don't have the most incredible arm muscles (I know it's not about muscles) so when we're practicing a technique, it's often easy for me (and others) to just stand there while they crank and get nowhere.

Size, strength, flexibility.. all of that matters. But it all matters situationally. Aikido involves choices, and the more we learn the more choices we have. If you don't have much arm strength and can't seem to make sankyo work, try something that doesn't require arm strength, like iriminage. If you're small like one girl in my dojo and you have to hop in order to perform a shomenuchi ikkyo against a tall person, perhaps ikkyo isn't for you, try something low like kotegaishi (tall people hate that one). If you're a big guy going up against a little person, you'll be hard pressed to get low enough to get under their arm for sankyo, so try something that will really knock them off balance: a feint atemi going into any number of throws (atemi from large burly men is quite a distraction). One can say, therefore, that size does matter in that the way you do things will be different and specialized to your size. However, one can also say that size does not matter, as no matter what your size, with training you will be able to perform efficient aikido.

Adults are just outdated children, and the hell with them. - Dr. Suess

It's senpai's fault. - Andy-senpai
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
Mike Sigman
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote:
I think grip (that's used to get leverage, like in sankyo) does unfortunately matter with strength differences I've just never seen a 95 pound girl apply a iron grip sankyo.
Well, I've seen some small women apply some fairly outrageous sankyo's. The do it by turning their body instead of using their grip. As long as they connect the hand well to the body, the body does the work and the hand just needs to transfer the force, not initiate it.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 01-27-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
Adam Alexander
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Mark Mercier wrote:
...no matter what your size, with training you will be able to perform efficient aikido.
Mark, Refreshing post. However, I would change "will be able to" to "can increase the liklihood of."

Still, very nice.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:43 PM   #8
Lorien Lowe
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Re: Does size matter...

"I've just never seen a 95 pound girl apply a iron grip sankyo."

I think it has less to do with strength than with hand size. I'm consideraby larger than 95 lbs, but all of the largest men I've ever met train in my dojo. Some of them have wrists as big as my arms, and I flat out can't get my hands (yet? I hope) into the right positions to do some wrist locks, especially nikkyo, on them.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:50 AM   #9
eyrie
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Boys...boys... boys.... as some women are likely to tell you... size does matter....

BUT... if you know how to use it, they don't seem to complain...

FWIW, some of my 8 year olds can throw a 140kg (308lb) guy around like a rag doll... when they get the lines right.

Meh... I prefer uke to do all the work... The harder they resist, the more they put the lock on....

Ignatius
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:51 AM   #10
batemanb
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
........ The do it by turning their body instead of using their grip. As long as they connect the hand well to the body, the body does the work and the hand just needs to transfer the force, not initiate it.......
Well, here's my poll "I agree" answer.

All techniques in aikido should be applied with the whole body, not just the hands/ grip/ muscles etc. You should focus on moving your body in such a way as to unbalance uke before trying to do anything else. If you do this first, techniques will manifest themselves as part of that movement. Depending on which way you move your body depends on which technique will appear.

If you just focus on trying to apply technique, many other things get forgotten, consequently you can get into a "fight" and will often resort to using grip and muscle because that is all you remember.

So in answer to the original question, size does not matter if you move your body. Size does matter if you just focus on technique and are "fighting" with uke to apply it.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:17 AM   #11
Michael Douglas
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Re: Does size matter...

As Lorien pointed out, size (here, how big your arms are) matters awhole lot when applying hand-wrist-arm-grip techniques. This even matters when using the whole body leverage, just less so.

In general though, I'd say MASS matters more than size. (Of course mass is proportional to size, as is strength) There's only so much leverage to be found in every situation. Even if you get the maximum leverage possible there is still a limit where the mass/strength of the uke can prevent a technique. (Kuzushi notwithstanding)
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Old 01-28-2007, 07:26 AM   #12
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Does size matter...

Just to throw a cat into the fray, I'd add that being shorter than your opponent gives you better leverage.
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:48 AM   #13
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Re: Does size matter...

Size doesn't matter in aikido cos it is non-competitf environment. So 100 lb 'master' can hit 380 lb uke in the throat and get excited about his efficiency, but his uke can't hit him back like that - it will be against etiquette.....

Also 100 lb girl can do a sankyo on 250 lb politically correct uke, however uke would let her set up sankyo helping her with all his will.....Later he is very impressed.Nobody explained him however that set up is way more important then sankyo itself !!!

and 'size doesn't matter' legend continue, from generation to next generation....

Nagababa

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Old 01-28-2007, 09:55 AM   #14
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Does size matter...

But if the 100lb. girl were using "aikido" on a non-PC 250lb uke, enacting the original Daito-ryu aiki priniciples that M. Ueshiba actually knew (but which most post-WWII aikido lacks today), she could very well be able to control him whether he wants to be controlled or not. S. Takeda was a small person who was able to control and "trash" jujutsuka and judoka much larger and heavier than he, and in fact stated that women and children could learn and execute these principles.

But modern aikido? I agree that uke would need to cooperate.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-28-2007 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:02 AM   #15
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Of course size matters, if you know how to use it, and that applies to being big or small. The same applies to strength. If you can do a perfect sankyo using only 5% of your available full body power then 50% would be interesting to say the least. Speed matters, timing matters, awareness matters, anticipation matters, focus matters. Matter,matter, mutter, mutter.........

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:50 AM   #16
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Stronger always wins. Period.

When waza is executed by a smaller, weaker person utilizing elements that weaken the stronger person (e.g. kuzushi, atemi, timing etc.) at the point where the waza is executed the "weaker" person is in fact stronger.

Kano had a note about this somewhere online about 10 units of strength (stronger person) against 7 (weaker person) but that strength becoming 6 after kuzushi (10-4=6) making the smaller person's 7 units of power more powerful than the now off balanced, larger person's 6 units.

LC

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Old 01-28-2007, 02:12 PM   #17
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Does size matter...

You're talking about "on the mats," between two people of comparable skill-level. Because "on the streets," there is more involved than brute strength and size.

The weaker may beat the stronger with:
- superior strategy and tactics
- superior martial skills
- dumb luck

If this were not so, then the species would have died out a long time ago, I suspect. Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) out-stripped H. sapiens neandertal (Neanderthal humans) despite compelling evidence that Neanderthals were much larger and stronger than H. sapiens sapiens, yet possessed comparable intelligence. Why didn't Neanderthals just beat the crap out of Sapiens and steal their wimmin? We'd all be big, honkin' hybrids today. Frankly, I wouldn't want to think about what this might mean when it comes to hirsuteness for the women...

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 01-28-2007 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:23 PM   #18
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
You're talking about "on the mats," between two people of comparable skill-level. Because "on the streets," there is more involved than brute strength and size.

The weaker may beat the stronger with:
- superior strategy and tactics
- superior martial skills
- dumb luck

If this were not so, then the species would have died out a long time ago, I suspect. Homo sapiens sapiens (modern humans) out-stripped H. sapiens neandertal (Neanderthal humans) despite compelling evidence that Neanderthals were much larger and stronger than H. sapiens sapiens, yet possessed comparable intelligence. Why didn't Neanderthals just beat the crap out of Sapiens and steal their wimmin? We'd all be big, honkin' hybrids today. Frankly, I wouldn't want to think about what this might mean when it comes to hirsuteness for the women...
Cady, is this in response to my post above? If it is you have misunderstood severely. You are actually supporting my point with your post.

It is through superior technical skill etc. that the weaker person is placed in a position where he/she becomes stronger than the physically stronger/larger individual. In this case technical or other strength compensates for lack in size and physical strength. However with this compensation the physically "weaker" in fact becomes stronger than the person who is physically larger/stronger, hence the stronger person always wins.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 01-28-2007 at 02:26 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:39 PM   #19
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Does size matter...

Larry,
Guess I did misinterpret your post! Sorry.
I so agree with you about the weak becoming "strong" with principle-based martial skills. Again, brute strength is not the card that trumps all, by itself. However, I don't believe that they are an equalizer when you pit said person against a larger, stronger person with comparable skills. But fortunately, off the mats the weaker are more likely to encounter those who do not have their skills. That's why, historically, small, weak people have been encouraged to train in martial arts.
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:55 PM   #20
Chris Li
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
S. Takeda was a small person who was able to control and "trash" jujutsuka and judoka much larger and heavier than he, and in fact stated that women and children could learn and execute these principles.
Of course, how many people are at the level that S. Takeda was?

For the rest of us, size is very much a factor. It may or may not be the deciding factor, but there are very few people for whom it doesn't figure into the equation at some point or another.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-28-2007, 05:11 PM   #21
Adam Alexander
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Of course, how many people are at the level that S. Takeda was?

For the rest of us, size is very much a factor. It may or may not be the deciding factor, but there are very few people for whom it doesn't figure into the equation at some point or another.

Best,

Chris
That, I believe, is an underlying stipulation when anyone says 'size doesn't matter.' It's a high level that someone must attain to reach that. However, there's plenty of situations where size wouldn't matter at a lower level of training. The hard part, I'm sure, is maintaining the positioning to prevent strength from coming into play.

Keep in mind, 'absence of strength' in Aikido is a misnomer.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:31 PM   #22
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
Larry,
Guess I did misinterpret your post! Sorry.
I so agree with you about the weak becoming "strong" with principle-based martial skills. Again, brute strength is not the card that trumps all, by itself. However, I don't believe that they are an equalizer when you pit said person against a larger, stronger person with comparable skills.
Totally true. Interestingly up to yesterday we dealt with this issue in one of my Jujutsu classes where a beginner male student was getting problems with a technique due to excessive use of upper body strength, while a girl, who was smaller than him and also a beginner of the same level, was able to get it because she was able to grasp the technique and use of total body power quicker than the guy. The waza being practiced was much like Kaiten Nage in Aikido.
Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
But fortunately, off the mats the weaker are more likely to encounter those who do not have their skills. That's why, historically, small, weak people have been encouraged to train in martial arts.
Regarding off the mat reality I agree absolutely. In fact in my self protection classes I usually tell my students to assume that the attacker they will most likely encounter will be larger, armed or in greater numbers since in a serious attack the aggressor is not aiming to fight/struggle, but to quickly dominate and make their victim submit to their demands. They will of course start out with force multipliers that they hope will make the attack as easy as possible for them, be it size, strength, weapons etc.

Also regarding the size differential in actual attacks, aggression goes a long way towards assisting the smaller person as well. There are a couple RBSD systems that teach their people to literally explode on their aggressors, making a good, sudden, severe, continuous offense their main form of defence. Often the sheer animal aggression and severity of the response catches larger attackers of guard, placing them on the defensive. With a little bit of training in basic striking etc. this psychological advantage can be exploited to make sure that the attacker never returns to an offensive position as the smaller attacker does not stop until the other is down and no longer moving or has escaped. Of course this may be outside the Aikido realm and more into the RBSD approach to things. In SD it is often said that attitude and mindset is a lot more important than technique.

Fwiw.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:44 PM   #23
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Does size matter...

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
Of course, how many people are at the level that S. Takeda was?

For the rest of us, size is very much a factor. It may or may not be the deciding factor, but there are very few people for whom it doesn't figure into the equation at some point or another.

Best,

Chris
Yes, it's true that Takeda and certain of his students (including but not limited to Ueshiba, Horikawa and Sagawa) attained skill levels that most of us may only dream of.

But the thing is, we can aspire to and train for those levels, If we fall short, we will still be far superior in skill to our likely opponents. Skill and attitude go hand-in-hand.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:37 PM   #24
Erik Calderon
 
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Re: Does size matter...

Size does not matter.

aikido shinkikan
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:41 PM   #25
Rich Stephens
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Re: Does size matter...

Strength and conditioning matters in everything. Even if a weaker person has enough strength and stamina to complete a certain task, a stronger person performing the same task will be using less of his strength moving his/her body and therefore have more energy free to dedicate to other body processes, for example balance and even thinking and concentration. Of course weaker people can still 'beat' stronger folks, but the weaker person must have some other advantage in order to do so (better balance, better technique, better concentration, etc.).

Last edited by Rich Stephens : 01-28-2007 at 09:43 PM.
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