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Old 08-14-2000, 09:56 PM   #1
guest1234
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Due to the recent comments on the validity of the polls, I was looking back at past polls, which seem to have a purpose in provoking thought and discussion. I saw that one was perfectly divided in the answer---the poll on training differently with women and men (7/8/00 I think). So for the 50% who do train differently, in what way is it different, and why?
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Old 08-15-2000, 02:04 AM   #2
Pete
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I don't recall my answer to this poll, but after thinking about it I do sometimes find it different training with the ladies in our dojo. It appears to me that they are more open with their teaching of me than some of the males.


Pete

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Old 08-15-2000, 03:40 AM   #3
Max Factor
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Ki Symbol training with women

In my training at the dojo i find that we don't train differently with women, because they are women but more so because they are just different people.

for example training with a person who is 6ft and 300lb is coniderably different then someone who is 5'2 and 100lb (and we have them both in our club).

Now will you use the same intent for both, yes but will you will have a different perspective for both based on size, weight and ablility.

so when training with women try not to think of it as "training with a woman" but trianing with anther person.


nate




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Old 08-15-2000, 06:45 AM   #4
Victor
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Wink

I have no idea how to deal with women on koshinage whether she is uke or tori ...

If I'm not right - I'm wrong

Victro
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Old 08-15-2000, 07:11 AM   #5
Max Factor
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Ki Symbol

Victor
how do you mean you can't deal with them, as people or teaching or are they getting hit in sensitive areas???

i am not to sure of koshinage???
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Old 08-15-2000, 09:41 AM   #6
guest1234
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hmmm, koshinage is my favorite technique in which to be uke, and as long as my partner isn't too much taller, they seem to like a lighter uke---the only problem i've noticed is most who are a lot taller are men, and they really have to bend their knees to get low enough. But that is also true of taller women nages. since every dojo i've been in or visited has at least one male shorter/lighter than at least one female, i dislike hearing folks say they treat women differently due to size...the question was not 'do you train differently with smaller partners' but 'with women'. But on the 'excuse' of size: neither Imaizumi Shihan nor Saotome Shihan seemed (to me) to be a whole lot bigger than i am, but i think most of the males who complain about female size wouldn't mind them as partners.
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Old 08-15-2000, 09:54 AM   #7
akiy
 
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Quote:
Victor wrote:
I have no idea how to deal with women on koshinage whether she is uke or tori ...
What's there to "deal" with? You take her balance, put your hips into her balance point, and then she lands on the ground.

I'll say that I learned how to give and receive hip throws with a woman during the first year of my training. It helped that both of us were willing to stay after class quite a lot and neither of us were afraid of taking breakfalls.

-- Jun

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Old 08-15-2000, 11:29 AM   #8
ScottyC
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Hmmm... Let's start off by saying that I don't believe I tain differently with women than I do with men.

Now having said that, I must admit that I vary my training with _every_ person I work with. That seems pretty "aiki" to me.

Uke's size? Yeah, that makes a difference, depending on what you're doing. Does it make any one size *preferable* to another? Nope. Different, yes. Preferable, no. You need to execute techniques differently on a 6' 6" 300lb person differently than on a 4' 11" 100lb person. And, in general, women tend ON AVERAGE to be smaller than men. So, ON AVERAGE, MANY women may be treated differently than MANY men. But not necessarily due to their gender.

Other factors are equally important, though. Are you training with a newbie? Depending on the personality of the newbie (which you simply have to judge on a case-by-case basis), you may need to work with them "with kid gloves" until their confidence builds up and they feel more comfortable in the situation.

On the other hand, some newbies need to feel some of the power (for lack of a better word) to understand the potential and to be motivated to stay.

There are a zillion other factors, of course: uke's experience, your perception of uke's abilities, any prevailing injuries, how tired you and uke are, etc.

None of these factors (IMHO) are based on whether uke is male or female. However, I have an unsupported belief that if you took a statistical sampling, one would find that ON AVERAGE women tend toward a certain set of behaviors, and men tend toward another.

Neither is "good" nor "bad". Anything taken to an extreme can be bad. Furthermore, there are enough people who do NOT fit this theoretical statistical sample to make it useless to try and prejudge people into neat little categories.

Train with people of all types and flavors. You can learn a lot from working with different types of people. Worst case, you get practice "blending". Best case, you can even learn a lot more.

Thus endeth the sermon. ;^)


Scott

ObNonAikido: Hi, Jun. I'm back!
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Old 08-15-2000, 12:35 PM   #9
Suru
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Cool

I find myself being a little more careful when delivering mune tsuki!! I've thrown a couple "hyperextended" punches, and I've come to the conclusion that women do not enjoy a strike to the breast. I don't go too easy on them, because that's when they really get upset 8).
--Drew
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Old 08-15-2000, 08:21 PM   #10
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i thought mune tsuki was a strike to the middle of the body, or the solar plexus...not even the most well-endowed of us should feel that in a breast. and if your technique is varying that much depending on the size of your partner (100 to 300 pounds, male or female) then you are not affecting their balance or using their momentum, you are using your size to overpower and muscle. i will agree that the ability to take the fall is important, but ON THE AVERAGE i've found that the best ukemi is in the smaller individuals, since they have more incentive to learn how to take the falls the larger students muscle on them. if you want to read that AVERAGE as female, it's up to you.
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Old 08-16-2000, 02:17 AM   #11
Victor
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Circle (back to koshinage)

1. She is a TORI -
It is hard to make ukemi: usually women don't wear Judo-style dogi - so it is hard to grab her dogi. And where to grab it...

2. - She is an UKE -
I have to be very careful when applying the technique: women don't like bruises very much...

If I'm not right - I'm wrong

Victro
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Old 08-16-2000, 03:42 AM   #12
guest1234
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gee, the only person who's told me not to bruise their arm is a male, but i had not extended his desire to all men in my dojo, or all men in Aikido. If truely every woman you've ever trained with has told you not to bruise her, then please keep in mind there still may be women who are more interested in the training. Personally, i find some techniques difficult if uke refuses to connect his hand to my wrist (or other required body part).

as for the type of gi, i wear both...the judo gi tends to get more easily pulled off of me than the very nice Bu-jin female gi top---so i'm actually glad for my ukes if i have on a top that will stay put. I can only speak for myself, but here goes: 1) at my first dojo i learned to take a fall from koshi nage without grabbing anything (gi, arm, or any other anantomy ...subsequent ones have added the requirement to grab an arm (perhaps an option in some koshi's ?) or the gi. explain to a senior female your hesitancy/predicament, see what she says. 2) in some of the throws, i cannot grab the gi until i am already in motion (eg, nage does not let go of the hand that needs to grab until i am falling)...in this case i either revert to my first dojo method, or i try to hook the arm or grab the gi (if i think nage is watching to be sure this new white-belt transplant will remember to do so ...one of my taller nages has twice felt me grab for a certain area of hakama instead---i appologise, we laugh, and life goes on. if a male grabs somewhere he wasn't exactly looking for, he appologises, we laugh, and life goes on. that is just me, and i wouldn't expect all women to be the same, just as i don't expect all men to be, try to see us as individuals.
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Old 08-16-2000, 05:23 AM   #13
Victor
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Quote:
ca wrote:
If truely every woman you've ever trained with has told you not to bruise her, then please keep in mind there still may be women who are more interested in the training.
No women Aikidoka ever told me not to bruise her. I just don't like when a woman has bruises.

Quote:
...i appologise, we laugh, and life goes on.
I liked your saying very much.

OK. I'm gonna practice koshinage with a woman next time.

Thinking of bruises I remembered one technique - yonkyo.
It is very easy to bruise when applying yonkyo.

So, my question is:
How to apply yonkyo on women?

If I'm not right - I'm wrong

Victro
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Old 08-16-2000, 06:20 AM   #14
Pete
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Talking

As a newbie could you describe Yonkyo please.

Domo arigato.


Pete

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Old 08-16-2000, 06:32 AM   #15
andrew
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Some people go easier on women partners because of the way society is structured. There's a big stigma attached to men hurting women, there's not one attached to women hurting men. Fact.
This shouldn't happen on the tatami, naturally, but there is a psychological block in many men because of it.
andrew
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Old 08-16-2000, 07:18 AM   #16
Victor
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Quote:
Pete wrote:
As a newbie could you describe Yonkyo please.
"Yonkyo", AKA "Tekubi Osae", which means something like "Wrist pinning" is a technique which came from Daitoryu Aikijujtsu (right?) and is very painful. I can't describe this technique any better because of my poor knowledge of English.

It is very interesting technique and I suggest you to ask your teacher to show you it.

Quote:
Domo arigato.
Iie, Do itashimashite

If I'm not right - I'm wrong

Victro
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Old 08-16-2000, 07:30 AM   #17
Victor
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Quote:
andrew wrote:
Some people go easier on women partners because of the way society is structured. There's a big stigma attached to men hurting women, there's not one attached to women hurting men. Fact.
This shouldn't happen on the tatami, naturally, but there is a psychological block in many men because of it.
andrew
You know, Andrew, there's something else beyond "the ways of society is structured", called "anatomy". Isn't it natural that women have much softer structure - much closer to children than men.
So, IMHO, my "psychological block" isn't because of "the way society is structured". It's just because I think that a women without bruises a little bit more beautiful than with them.

But maybe you're right - it shouldn't happen on tatami!

Anyway - I still have the "psychological block", and it doesn't depens on who your uke is a woman or a man.

"Take care of your UKE" is my slogan and that's it.

If I'm not right - I'm wrong

Victro
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Old 08-16-2000, 07:32 AM   #18
jxa127
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No difference...

I just got back from the AAA Summer Camp 2000. About 40% of the participants were women. This was something new for me since my dojo has only one female student. I didn't find much of a difference at all between working with men and working with women. I'm a big guy, and I worked with some tiny women, and we worked fine together.

I actually found that the bigger difference was rank, and not gender. The female brown and black belts whom I worked with threw me around just as well as the males of the same rank; their ukemi was excellent too. At the lower ranks, that same parity between men and women was also apparent.

If there's one gross generalization that I can make, it's that the only people who tried to use a lot of muscle to pull off a technique were men. But please realize that this is just a generalization.

-Drew
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Old 08-16-2000, 07:41 AM   #19
andrew
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victro wrote: "You know, Andrew, there's something else beyond "the ways of society is structured", called "anatomy". Isn't it natural that women have much softer structure - much closer to children than men.
So, IMHO, my "psychological block" isn't because of "the way society is structured". It's just because I think that a women without bruises a little bit more beautiful than with them."

OK,true!, but you can do thinks to a shodan far more aggressively than to a beginner and rely on them to take care of themselves. That is what following the technique and good ukemi are about. What I refer to is the tendancy to always hold back when practicing with women, virtually regardless of their level. Not only is this a bit sexist, but it reduces what they can get from training.
I don't think it's a problem that most male aikidoka would have once they're approaching shodan anyhow, but there's a load of hesitant 4th kyus about.

Andrew the hesitant mildly sexistly conditioned 5th kyu.
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Old 08-16-2000, 02:18 PM   #20
giriasis
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holding back to prevent bruises...

As a woman who has only been practicing aikido for one year, I must tell you that holding back is doing a disservice to the women you are working with. I am glad that the men use a strong grip because it makes me learn how to do the technique right.

Getting a bruise here and there from class is something I expect from aikido. Aikido is a martial art. And martial arts are a contact sport people, both men and women, who participate are consenting to this.

I love it when I work with a man who uses his strength in a grab or a punch. This brings me much closer to reality if I am ever faced with this situation on the street. If this situation happens, I will be very thankful to my much stronger male partners for not going easy on me. Why? Because I will be alive. I would be dead or seriously injured if I truely did not know how to respond to the strong grip of a man's hand.

Please, don't be afraid to leave the occasional bruise. Also ask your female ukes how strong a grip they want. If my male partner gives me a flimsy grip, I pull my hand out. And I then tell them to give me a firm grip.

Now, this is not permission to absolultely pulvarize your uke, but the issue here is that your holding back because you don't like bruises on women. I practice aikido for self-defense reasons, and I like working with male partners because that is who will most likely attack me in the future.

Look at it this way. You are helping a woman to defend herself. Isn't a living woman much more beautiful than a serious injured or dead woman?

Anne Marie Giri
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Old 08-16-2000, 03:30 PM   #21
Erik
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OK, pet peeve time. My first sensei was a woman and I'm thinking of a handful of others like Wendy Palmer, Pat Hendricks, Mary Heiny, Linda Holiday, Kayla Feder as a starting point. I was just at Tamalpais dojo and trained with Wendy the other day and for the record she throws hard these days. Let me correct that, I hit the ground hard. The thing I like about Wendy is that I can go after her as hard and strong as I want to. She doesn't always hit the technique (mostly though) but the neat thing about it is that she's fine with that. Actually, she encourages it.

My understanding of Mary Heiny's beginning days are that she was very physical, almost to the point of being brutal. And if there is anyone who has seen Pat Hendricks take ukemi and thinks she can't take a koshi they are doing way too much crack. She falls better than anyone I've ever seen.

I'll add that I personally attack men or women pretty much the same way. At least I don't discern a difference in what I do.

The comment on koshi is interesting to me. Personally, I try to rely on something other than getting my hand on a gi. If I'm throwing I have to recognize that outside the dojo I'll just tear a shirt. If I'm falling I try to use a contact point as my base for falling. In other words, rather than grabbing I try and create a point of contact which acts as an anchor for the fall. A lot of times this is as simple as wrapping your arm with nages. Other times it's purely intuitive in that if you could grab it would have been there. In my opinion you can't rely on grabbing the gi during the big ride.

Now to come full circle. I once saw a failed shodan test which involved a woman. She was criticized for not having enough yang if you will. Her response was very interesting because she commented that many women in Aikido seemed to lose their feminine qualities. I'm still working on that one because on some level it seems right to me. It seems like some places train women to be men but the jury's still out on this one in my book.

[Edited by Erik on August 16, 2000 at 04:03pm]
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Old 08-16-2000, 05:50 PM   #22
Cas Long
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Unhappy Men Bruise Too.......

Hi,

Where is it written that techniques have to be executed differently on women than on men?

Certainly, there are clear anatomical differences between the sexes, but I have never experienced any of these difficulties in my years of training either as a nage or as an uke, and above all, as a woman.

Please do not see us as inferior to male aikidoka........

Thank You...


Peace,
Cas

"Love Is A Verb"
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Old 08-16-2000, 08:30 PM   #23
guest1234
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Hey Victor,
You can bruise me any day ! you seem like you would be fun to work with.
As for yonkyo, everyone is different, and i have my own prejudices there that were pointed out to me: i don't feel the pressure point, and one senior once told me it was because i'm on the small side, and smaller folks have smaller, hard to find nerves...so when i had the next smallest in the dojo as a partner once (a guy about my size) i applied pressure with abandon, surpised to find him yelp and fall to the mat. i told him i thought smaller people didn't feel the pressure point, he quickly corrected me on my error. i tend to get bruised with that when someone (despite my telling them i won't be able to tell if they are in the right spot), insists on continually pushing, trying to find it. but that's ok, they fade. i think most women, if you are in the right spot and they are not as insensitive as i am, will feel the pressure and quickly move away, relieving pain and preventing bruising. My sempai here has a really neat way of just affecting my center, by-passing the pressure point (and bruise) issue entirely.
and for the newbie (from a fellow kohai, mind you) i would say yonkyo is a technique that can be done from a 'failed' ikkyo, or just on its own, with nage's hands holding uke's arm like a sword,connecting though her forearm and shoulder, cutting as in kesa giri in and down toward uke's center to take her balance. the pain part is due to placement of the base of the index finger on one of two locations on uke's arm (one ventral and one dorsal) that (i'm told) sends pain into uke's arm like when you hit your funny bone. the technique does not rely on the pain, but it seems to be what everyone is intent on causing (men and women alike )
having a terrible time with getting this to open, hope i'm not just repeating what someone else already said.
colleen
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Old 08-17-2000, 02:13 AM   #24
"phantom"
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Unhappy

Hello,

This is my first post here. This topic is of ut-most interest to me has has prompted me to sign-up. I am a woman and have been considering begining Aikido.

As a woman whose career is in a male dominated field (Machine Repair - for an automotive parts manufacturer) I can easily relate Aiki training to my own Machine Repair Training. As has already been stated please treat women as people first. We are people first. Treating us differently does Not do us any good. It may pamper us and make things easier for us, but that does not treat us as people, as individuals, treating us differently is not respecting us as individuals. Just as every man is an individual, every woman is an individual.

I would think that training with people of every size "equally" would only make everyone better. If I only walked in a circle all my life I would not know how to walk a straight line and would not pass a police drunk "walk a straight line test." If a big man tries to rape an Aiki trained women whose big male training partners had always been easy on her she would be raped, unable to defend herself, because she had been treated differently.....because she had not had the proper knowledge and did not have the proper training to teach her how to act and alter her responses. This would be the same for a big man who had never fully trained with a small woman, she could kick his butt if she was fully trained to respond to bigger people.

Just my thoughts
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Old 08-17-2000, 06:23 AM   #25
andrew
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"And martial arts are a contact sport people, both men and women, who participate are consenting to this."

Aikido is NOT a sport.*** The sporting aspects of martial arts are a modern phenomenon, clearly distinct from traditional budo. Aikido trains body and mind simultaneously, competitiveness encountered in sport hinders this mental development.
Aikido is practised co-operatively, and it's purpose is repeatedly stressed as "the way of great harmony and great love for all beings."

***
I really do recommend reading "The Spirit of Aikido" by Kisshomaru. It's very very good.
***

"This brings me much closer to reality if I am ever faced with this situation on the street."

The question should be whether it brings you to a better understanding of Aikido. I think it'd take several years for Aikido to become "street effective"...people on the street generally stike rather than grab anyhow. Learn Aikido for what it is, the self defense will arrive through it. (Ok, I know you still don't want loose grips, though.)

Incidentally, I don't think pointing out female yudansha can take Ukemi has any relevance when you're throwing a beginner. I know all the spiders in Ireland are harmless, I still have an irrational fear of handling them. Likewise, I'd tend to be easier on a female beginner. (doh!)


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