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Old 06-22-2003, 03:17 PM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
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Women and power

Good afternoon:
At the end of class this morning my instuctor told us (there were a lot of women in class ) not to buy into the myth that women cannot become powerful. It was wonderful to hear him say that at the end of class when we were in fact, feeling powerful and sweaty and happy.

Before women started to train regularly at his dojo he did not believe that women could get as strong as men.....now he sees things differently.

So my question is... do you believe that women can become strong? And have you seen happen in your dojo? And as a man are you open to powerful women? And as a woman are you open to becoming really powerful?


Mary Eastland
Berkshire Hills Aikido
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:53 PM   #2
Chuck Clark
 
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Hello,

I'm very interested in this topic and have trained quite a few women in both judo and aikido over many years.

I think there is a need for you to define what you mean by "powerful" for a discussion to be meaningful.

Thanks,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-23-2003, 03:21 AM   #3
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
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Hi, if by powerful you mean effective, the answer to the first three questions is a big yes. In particular, I've been surprised and very pleased in the past by the difference that ma training has made to women whose body type (very slender, small and not particularly strong) would lead me to dismiss them as an opponent. By training hard with a good attitude and a willingless to take the knocks, they became training partners whose gender etc. is the last thing you notice - mainly because you're attempting to stop them removing/damaging various body parts.
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Old 06-23-2003, 04:00 AM   #4
PeterR
 
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I like my class to be mixed. Men make the women harder, women make the men softer. Both gain.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:50 AM   #5
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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I think women can be as powerful, if not more so, than men. No doubt about the power of someone who has trained a long time, has a low center and hips to put behind the movement.
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Old 06-23-2003, 08:44 AM   #6
happysod
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Peter, had to chuckle at your response, "getting in touch with your feminine side" has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to some of our newer female students - softer, love it...
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Old 06-23-2003, 07:19 PM   #7
RonRagusa
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"I think there is a need for you to define what you mean by "powerful" for a discussion to be meaningful." - C.E. Clark

Powerful is when you grab her arm and immediately know you've made a horrible mistake.
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:29 PM   #8
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, women can be and are very powerful. In Aikido they may actually become more powerful than men because they are forced to make the waza work rather than rely on muscles. I believe that powerful women scare weak mean, but powerful men love powerful women.

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 06-24-2003, 06:55 PM   #9
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
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Some of the most "powerful" martial artists I've met/ trained with were women. Oddly enough, it was their opinion that men had a harder time really developing "power".
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:22 PM   #10
ikkainogakusei
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Talking Ha ha ha

Quote:
Ron Ragusa (RonRagusa) wrote:
"I think there is a need for you to define what you mean by "powerful" for a discussion to be meaningful." - C.E. Clark

Powerful is when you grab her arm and immediately know you've made a horrible mistake.
Yes! I once grabbed morotedori onto Stephanie Yap sensei and it felt like I grabbed onto an airplane propeller going full bore. While in the air I thought 'Oh this is going to really smart.' But luckily my ukemi was up to it. I still saw a couple stars, but that was the worst of it.

As for the strength/power aspect. I have a [male] friend who is a yondan, but also has a fairly known reputation for having good technique. He has said in the past that it was in part because he was less strong as a teenager and it forced him to rely purely on technique. Certainly his dedication and natural kinesthetic aptitude was there as well. So I think that very often women also have the challenge of honing technique to make up for the lack of strength.

I have seen the power in both Pat Hendricks sensei and Kala Feder sensei and it's impressive. I would say though that it's difficult for me to assess where strength and technique depart with them, I think they are both rather strong women, but their technique is so good that it seems like strength to me.

Personally, chronic injuries have required me to depart further from strength and work even more on technique. I do enjoy when a new student tries to strong-arm me in basic techniques like tae-no-henko because it is fun to show them that strength isn't always the way to go. Even this petite delicate flower can blend out of the vice-grip.


"To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society." ~Theodore Roosevelt
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Old 06-27-2003, 01:55 PM   #11
Chuck Clark
 
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In the original question, both "power" and "strong" were used. As many have mentioned here, there are many powerful women aikido practitioners.

I would like to add that I don't think you have to be "strong" in muscular strength in order to be powerful.

Intent, good fundamentals, and the ability to use distance and timing properly along with the ability to make intuitive, creative decisions on the move make for "powerful" aikido. It really doesn't matter what your sex is.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 06-27-2003, 04:33 PM   #12
Usagi Yojimbo
Dojo: Shinkikan Aikikai Aikido of Corpus Christi
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'Lo Bob (that's the general Bob, not a specific person)

as far as my outlook on life goes, I believe they're fully capable of attaining the same "power" as males. In fact in the dojo I train at a good friend of mine, Rebecca, has proven to be particularily effective on certain techniques. She tends to have a little bit of a pessimistic attitude regarding her own abilities though, yet it's still pretty funny to watch her throwing her older brothers around.

My head hurts...
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Old 06-28-2003, 12:16 PM   #13
Kyri Honigh
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I think that when we view aikidoka as one that has acquired almost perfect technique, then there will be no difference when comparing genders.Aikido is pure technique, so you dont have to be enormously strong.

Women usually also have less of an ego when it comes to sports or fighting or whatever, because the male always wants to show off how good he is.In aikido women definitely benefit from having a smaller ego, therefore having good chances in exposing their latent abilities.
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Old 07-08-2003, 01:00 AM   #14
ikkainogakusei
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Quote:
Kyri Honigh wrote:
Women usually also have less of an ego when it comes to sports or fighting or whatever, because the male always wants to show off how good he is.In aikido women definitely benefit from having a smaller ego, therefore having good chances in exposing their latent abilities.
Personally, I think I struggle with too much ego, and if not obvious, uh I'm a chick. I've known other women who also deal with ego, I think men are expected to have a bigger ego, but I don't think that's always true.

FWIW


"To educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society." ~Theodore Roosevelt
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