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Old 03-24-2004, 02:26 PM   #1
arif
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an ideal body for aikido?

now it has been two months since I began aikido. ı am a bit slim, 66 kilos of weight and 1.83 centimeters of height. I am having difficulty in practising some techniques due to (for my opinion) my height and weight; I have to use my muscle's power, in fact which ı do not have much, instead of my breath's. hence, when my uke is more powerful than me ı can not bring him down, despite ı perform the technique just as I have been shown. now ı began wondering whether there is an ideal weight and height or is it just a matter of time that I can handle anybody.
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:36 PM   #2
rachmass
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Of course I would like to say "mine" (just joking, but with some seriousness). Being a short person with a big butt and a very low center of gravity can help. I am still able to move quickly, but the low stable center is a real asset, at least for me. I used to be skinny for a few years, and I found my aikido went to pot because I couldn't find my center. That's probably because I've always been overweight, and the shock of losing weight threw my aikido way off for awhile. Now I'm chunky again, but still have stamina and energy on the mat.

My answer would be that any body you are blessed with having would be the ideal body for you for aikido.

best, Rachel
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:39 PM   #3
Greg Jennings
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Being born with bullet-proof joints would be high on my list of assets...

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 03-24-2004, 02:48 PM   #4
Ron Tisdale
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kevlar ligaments...yeah, those...

RT

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:18 PM   #5
aikiSteve
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

The bigger your smile, the better your Aikido will be.

Steve Nelson
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:23 PM   #6
shihonage
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

Quote:
aydın tosun (arif) wrote:
ı am a bit slim, 66 kilos of weight and 1.83 centimeters of height.
I think I see the problem.
Quote:
aydın tosun (arif) wrote:
I am having difficulty in practising some techniques due to (for my opinion) my height and weight; I have to use my muscle's power, in fact which ı do not have much, instead of my breath's. hence, when my uke is more powerful than me ı can not bring him down, despite ı perform the technique just as I have been shown. now ı began wondering whether there is an ideal weight and height or is it just a matter of time that I can handle anybody.
You've been at it for only 2 months.

It will get better once you start respecting the stronger uke's power instead of struggling with it.
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:25 PM   #7
Jamie Stokes
Dojo: Kenkyu Kai
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The ideal body?

Hello,

The ideal body is the one you have at this moment right now.

If you are short, you will be able to do low techniques better.

If you are tall, your reach will be longer.

In time, you will learn how your body moves, and how to deal with partners of all shapes and sizes.

If you practice consistently, you will get fit as well as learn the moves.

then the techniques will become much easier, and will need less muscles.

Hope this helps,

Warmest regards,

Jamie Stokes.
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Old 03-24-2004, 03:55 PM   #8
John Boswell
 
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What body is best for Aikido?

Simple answer: Round.

I'm 6 ft. 2 inches. Dunno what that translates into centimeters, but I think we're pretty close in height. Being tall can seem like a disadvantage, but with practice, you will learn to use your hips more and be able to drop your center to get low enough for the other techniques. Also, on REALLY short people (like Lan Powers... /wave Lan ) I have to go down on one or two knees during the execution of a technique.

Your Sensei should give you advice on how/when to do such a thing. If he is totally against that idea, then exercise your legs and get good at doing squats, as you'll be needing to keep an upright posture yet dropping your hips low for shorter aikidoka.

Practice, practice, practice! Good luck and stick with it... its FUN!

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Old 03-24-2004, 04:25 PM   #9
Janet Rosen
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I'm really short and round kind of like a badger (smile) so my center is low and I roll easily....but what I would give for swivel-in-all-direction polycarbonate joints lined with industrial diamond :-)

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:00 PM   #10
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

Quote:
aydın tosun (arif) wrote:
now it has been two months since I began aikido. ı am a bit slim, 66 kilos of weight and 1.83 centimeters of height. I am having difficulty in practising some techniques due to (for my opinion) my height and weight; I have to use my muscle's power, in fact which ı do not have much, instead of my breath's. hence, when my uke is more powerful than me ı can not bring him down, despite ı perform the technique just as I have been shown. now ı began wondering whether there is an ideal weight and height or is it just a matter of time that I can handle anybody.
Hey Arif,

Your body's just fine.

Some people might have a build that's slightly better in some respects, but there's no point getting hung up on stuff you can't fix.

Your problem sounds like the one every single one of us went through: you have to learn to move your body in a way you're not used to (and as a cohesive unit) and that takes time.

Besides, not having a lot of muscle power means you can't cheat as much as the big burly blokes can when they start. It's frustrating, but can force you to learn quicker.

Keep at it. You'll find you do get used to it.

Cheers,

Stuart.
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:04 PM   #11
Jeanne Shepard
 
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I envy the folks who are small and round and can roll like a ball.

It seems to me that the Shihans I've seen are short and built like tree trunks.

Jeanne
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Old 03-24-2004, 06:09 PM   #12
Jeanne Shepard
 
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Oh, I just remembered something I do have going for me, good hip external rotation, (turn out). It helps in moving your hips, IF you remember to do that...

Jeanne
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Old 03-24-2004, 07:48 PM   #13
Qatana
 
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Really? I've never really noticed my turnout in anything but tenkan- what a lovely open fourth!

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 03-25-2004, 01:25 AM   #14
Edward
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The height doesn't matter, but as others already said it, you must "ideally" be round like a ball. For 187 cm, I guess you will need to gain about 50 to 70 kgs, I think this should do the trick

As for myself, I am 170 cm and 75 kgs, which brings me near the ideal proportions but I am not quite yet there
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Old 03-25-2004, 08:30 AM   #15
aikidocapecod
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I thought my body type was perfect for aikido.

Sensei throws me....and I seem to stay airborne for quite a long time.
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:00 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, there is no ideal body. That's what I like about Aikido. Your's will do just fine. Now get it back on the mat.

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 03-25-2004, 09:20 AM   #17
David Edwards
 
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I'm 6ft and I'm around 12st. I have an average build upper body, but legs like tree trunks. I like my build for Aikido, but then that's because I'm used to it. I find that my lower body strength and weight gives me good posture and strong techniques... admittedly I'm slightly taller than would be ideal, but then as mentioned above it's just a matter of having a lower stance. I can do shihonage on Suzanne from our dojo, who is 4ft11 and built like a mouse. But then, so can Simon who is about 6ft5 or something like that. And likewise, she can do techniques on him, regardless of his height relative to hers. Whatever shape you are, it'll give you advantages, it's just a matter of finding them and using them.

It's a kind of magic
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Old 04-05-2004, 02:45 PM   #18
Luis Orozco
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Hi Aydın, I'm practically the same size and weight as you and have been practicing for a little longer (4 years). I can tell you that your body is fine (except when you get completely exasperated with it, then not even an absolutely perfect one will do), you just need to learn how to use it differently. I really don't know what the ideal body for aikido is, as in my dojo we have just about anything (short, medium, tall, slim, average, chubby), so I'd just recommend you to try to "flow" a little bit more instead of "working" or opposing your uke.

Two of my best partners are a guy who is something like 15 cms taller than me and a girl who is the same amount shorter than me and we do fine, just need to feel more and work less, check out what David Edwards says. The most important thing I've learned so far is to keep a positive attitude as much as possible. That's what helps the most.
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Old 04-05-2004, 10:39 PM   #19
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Luis Orozco wrote:
I really don't know what the ideal body for aikido is...
The one that brings you into the dojo
Quote:
aydın tosun wrote:
it has been two months since I began aikido
Found the problem
Quote:
aydın tosun wrote:
I have to use my muscle's power, in fact which ı do not have much, instead of my breath's.
Sorry to have to tell you this but you'll probably still be struggling with this to some extent after years of training.
Quote:
aydın tosun wrote:
despite ı perform the technique just as I have been shown.
Again, I'm not trying to burst your bubble here but I'd wager a good sum of money that you're not doing as you've been shown...especially after only two months. Take heart however in that we all think we are doing what we have been shown but in reality it happens much less than we'd like to admit.

So welcome to aikido, it sounds like your training is right on schedule

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:04 PM   #20
MaryKaye
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I'm a good middling size so that I have both shorter and taller partners to practice with. (About 5'6" and 160 lbs.) Losing ten pounds did improve my aikido noticably, mostly because I can bend over without squishing my stomach now.

Strong people can muscle the moves, which is an advantage in initially getting them to work but makes it harder to get them right later on. Weak people like me *have* to do it right or we get instant feedback. You do have to have some strength in the big muscles to get up from falls and rolls smoothly, but this comes with practice.

Very limber people are harder to do technique on, and seem to feel less pain when learning ikkyo/nikyo/sankyo. I can't see that they have much advantage as nage, though, at least at my level. Being very stiff is a liability. One of my hips doesn't like to turn out and this makes certain moves consistently difficult for me (koho tento undo with the right foot forward,

particularly).

But basically, any body plan will work as long as you have the needed baseline level of flexibility, and with patient coaching even that can probably be worked around. One of my sempai can't kneel in seiza at all. He does kokyu dosa and other kneeling exercises in a straight-up rather than sitting-back position. It doesn't seem to have hampered his training (he's a strong first kyu).

Mary Kaye
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Old 04-24-2004, 02:36 AM   #21
kmarie
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

Interesting thread. From the dance classes I take my instuctors tell me that the big and tall (like me) tend to have slower movements. I know it's true with me (compared to my petite friends). We tall folk have strength on our sides, but what about reflexes? I think smaller people are quicker and hence probably better at Aikido? Just a thought.

Kmarie
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Old 04-28-2004, 01:35 PM   #22
PeaceHeather
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

I remember being told that women tend to be better at aikido in general, because of several things:

1. The bulk of our weight is in our hips, thus a lower center of gravity makes it easier for us to unbalance our taller partners.
2. Shorter limbs make us more maneuverable - we have less stuff to move around, therefore we can move it faster. Think of a little yappy dog that's able to bounce all around and under a really big dog.
3. Lower center of gravity also makes us more stable. We can spin, turn, and slide much more easily because we're less likely to unbalance ourselves.
4. Women's strength tends not to be in our arms and shoulders like most men, so we tend to rely less on force to get the job done and more on technique.
5. Finally, our pelvises are built *wider* than men's (helloooo, we're built to carry babies in there), which changes the angle of our legs. We are predisposed toward walking and turning in more of a circular fashion; it comes to us naturally, where men's tendencies are toward more linear motion. So the sidesteps and turns in aikido are nearly a matter of reflex for lots of women.

Bear in mind, of course, that our taller partners have better reach, greater strength, and can learn the techniques just as well as we can. Our physical advantages won't protect us from a better-trained partner! Also, those wider hips tend to do some things to our knee alignment such that we can be more prone than men to knee injuries if our movement isn't correct. On top of that, just because we don't tend toward upper body strength, some of us tend to assume that we can't develop it, and our shoulders and arms remain weak and out of balance with the rest of our bodies's development.

In other words -- anything that is an advantage for you now, as a beginner, will go away as your partners advance their training. Anything that is an advantage for your partner now, as a beginner, will go away as *you* advance your training.

Heather
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Old 04-29-2004, 02:39 AM   #23
Jim Evans
 
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

Hi Aydin,
I am the same height as you and have been training about the same amount of time. Regarding body type, the thing that has become obvious to me is that I have much more trouble carrying out techniques well on people shorter than me. I'm sure you'll be right mate a bit further down the track, I sure hope I will get better, couldn't get worse :-)

Regards
Jim
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Old 04-29-2004, 06:12 AM   #24
rachmass
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

5. Finally, our pelvises are built *wider* than men's (helloooo, we're built to carry babies in there), which changes the angle of our legs. We are predisposed toward walking and turning in more of a circular fashion; it comes to us naturally, where men's tendencies are toward more linear motion. So the sidesteps and turns in aikido are nearly a matter of reflex for lots of women.


Hmmnn, problem with the wider hips is that our hip angle to knee angle makes you more prone to knee injuries (the classic ACL tear for one). When I was going through rehab for my torn ACL, the bulk of people I met with this injury were women. Same thing when I meet women at seminars.

Otherwise I tend to agree with your assessment....
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:51 PM   #25
PeaceHeather
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Re: an ideal body for aikido?

Yup, Rachel, I did mention that, in brief, just one paragraph further down... but it's good that you covered it in more detail. Thanks for that -- I didn't want to get the specifics wrong, so I left them out.

Heather
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