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Old 07-28-2004, 09:32 AM   #26
Terry Donaghe
Dojo: Aikido of Scottsdale
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
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Re: Female uke

I'm an aikido newbie - only 11 practices so far. A lot of my training has been while partnered with a very tough female yudansha. I have no choice but to do the techniques the best way that I can. When I've been teamed up with other female partners, the thought never occurred to me to treat them differently. I have no intention of hurting anyone, male or female.

It did amuse me last night when I was partnered with a newbie Japanese female. When we started she was overly apologetic about causing me any pain at all. I told her not to worry about the pain and that I'd scream really loud if it hurt too bad. She got the point and was a good training partner. I grabbed, threw and pinned her the same as any other partner. I guess in class I see everyone as people who can help me learn aikido - gender is something to be considered only off the mat.
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:13 AM   #27
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Female uke

On the mat women and men are equal. You shouldn't worry no more about her than you do about anyone else you practice with. You practice the same as you would with anyone else. In doing this you don't have anything to worry about.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 07-28-2004, 11:54 AM   #28
Troy
 
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
Why not ask the woman? Communication is the key.. "Do you mind if I perform this faster/stronger", or simply observe them for signs of stress etc.

That's what I do in JJ with female training partners and it works fine.In fact that's what I do with male partners too.
Ian,
You are right. I guess my thinking was that if they asked Sensei, then sensei would tell them to ask the uke. I should have thought it threw more.

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:10 PM   #29
Greg Jennings
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Suren Baghdasaryan wrote:
Greg, I know you are a wise man and I appreciate your peaceful and relaxed nature. Maybe one day I'll be close to that state of mind. As for today I will have that in mind as one of my targets.
Dood! You really need to meet me in person. ; )

I'm afraid that wise, peaceful and relaxed are three conditions that I don't meet. I wish that I did.

Best regards always,

Greg Jennings
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Old 07-28-2004, 12:35 PM   #30
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
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Re: Female uke

Happy Birthday, Greg.
BTW, I saw Bill Witt Shihan during two classes, but have not had a chance to pass him your regards. Maybe later when I catch him out of class.
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Old 07-28-2004, 03:56 PM   #31
Greg Jennings
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Re: Female uke

Thank you, Suren. I've traded a few e-mails with Witt Sensei and I like his approach.

Regards,

Greg Jennings
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:43 PM   #32
xuzen
 
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Re: Female uke

If you think practicing with female is a problem, try practicing with a female who is your sensei's wife and also with his daughter. You are trying hard to do a good technique but in the same time, to treat them as just a regular practitioner. Something I can't quite get over up until now even...

Boon

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 07-28-2004, 09:55 PM   #33
Zato Ichi
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Re: Female uke

I must admit that, initially, I tend to go somewhat softer on female ukes, but not due to their gender: I simply I outweigh the women in my dojo by at least 40 or 50kg. Mind you, I tend to go softer on smaller guys as well. When the roles are reversed, I just see how hard they perform their techniques than that's the level we train it: if tori goes all out, I go all out. If they do things very softly, I do things very softly.

All that being said, some of the quickest, most vicious randori players here are the women: there are two in particular (nidan and sandan, I believe) who can score points with the tanto at will, whereas I can barely touch them!
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:58 PM   #34
wendyrowe
Dojo: Aikidog Aikikai
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Re: Female uke

I'm smaller than most of the others in my class and female besides, so when they first met me they tended to go easier on me than they would with the big guys. Whenever that happens, I just keep asking them to crank it up until they get to the right level. It takes some people longer than others to adjust, but most of them manage.

I figure it's about as hard for some of them to get over the "don't hit a woman" as it has been for me to get over the "women don't hit!" I got over it -- atemi is fun.
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:23 AM   #35
dan guthrie
Dojo: Aikido of SLO
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Re: Female uke

I'm still a newbie and I'm very conscious of causing accidental harm. For example, during shihonage it's very easy to dislocate uke's shoulder if you're not used to it. I'm much more careful with smaller people, which is 80 % of the dojo. With one lady I'm lucky: I get to go down on my knees for shihonage, not because I must but because it's faster and she thinks it's hilarious.
I have noticed the people who treat me like a china doll are usually women. I'm new but when someone is too gentle I give them resistance so they have to physically move me. Is this wrong?
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:18 AM   #36
Qatana
 
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Re: Female uke

Then again, there is also the dilemma of taking ukemi for someone "really old". I learned how to give a committed attack from a 73 year old female sandan- you just Do Not Hit an Old Lady, right? Just bloody well try it! You Can't!

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
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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 07-29-2004, 12:39 PM   #37
Janet Rosen
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Dan Guthrie wrote:
I'm still a newbie(SNIP)I'm new but when someone is too gentle I give them resistance so they have to physically move me. Is this wrong?
Hi, Dan. Well, the best folks to check with are your instructors and sempai. But in a general sense, yes. They may be gentle to demonstrate that precision is more important than power, they may be gentle because they know that if they are not they may go beyond your ability to take ukemi, etc. Learning the moves for each attack and technique, in both roles, means initially doing them together, not "making people move" you.
Now I don't know you. It is possible that you have much experience in related m.a. and can actually give appropriate resistance. But for most newbies, "giving resistance" means getting stiff and not moving, waiting to have something done to them, which would actually mean that your attack has stopped and your partner would need to do something other than the demonstrated technique.
Again, your best bet is to check in w/ your own seniors, as dojo culture/expectations really do vary.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 07-29-2004, 05:20 PM   #38
arachnoJill
Dojo: Mushin dojo
Location: DeLand Florida
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Re: Female uke

Being a smaller woman, I have encountered hesitation like you mentioned a few times in the short period that I have been practicing. Our sensei tells the guys that their Aikido is better when us (girls) are their uke because they (the guys) don't try to muscle their way though as much. I do understand what you are saying as I have felt the same sort of hesitation with a couple of newbies, not knowing how they will react. Maybe you could try to practice with her more often so that you break this uncomfortable feeling as you get a better feel for each other.
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Old 07-29-2004, 05:55 PM   #39
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Re: Female uke

last night at training I was paired with an older woman for a majority of our "grading training" - or going through our syllabus... had to laugh and was thinking of this thread often - especially as we were practicing wrist locks&takedowns and reaps

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:10 PM   #40
Dario Rosati
Dojo: Zanshin - Milan
Location: Milan
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Re: Female uke

As a beginner, I think that a female uke (the minority here unfortunately, no females in my dojo for example) is a great opportunity to learn: they're smaller, softer, often with tiny arms/wrists and a lot smaller than me, and this forces you to *think* that you have to adapt your techniques to their proportions (one example for all: shihonage!).

A yudansha female quickly teach me that aikido *works* (they throw me around the mat with ease), no matter their size/strength.

With a female of small proportions, I've learned that many blocks/techinques didn't work as usual (for example, nikkyo/sankyo final arm blocks), and this makes things interesting.

Generally speaking, I've no special regards for female practitioners: this is a matter of respect... REAL respect means you do your best, no matter the sex... as an ex pro chess player, this makes a lot of sense: as I always did my best against a woman (or man) on a checkboard, I do my best on the mat no matter your sex...

Bye!

--
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:35 PM   #41
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
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Re: Female uke

Some people are a bit more fragile than others. I definitely know what you're talking about. There truly is a qualitative difference...some people feel like they're going to break if you're not careful. A lot of women feel like this, and with them I agree societal factors and our stupid hormones can complicate matters further. That said, I think that training with 'lighter' people is good, because it teaches you to keep constant connection and control without cranking on excessive force. Hopefully, we can be good training partners for lighter-framed people in this way. I do sometimes worry that by being light, and inevitably erring on the side of weakness when I can't make that golden mean, I end up being a poor partner.
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Old 07-30-2004, 03:49 AM   #42
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
Location: On the road - UK
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Re: Female uke

Man, woman, penguin, it doesn't really matter does it? Saying that generalizations are fun, so on the flip side...

Would anyone say that women are harsher on their ukes than men? I'm training with a group of 10 -12 (small sample) beginners at the mo and without exception the ladies (all young and into sports) are more vicious than the fellas. Perhaps this is a reaction to common stereotypes.

I have also noted some differences as to what "natural" ukemi their bodies take. E.g. The girls all spin out of shiho nage unless you take counter measures.

Mark
x
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Old 07-30-2004, 04:36 AM   #43
JoHo
Dojo: Shobukan Wien
Location: Wien
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Re: Female uke

Hello
my personal experience are
beginners will be handled with care
because sometimes a lady will say please not so much dynamic so i have to adapt myself to this.
but from ni Kyu up i do not make soh much different of female or male uke.
i think the aikido saying "mushin" is very good on this.
if your mind is free your techniques will be superb.
(again doesn´t matter male or female)

keep training and set a good of Keiko Aikido

best wishes
Horst
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Old 07-30-2004, 10:36 AM   #44
Pocho
Dojo: Santa Fe Dojo
Location: Caracas
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Re: Female uke

I will never forget when Sensei Wee-wao Dumlao came to Caracas for a Seminar few years back. That has been one of the most eye-opening experiences I´ve lived in my 9 years in Aikido. I could not understand how this petit person could proyect so much power. I received only what I gave...she would know if didnt try my best. My perception on female partners chanced forever.
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Old 07-31-2004, 06:58 AM   #45
Jill N
Dojo: K-W Ki Aikido (Kitchener, Ont)
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Re: Female uke

Mark wrote:
>>Would anyone say that women are harsher on their ukes than men? I'm training with a group of 10 -12 (small sample) beginners at the mo and without exception the ladies (all young and into sports) are more vicious than the fellas. Perhaps this is a reaction to common stereotypes.<<

Mark, I have been known to do technique too viciously, but is inadvertent and It has happened less often as I have gained experience. I think this tendency is likely because as girls we never got into the tussles that boys would, so females have no idea what kind of pain we are causing. The only aggressive encounter I was ever in as a girl was when I grabbed and shook a bully who was picking on someone smaller than him. (he was a bit smaller than me- and he took off!) When I started aikido I was quite aware that a small 39 year old woman is nowhere near as strong as 20-30 yr old guys, so I didn't really realize I could hurt them. (I know better now- and so do they) ;^)

Watch out for the old ladies!

e ya later
Jill.
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Old 07-31-2004, 02:23 PM   #46
Sue Trinidad
Dojo: Island Aikido
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
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Re: Female uke

Jill, I agree about not knowing how to gauge one's own strength as a female nage. I've only been training for about 3 months, and my attacks and my application of technique are just now getting less tentative. Aside from not knowing what I was doing, I was afraid I'd hurt someone, and I didn't have a good sense of how hard I should go. I'm not saying that now I don't care--that wouldn't be very aiki, would it?!--but I am getting better at providing effective protection for uke, as opposed to just wimping out.

As uke, I appreciate it when my partner doesn't treat me like a china doll--though, at 4'11", I can sort of understand why they'd worry. I'm tougher than I look, I guess. Though I'm sure they mean well, it's harder for me to learn the technique and the ukemi if they soft-pedal it.

I also think the aspect of encountering a sincere attack is of benefit to women. I definitely couldn't defend myself "in real life" using aikido to throw some big dude who meant to hurt me; but I do think that, as the result of training, I would be able to maintain some mental clarity and would stand a better chance of getting away. There's something to be said for learning to stay relaxed under attack. (How's that for an understatement?)

Sue
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Old 07-31-2004, 05:04 PM   #47
giriasis
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Re: Female uke

I've experienced the "i'm not going hard on you because you are a woman" point of view before. The guy would only throw me as hard (I was 3rd kyu at the time, I'm 2nd kyu now) as a day-one-newbie. I just kept pushing him harder. He got mad and finally didn't it right and hard enough, but he was no way near to hurting me. However, if someone is going way to hard, even if they are a yondan, I'll speak up, even fuss at the person, if necessary -- an example would be overly torquing my elbow and shoulder on shihonage. But still, it really takes a lot for me to get there.

If she's close to being shodan then her ukemi should be strong enough to take it. Otherwise, just talk to her, tell her you don't mean to be patronizing, but you are and you want to work on finding out how hard you can go with her. You might find yourself a really great training partner this way. I've found a couple of great male training partners this way.

Just to let you know, my favorite partners are the guys who don't go easy on me and really push me to my limits. I can't stand it when a partner stops halfway into a throw especially one that elicits a breakfall. You're in midair ready to breakfall and all of the sudden they stop and you just splat to the mat. Hurts like the dickens. But, it wouldn't hurt at all if the throw was completed. By attempting to not hurt me they hurt me (with not associated injury of course).

Last edited by giriasis : 07-31-2004 at 05:09 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 08-01-2004, 03:28 AM   #48
markwalsh
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Re: Female uke

Cheers Jill, good point. The ladies in question aren't mean or anything.

I think they're two main issues here for both sexes:

1. Communication between nage and uke as to an appropriate level of power.

2. Lack of experience of confrontation causing nage to use too much or too little power.

I've also found that stopping throws half way through is a bad idea, but when you're as dozy as me sometimes you have to choose that or the wall!

Mark

p.s. 39's not old
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:41 AM   #49
Jill N
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Re: Female uke

Hi Mark:

>>Cheers Jill, good point. The ladies in question aren't mean or anything

Thanx.

>>p.s. 39's not old

I'm not 39 any more- wish I was. Well, maybe 49's not old either, but I sure feel it some days.

;^)

Sue:

>>There's something to be said for learning to stay relaxed under attack.

And there's nothing like getting a bunch of good honest attacks from people who are a foot taller and weigh almost twice as much as you to help you learn that.

Ann Marie:

>>The guy would only throw me as hard (I was 3rd kyu at the time, I'm 2nd kyu now) as a day-one-newbie. I just kept pushing him harder. He got mad and finally didn't it right and hard enough, but he was no way near to hurting me.

I've heard guys say that sort of thing as a way to get women to give an honest attack. I find using humour works well too. The esteemed US politician came up with a good one long ago-- the taunt of "girly man" will elicit a better attack from a guy who is treating you like a china doll. I don't
t need to use that one any more. I think I've become one of the guys- hmm. Not sure that's good either. Anyhow, interesting musings. Carry on. I"LL BE BACK!

e ya later
Jill.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:59 AM   #50
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
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Re: Female uke

LOL, girly man, I'll remember that one. I think the issue or sex is second to that of whether your uke is a mudansha or a yudansha, yudansha are fair game (not very often you could cripple them), often fellow mudansha arent as confident with thier ukemi skills, tailor your technique to suit the ukemi skill of your uke, not their sex. Its a bit of a shame when you want to let rip on someone with effective technique but cant, but then again its a learning process and that ukemi worried kyu individual was you a while ago. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Edit: Sorry, the issue of sex isnt second, it's irrelevant. Confused myself Saying that, in my limited experiance I havent met a female mudansha who could match a male mudansha for ukemi ability/confidence with taking ukemi, but that isnt a discrimination toward female mudansha, merely what I have observed so far. I havent had the pleasure of training with a female yudansha yet, but I have been taught by a couple now and again and found them to be excellent.

Last edited by Nick Simpson : 08-01-2004 at 08:07 AM.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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