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Old 08-01-2004, 08:13 AM   #51
dan guthrie
Dojo: Aikido of SLO
Location: Morro Bay
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
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.
The people I "resisted" have a tendency to be overly delicate and I didn't just ground myself or refuse to be moved. I was trying, probably unsuccessfully, to give them an idea of what might happen. I don't think I did it more than a dozen times total.
However, point well taken. The people I was resisting have started throwing me around anyway but I will stop it.
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Old 08-01-2004, 09:25 AM   #52
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
The people I "resisted" have a tendency to be overly delicate and I didn't just ground myself or refuse to be moved. I was trying, probably unsuccessfully, to give them an idea of what might happen. I don't think I did it more than a dozen times total.
However, point well taken. The people I was resisting have started throwing me around anyway but I will stop it.
Dan, I'm one of those people who have the tendency to going more delicate with newbies. I can sense their uncertainty in their ukemi so I don't want to take them any harder. From what you've described, I've experienced that from the guys more.

When I started aikido, I didn't think I could hurt the guys, then some of them started teasing me about how deadly my nikkyo's area. So as a response I would go delicately with new comers. What I noticed is that they would started to "challenge" me, as they would resist or even attempt to correct my technique. So I've begun to take that as an indicator that they want to go harder. My fear is that I'm still uncertain that the 3 month newbie (the point at which this kind of thing seems to happen) still doesn't have the ukemi skills of say the dan ranks that I feel totally comfortable going all out with, and I'll still end up hurting them. I'm still trying to find that balance to the point where I'm not going too hard but not too soft so that they still feel the technique without thinking they're just going through the motions with me.

As others pointed out all of this comes down to communication, because you end up risking being interepreted as a know-it-all jerk. As a woman, I noticed that I need to exude more confidence and not come across too sweet on the mat. Otherwise, the "sweetness" gets interpreted as the nice little girl you don't really want to hurt and is just there for the "art" of it all. I'm actually there to really learn to beat you guys up. Just let me know when your ukemi is ready for more intensity and I'll be more than willing to up the ante for you.

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, 05:24 PM   #53
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: Female uke

I think we have gotten off the subject a bit. Whether or not the female was a newbie or not was not mentioned in the initial post. Just that Suren was fairly new to aikido.

Earlier I posted that it should not matter if it is a man or woman that you practice with you treat them all the same. I believe this is the best way to approach the issue. Obviously, man or woman, as nage we are not going to practice beyond the ability of our uke. Treat them the same.

Lyle Laizure
www.hinodedojo.com
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 08-01-2004, 08:48 PM   #54
giriasis
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Re: Female uke

No, we haven't gotten off the subject, not completely. It is related because a few of posts down Suren indicated that she was close to being a dan rank. Whether she is a newbie or not does matter, as he shouldn't really feel inhibited to throwing her just like I don't feel inhibited in throwing someone higher ranking than me -- male or female. I commonly tell the newbie guys I train with that they can go harder on me, and they tell me they are afraid of hurting me. I tell them I've been doing aikido for 5 years and I can take it. It is rare that I get someone who is very adament about refusing to train harder with me because I'm a woman. This behavior does exist even though it "shouldn't."

Whether we like it or not gender does play role as a result of being part of the greater culture the dojo belongs (the U.S., Brazil, Cuba, Turkey, Japan, etc.), and women and men get treated on the mat according to those cultural norms and standards. I'm glad to know that you feel women should be treated fairly and respectfully on the mat. But please recognize, respect and fairness doesn't always happen. It's our role to see that we all get treated fairly and that we break the limiting role that society places on us. In this case, the limiting role is "you don't hurt a woman" and if a man believes that he does treat a woman differently in the dojo. A typical corollary role for the female is that "I can't really hurt the guy" so women tend to go too hard without realizing harm can result. (Note also that women are also commonly afraid of hurting people and this is often manifested in poor attacks and atemi. This is most likely a result of the nurturing role society places on women rather than the protective role society places on men.)

As I posted before, the best way to deal with this is to simply talk to your partner by asking them how they want to be treated. We can talk about the way things should be, but it's best to learn deal with things as they are.

Last edited by giriasis : 08-01-2004 at 08:53 PM.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 08-02-2004, 04:02 PM   #55
Shakz
Dojo: Aikido of Mt.Shasta
Location: California
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Re: Female uke

Are you sure there are no strong feelings about this person...?
(I'm kidding) But I can't help but notice you sound a lot like myself, I was always afriad I would hurt this "special someone" but as a Nidan he should be able to handle it...
The other student are afriad they'll hurt me, I told them to go full force and I'd let them know if it was too tough.

So if I where you I would tell her to let you know if she isn't comfortable with your speed, etc. It also shows good manners anyway...

Last edited by Shakz : 08-02-2004 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 08-04-2004, 03:22 PM   #56
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Shannon Robertson wrote:
Are you sure there are no strong feelings about this person...?
Yes.
I don't want a misinterpretation. I think being in love with your uke could be another discussion, and it does not correlate with this one.
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:08 PM   #57
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
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Re: Female uke

I'm resurrecting this old thread just to say how much I learned from my female partner today. From my first post I had couple of classes with her and now this does not seem to be so hard. Instead I found out that training with her revealed some problems in my technique which I was chasing for months. I new something is wrong and even much more experienced folks could not see the problem. She found those problems and pointed them as if they were obvious! I'm so glad I did not choose to stay away from her after my first bad experience!
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:32 PM   #58
daniel loughlin
Dojo: Oldham
Location: Manchester
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Re: Female uke

lol silicon valley sorry no offense intended
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:50 PM   #59
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
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Re: Female uke

Quote:
Daniel Loughlin wrote:
lol silicon valley sorry no offense intended
If you emphasize the word "silicon" then well what I can say... lol.
If you refer to "silicon valley". That's not silicon valley specific. I moved here not so long ago. That's just my experience

Last edited by suren : 09-08-2004 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:33 AM   #60
Richard Chapman
Dojo: Gatwick Budokai Ryu, Crawley
Location: Crawley, West Sussex
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Re: Female uke

There is a female beginner at my dojo that I pair up with. Once I was doing a Ikkyo technique on her, but the technique didn't feel right, so I approached my sensei and explained. When he tried the technique at first the same result happened. What it was, is that the femaile uke was reluctant to let herself be controlled because she felt that she may get hurt.

What I didn't relise was, because i was concerned about hurting her I wasn't doing the technique correctly. Once I concentrated on doing the technique correctly I found that she had to move otherwise she would hurt herself. Just goes to show.

By the way. If anyone is in the Crawley area tomorrow (UK) There is a club promotion of all types of Martial Arts at the Tilgate Forest Huts. All the MA's that have a hut are promoting there club. This ranges from Aikido of course to Ju-Juitsu, Hapkido, Tae Kwando, Kick Boxing, Karate etc. The huts are situated close to Crawley Football Club.
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Old 09-10-2004, 11:35 AM   #61
Qatana
 
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Re: Female uke

Richard, exactly how is this about "female" ukes? I am female and have had eactly the same problem with almost every beginner after me, male or female.
What exactly does fear of being hurt have to do with gender? And spare me the "size/strenghth ratio"- there will Always be one person in the dojo who is bigger and/or stronger than Everybody Else.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:13 PM   #62
Aardvark
Dojo: Hill End
Location: Brisbane
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Re: Female uke

suren, I know what you mean - I have a similar problem on the mat, too. Its wierd - I know full well that most of the girls I train with could throw me around the dojo all night long, and its not like Im afraid of hurting them...but I kinda am. So, I end up giving them poor attacks or grabs as uke, and become a stiff, unresponsive nage (and probably put them at more risk than otherwise would be the case).

Its just one of those psychological bars that somehow manifests itself on the mat - all I can say is that it gets better with time, all you can do is keep training and try work through it. You'll get there
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Old 09-12-2004, 11:44 PM   #63
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
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Re: Female uke

At a seminar I trained with a young woman--I couldn't guess her age exactly, but maybe early teens--about half my size. When we worked on koshinage, I had a difficult time setting aside the idea that I was going to hurt her, even though she was calmly confident of her technique. I think all you can do in such a situation is be as aware as you can of your partner and her(his) capabilities, not pushing them aside in favor of some preconception about women, small people, young people, old people, etc.

As it turns out, she could throw me koshinage with some difficulty due to my greater weight, and I couldn't throw her at all--I couldn't bend my knees far enough to get under her center of gravity, so even with cooperation on both sides it was just beyond me. But we had a good time working this out, and probably both came away knowing more about our capabilities. In retrospect, she was more experienced than me and was probably working harder not to hurt me than vice versa....

While I'm telling stories, though:

I was the worst forward roller in my dojo, just hopeless at it for a long time. I had one patient sempai who kept working with me on this. A month or so after it finally started to click, we were practicing a throw from a back wrist grab. He and I walked through it statically, and he was just nudging me in the right direction and letting me roll on my own. But I'd just seen a demo of how this throw is normally done at a run, grabbing one wrist and the other, so for my next attack I ran at him. He grinned at me fiercely and threw me into a gorgeous, fast, smooth forward roll without any hesitation. That was the moment at which I knew that yes, I was going to stick with aikido. I'd have been cheated of that experience if he'd been too careful with me.

Mary Kaye
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:38 AM   #64
Richard Chapman
Dojo: Gatwick Budokai Ryu, Crawley
Location: Crawley, West Sussex
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Re: Female uke

Jo Adell. The situation that I was describing in a thread above is only relevant to this one lady. The technique that I was doing was Ikkyo (Irimi). The diffidult part was trying to drive the elbow up and over to take her balance and then to complete the technique to the ground. Usually when you start Ikkyo you can see that the elbow bends slightly, which is where you can initiate the beginnings of the Ikkyo technique. What I was facing was a completely straight arm resulting in a messy Ikkyo as I could not drive her elbow up and over. In the end I got the technique right, but only by not be gentle with her, but not being rough, as she is only a beginner.
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Old 09-13-2004, 10:02 AM   #65
Qatana
 
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Re: Female uke

Yes that is exactly my point. I have the exact same problem with every single beginner in the dojo from the only person smaller than me to the teenage boy who is twice my size.
Its up to them to have good ukemi as well as up to us to use proper technique.But they are beginners and just don't yet know how to respond.
its much easier for me to just put the elbow bend in on a person less strong than me, but i could just as easily break the elbow of a big 16 year old male as a tiny 40 year old woman.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 09-13-2004, 11:50 AM   #66
billybob
 
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Re: Female uke

The ladies that train and teach at my dojo are real martial artists.

my sempai was missing me in irimi nage. i'll mention she is much
smaller than i. i took her arm and moved my head around and back,
then through the off balance point. she took me right off my feet and
with no effort!!!!! i think our female sensei is tougher on the female
students. no one minds! the best uke in class the gal i mentioned above.
not all training is grunting, groaning and force. finesses. these ladies
know finesse - and they share with me!

billyboby
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Old 09-13-2004, 01:22 PM   #67
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Re: Female uke

This is a bit of an interesting question I've thought about from time to time.
Basically; the concept of practicing with members of the opposite gender is a non-issue to just about anyone with a normal, mature outlook; I've wondered - just to continue the conversation - about the effect it has on someone who is a bit more nervous concerning these things.
Like myself; when I was a kid.
nowadays; I've got no probs with getting physical with any member of my dojo; female or otherwise; but I think back to when I was a kid - high school IOW. I was seriously 'girlophobic'; terrified of contact with girls. Dance class (you remember public-school dance classes? Ugh!) was an utter nightmare; as was any sport that brought us into close proximity.
(During school dances; I was one of the ones that tried to look like part of the decorations. )
Heh heh - I remember back when I was taking jiu-jitsu; they once partnered me with a totally knockout blonde 18-year-old. (A few years older than me, IOW.) Given that the technique was something involving a bearhug from behind; practice should've been a lot of fun - 'cept I was too busy thinking "My God - IT'S A GIRL!!! " for me to enjoy it.
So in the case of a person like that; such contact on the mat could be a Big Deal. In that event; how do you as an instructor - or the female in question - handle it?
Cheers!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:15 PM   #68
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
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Re: Female uke

Dave, thanks for your input. I'm not sure if you are asking me or other prople or just talking to yourself... I'll try to comment on some parts.

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
Basically; the concept of practicing with members of the opposite gender is a non-issue to just about anyone with a normal, mature outlook;
Well, I'm not sure if I can be considered mature enough... After being married for 6 years and having two kids... Anyway I'm not offended, maybe you are right. Besides when people call me young I accept that as a compliment

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
So in the case of a person like that; such contact on the mat could be a Big Deal. In that event; how do you as an instructor - or the female in question - handle it?
Cheers!
That situation resoled somehow by itself... After couple classes with this and other girls. I think instructor and uke just have to be patient until the beginner overcomes his problem by himself. TMO not much could be done from their side.
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