Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Techniques

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-08-2004, 01:13 AM   #1
John Matsushima
 
John Matsushima's Avatar
Location: Miura, Japan
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 226
United_States
Offline
A Woman's Center

I've just been wondering if any women out there find it hard or unatural keeping thier center and focus in the hara, or lower abdomen. I think a woman's center of gravity is higher up, more like the upper abdomen or solar plexus. What do you women think about this? If anyone could try this out in practice (keeping one point in the solar plexus area), I would be happy to hear of your experiences and opinions on this matter.

-John Matsushima
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 01:33 AM   #2
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,049
Japan
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Hey John;

This is only an observation but have you notice that many women tie their belt high on their hips. The dojo fashion police usually have a word with the occasional guy that does this but I have also suggested to some women that do so and appear to have the problem you are talking about that it might help if they do the same. Sort of a reminder to lower their hara - sometimes it even works.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 05:33 AM   #3
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

????? I believe women naturally have a lower center, not the opposite! While I tie my hakama high, because that is where my natural waist is, my weight is definately in my center and low, as anyone practicing with me can attest. This is the way I find most women to be and have seen absolutely the opposite with a lot of men. I found this a rather funny observation, since it is so counter to most women I've trained with (of course that is a generalization, because there are women who carry high and women who carry low, just like men).
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 05:54 AM   #4
skyetide
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 27
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

I would echo what Rachel said... I believe that most women's center of gravity is lower. Our natural waist, where most of us tie our belts, tends to sit higher than our center of gravity. I have never heard of women having a higher center of gravity than men. ???
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:04 AM   #5
stern9631
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 78
United_States
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Maybe breast size has something to do with that.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:25 AM   #6
Chuck Clark
 
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
United_States
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

I agree that women have a lower center of gravity than men. Time and motion studies have shown, for example, that if you want to load small to medium size packages on a truck, women can do it more productively (and longer) than men of the same size and strength. It's because they have a lower center of gravity. Center of gravity is not the same as the waist.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:39 AM   #7
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

I Wish I could tie my belt on my hips. The fact is that women have waists that are smaller than their hips (usually) and the belt will just slide up no matter How low we tie it.
What the H would breast size have to do with Anything?

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
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:44 AM   #8
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Oh, everything physical about women can be explained with breast size. Didn't you know? :-o

Wish I remember where I read a man saying he believed that the breasts make a women prone to fall over... no no. It is the biceps that causes the men to have such bad balance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:44 AM   #9
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Canada
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Maybe breast size has something to do with that.
Not likely. Ignoring the potential for humour for the moment; they don't add a whole lot of mass in and of themselves. Unless the woman in question is endowed to truly ridiculous proportions; they're not going to shift her C of G upward very much; if at all.

And to my understanding; though related the 'center' or one-point is not the same as the CG. The CG is a physical point at which gravity affects the body as a whole. The hara OTOH is a spiritual point through which an aikidoist focusses his/her energy and movement.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 11:27 AM   #10
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Another woman, echoing what my sisters have said: if anything, my center of gravity is at or below my hara, but I can't tie a belt down there.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 11:41 AM   #11
suren
Dojo: Aikido of Silicon Valley
Location: Fremont, CA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 248
United_States
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

If I remember correctly Saito Hitohiro Sensei during his seminar in Reno this year said that women has their hara higher than that of men. He touched this topic while explaining the level where to keep your bokken after the cut - in front of your hara. My memory is not very clear on this though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 12:04 PM   #12
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,847
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
And to my understanding; though related the 'center' or one-point is not the same as the CG. The CG is a physical point at which gravity affects the body as a whole. The hara OTOH is a spiritual point through which an aikidoist focusses his/her energy and movement.
The way I use the term "center'" isn't spiritual but conceptual/physical in nature. It may not be the literal center of gravity, but when I try moving "from my center," it allows me to connect my hands/arms (usually my "connectors") with my legs (usually my "affectors"). As such, I tend to see "center" as a concept that cultivates my using my entire body (from the point of contact with my partner down to the ground). In addition, the concept also allows me to articulate my body more freely (eg using my hips, knees, elbows) by shifting my awareness away from the point of contact.

It seems from many scieitific studies that women do have a lower center of gravity than men. However, I'll observe that this doesn't necessarily mean that they have a lower "hara" or "center."

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #13
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

One of my previous teachers said that it took a bit longer time for women to "get their center down". Some of you migh say "find their center". Well, that was his experience... I wonder if most women breath with more superficial breaths than most men? This would then most probably be something culture-dependent.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 12:36 PM   #14
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Canada
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Jun said:
Quote:
The way I use the term "center'" isn't spiritual but conceptual/physical in nature. It may not be the literal center of gravity, but when I try moving "from my center," it allows me to connect my hands/arms (usually my "connectors") with my legs (usually my "affectors"). As such, I tend to see "center" as a concept that cultivates my using my entire body (from the point of contact with my partner down to the ground). In addition, the concept also allows me to articulate my body more freely (eg using my hips, knees, elbows) by shifting my awareness away from the point of contact.
Hi Jun; thanks for that - that's largely - though far more detailed - the way I think about it; you're far better at explaining it than I.

Hanna said:
Quote:
One of my previous teachers said that it took a bit longer time for women to "get their center down". Some of you migh say "find their center". Well, that was his experience... I wonder if most women breath with more superficial breaths than most men? This would then most probably be something culture-dependent.
Hi Hanna - I suspect it's nothing more than the fact that women tend to be smaller and lighter than men; and are more likely to have to reach up to grab a shoulder etc. Which will cause any newer student to 'think high' and let their center rise.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 12:48 PM   #15
skyetide
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 27
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Jon,

Your comment is inappropriate and ridiculous.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 01:26 PM   #16
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Women definitely have a lower center of gravity than men; that is a proven point demonstrated in the structure of their hips and in how they carry and distribute their body weight. Look at these pages for some quick information:

http://www.survivaliq.com/physical_f...-the-sexes.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/womens_health/article.htm

...otherwise, just google up "men women center of gravity" and you'll see several sites dealing with allowances/changes that must be made in different activities because of this discrepancy in frame between men and women.

Secondly, on the emerging topic of center of gravity vs. hara, in so far as one is encouraged to move from center (hara) and as aikido tends to be an art that maximizes the body's potential through proper mechanical application of the body and limbs, the two concepts of "center of gravity" and "hara" reference the same point in the body. There may be more spiritual, holistic appliations to the concept of hara and how it interacts with shakras, etc., but there can be no doubt that the points are one in the same: to move efficiently and powerfully (the mechanical goal of aikido), the center of gravity must be manipulated. The situation is easily demonstrable through the application of modern physics and physiology. Even inanimate objects are most easily moved through an understanding of their center of gravity.

Any misunderstanding of hara (specifically the tanden) and the center of gravity as two separate points in the body fails to explain adequately the biological proximity in the mid to lower pelvis of a human. There is single point in the hip/pelvis area which has significant mechanical meaning. Any discussion of the points as being separate seems to me to be a retroactive definition caused by an incomplete knowledge of women's physiology (e.g., that they have a higher center of gravity).

JMO, of course.

Finally, I agree with Tonya, Jon. That comment was completely inappropriate and juvenile. Find a chat room.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 01:51 PM   #17
DaveO
Dojo: Great Wave Aikido
Location: Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 543
Canada
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Tonya Woods wrote:
Jon,

Your comment is inappropriate and ridiculous.
Quote:
Tim Rohr wrote:
Finally, I agree with Tonya, Jon. That comment was completely inappropriate and juvenile. Find a chat room.
Whoa - chill guys; I don't think Jon's comment was meant to be either sexist or sexual in nature. Women have 'em; men don't - strictly from an observational basis; it could seem that relatively large masses that high on the torso could affect the CG - The way I read it; that was what Jon was asking; I think as adults we can discuss such things without resorting to locker-room mentality.*

In truth; they don't - to my knowledge anyway - have any effect on the body's CG that isn't overwhelmed by the differences in basic body design. Basically; the breast is a fatty structure supporting and protecting the mammary glands - not very massive (heavy) at all. By contrast; men tend to have a much heavier upper body musculature and skeletal build; which is why our CG is centered more in the chest; rather than the woman's which is in the hips.



* Edit - after re-reading that; it looked to me like I might be accusing someone here of that. I'm not - just pointing out that IMO Jon hasn't either.

Last edited by DaveO : 11-08-2004 at 02:04 PM.

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 02:08 PM   #18
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
Women have 'em; men don't - strictly from an observational basis; it could seem that relatively large masses that high on the torso could affect the CG - The way I read it; that was what Jon was asking
Center of gravity is based on skeleton, not a few pounds of soft tissue. Women's mass, statistically averaged, is in the hips; men's in the shoulders.
I didn't take it as sexist, just ignorant.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 02:26 PM   #19
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

I agree with Janet. We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, and that men tend to develop muscle mass in the chest and shoulder area where women have their breasts. It should be obvious.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Center of gravity is based on skeleton, not a few pounds of soft tissue. Women's mass, statistically averaged, is in the hips; men's in the shoulders.
I didn't take it as sexist, just ignorant.
Can I say that I took it as sexist *and* ignorant?

Cause... cause... I did.

If that's not what Jon meant to say, then he certainly chose an impolitic way of expressing himself.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 03:17 PM   #20
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 647
Sweden
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

No nead to bash Jon. I made an ironical remark, and now quite a few people have said they did not find the comment tasty. Maybe we can let it stay at that?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 03:42 PM   #21
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,847
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Hi folks,

Just a gentle nudge towards the original topic... Thanks.

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 07:10 PM   #22
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 659
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

>Hi folks,

Just a gentle nudge towards the original topic... Thanks.

-- Jun <
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge....say no MORE!

heh heh.....Monty Python fits yet another application.
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 07:10 PM   #23
Keith_k
Dojo: Kim's Hapkido
Location: California
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 86
United_States
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

I always thought a woman's center of gravity is lower. I know they're harder to throw than most men I train with.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 08:04 PM   #24
John Matsushima
 
John Matsushima's Avatar
Location: Miura, Japan
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 226
United_States
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. There is lot of good information and things to think about. For those of you who think that a woman's CG is lower, have you had to make any adjustments, such as a wider stance, positioning, etc.? Also, have you noticed any differences in your technique (such as koshi nage) and agility as compared to men?
From what I have observed it seems that women have smaller, natural stances and yet are more fluid in their movement. Women also seem lighter on their feet. Any thoughts?

Any bad posture in the upper torso for me and I lose my center and clod around like Godzilla at times.

-John Matsushima
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2004, 09:08 PM   #25
Jeanne Shepard
 
Jeanne Shepard's Avatar
Dojo: Puget Sound Aikikai
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 351
Offline
Re: A Woman's Center

More women took ballet lessons.

Jeanne
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kangeiko at The Aikido Center of Marquette, 2/2-2/6 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 01-31-2006 08:43 AM
The Mysteryf the Moving Center Daniel Kempling Introductions 0 01-10-2006 04:02 PM
Bokken Training feck Weapons 29 05-30-2005 01:53 PM
General News: Toyoda Center now accepting Uchi-Deshi Applications for 2004 AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 08-05-2003 05:17 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:05 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate