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Old 11-08-2004, 09:46 PM   #26
bleepbeep
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Re: A Woman's Center

i tie my belt at the waist, but my center IS definitely lower.
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:07 PM   #27
PeterR
 
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Re: A Woman's Center

Perhaps some confusion from my post.

I never even considered whose center of gravity is lower or whether women are more imbalanced than men. Frankly I've worked with so many body types that I could not possibly make a generalized statement.

However, quite a few beginners move as if their center of gravity is much higher it actually is. I find that simply tying your belt around the hips rather than the waist often goes a long way to solving the problem.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-09-2004, 06:02 AM   #28
ruthmc
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Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Dave Organ wrote:
Women have 'em; men don't
Fat men do have 'em

Ruth
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:07 AM   #29
Janet Rosen
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Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Jeanne Shepard wrote:
More women took ballet lessons.
Jeanne
Jeanne, I"ve an observation/question: I never took ballet or other dance. But what I''ve observed in the dojo is that women who do come to aikido from ballet/modern dance actually seem top heavy, NOT in a literal weight sense but in the sense that, while their posture is excellent, they don't seem to sink into the center as much as float and move the upper body. As a result as newbies they unbalance very easily when, as nage, they try to throw people. This is by no means a scientific survey, but based on observing 3 women over the yrs. Wonder if you or other dance folks (Jo?) have thoughts on this.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-09-2004, 11:42 AM   #30
BC
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Re: A Woman's Center

I have understood for a while that women have a lower center of gravity than men, due to the their different hip structure. One can easily determine this by picking a man and a woman of approximately the same height, and trying a koshinage on each one. You will most likely find that you will have to get YOUR center lower on the woman than the man to do an effective throw. IMHO.

Robert Cronin
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:52 PM   #31
stern9631
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Re: A Woman's Center

Well, I survived all of the name calling and libelous comments. I just wanted you all to know that training in gymnastics and seeing girls develop into women while at the same time trying to achieve mastery of a skill that depended on balance, rotation and center led me to make a simple comment that was based on valid observations. Compound spirals are also found in gymnastics and having extra weight high on the body led to a change in their CG. Being so reactionary is not very productive. You can use the following website to mimic my hypothesis. The blocks can be used to mimic a cross-section of the body from a vertical or horizontal POV. Notice how the CG changes.
Be nice, jeez.
http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/java/block/block.html
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:09 PM   #32
Magma
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Re: A Woman's Center

Jon,

Your comment was made in support of women having a higher center of gravity than men. The patent absurdity of such a claim convinced me that your motive was more nefarious than a simple statement of fact.

Yes, breasts impact the center of gravity as they add weight to the woman. However, with the wide range of breast size you could not make a generalization regarding women's centers being always higher than men's because of their breasts. Not only is it wrong, it falls far short of diagnosing the situation. Especially in gymnastics, where the secondary sexual characteristics are supressed through overly-rigorous training, it would seem to be a safer statement to say that whatever small increase in upper body weight was added by breasts is offset several times over by musculature gains in the legs and lower body.

Sure, breasts raise a center of gravity. Negligibly. Certainly not enough to rewrite scientific thought that women's centers are relatively lower than men's, and that is what you seemed to be doing with your previous post.

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.
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:06 PM   #33
Qatana
 
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Re: A Woman's Center

Ballet Dancers are trained to "split" their bodies so that from the hara down thay are thinking "down" but from there up they are thinking "up and forward", partially because this is what gives us height in jumps and lifts, also because ballet was developed when people wore corsets and that is the natural posture of a corsetted body. But yes, this is why they seem top- heavy.
If I had only had ballet training I probably would have had to learn how to locate my hara and orient to "down" however jazz dance is also down oriented, and I'd had lots of yoga & belly dance and some tai chi before I started training.

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 11-10-2004, 07:09 AM   #34
stern9631
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Re: A Woman's Center

Hey, guys I am ok with being wrong. No big deal. I honestly don't really care. I was offering an idea. So, maybe next time you all can avoid the name calling and I can make sure to be more clear.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:39 AM   #35
Magma
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Re: A Woman's Center

Eh. No real name calling, except for descriptions of the comment made.

Impugning your motives? Guilty as charged.

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.
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Old 11-30-2004, 06:06 PM   #36
sunny liberti
 
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Re: A Woman's Center

I'm surprised that no one has touched on the topic of childbearing... I have found that having a baby has tremendously impacted where my mind is. There is the emptying of the void feeling and all. I don't know if I will ever be the same in terms of hara after that experience. I made tremendous progress.

In general, I 100% agree with Rachel and others. And I also don't think that where we tie our belts really has anything to do with feeling center. I can't really even imagine it.

I've always been under the impession based on my observations that men have to break through reliance on their shoulder strength to get anywhere in MA. This makes their movement akward in the beginning in a different way than women are. We tend to store our traumas and fears in the hips, which can be tight for a while. I think these factors influence movement and perception of center for a long time in early training...

Just my random thoughts on the matter...

Sunny

A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 11-30-2004, 10:57 PM   #37
wendyrowe
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Re: A Woman's Center

Lots of food for thought here --

First off, I was surprised at how people took Jon's suggestion. I'm an engineer, and knowing a few seriously topheavy women I found myself thinking that in some cases (not enough to generalize to all women) that probably could raise their center of mass by a non-negligible 5% or more.

I tie my belt at my waist because that's where it stays put.
My center of mass is most assuredly below my waist, probably about three fingerwidths.

I was recently training at a karate dojo that shares space with a ballet school, and there's some cross-pollination. The karate instructor mentioned that all the dancers had trouble lowering their centers when they started, because in dance they are taught to float.

Re Sunny's observation on having a baby: I'd had mine over a decade before discovering martial arts, so maybe it's just that I'm used to them -- but I'm able to find my center (spiritual as well as physical) just fine. I go to class thinking about a zillion different things about work and family, then let it all go as I prepare for class and get filled with aikido.

As for John's question re differences in techniques, I have a feeling it's my relative shortness that's the biggest cause of any differences. I'm close to a foot shorter than nearly everyone and weigh about half what some of my classmates weigh. Many of them have trouble sinking their centers under mine since they're so much taller; but if they do manage it, I go flying. I'm more agile than the big, muscular guys, but I figure that's because I'm so much less massive so I have much less inertia (please forgive the engineer talk again; I can't help it, it's how I think). I know I'll get better at it as I study longer, but I haven't yet mastered the subtleties that'll let me overcome the basic physics -- if I don't get out of the way, I can be launched really easily by bigger people even when I feel well rooted. Again, though, I'm sure that's because of my size not because I'm female with a slightly lower center than a comparably sized male.
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:56 AM   #38
KerstineElnegaard
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Re: A Woman's Center

Hey people
I've been reading the discussion, and decided to pipe in with my two cents, just to be difficult.
I tie my hakama below my waist, at my hips. I do this, because it seems more natural for me, and this is also where I tied my belt, before I got my extra pants (haven't gotten quite used to it yet... grrr ) ...I am smaller around my waist, than around my hips... but as i tie my belt somewhat hard, it actually stays somewhere near where I put it initially...
I have never tried tying it at my waist, 'cause I have this idea that it must feel somewhat like a corset... Like I said, my gi doesn't stay on (closed) unless I tie my belt firmly... and tying it like that at my waist... ouch...
So when women tie their hakama at the waist... how do you "keep it on"?

Just curious
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Old 12-01-2004, 09:58 AM   #39
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Re: A Woman's Center

hehe oh yeah... Im a girl... forgot to mention that
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:00 AM   #40
Janet Rosen
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Re: A Woman's Center

Hi, Kerstine. Well, as one who makes and wears corsets, I assure you they are not at all like a belt around the waistline; a well fitted corset provides comfortable, even compression around the lower torso and abdomen and as my latest happy customer tells me you can do ukemi in a waist cincher (smile).
I keep my dogi top very neatly and modestly closed with ties at waist and bustline.

Janet Rosen
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Old 12-01-2004, 02:04 PM   #41
sharonbader
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Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
John Matsushima wrote:
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.
-John Matsushima
Not at all.

I think it would be easier for women to 'find' their center based on what Janet Rosen said - that women tend to carry their weight lower as compared to men who carry their weight in their shoulders.

This fact is compensated for in many activities done by men and women. Probably also why it is hard for women to learn 'male' dominated sports. But this is another topic.
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:05 PM   #42
Hagen Seibert
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Re: A Woman's Center

Could there be a sensible way to make use of one´s breasts as a tool of self defence ?
Like: Soft but distracting atemi at close distance or ground fight, flashing them and then kick the balls, or I also remember this Russ Meyer film where this chap suffocates inbetween two of them...
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Old 12-01-2004, 04:56 PM   #43
Janet Rosen
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Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Hagen Seibert wrote:
Could there be a sensible way to make use of one´s breasts as a tool of self defence ?
I will not dignify with a larger quote than the above.
May I request that this thread not devolve in this direction? thank you.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-01-2004, 05:36 PM   #44
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Re: A Woman's Center

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
May I request that this thread not devolve in this direction? thank you.
Agreed.

-- Jun

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Old 12-01-2004, 05:56 PM   #45
sharonbader
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Re: A Woman's Center

The guys are just talking about what's always on their little minds...
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Old 12-01-2004, 06:19 PM   #46
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Re: A Woman's Center

Now, now, that's not fair, we think think about sports sometimes too, ha ha....but seriously let's not have any more posts like that one on this thread. Thank you to everyone for your input.

-John
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:00 PM   #47
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Re: A Woman's Center

my latest happy customer tells me you can do ukemi in a waist cincher (smile).
.[/quote]

That would be me! I'm wearing it onstage in a comedy dance piece (at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco ) and do a lovely back roll on the wood stage two or three times a day.

Q
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Old 12-02-2004, 05:05 PM   #48
Hagen Seibert
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Unhappy Re: A Woman's Center

I claim myself guilty of trolling.
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