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Thread: Does size Matter with martial arts

  1. #31
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    I think you're reading more into this than necessary, and not realizing the spirit in which the statement was made.
    Particularly since I qualified that remark by stating that certain skill sets can trump size. Included in those "skill sets" are conditioning, environmental conditions and luck. But let's face it... Given two people of equal skill level (and this includes IP/aiki), conditioning, etc., the one with more mass has the advantage. I'm not talking about nincompoops who are out of shape and not competently trained. I mean, come on, Dan! lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Gees....
    I gave a reasoned and seasoned, more inclusive reply, over what I keep reading.
    Cady!! "Matter, matters?" You are better than that.
    "Matter, matters the more matter, the more you matter?" ....uhm, not really! That can be a distinct negative.
    Lets discuss possibilities.
    *Like when you are an out of shape fatty, fighting a conditioned smaller guy.
    *Or, when you are a large man at war, humping with gear.
    *Why are my Spec Op friends just about always not very big men.
    *There is a reason that a truncated quote of Shakespeare, ala a marine officer: Fatigue makes cowards of men is on the wall at the gym in West Point.

    I keep saying there are many equalizers. I mentioned just a few. All I keep reading is a presumption of size that (better stated) should read like this: "All things being equal, size matters." See how that sounds better? Can anyone offer a dialogue past the obvious? Even kids at MMA gyms with two years of training, talk about equalizers with larger guys.

    Why did Silva at 6' 4" routinely get his ass kicked until he learned how to use that size?
    What happened to my previous mention of Dan Severn beaten by a guy a hundred pounds lighter?
    How about a discussion of possible equalizers?
    *"It isn't the size of the dog in the fight, it's the fight in the dog?" .....
    *Why was that a well known saying? Perhaps because of observation of reality or things known and seen frequently?

    We should have something else to offer here besides.... big men are scary!
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 7th January 2015 at 21:15.
    Cady Goldfield

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    uhm...no it doesn't. Size can be an advantage or disadvantage, largely dependent on what makes up that size and if the person knows how to use it.
    It also depends on what you are doing and what you know how to do.
    Yeah, it kinda does - you said so yourself...After that all the "big guy" stuff is someone else's narrative.

    I'd add that where you are doing it is also quite important, as well as the relative situation, which makes it matter all the more in a self defensive situation versus a martial arts/combat sports one.

    Otherwise..its not so much that words get put into people's mouths that thoughts and attitudes and ways of thinking get put into their heads, and "understanding" is assigned, and a narrative built based on attitudes that people are supposed to have, in order to make a point.

    Dan - I've been assured by more than one person that you are "not like that" in person, and maybe in person we could share a drink and talk a ton of stuff, and I have no doubt I would learn something. But now so many years on, with the exact same caustic Internet behavior from a senior practitioner, its kinda pointless to engage with you at all. I'll keep reading, though, cuz sometimes you make some very good points, and others I disagree with you but it makes me think!
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

  3. #33
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    Cady
    Sure, but you know me. I think we need to be accurate. Particularly with a new person asking the question.
    So, saying:
    Matter, matters, the more matter, the more you matter."
    Is different from:
    All things being equal, size matters

    And that is far different from saying:
    "All things being equal, size is a significant factor."
    And that is very different from Kit continually repeating
    "Size, ALWAYS matters."


    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  4. #34
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    Kit
    I disagree with your premise that size always matters. I have stated why. In fact it is provably not true. I can go on with many more explanations as to why I disagree, but none of them would involve mentioning your personality or position or choices in budo.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Cady
    Sure, but you know me. I think we need to be accurate. Particularly with a new person asking the question.
    So, saying:
    Matter, matters, the more matter, the more you matter."
    Is different from:
    All things being equal, size matters

    And that is far different from saying:
    "All things being equal, size is a significant factor."
    And that is very different from Kit continually repeating
    "Size, ALWAYS matters."


    Well, of course.
    But I never said that matter ALWAYS matters - just that it... matters.
    And, that given the right skill set(s) it is not ALL that matters.

    We have often noted that the gatekeepers of IP/aiki, notably Sokaku Takeda -and probably plenty of Chinese masters before and after him - said that aiki/internal power isn't that complicated and is fairly easy to learn, so not to teach this stuff to foreigners (i.e. large Westerners) because it would give them an advantage (over smaller Easterners). Why give away whatever advantage a little guy can have over a big guy?
    Cady Goldfield

  6. #36
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    Mark

    On some level articles and and anecdotes are always a bit of martial yarning. We don't need to look to them so make the point that small men can skillfully defeat large men. Go to any BJJ tourney for the absolute division and you can see that happen. You can see it routinely in sumo (well, small-er guys defeating those larger than them ) so Ueshiba handling a larger sumotori is really nothing unusual when he was himself a sumtori....

    Dan's reach back into the UFC archives are also a better examples - video evidence.

    Royce v. Severn, properly analyzed, is in fact a perfect example that size matters....and so do context, and rules.

    As for Tohei we have a much better representation with the Rendezvous with Adventure film.

    Size ALWAYS matters. Depending on environment, the context, the symmetry/asymmetry of the encounter, the rules or lack of rules, and so on it may matter more or less. The fact that size matters is one reason for the earnest development of the varied skill sets we see in martial disciplines.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

  7. #37
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    Dan - acknowledged and thanks.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

  8. #38
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    I would say size matters. I think sumo can be a good case study for this. Each rikishi is trained in pretty much the same way, there is no weight class, and it has a well documented win loss ratio that includes technique used. Look at the former rikishi Taknoyama's winning record: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takanoy...#Career_record He had a huge rise through the lower ranks but was unable to be competitive at the higher levels due to his small size. He is 6'1" and only 200 lbs (he has me on reach but I got him by 10 lbs). He was a masterful technician with a kakenage that put him on the map. He used 37 different kimarite to win in his career, almost 50% of every possible winning technique (there are now 80 kimarite some are very rare and rather dangerous to do or take so are never seen). On the other hand you have guys like Orora who topped the 600 lbs mark. Orora has never made it past Makushita http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=1042 Obviously Takanoyama has beat larger opponents (he is the lightest rikishi in recent years) and Orora has bested smaller opponents (he is currently the largest rikishi and only Konishiki was heavier). In both cases I'd say size matters in one way or another.

    Back to the OP; a big guy can't really do little man aikido and a little man can't really do big man aikido. It is what it is. I think you should just do your personal best aikido. I don't mean to sound trite but hey if the shoe fits.
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    ...And that is very different from Kit continually repeating "Size, ALWAYS matters."
    I agree with Kit's statement. Size ALWAYS matters; but it's not ALL that matters.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

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  11. #40
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    Size is somewhat irrelevant, except as an aid to target acquisition.

    Energy, on the other hand? That's a different story.

    Let's say you have 41 pounds of goose down. You could stuff all that into a pillow, I suppose, but realistically, a gunny sack is more like it. Anyway, imagine somebody dropping that giant pillow on you from three feet above your head. Okay, you say, so what.

    Now, let's take 41 pounds of depleted uranium. That's a mere 27mm in diameter. Pop that 41 pounds out the muzzle of the ol' six-gun at 1670 meters per second, and you have a standard NATO anti-tank round that puts a really nice 27mm hole into half a meter of hardened armor plate.

    Same 41 pounds. The extra 1660 meters per second makes a bit of difference, though.

    Proximity matters, too. For instance, being hit in the head with that 41-pound sack of feathers is much more noticeable (at the time) than is an above-ground nuclear bomb test that occurs a couple hundred miles away. (For the short term, anyway. For the next thirty years following those tests, the people and livestock in St. George, Utah, had significantly increased incidence of cancer.)

    Exaggerations? A bit. After all, a human fist moves fairly slowly. George Foreman doesn't hit you much harder than does, say, a bowling ball being thrown into the strike zone. A baseball bat is pretty slow, too. Even Barry Bonds probably couldn't swing a 41-ounce Louisville Slugger at much over 20 meters per second.

    And this does bring us to something potentially relevant. There is a sweet spot where mass and velocity combine. (And of course target acquisition. Miss the ball, the umpire calls strike. But let's assume you connect with the ball.)

    From http://www.acs.psu.edu/drussell/bats/batw8.html , which discusses bat weight in the theoretical sense. The author prefaces the article by noting, "This article is a summary of the published literature concerning batted-ball speed and bat WEIGHT. However, a great deal of recent research clearly indicates that the distribution of weight (as measured by the moment-of-inertia) is far more important than the weight itself. As a result, some of the conclusions summarized below are no longer entirely realistic. I am currently writing an article summarizing the influence of moment-of-inertia (MOI) on bat swing speed and batted-ball speed."

    QUOTE:

    [P]lots show that the batted ball velocity initially increases as the bat weight increases until the bat swing speed drops below a certain level after which the batted velocity begins to decrease again. This results in an "optimum" bat weight for each player, indicated by the black arrows in the plots. This optimum bat weight is the bat weight which will result in the fasted batted ball velocity for each player. The optimum bat weight for the professional power hitter is about 41oz, and about 16oz for the Little Leaguer.

    Perhaps a pertinent question is why a major league power hitter would choose to use a lighter bat (say 32oz) when an optimal 41oz bat would produce a higher batted ball velocity? Two possibilities come to mind. First, the fact that you can swing a lighter bat faster means that you can wait just a little bit longer before committing to a swing. For a professional, the ability to wait even 1/10th of a second longer to watch a pitched ball can result in a considerable improvement in the chance of making contact. Secondly, most hitters can control a lighter bat more effectively than they can a heavier bat. Bat control affects the location of the bat as it crosses the plate, and more control over bat location is definitely a good thing when the pitched ball crosses the plate considerable variation in height or distance from the batter. Notice further, from the plot for the major league power hitter, that for bat weights in the range of 35oz to 45oz there is very minor change in the batted ball velocity. Using a 33oz bat instead of a 41oz bat will only very slightly reduce the batted ball velocity, but it will have a significant affect on the bat swing speed and the resulting swing time. Based on such a trade-off between ball speed and bat control, Bahill has defined the Ideal Bat WeightTM as the weight at which the batted ball speed drops 1% below the speed of the optimum batted ball speed bat weight. As shown in the plot, the Ideal Bat Weight for the power hitter is about 32-33oz. This is right in the weight range used by most professional players.

    The results for the Little League player are quite different. The optimum bat weight, for maximum batted ball speed, is about 16oz, and the Ideal Bat Weight is about 12-13oz. As was shown in the table at the top of this page, most available 30-inch wood and aluminum Little League bats weigh between 20 and 26oz, which is well above both the optimum and ideal weights for this player. From the plot we can see that if this player used a 23oz bat he would have a much lower bat swing speed and a significantly lower batted ball velocity. Most young players are forced to use bats which are heavier than the ideal bat weight because light enough bats are not available. Only this year (2003) have composite bats become available that begin to approach 16oz for a 30-inch bat.

    END QUOTE

    As an aside, in terms of fighting, I'm guessing most martial arts practitioners are better compared to Little Leaguers than to Babe Ruth. Thus, training typically emphasizes weight rather than ideal weight (combined with mass, speed, and accuracy) simply because, given the evident girth and talent of both teachers and students, size is typically all they've got to work with.

  12. #41
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    An oldie but a goodie.
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    Ed Boyd

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  14. #42
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    Oof! That's gotta hurt.
    Cady Goldfield

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