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Thread: Does size Matter with martial arts

  1. #1
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    Default Does size Matter with martial arts

    HI,

    Been training in Aikido for around 6 years. Now I'm classed as a big person about 120kg but not much fat on me due to training and eating right. But looking at the other practitioners they are very skinny the idol image of what an Aikidoka should look like. I enjoy the style and i know its highly effective ( Yoshinkan Aikido) but just wondering is my size hampering me ?

    I thought i would ask fellow martial art practitioners to see what your thoughts are.

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    Hi Adam

    Of course your size is not hampering you, you just must adapt your aikido to your size. Maybe your footwork is not as fast as the one of a small person, but you can train that, your weight is something positive using it as a whole against an attacker. In some techniques with a smaller person you must maybe lower your knees, like for example shihonage. But everyone developes his own aikido with the years, adapted to his size, weight, gender and it will work.

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    wyldkin

    In addition to the excellent advice Carina posted above---you might see if you can find photos or descriptions of Ueshiba as a younger man. The slight,
    "elfin" image of him is very different than the powerfully built and muscular younger version.
    Some of the early aikido-ka were pretty big guys--in mass if not in always in height......if memory serves.
    Frequent poster Ellis Amdur is a big, physically powerful, guy as well. Some of his books and DVD's might offer some insight into how you might need to adapt techniques for size. He has extensive experience in aikido and various koryu/jujutsu.
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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    Size and strength are a huge advantage for grappling. All else being equal, the big strong guy is my pick over the little one every time. There's a very good reason we have weight classes in judo and wrestling competitions. If what you're after is just beautiful movement then maybe your size will be a hindrance.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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    As with all things in the martial arts, it depends.

    First, being a taller individual will give you a higher center of gravity than a shorter attacker. This is something to be aware of and make adjustments for certain techniques.

    Second, being stronger IS a technique when understood properly of when/how/why to use it coupled with proper execution of your physical technique (not just "muscling it" to make it work). As someone mentioned earlier, Ueshiba was VERY strong when he was younger and starting Aikido. There are stories that talked about when he grabbed onto your wrist to execute a technique, he would leave bruises.

    Third, it's just understanding your body and how it moves. Everyone is different. Your effective range will be different than someone with shorter arms/reach and height. Be aware that sometimes, it is easier for a bigger guy to "reach out" and overextend themselves because of this when dealing with a shorter person, which if understood can give an advantage.

    Lastly, understand that with personality and build, you may favor certain types of techniques more so than others and that is ok. Do what feels right to YOU and learn to apply it in all types of situation. The techniques are just physical illustrations of the concepts anyways.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

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    Budo is about life. It is a lifetime engagement.

    Look around and see how many big, tall guys are still moving well in their 70's and 80's. Smaller guys load their knees, etc. much less and tend to age better overall. Small guys often can master quick turns and twists much more easily than big guys. Part of it is biomechanics and physics.

    Keep the excess weight off and work on what you can affect, don't worry about what you can't. You'll find some things easier, some things harder than others. Someone that is jealous of your size and weight might be able to do something you may never master.

    And size is relative for some techniques, immaterial for some.

    So it goes... Everybody wants something they ain't got. Work with what you have.

    Lance Gatling

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    You have been training for 6 years now and know that the art is not about strength in the main. Of course strength comes into it at times and can be handy but... Being a big guy I would say that you may need to concentrate more on your circular movements, redirection of opponents force, that light touch to achieve some of this, groundwork in moving across/around spaces/rooms with relative ease and speed.

    This is only my opinion of course but if you need to mention about your bigger size, then you are conscious of a possible problem within yourself, either a certain awkwardness or restricted movement or simply a lack of confidence, or you are just posing a question to feel out responses and ideas.

    I reply on the premise that you do feel there is a problem with your movements. Just do much more work than other students, on your rolling, turning, redirection of opponents force and such from standing and kneeling defensive positions until you have become quite fast and with expertise. A lot of this can be done by yourself but obviously you will need to grab a classmate for the latter.

    Phillip J. Keen, Kokusai JuJutsu Kenkyukai, Australia

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    Hi,

    Thank you for all the positive information that you have given. I think in many martial artists career in pursuing perfection in techniques there can always be place some doubt about, Am i doing it right, Is this style correct for me? I enjoy hoping on the mat every time i get to train just from the pure simple prospect of learning something and passing on what i have learned and help further other peoples passion. I think that is is always the one doubt that lingers in my mind. Am i good enough.

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    This is the reason I find Aikido so enjoyable. You must adapt your principal application to each opponent. Each encounter is a challenge and eventually this adaption becomes a natural process of budo.
    Gareth Williams

    Look to the Far Mountain and see All.

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    Have you ever met Steven Segal? I can assure you he is no small man.

    The formal and correct answer is no. So, no but yes. In randori Size and strength can be a large annoyance in hindering the execution of technique but will not make up for lack in your own.

    As others have said, in your own path you'll adapt techniques to yourself, bend knees more and prefer some more over others. Maybe even just a handful ever get used.

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    I think this thread should be moved to either Gendai Budo or retitled "Does Size Matter in Aikido" and placed there. It has no discussion of close quarters combatives.

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    The thread is moved to Gendai Budo.
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
    Hiroshima, Japan

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    Size Always Matters.
    Ed Boyd

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    Quote Originally Posted by CEB View Post
    Size Always Matters.

    And don't ever believe it when they tell you it don't!

    Thx for the thread move...

  17. #15
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    Size always matters? 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.

    The history of budo is rife with smaller men who defeated larger opponents. Take a look at the history of budo and you will find many smaller men at the helm. We have the early days of Judo with no weight classes with little men wining routinely, Jujutsu-ka like Takeda and Ueshiba kicking butt over larger men and then we have the karate guys, on to many smaller Indonesian fighters, some amazing smaller Chinese Internal fighters and not to mention weapons, the great equalizer.

    In the modern era, with modern sport fighting and sport science, we like to think we understand everything there ever was to know about fighting and training. Just watch enough of modern events and you will see them convinced they are forging new ground rather than just reinventing the wheel...even while unknowingly using hundreds of years old techniques. Its comical to watch sometimes. Yet even in the modern era, we had no weight class events where people like Royce and his 178 lb frame choked out Dan Severn with his 270lb frame. Yet a little farm boy from Iowa went on to pummel Royce. Kimo, who lost several times until he went on to stop doing steroids, lose weight and learn to fight, smart.
    There is far more to fighting than lifting weights and being big. There are many equalizers. Saying size always matters... is to simplistic a retort to do the history of the arts justice.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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