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Thread: Does size Matter with martial arts

  1. #16
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    Size, or more accurately, strength, always matters. Just because skill can defeat strength doesn't mean strength is irrelevant. I will take being strong & unskilled over simply being unskilled every time. Likewise strong & skilled is better than merely skilled. There is a reason modern competitive fighters spend time in the weight room and in the dojo - you need both strength and skill to win.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

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  3. #17
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    Matter matters.
    The more matter you have
    the more you matter.


    That said, there are some skill sets which can level the playing field so that a smaller person with those skills can prevail over a much larger opponent who does not.
    Cady Goldfield

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    ...there are some skill sets which can level the playing field so that a smaller person with those skills can prevail over a much larger opponent who does not.
    But a larger person with those skills could probably do even better, all else being equal. Matter matters, but it's not all that matters.
    Yours in Budo,
    ---Brian---

  6. #19
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    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 Dan Harden; 7th January 2015 at 11:59.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden
    We should have something else to offer here besides.... big men are scary!
    That's very strange! I read back through the entire thread and didn't see anywhere that anyone offered either the words or the sentiment that "big men are scary". It would be much easier to converse with you Dan if you did NOT try to place words in other people's mouths. What I got from the various posts is that of course size matters, which is an undeniable truth of physics. I also got the feeling that everyone agreed that sufficient skill and knowledge could overcome any size advantage.

    Since you're the only person stating that there is no such thing as a size advantage, perhaps you could point out to us specific examples where, if skills and training were equal, being larger than your opponent would be a disadvantage?
    Paul Smith
    "Always keep the sharp side and the pointy end between you and your opponent"

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  9. #21
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    I think my point was well made. I didn't say anyone said that. I didn't quote anyone. It is the nature of what I think had been offered in the thread; a simplified view of a deeper topic.

    I think we can and should do a better job than what had been offered.
    As for putting words in people mouths you wrote this:
    Since you're the only person stating that there is no such thing as a size advantage,
    I never implied that at all. I redefined the previous answers to a more specific argument "All things be equal, size matters. " All in attempt at a more detailed response or dialogue. At least my statement makes more sense than size always matters. That is simply not true. Provenly not true.
    The words you just placed... in my mouth... are more of the simplistic views I think we need to avoid. How can there be disagreement over that?

    I don't think you read what I wrote, since you made my own argument as your closing question.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 7th January 2015 at 15:47.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Paul, as an example of you or anyone, offering an interesting (and at least not one dimensional) response, how about reading what I actually said and then addressing the points and examples mentioned. They were most certainly the only nuanced arguments to appear in the thread. In fact answering and addressing them point by point would guaranty a more reasoned response by the nature of the points made and this would drag the discussion up a few notches to where it should be! ;-)j
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    ... At least my statement makes more sense than size always matters. That is simply not true. ....
    And you believed her?
    Ed Boyd

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  13. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Paul, as an example of you or anyone, offering an interesting (and at least not one dimensional) response, how about reading what I actually said and then addressing the points and examples mentioned. They were most certainly the only nuanced arguments to appear in the thread. In fact answering and addressing them point by point would guaranty a more reasoned response by the nature of the points made and this would drag the discussion up a few notches to where it should be! ;-)j
    A number of your arguments were actually advancing the more general case that physical attributes matter to the task at hand. Spec Ops guys aren't huge because they have a lot more tasks to do than overcoming opponents in hand to hand combat - endurance, agility and other attributes are important. Being in condition is important no matter what physical thing you are doing. Quicker and in shape can beat slow and fat even at a strength disadvantage.

    The original question was actually whether or not the poster's large size of 120 kg would be a detriment to aikido, and my answer is not in general. You mentioned equalizers, and of course weapons are the great equalizer. In kendo, a 120 kg guy would typically be at a disadvantage because his strength doesn't matter that much but his speed of movement is likely to be problematic. However, I once taught kendo to a former semi-pro football player who was 6'10", easily 120 kg and frighteningly quick. Exceptions to every rule, you know.

    But by and large as I said before size & strength are an advantage, all else being equal. You can ignore that at your peril. Media portrayals of martial arts ignore it, and that tends to seep into the general consciousness until people start to believe that a woman the size of Scarlett Johannson can actually effectively fight multiple large men. We all have to face physics and biology.
    Neil Gendzwill
    Saskatoon Kendo Club

  14. #25
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    Big guys can be very fast and very strong.

    In my experience as a teacher the most common impediment a big man has is not lack of speed but rather a tendency at lower skill levels to rely on strength when he gets frustrated at not getting it right.

    Women make great students because they generally have a good natural understanding at making use of mechanics. ie... They know how to use their hips. ........ Going in and out of cars and buildings with a child in one arm and full bag of groceries in the other. Women also listen better than dudes.

    I was a big kid. Grew up on farm and was bucking hay bales, carrying bags of ground feed, water buckets, scooping hog shit since I was a child. I knew how to work, how to use the hips legs and back. Size is good. I took very well to Judo.

    All the combative sports I studied had weight classes for a reason.

    But all of this is often trumped and often meaningless. Great students with great techniques often can't fight and can't be taught to fight. I don't think you can teach FIGHTING in an at will training environment. Students can either flip the switch or they can't.
    Last edited by CEB; 7th January 2015 at 17:05.
    Ed Boyd

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    Size ALWAYS matter, and don't let anyone tell you that it doesn't.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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  17. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gendzwil View Post
    Media portrayals of martial arts ignore it, and that tends to seep into the general consciousness until people start to believe that a woman the size of Scarlett Johannson can actually effectively fight multiple large men. We all have to face physics and biology.
    Now I know Dan would prefer some intelligent answers at this point, but I have just got to say... I LOVE the scene where Scarlett Johansson (as "Black Widow") takes out a corridor-full bunch of security guards. Her stunt double is awesome... and rather small. So yes, the media portrayal of molehills taking out mountains (or Davids and Goliaths), is certainly attractive enough to make it a popular meme. Unfortunately, it is the very obvious disparity and the most obvious outcome of defeat for the little guy, that makes the reverse such a popular win.

    But don't let my lack of relevant knowledge interfere with the discussion. I'll just hang out with Ed at the back of the room sniggering at the unintended double entendres when they come up.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  18. #28
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    Damn, I liked Ed's first post... now while I was typing he comes up with another classic on-topic and relevant post so my reference to his first one makes no sense.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  19. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Size ALWAYS matter, and don't let anyone tell you that it doesn't.
    How do you explain Ueshiba-Tenryu and Tohei-Hawaii?

    =====

    Tenryu was over six feet tall and weighed something over 240 pounds to Ueshiba's five feet and 180 pounds.

    There are multiple articles about Tenryu's encounter with Morihei Ueshiba. In one report, Ueshiba is seated and Tenryu unsuccessfully attempts to move him. Tenryu pushes with both hands and shoulders. Ueshiba use internal power from his hara, dantien, center, whatever you'd like to call it and sends Tenryu backwards about three feet.

    In another version, Ueshiba talks about how he watched Tenryu waste his strength trying to unsuccessfully push him over as he was seated. Ueshiba sends Tenryu flying by a redirection of power and then pins Tenryu with one finger. Ueshiba lets Tenryu try to push him over by pushing on his forehead. Tenryu can not. Ueshiba pushes his legs outward but Tenryu still can not push him over.

    In an interview with Tenryu, we find that Ueshiba gave Tenryu his left wrist and allowed Tenryu to do anything with it. Tenryu could do nothing and mentions that grabbing Ueshiba's hand felt like grabbing an iron bar. Even when Tenryu lunged at Ueshiba, Tenryu could not get the better of him. Even when Tenryu tried to push or pull Ueshiba, Tenryu could not budge him.

    In an interview with Nishimura, Nishimura remembers Tenryu's words about trying to push Ueshiba from behind and it was Tenryu who slid backwards.

    =====

    Koichi Tohei was 5' 3" tall and weighed 143 pounds. 100 kilos = 220 pounds
    http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/...mes-to-hawaii/

    “No matter how much I say that Aikido can do something, all of you must still have worries. If that is so, could you gather 10 men who have reputations for strength in Hawaii?”

    When I suggested that, a group of people with pride in their strength gathered right away.

    All of them had fourth or fifth dans in Judo or Kendo as a matter of course, and there were pro-wrestlers weighing more than 100 kilos.

    I told them all to attack me in any way that they pleased, and then threw them and held them down easily one after the other.

  20. #30
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    I would explain it the same way I have seen my son playing O Line at 240 pounds pancake 370 pound D tackles. My boy was better. But if he had weighed 143 he would have had a hell of a time with it no matter how good his technique was off the snap.

    As good as he was he only got offers to play at division III colleges. He wasn't big enough to play Division I ball.
    Ed Boyd

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