Does Size Matter?

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Kirk

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I'm a pretty big guy. The beginners class that I'm in goes up
to blue belt. It seems so far, that none of the higher ranked
belts of a definite smaller size would be able to do much damage
to me. I know that anyone can poke an eye, or attack
unexpectedly, but that aside, they couldn't successfully put me
in a wrist lock, bear hug, full nelson, headlock, pin or check my
knee or leg. Even most of their strikes don't effect me too much.
There are other guys that are big, yet smaller than me that can
do this stuff, so it's easy to see that bigger does NOT mean
better, or indestructable or anything remotely like that. But
when there's a situation bordering on a drastic height and
weight difference, it's a definite factor. If y'all feel that a skilled,
yet small black belt would effectively take me out ... at what
point would that happen, do you think? Like a small kenpoist
versus a big guy, not studying any art? How about a small
kenpoist, taking on a big guy of a low rank?
 
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Rob_Broad

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Kenpo is to be tailored to fit the individual. size can be a factor but it should not matter.
 

arnisador

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Training can only do so much. Yes, mass matters. It's harder to hurt a big guy. A trained fighter always has an edge on an untrained fighter; an aggressive/driven fighter always has an edge on a fighter who doesn't have that mental attitude; and a bigger or faster fighter has an edge on a smaller or slower one.

So, if you can't be big, studying the martial arts is a good idea! If you are big it'll still make you a much better fighter. But, as Mr. Hartman said to me last night, would you put a heavyweight champ up against a featherweight champ?

Some day the smaller folk will improve their technique enough to rattle you (including that hey'll find ways to make it work for them as they gain experience). I don't think anyone would want to throw down with Angi Uezu who's fairly short if memory serves. But yes, size matters. You'll always be harder to hurt or choke. There are some techniques that'll work better against you but overall, as a rule, it's a benefit in a fight to be bigger.
 
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Rob_Broad

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Kirk, wait til someone does backbreaker on you, you will wish you were a 100 pounds, with the larger size gravity can be a pain with some techniques.
 
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Kirk

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Originally posted by Rob Broad:
with the larger size gravity can be a pain with some
techniques

I can definitely go with that. While working techs in a circle, and
having to dummy like 20 times in a minute, it's done a number
on me with taking falls, or hitting your knees, etc.
 
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Rob_Broad

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Also remeber that coin has 2 sides, what may seem medium power coming from you may feel like a run a way train to a smaller person. In time there will be a balance. Enjoy your time of not much working on you, because soon, they will figure out how to make everything painful.
 
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Battousai

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Originally posted by Kirk

I know that anyone can poke an eye, or attack
unexpectedly, but that aside, they couldn't successfully put me
in a wrist lock, bear hug, full nelson, headlock, pin or check my
knee or leg.

I think size has nothing to do with putting someone in a wrist lock:p Children can be taught to take adults down with wrist locks, though they have to be quick about it, since they don't have the strength when the adult resists. But then all wrist techniques are about simple manipulation that results in the wrist/arm in a position of weakness so that there is virtually no strength to resist anyway. And as for the others things, size certainly makes it hard to grab someone.

But I don't think size matters. I think that every body being unique has its own natural advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of size are extra stength and extra padding in some places. The disadvantages are the extra weight in falling (as mentioned above), a general lack of flexibility, and a little less speed.
Most all of the advantages of size can be gained with enough training, and most of the disadvantages of size can be eliminated with enough training.

For me, my disadvantages are my height - I'm too tall, my center of gravity is way above average, so throwing me is really easy, and my weight - I weigh less then average for my height, so I don't have as much biomass padding protection, or as much natural force in my techniques as people with more mass do. My advantages are wiry muscles - which are a little faster then bulkier musculature, flexibility - where most wrist techniques would have had someone on the ground or in the air or with broken bones, the techniques need to be amplified/exaggerated to work on me.
Most of my advantages can be gained with training, after years of uki-ing with wrist techniques everyone's wrists become more flexible.

Martial arts are such that every type of physique can be effective. Are some physiques better then others? I don't know, but regardless, what matters most is the training. Women have natural advantages that men don't, with their stucture, yet they are not as strong. Yet strength is perhaps the least of the virtues of the martial artist. The whole concept of martial arts is that of the small person being able to easily subdue the larger. The realm of atemi drastically shrinks the benefits of brute strength. Every body has it's weak spots, and those spots are uniform acrost the board in their homological positioning. Each body is different, thus the points of atemi are in different spots, but these positions are all relative to the proportions of the body.

Martial arts seem to be, to me, a equal ground for all, no matter there size or lack of. The only requirement is a motor ablility. People in wheel chairs can take down those will full mobility, because there are advantages to being in a wheel chair as well. Basic advantages being a very low center of gravity and a low striking field that is uncommon to normal bipeds.

The longer someone takes lessons, the more training they undergo, the less the gap between mere physical advantage becomes.
A rather long winded opinion, but this is a fundamental question to the nature of martial arts:rolleyes:
 

Klondike93

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:boxing:

Lets see, how did that go? "The bigger they are the harder they fall".

Yeah that's it.

:D

:asian:

Chuck
 
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GouRonin

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Size matters, in many things. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is wrong.

Right Dutch?
Ha ha ha!

But seriously, size does matter. Some techniques will work no matter what the size is but size is a huge factor. It's a myth that is plays no importance.
 

kenpo_cory

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Originally posted by GouRonin

Size matters, in many things. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is wrong.

It's a myth that is plays no importance.



I agree 100% Mass must definitely be taken into consideration. I know, I'm only 5' 6" 160 pounds. Now, if I get into a shoving match with someone thats 6'3" 275 pounds I'm in trouble. I think that you have to choose which principles will work best against different opponents. But, I also think that size becomes less of an issue as experience is gained and proper technique is executed.
 
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Kirk

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Originally Posted By: Battousai
I think size has nothing to do with putting someone in a wrist lock

I have pretty big wrists, and there's guys there with small hands.
They have an awful lot of difficulting putting me in a wrist lock.

I certainly didn't post here to make it sound like I feel that I'm
some sort of bad *** because I'm big. If it sounded that way,
then let me state otherwise right here and now. The black belts
at my school are half my size, and they've jacked me up plenty!
I was referring to a drastic difference in size. There's a kid (like
18 or 19) in my class that feels working out with me is pointless.
He comes across to me as someone who got picked on a lot,
because of his size. Just a feeling, he hasn't validated that.
And although he has done PLENTY of effective inflictions of pain
on me, he says he can tell how it's effective on other students,
but not with me. No matter what I tell him, he thinks I'm blowin'
smoke.
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by GouRonin

But seriously, size does matter. Some techniques will work no matter what the size is but size is a huge factor. It's a myth that is plays no importance.

I disagree--it's a fantasy, not a myth. People want to believe it.

The martial arts help but they aren't magic.
 
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Battousai

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Heh, I never said it plays no importance :)
It is an attribute, like many others. If martial arts are defined such that the biggest is the best then their is no difference between martial arts and normal untrained fist fights.
I don't belive that you guys really understand much about Aiki, or Atemi, to be saying such things. But everyone is intitled to their opinion.

Kirk: I never thought of you as a bad *** or anything :)
You posted a really good question.
 

JD_Nelson

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I am not sure about what is big and what is not. Everyone's pain tolerance is different.

For those with a high pain tolerance maybe the smaller guy should try to defang the snake. Take out the tuffy's weapons so they dont do damage.

I am not sure if it is a principle or not but I think it would work on someone with a high tolerance for pain.

Crack the ice, then break the ice.

Meaning keep targeting the same area. This would not have to be eye gouges, or soft tissue strikes. It could be the sternum, knee, or head of the muscle on the thigh, Take enough shots to the legs and mobility will decrease.

Maybe a smaller person would to make a big guy chase him a little bit. In general I think a big guy might wear out faster having more mass to move around.

Proper techniqe will also lend a smaller incredible power. If the proper angles for attack and bracing are used the energy will not recoil as severe into the smaller person.

Just me thinking.....:asian:

~~~Salute~~~

Jeremy
 
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Chiduce

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I would say that size is a factor in certain environments and situations. One would be the dojo and training with others whom would be unequally smaller. In the case the larger one would learn more about controlling aggressive wasted motion as well as specific offensive and defensive methods to his/her arsenal. The smaller one would relate more speed, power, and specific striking combative analogies to his/her arsenal! Here, they both will experience positive results in their respective interactions within the training environment. Now, in an actual violent street attack; size would be of little importance to no importance at all! Proper balance of rooting and yielding; adapting and controlling; adhereing and up-rooting; following and finishing with brutally damaging devastation are the key factors from my personal experiences. Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 

Yari

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Size matters, and so does weight.

Try and pratice with a person that's over 192 cm (about 6'4"), and weighs over 120 kg (sorry don't know the equivalent). His wrists are so huge you probably cant grip around then. Manipulating with such a person is hard. Specially the smaller you get. And if your that big try fighting a person of smaller stature than your self. You'll find out that its easy. There are a lots of "what if" situations, but in the end a punch doesn't hurt taht much if the person is a fly compared to an elephant. But it's easier for the fly to find the part of the body that the elephant can't reach.........


/Yari
 
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Battousai

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Originally posted by Chiduce

I would say that size is a factor in certain environments and situations. One would be the dojo and training with others whom would be unequally smaller. In the case the larger one would learn more about controlling aggressive wasted motion as well as specific offensive and defensive methods to his/her arsenal.

I've noticed that bigger sized people do have some training hurdles that others don't too Chiduce. In Jujitsu, guys with lots of natural strength have to learn alot about not using that strength. The whole point of throwing is that it is effortless and should use the energy of the uki. Strong guys can go for years doing throws incorrectly because they have the strength to back up their incorrect technique. No matter how big you are, there's always someone bigger out there, and you will meet them LOL. And techniques that require strength will not work on them. Correct techniques require no strength. Its hard to learn not to use your own strength.

The reverse side is with smaller people. They HAVE to do the technique correctly to get the result. If they don't it doesn't work. I went to Jujitsu classes for years were the only guy there to work out with was of great size. For years I couldn't figure out how to throw him, I would get some things down but others just wouldn't ever work. And then one day I actually slamed him, and he was like, wow I actually had to slap the mat. My technique finally got to the point that the throw we were doing really worked on him. I know that I can do it now. But for larger people, it takes a long time to know for sure that you are doing the technique right and not relying on your strength, because the results can look the same to the untrained eye. Smaller people can go through classes looking like they never get anywhere, and its really depressing, but they are learning and will eventually get to the point that the results of their training are evident.

As for not being able to get a grip on larger wrists, I can sympathize. My instructor is so big that I can't hardly bear hug him at all, and I'm over 6 foot 2 inches, with long arms. I can't encircle his wrists with my grip, but I can get wrist locks on him, I guess it depends on the type of locks we're talking about, everything I've been taught works on him with enough practise.
 

tshadowchaser

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Size matters in many situations but not always.
One of my students (from a few years back) was a police officer and ex mlitary. He weighed in at aout 275 and was fast as hell. We got playing a little to rough one day (he had alredy broke my nose) when I kicked hi in mid thigh. Tore out anterior,and posterior ligiments He was laid up or in a cast for the next six weeks.
Can a little man take down a big man it may depend on the people or the experience. When will it happen? when least expected.
Shadow
Oh i weigh in at about 140lbs.
 
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Chiduce

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I understand what each of you are saying and understand each ones point! Yet the real deal in a violent street attack is not going to give you time for proper technique, proper timing, or even proper understanding that the attack may be coming. Your understanding of self is all you have to either win or lose; be damaged with little severity or be damaged severely; or fatally injured! That is the attacker's main purpose and only if no weapons are involved. The element of surprise is his/her key to controlling you and not his/her size! Even though they may think that combined with the surprise element, the victims sight of the size of this attacker will aid in controlling your possible countering abilities! Jujitsu stylists learn striking, kicking and breaking just as the others do. It is highly probable that any series of these combinations which are positively effective will be the best possible alternative. It is safe to assume also that with proper power distribution; these combinations will save you from any fatal damage to yourselves. I was in an encounter where a guy and his friend just went out of it. Both guys were larger than me and my friend. They were visitors at my friends house. When they went off the deep end; the first factor that they used was the element of suprise for control. One dude picked my friend up and threw him out of his own front picture window, crashing him onto his front porch. Then the other guy turned at me a started to shout and yell obscenities! I had to realize that there was nothing that i could do to stop them from this. So, i agreed to their demands to the point of settling them down as the lead guy approached! When i could see that his yang was swifting turning to yin, i struck! I continued to srtike and kick until he needed help from his friend. By then we had fought into the kitchen where i picked up a knife out of the knife rack and started to throw my first strike with it. Well as fate had it that night, my attacker had become very winded. The spiritual aspect of someone or something took presence within my counter assualt and the knife slipped out of my hand and onto the floor. The attacker took several breaths and i got out through the back door in the kitchen unharmed. This does not necessarily prove that size does or does not matter; though it does prove that the striking kicking and breaking combinations work well when all else is failing! Then i weighted about 150 lbs; my freind weighted about 135 lbs; and the 2 guys combined weighted about 265lbs; with my attacker weighting about 240lbs. My present height and weight are 5'10", 225lbs! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 
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fist of fury

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This is a great thread with some really well thought out responses. But being the juvenile person I am I'll have to harass kirk a little.

{ begin juvenile
1. Does size matter?
It depends upon the ladies preference
2. Kirk does have big wrists and a really good grip. guess why:D
/end juvenile}

ok juvenile mode off is off now yes I agree technique will eventually help alot one of the asst. instructors in my kwoon is about 5'1 120lbs and can easil defeat some of the larger students over 6' tall but it takes time.
 

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