Size Verses Aikido

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Mushin

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I wanted some inputs on size. I have been studying (NGA) Nihon Goshin Aikido for over a year now. I have been told many times that some Martial Arts were developed to give the smaller (shorter) person the advantage. I am 65 220lbs and I find several of the techs on our curriculum extremely to my advantage. Does anyone else find there training effected by there size?

Thanks,
Paul
 

OUMoose

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Anyone who says a MA is size specific is smoking something. I'm 6'6" and around 380lbs, and my primary art is Pencak Silat Mande Muda (average male height in indonesia is what, 5' even?). My opinion is do what feels comfortable. Some techniques won't work on a smaller opponent, and some will work doubly well. Unfortunately I can't give any Akido specific advice, but IMO, keep fighting the good fight and it will pay off. :)
 

theletch1

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Paul, We've discussed this several times in the dojo before since we both have the same problem so I won't get into a long reply here on the subject. Just wanted to welcome you to the board. Great to see some one else from NGA in here. Be sure to check out the rest of the areas on MT. See ya monday in class.
 
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Chicago Green Dragon

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I was a student of the late Fumio Toyoda for Aikido for a few years.
We had people of all shapes and sizes in our class.
I dont think the question of height ever came into place. I have uke'd for several people in the pasts and numerous tests including multiple man attacks and I never seemed to notice a difference in height.
I am 6' 220lbs.

Chicago Green Dragon

:asian:

Mushin said:
I wanted some inputs on size. I have been studying (NGA) Nihon Goshin Aikido for over a year now. I have been told many times that some Martial Arts were developed to give the smaller (shorter) person the advantage. I am 65 220lbs and I find several of the techs on our curriculum extremely to my advantage. Does anyone else find there training effected by there size?

Thanks,
Paul
 

Yari

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I would say that the size issue depends on what you want of your technique. I'm also 6'2 (115 kilo, dont know how much it is in pounds). So I have the advantage of size strenght and in some cases speed.

But using those things would "corrupt" Aikido. I feel that using Aikido is to us natrual movement to do the techniques. If you emphesizing with Size, then your now doing Aikido.

You could then say that I bigger, spo whats the problem?

Well, most people will meet a person that is bigger or faster than themselves. So if you really worked with the principles, and not using size, strenght ... speed, then aikido would work for you even if the guy is bigger and "better".

So it's a bigger challeng(sp?), to learn when you have the size advantage. but the prize of this challenge is also bigger......

/Yari
 

theletch1

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I think Paul's point on size is more a matter of height than that of body mass. Certain techniques seem to be designed in such a way that someone with a lower center of gravity (read short) would be much better able to use the technique against some one of equal or taller height. OR there are techniques that are designed to defend against an attack that someone as tall as Paul is not at all likely to encounter (a one arm choke from the rear maybe). At 6'2" I have to stand on my toes to get my arm around his neck to execute a choke of this sort so I just can't see anyone trying this on him. One of the techniques that smaller folks have a hard time executing on those of us that are taller is Sokumen Iriminage (unbendable arm in our curriculum). It's nearly impossible for someone 5'5" to get their arm across his face (or mine for that matter). By the same token there are techs that are much more suited to folks of smaller stature than to taller folks because they require that you transition from outside ukes center, under his arm to his center line (i.e. shihonage from a backhand). These types of techs require that taller guys squat out a great deal to get under the arm. Do you find that certain techs are far more difficult or require some modification to allow for a height difference between yourself and uke? If so which ones. If an art were developed for a group of people with an average height of say 5'3" and then that art is taught outside of that demographic how is the art changed, modified to suit people of various body types?
 

Yari

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theletch1 said:
Certain techniques seem to be designed in such a way that someone with a lower center of gravity (read short) would be much better able to use the technique against some one of equal or taller height.

I agree on this!

But I've thought that even if people have the same hight, peoples bodies are individualy. They have different psossibilities, which give different movements, and then there is personal preferances. So I think that even if people have the same hight, there would be area's which would have to be "compremized" to pratice.

/Yari
 

theletch1

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Yari said:
I agree on this!

But I've thought that even if people have the same hight, peoples bodies are individualy. They have different psossibilities, which give different movements, and then there is personal preferances. So I think that even if people have the same hight, there would be area's which would have to be "compremized" to pratice.

/Yari
Yari, I've been told many times that to truly master a technique you must make the technique your own. Often times the techniques that we have been discussing must indeed be modified to work for your body type (good call on same height changes) and in so doing the technique works great. So in answer to the question that was originally posited by Mushin, we've all had to modify a technique as a result of height or body size.
 

Yari

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theletch1 said:
So in answer to the question that was originally posited by Mushin, we've all had to modify a technique as a result of height or body size.

Yes. Thats true!

/Yari
 
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J

Jameslee

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I'm not picking and I'm not trying to be dis respectful to Jeff or any NGA person but NGA as i know it really is not connected to Aikikai Aikido at all and is really Aikijujutsu and the Founder used Aikido instead and Bowes Sensei brought it to the states. So I think your perspective is off a little Jeff. I have seen Irimi done by tall and short people and it always seems to work better if the person is a little shorter then you. In the Aikikai Aikido your always turning and droping your center so the Uki's is always heading in a down ward spirail bring him a little lower than you so when you take is balance any tech should be no problem. I have been thrown by big and small people with smaller people it seems the fall is much quicker or rapid while with taller people it is kind of like when we break fall at the begining of class. Now that is just my point of view on it. I have study Aikijujutsu for 5 1/2 years but I have just started Aikikai Aikido.

Respectully
James


" It is better to die charging into battle then to wait for the unseen arrow " Jlf
 

theletch1

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How is my perspective off? NGA is indeed not associated with aikikai and has never claimed to be. The history of NGA is associated with "traditional" style aikido only in the fact that both are derived primarily from studies in daito-ryu. I'll post a link to the history of NGA at the end of the post so that you can read where we came from as written by folks that know better than I. Being one of the few NGA practitioners on this board, I've shown respect to those that practice any of the many different styles of traditional aikido by attempting to learn the japanese names for their techniques in as many of the styles as I can. They do differ from sub-style to sub-style. We in NGA have become Americanized in our study and use english names for the techniques. I've found this to make learning the techs a little easier but puts a bit more pressure on me in order to discuss our art with others here. Thus far everyone has been very good about explaining their techs in such a way that everyone, regardless of style, so that everyone will know which tech name in their style should be used. Not being a member of the aikikai has never (until now) been an issue.

The discussion, as it has evolved, related to taller folks having to drop their center, make small adjustments to techniques in general and so on. There are techniques that are simply better suited to fluid movement for folks using them against a taller opponent and vice-versa. No technique is going to work the same for all practitioners in the EXACT same way. The technique which you brought up (irimi) will need to be handled with very small adaptations (one might even say imperceptible) for use against folks of different sizes. While the concept remains the same, the execution will be different from person to person.

Check here for history
 
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Jameslee

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Let me try again I seem to have made a bad impression. I'm not calling you out on being a NGA person. I mean while you study Nihon Goshin Aikido and both that and Aikikai come from Daito Ryu I don't think the application of the princple and techs are extacly the same. I do know people who study NGA from other boards, The only NGA I know is what they do now while it's true they maybe more Jutsu then Do it seems they apply Irimi Shihonaga and some other techs in a more Aikijujutsu way etc using a strait line instead of a circle, the more direct approach is hard for short people to do Irimi but is easier for taller people while Shihonaga is easier for shorter people it's harder for taller. I have read that Taketa Shihan would teach you differently depending on your size thus each person learn there own Daito Ryu but I have heard the opposite as well that he taught everyone the same. Lastly of coures your going to change every Tech to fit you that is why it is called Martial ARTS because art is open to interpertation.

Once again I'm not trying to start a Flame war sorry if I offended you in anyway Jeff. Just speaking my experience of Aikijujutsu and Aikido.

Respectfully
James

" It is better to Die charging into battle then to wait for the unseen arrow" JLF
 

Shogun

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wow, I feel small!! I am 5'9" with my shoes on, and about 160 lbs. I find some of the Nage/throws in Aikido are hard to perform on really tall people, however, you just have to bring the fight to you. thats why I like tachi waza katate tori Irimi Ura. it pulls the attacker down, around, then they have a small time to psuedo-recover, then they are thrown.

I also find Soto Kaiten Ura effective against bigger people, because it gets up underneath them.
 

theletch1

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Jameslee said:
Let me try again I seem to have made a bad impression. I'm not calling you out on being a NGA person. I mean while you study Nihon Goshin Aikido and both that and Aikikai come from Daito Ryu I don't think the application of the princple and techs are extacly the same. I do know people who study NGA from other boards, The only NGA I know is what they do now while it's true they maybe more Jutsu then Do it seems they apply Irimi Shihonaga and some other techs in a more Aikijujutsu way etc using a strait line instead of a circle, the more direct approach is hard for short people to do Irimi but is easier for taller people while Shihonaga is easier for shorter people it's harder for taller. I have read that Taketa Shihan would teach you differently depending on your size thus each person learn there own Daito Ryu but I have heard the opposite as well that he taught everyone the same. Lastly of coures your going to change every Tech to fit you that is why it is called Martial ARTS because art is open to interpertation.

Once again I'm not trying to start a Flame war sorry if I offended you in anyway Jeff. Just speaking my experience of Aikijujutsu and Aikido.

Respectfully
James

" It is better to Die charging into battle then to wait for the unseen arrow" JLF
James, first let me apologize for my defenseiveness in my last post. If you check out more of my posts on this board you'll see that I'm normally very level headed. It has simply been a very, very long week at work and sleep deprivation tends to make a real butthead out of me.

On with the discussion! I've had the opportunity to train with only a couple of aikido-ka outside of the NGA system and have found that there do seem to be slight variations in theory as to the size of the circles that are used in different techniques. I have noticed a trend toward the more conservative side of circles in my training but I've only been at it for a year since leaving a karate style. Your take on the difference in irimi and shihonage is right on with the rest of the discussion. One of the folks that I train with is a woman about 5'4'' and it is hard as heck for me to make shihonage flow properly with her and by the same token she has a wee bit of trouble making irimi work well on me with out a step stool.

Again, welcome to the board and disregard my hotheadedness from my last post.
 
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L

Liam_G

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(brief intro first: I've posted a few times in the Filipino sections, but also have begun to train in Aikido, so I've been lurking here for a while ...)

Interesting, and near and dear to my heart, as I'm 6'4" and about 240 lbs. I find many techniques challenging, but it makes me stay more aware of my center, since I have to move it up and down so much! ... ;)

Ellis Amdur Sensei wrote a brief note on this subject over at the Aikido Journal pages:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/new/?id=98

Respectfully,
Liam
 

theletch1

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Liam, welcome to the wonderful world of aikido. Many of us here have studied other styles before studying aikido but I think we would all agree that our previous studies have been a real help to our aikido training. 6'4'' and 240 is most certainly not what a lot of folks think when they think aikido. I think a great many people equate aikido to smaller folks since it doesn't take brute force to execute the techniques. Indeed, I've found that trying to muscle a technique will often cause it not to work at all.

Again, welcome to the forum. There are several different sub-styles of O'Sensei type aikido as well as the style that I study and maybe even another style or two that none of us have figured out yet represented here so we should be able to learn something from each other.
 
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Liam_G

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Thanks for the welcome, Jeff!

Best Regards,
Liam
 
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