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  • keiko with the opposite sex

    I recently had an unpleasant encounter during a keiko session in which my partner (female) complained about the gakari keiko session with me as being too rough. Apparently, after we did aiuchi men, I ended up with a taiatari, not particularly rough, but enough to set her back a few steps. In my opinion, the practice wasn't particularly rough and there was nothing that would even raise an eyebrow for hansoku.

    I was just wondering if I should have gone easy on her since she complained about it (she's nidan). I have spoken to other female kenshi in my dojo and they informed me that it's insulting to them when men treat them any differently or are less intense during rounds of jigeiko.

    In my heart of hearts, I believe that I did the right thing. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

  • #2
    It's a good question, it reminds me of an time when I was doing some Rugby tackle training with these two girls and I pushed one too hard and made her fall over, she and this other women gave me such nasty looks, through I wasn't pushing that hard.

    It might be best to ask the opposite sex thoughts on how soft or hard you should be when training and after each phase, get feedback to see if you are being too hard or soft.

    Personally, I don't think you should go that easy because they are females, because that will make them weak, but I can understand their feelings, I don't like it that rough myself.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CH0ZEN View Post
      In my heart of hearts, I believe that I did the right thing.
      i think this attitude suggests a little too much ego on your part. If she complained, then at least one person disagrees with you. I think correct attitude for you to adopt is politely adjust your style when you keiko with this person so that she has nothing to complain about. Another concern might be that when doing kakari style aiuchi men, when you taiatari, it disrupts the flow of the practice. She might want you to make a better effort to pass by to avoid that issue. You do have to keep in mind that practice is for both of you, you can't just be concern with your own performance.

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      • #4
        There's a section in this excellent article by Honda sensei about how men should approach jigeiko with women.

        http://kendo.org.uk/articles/attitudes-to-ji-geiko/

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        • #5
          We don't normally expect taiatari at all during aiuchimen. This is assuming you were practicing aiuchimen, not that one just happened to occur during your keiko.

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          • #6
            Depends, where you actually doing tai-atari correctly, what is the weight/size difference between you and her, and what is the experience level difference? My experience is that the women at or above my level are 10x more vicious than any male I keiko with, and if you give them an inch they will hang you with it.

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            • #7
              @Halcyon, thanks for the article. I'll be sure to check it out right away.

              @Neil, sorry I wasn't clear earlier. No we weren't doing aiuchimen drills. We were doing gakarikeiko and just so happened to hit men at the same time. Following the strike, I just lowered my hands to taiatari so that I could hiki-men after. Kind of like a one two combo that sort of materialized during the match. It felt like a natural thing to do so I did it. Unfortunately, it set my partner back a few paces, but she did not fall down or anything near that.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by turboyoshi View Post
                i think this attitude suggests a little too much ego on your part.
                I actually never thought of that but you may be right. Now that you mention it, I feel as though I'm in/was in a catch 22 situation. See I could either do what I did and have someone disagree with me or I could go softer/easier and have a different person complain that I was not giving it my all. I suppose that adjusting to each individual kenshi's preference and style is probably the best solution to avoid future misunderstandings between me and my partner. That's a lot of mental notes!

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                • #9
                  Halcyon, thanks for the article. First thing off the bat was refrain from doing taiatari and physical waza. I'll keep that in mind for the next go around.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CH0ZEN View Post
                    I actually never thought of that but you may be right. Now that you mention it, I feel as though I'm in/was in a catch 22 situation. See I could either do what I did and have someone disagree with me or I could go softer/easier and have a different person complain that I was not giving it my all. I suppose that adjusting to each individual kenshi's preference and style is probably the best solution to avoid future misunderstandings between me and my partner. That's a lot of mental notes!
                    It's a tricky balance. We want to give our best and not hold back, but it's hard to express that feeling outside of pure physicality, especially for guys. It's a testosterone thing.

                    When we have a big physical advantage over our opponent, fear of injury can make them hold back, and we don't want that either. The best keiko comes when both sides can give their best, and you're right to conclude that we have to be sensitive to our opponents, and be prepared to adjust.

                    In my opinion, one thing NOT to dial down with any opponent is your level of mental engagement, and constant pressure. Apply all your physical and mental efforts to control the elements of distance, timing, and initiative. From what I can tell, long term progress is all about finesse.

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                    • #11
                      Well i said it before i have gotten my butt kicked by some women out there...I think the worst match i have ever had was fighting a girl in the finals, and my feelings were very mixed: I didnt want to loose to a girl but i didnt want to win in the finals against a girl. It was the first time i used Jodan against a girl in Shiai. Unfortunately she was out to take me out like she did the 4 guys before me...so i couldn't hold back. I taitari'd with her full force and knocked her down by accident maybe 3 times before i scored, & i could see that she was crying--i felt really bad! The times she fell, i said sorry & went to help her up, but people were yelling at me. And i heard later on, i could have recieved a hansoku for saying sorry during the match. I won, but it left me with a horrible taste in my mouth.

                      I can say that i dont rely on my size in jigeiko or shiai. I desire to win or loose by form and skill. most of the time i taitari and bounce off. but with her case, she was coming in full speed and tried to out taitari me (brave girl).

                      in class, i wil slow down my katate kote when playing women. why? because at full speed it could really hurt a female. but even not throwing my kote at full speed, it forces me to use seme and get them to freeze in a block position allowing my powered down katate kote to score. it still feels and looks impressive, but most important my partner can rotate out and continue her training without injury--That's most important to me. ^_^

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                      • #12
                        For me the best part of the Honda sensei's article was the last part..
                        "What should be expected of all Kendo-ka when doing Ji-geiko, is that you make your opponents feel that they want to have Ji-geiko with you again."

                        You need all kind of people to ji-geiko with to be better. You shouldn't need all that force to practice your best Kendo with your aite ( unless you are at the beginning stage and can't control - even then you should learn to fix it quick before you hurt someone ).
                        IMO, geiko or match should be like dancing, win lose or draw, you want to be satisfied that you have done your best and your opponent should feel the same ( that he/she saw the best of you regardless of the result - re: Distance, timing, balance etc.). As Honda sensei mentioned it, if your opponent wants to geiko/match with you again, it probably was a good one. If not, maybe it wasn't such a good one. When you have to decide how much force is needed to display your best kendo against your opponent, ask yourself a question. "Would he/she want to geiko with me again tomorrow?"
                        Last edited by Karaken; 21st December 2010, 03:05 PM. Reason: better flow

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bokushingu View Post
                          Well i said it before i have gotten my butt kicked by some women out there...I think the worst match i have ever had was fighting a girl in the finals, and my feelings were very mixed: I didnt want to loose to a girl but i didnt want to win in the finals against a girl. It was the first time i used Jodan against a girl in Shiai. Unfortunately she was out to take me out like she did the 4 guys before me...so i couldn't hold back. I taitari'd with her full force and knocked her down by accident maybe 3 times before i scored, & i could see that she was crying--i felt really bad! The times she fell, i said sorry & went to help her up, but people were yelling at me. And i heard later on, i could have recieved a hansoku for saying sorry during the match. I won, but it left me with a horrible taste in my mouth.

                          I can say that i dont rely on my size in jigeiko or shiai. I desire to win or loose by form and skill. most of the time i taitari and bounce off. but with her case, she was coming in full speed and tried to out taitari me (brave girl).

                          in class, i wil slow down my katate kote when playing women. why? because at full speed it could really hurt a female. but even not throwing my kote at full speed, it forces me to use seme and get them to freeze in a block position allowing my powered down katate kote to score. it still feels and looks impressive, but most important my partner can rotate out and continue her training without injury--That's most important to me. ^_^
                          I've been told never to take Jodan against women. I think, reading between the first lines of Dr. Honda's relevant comments, that he is of a similar mindset. Having seen my little cousin (a girl) body check strong boys into the boards in hockey, I have a natural scepticism for this condescension to girls and women. And I used to do kendo with-barring children and the elderly-an equal-opportunity-waza mentality. I have since come to see that at least here in Korea, where there are still much more traditional gender attitudes, that the women I fought with did not see me as being egalitarian, but a bully. And so I try to work on other aspects of my kendo in jigeiko against girls. Except for those rare opportunities where I've had the chance to spar against girls who came up in the public school~yonsei U athletic programs. Because those women will hand you your ass in a tai-atari sandwich, and feed you a men-uchi chaser on your way down.

                          I still think it's a double standard and it's bullshit; it bothers me when I see ni-san dan women getting walked over by kyu-ranked men when it's time for shiai-geiko. Because they haven't been pushed; they're too used to their partners taking it easy on them. But it's for women to challenge that system, not an outsider and a guy, like me.


                          P.S. It's "lose".


                          P.P.S. And to the OP: If your opponent, man or woman, comes to you afterwards and says you were too rough for them, you should respect that, I think.
                          Last edited by b8amack; 21st December 2010, 04:00 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Karaken View Post
                            For me the best part of the Honda sensei's article was the last part..
                            "What should be expected of all Kendo-ka when doing Ji-geiko, is that you make your opponents feel that they want to have Ji-geiko with you again."
                            I think this is refering to respect. Is it not the attitude of budo - all budo?
                            Give what you receive, treat others as you wish them to treat you. Not beat the shit out of someone, male or female, old or young, give and take, sempai-kohei.
                            Jigeiko is ji-geiko, not shiai-geiko. There is another thread in the TRAINING section "Have you passed through the "berserker" stage?" that refers to the Neandrathals that practice kendo and although it generally refers to lower level men, arogant pricks exist at the high levels who ignore the perameters of the budo spirit.
                            Let's face it, we all love to get stuck in, but do so with like minded or same level individuals. Otherwise practice ji-geiko. If they are women great.

                            But enjoy, don't destroy!

                            I am male, and have practiced with some outstanding women kendo-ka in UK and Japan, and look for them at any opportunity I get. Female kendo is more soft and subtle, and for all male kendo-ka, there is a lot to learn from the softer side of kendo.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Maybe I'm being heretical but I believe that tai-atari, like the rest of kendo is a controlled operation.
                              Let's think a bit about the purpose of tai-atari; If you're not doing it in order to create an opportunity, you're probably just wasting effort.
                              There are two ways that you can create a realistic opportunity via tai-atari; unbalancing (kuzushi), which creates a chance for hiki-waza or knocking >back< which creates maai for an attack forward..(and most likely will also unbalance but...).
                              Of the two options, I prefer the first. If you just hit hard enough to get the 'victim?' to drop their right heel, they're pretty powerless against your hikiwaza.
                              If you hit hard enough to knock them back they have a chance to perform something like hiki-waza during their backward flight...and that case is not as certain as your hikiwaza may be if you just unbalance.

                              The OP states: "Following the strike, I just lowered my hands to taiatari so that I could hiki-men after." So I believe Chozen misjudged the power needed for the tai-atari because if you're blowing the other person back at great speed, you'll need to be cutting forward rather than performing hikimen. Your tai-atari should be more like something that will help you bounce >you< back while getting them unbalanced enough that you can strike rather than something that will blow _them_ back.

                              Ok so having said all of this; If this happened once and was inadvertent, the other kenshi is whining and about all you can do is apologize and say "sorry, didn't mean to tai-atari that strongly". If this happened repeatedly, and was intentional, you need to consider what, why and how to do tai-atari against people of all sizes so that it creates chances rather than just allowing you to watch lighter folks sail across the dojo.

                              Just my $.02 worth for today.

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