Aikido Techniques and Women: Exam Preparation – Part 1 – It’s Not Just the Throw
As a matter of principle, women are not given any special consideration or allowances when taking an examination to test their knowledge of Aikido techniques. For this reason there are special things that women should consider as they begin to prepare for an Aikido kyu or dan exam. How one trains physically and mentally affect will affect not only how Aikido techniques are executed, they have a direct influence on the level of confidence demonstrated as each move is executed.
Aikido Techniques: Endurance – A Major Factors That Affect Performance
Imagine that you are slated to run a marathon in six months. Would you wait until a week before the event to begin training? Of course not – and why? Beginning a systematic and gradual training regimen will result in the body’s ability to adapt to the increasing physical demands culminating in a successful running of the race. So it is that a key element for a woman to consider is that upper body strength will not be on par with a man. No, I am not saying that women need to pump iron so that they have strength equal to a man. If you have learned anything from my discussions related to Aikido techniques and women, it will have been that it is a given that women do not generally have the upper body strength of men. On the other hand, it is also true that being in condition to endure the rigors of an exam is a key element of training. Exam elements can be practiced in sequence with or without a partner (refer to the Shadow Aikido article). Focusing on conditioning is a first step in the journey to prepare for a successful exam.
Aikido Techniques: Back to Basics
Let’s assume you are conditioning in an organized manner. What next? To answer that question, let’s go back to basics. The key to Aikido techniques is the four principles…all four. According to my mentor, Sensei Rod Kobayashi, they are interrelated. If you have one, you have them all. If you are missing one, you have none. So it is that the key to generating power that goes beyond muscle is balance which comes from keeping one point. From a stable base power is generated through the body rather than the arms. It is through ki extension generated by a relaxed body whose weight is on the underside that maximum power is generated.
More on the basics in the next article.