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In Aikido we all practice together. So women practice with men. Men practice with men. Women practice with women. And women are very capable of throwing men, and men can throw women.
Many progressive men think that women are better at Aikido than they are. And perhaps they’re right in thinking that. Aikido, in some ways, is based on not using too much muscle. Of course, we all use muscle when we move our bodies. But women are more attuned, are less strong. So we have to have better position, better timing, better technique in Aikido than men. Because when we’re mostly working with men, they’re stronger than we are, and bigger than we are.
And so, as a woman in Aikido, it has been very interesting, because, you know, you’re around a lot of guys. I’ve been around men for 32 years, a lot on the mat. I teach men on the mat. I practice with men. And it’s forced me to be very precise. But I must say that my training in Aikido has turned me into a real feminist. And by that, I know it’s kind of a retro term. But what I mean by that is that I’ve empowered myself. I’ve proven myself over and over. I’ve faced my fears. I’ve learned to accept people for who they are, and accept myself. But I’m not afraid of people. And so when I practice, I just go for it. And that’s what I kind of try to encourage other women to do.
So when women come to the dojo, it’s hard for grown ups. You know, it’s scary to fall down and get up. But once you master that, Aikido is really fun. And it’s a great, you can practice all over the world. There’s Aikido everywhere.