I hate stereotypes. One of the reasons I have decreased practicing Aikido was the look on people faces when they know that I love Aikido. I heard all the comments you can imagine (mesh da Taksir ezam, plz don’t be angry at me, I’ll be afraid from you,,,, bla bla bla). Even though I know that most of this is just mockery and jokes, but it really makes me angry. And at the same time, after 2 years of rarely praticing, I discovered thar I hated being that type of employee who’d finish by 5pm, head to home and at best go to a cultural activity by night, I am not that type, I need more action in my day.
And I am tired of explaining over and over again that Aikido is the art of peace, it -literally- means the way of being in harmony with ki / internal energy, it is not competitive, it is always a win win thinking, it is anti aggression, the attacker is not treated as an enemy, not he is seen as a stupid person who decided to resolve to attacking as a final resort, Aikido IS a beautiful martial art.
Aslan, there are hundreds of articles talking about that, (here, here, here, here ) and sometimes Aikido is even seen as the best option for women because size doesn’t matter. Besides, women don’t have that ego problem that prevents progress in Aikido for men, and they have more flexible joints that makes boys do insane while failing in performing the right technique. And one of the best teachers I ever met is called Josette Nickels sensei, she is a lovely French women who comes to Egypt one week per year, and she is just amazing sensei. All this makes me appreciate learning aikido, but there is always this stupid perception that aikido is not feminine, that a girly girl should faint from seeing herself wearing a wide gi and practicing hard with strong boys…… grrr I hate that. AND I hate it when my family members or friends come and tell me that it is not a girl’s game and that’sd better learn knitting, cooking or piano in order not to scare a good suitor!!!!!! I won’t say more ……………………….
“I have to say that I don’t think aikido is about male / female, I think it really is about movement, the power of the movement and position. If you’re in the right time and right place it really doesn’t matter if you’re male or female— the person is going to go down.” — Penny Bernath Sensei
“I think we’re all inhibited in many different ways. And I see aikido as a process of dropping those inhibitions and releasing a spirit of aliveness and vitality, that you can say that is really that person, that is unique to each person. And I really believe that that’s what aikido is about for all of us.” — Coryl Crane Sensei
“I don’t think of myself as a woman teacher. I think of myself as a teacher. And I don’t say to myself that, ‘Oh, I’m a woman who’s teaching.’ No, I don’t, that doesn’t cross my mind. I feel that I’m teaching a beautiful martial art. And I have a path to follow.” — Gloria Nomura Sensei
“It is often assumed that women, because of an average man’s greater physical strength, have a harder time defending themselves. In fact, in Aikido, because they are on average shorter, have a lower centre of gravity and are more intuitive to the use of ki, they are often better at Aikido than their male counterparts. It is only because society tends to make women think that they are weak that they don’t realise their potential.” an aikido club