“Excuses…excuses,” by Elizabeth Castor

“About a month ago, I overheard an exchange between sensei and another student. Sensei asked the student to reach up a little higher to achieve the proper unbalancing that makes the technique smoother. The student did so, but laughingly remarked that uke was pretty tall and she was pretty short and that made it hard to accomplish. Now, I can’t remember what sensei’s exact reply was, but he said something along the lines of ‘tough… you’ll have to get used to it. No excuses.'”

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  1. …we all do forms as best we can. and YES size makes a difference! it isn’t that big beats small, though in real situations it’s a proven advantage. it’s that when you get to expressing your own personal aikido it MUST be appropriate to your size. thus, in general, a short person will normally extend a tall one out and down, maybe wrap them around and up. a tall person is going to have issues with shihonage and koshinage on shorter folks. they’re unlikely to manifest themselves spontaneously. short on tall, of course, they’re naturals. and, of course, there is always the temptation for large folks to just power through. while that works, after a fashion, it’s tiring. nothing wrong with power. in the inevitable case where the technique isn’t just right, it does fill in the gaps, but…

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