“Women in Aikido: A brief introduction,” from The Accidental Aikidoist

“Just this past Wednesday I had the honor of having the night’s class taught by Mary Heiny Sensei, 6th Dan. Her site can be viewed here. But as a brief introduction of her she is one of the few (if not the only) high ranking female instructor of Aikido in the world who studied with O’Sensei. She also studied extensively with Michio Hikisuchi, 10th Dan for a while after his passing.

I’m sure it is the same with other martial arts but it’s always interesting to see women instructors do their thing. Let me give you a short discussion on what I have noticed about women instructors – and women Aikidoka in general.”

Click here to read entire article.

Join us on Facebook


  1. Brett Jackson says:

    Not sure this has much meaning or validity: “women tend to give up their center more easily.” Do you mean that they are easier to push over or don’t extend as much ki? Not sure what is meant. Do you mean that they exhibit this trait as uke or nage or both? Have you taken weight or age into consideration? Fore example, you might expect the average woman practitioner to be lighter in weight, and you might expect the lighter in weight practitioner to “give up his/her center more easily”. Still I’m not clear on what that expression is intended to mean. If it means they don’t extend as much ki, then I have to disagree. In my experience, it all depends on the person. In my experience, also with children, I have not found sex/gender to be very relevant, and I think this is the way it should be.

  2. Brett Jackson –

    What I meant is that for the uninitiated women from my experience, whenever they meet a strong force – in this article’s case, with a male partner who’s exerting a lot of force – they do tend to collapse in this malpractice of Aikido.

    As I had mentioned this simply from my experiences and should not be taken as anything sexist. These are just my observations. As for size and weight, I’ve met small people (both sexes) who are new and yet don’t give away their center and I’ve met bigger people than myself who give away their center way to easily than expected (and vice versa). It’s all about being in their body and having them being comfortable in their skin, etc. etc.

    You’re not the first one to point out that there’s no gender difference when it comes to being in their center, and you are right. This post was merely a short tidbit of my observations and should not be taken as gospel.

Speak Your Mind