Concerned For Uke

by Ken
(Pittsburgh, USA)

I have been practicing aikido for a few years now, and am a bigger burly type at 5'9" and weigh in at a solid 240.

I practice with more women than men and I am always concerned for their safety. I am deathly afraid of injuring one of them to the point that it effects my ability to practice.

When I train with men I don't have this problem. It is not that I don't care or am rougher with the boys, just the thought of harming a little lady really concerns me.

I dont know how to get past this.

I have been practicing tai chi for many years now and am very sensitive to the touch and contact from others, which has helped me a bit. I am still at a loss for dealing with this.

thanks, Ken


Hello Ken, I hope you are well, and thanks for your comments. Sorry to hear about the difficulty that you are experiencing.

As you have been practising Aikido for several years, then you must be very familiar with most of the techniques. By keeping a balanced posture, you'll be able to control the amount of power that you use in your techniques, which helps you to 'look after' your uke's.

Bearing in mind your Tai Chi training and 'need' to protect ladies, you are far less likely to harm a training partner than most students.

But, as you train with men without this worry, maybe your concern for ladies safety is exaggerated. Maybe you think or feel that their ukemi skills are not good enough to protect themselves.

In which case, maybe you should ask your instructor?

More ukemi practise is good for all!

Of course, we all know that there is an element of risk involved in any activity, martial art, or sport we take part in.

If your difficulty is more 'mental' than 'physical', then I suggest you release the energy surrounding it. This can be achieved by focusing on how it makes you feel. Then take a few deep breaths, and as you breathe out completely relax and let the concern go!

Doing this several times can be very effective!

If you really cannot get past this concern, maybe you should consider a dojo with less women, a softer or harder style.

No-one wants to hurt anyone, but we must all train close to the edge to develop real skill.

I hope you can solve this issue Ken.


Tony Wilden
Aikido Health Centre

P.S. My Aikido First Aid Ebook goes into great detail on the best ways to prevent and avoid training injuries. It comes as a FREE Bonus with my Aikido Success Blueprint ebook collection.

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