Podcast 20: Peggy Woo Sensei interview part 2 edited excerpt
Jan 30, 2017
MO: From your view, is there anything inherent within a female psychology that might help or hinder learning Aikido really well? Do you have any thoughts as to the female-male psychology and learning Aikido?
PWS: Obviously everyone is different but I think generally women can be perhaps more intuitive and more open to tapping into emotions and exploring that. So I think they can get a really good overall sense of a situation and be able to step back a bit and observe the whole picture and not be focused on just the end result, because I think the journey to getting to the end result is actually more interesting than just actually doing the technique well. I think if you really step back and look at the overall picture and how what you do affects the other person, and just reflecting on all that, it can actually help you in better seeing how to make the technique work. And if you can assess the situation, you’re able to adapt better to training with different people as opposed to just being very, very, focused on one thing.
MO: How do you approach Aikido from a size difference? How do you deal with the size differences? How do you adjust your Aikido accordingly?
PWS: I would say, take a step back, analyse what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, and then think, ‘ok, it hasn’t worked because why?’ And then usually you’ll find that it can be something very simple, something physical. For example, if your partner is taller than you, don’t reach up to them. Bring them to your level. Maximise the use of your whole body power when you’re moving, as opposed to just using group muscle strength. Look at the person and assess where are they strong, where are they weak, how you can get them to a place where they’re unbalanced. For myself, when I’m working with someone who’s bigger, your partner needs to be at a point of unbalance where you can really effectively do something. If they’re in a strong positon, then you’ll find you’ll just be fighting against your partner. So you have to try and find how to bring them to a point where they’re not expecting to be brought - they’re surprised, they’re unbalanced - and then using that to your advantage, maximising that opportunity by using your whole body power; the lower half moving in, entering, turning, throwing, whatever the technique may be.