I have found some interviews with French female Aikidoka on the Youtube channel of AikidoFFAAA: Sylvia, Sandra, Florence and Jacqueline. These fit really well into my series revealing thoughts from female aikidoka. In this post I am sharing the interview with my namesake, Sylvia. She is a French aikidoka, so I am trying my best to translate her thoughts from the interview into English hereunder:
I was a 18 years old student when I heard about aikido. I went to see it in the university's club. The first course was a revelation for me; I was seduced by what I could see there. Regarding an attack, how to resolve this issue, this conflict so that we preserve our integrity and that we at the same time become one with the situation. This is life: being regularly confronted with situations of which one has to be able to make a diagnostic. The movements require a certain energy and a physical effort; the projections require certain dynamism, all in all the muscles are really solicited. It is not that customary for a woman to touch a person of the opposite sex, that is why it is important to put those movements at their proper place with the help of the dojo etiquette. At the beginning, the Japanese martial arts were reserved to men only, only men participated at wars. It is the progress of the humanity itself that aikido is for women also, as there are no more reasons for women not to have access to this discipline, and I also think that it is a positive change in the life of the dojo also. From the moment a woman is in a certain environment, it is also a profit for that environment, for that system. So from this point of view it is also positive. I think we discover at this point other facets of the practice and this will bring a lot to men also. The movements, the gestures can be understood differently by a woman. The muscular mass of a woman is not the same, the tonicity is not the same the intensity will not necessary be the same either, but we can compensate with other aspects: a better placement, a better vision, a better response adapted to the attack. The martial arts are distinguished from sports, the letter being only based on performance. The aikido and the high martial arts go beyond that. (The interview is part of a press research entitled Women and Aikido)
In the hope that this inspired both my male and female readers out there I invite you to check out my Interview with Lia Suzuki Sensei also.