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 Sandra. She is a French aikidoka, so I am trying my best to translate her thoughts from the interview into English hereunder. She has an interesting way of formulating her thoughts that is quite difficult to render into Enlgish, but I tried my best. What I did to make the phrases more understandable was to split them into sentences. Her way of rendering her thoughts is much more cascading and continuous, but it could have lead to funny phrases in English. So here it is:
At the first training I saw the first technique. The next day I bought a kimono and I assiduously began to follow the aikido courses.
We would always make use of the power of the partner without using our own force. In comparison with men, I have the feeling that women have an advantage because aikido requests suppleness, agility, rapidity. We are not using the muscles of the arms and of the shoulders but the hips. It is true that a woman has a natural advantage at that level because they are built up to be able to bare a child so there is a natural endowment and power.
It is not about learning a technique but learning the placement, the steps and how to put yourself in a safe position when facing another person. We always have stressful days, we run all day long and are irritated but when the aikido course starts it is as if we would evacuate all that, as if a really positive and serene energy that would flow all through our body, putting you to calm and ease. One has an incredible energy after the course. As for myself I know that I am more productive at work after the training then before. I am aware of the fact that the people who knew me before I started practicing aikido and who see me now five years later don´t recognize me. I used to be really anxious and stressed out I was afraid I would be late or not able to finish this or that task. It is true that I am a much more balanced person. I used to be really timid and reserved, used to have difficulty to relate to others, but aikido has helped me a lot. In fact practicing aikido is working with someone; we cannot practice alone. I have accquired a lot of serenity and confidence in myself, something I did not have before. It is true that the way one practices aikido is a question of existing in the world. With my weight I could not imagine how I would be able to face someone who has 90 to 95 kgs. But then I realized there was a possibility to lead him without being confronted with him, something that I also verified in my daily life. It is true that it is a martial art, but it educates me to have a certain lifestyle also.