Any ideas for small people?

by Maria
(Germany)

I´m one of the smallest women in our dojo so I usually get to practise with bigger (male) partners.


I often get frustrated because they can easily hit me from a distance where I´m not able to reach them. When I try to close in to a distance that would allow me to make a valid strike they hit me before I can get there.

Also when my opponent strikes men, they often hit me on top of my head which is really painful for me.

Do you have any ideas that might help me? Thank you very much for your answer and this great website!

Answer: Thank you for your question and sorry for my delayed reply.

That is a very common issue. First of all, make sure that your men fits you. If you are not seeing your opponent through the monomi of your men (usually the widest gap, the 7th from the top). You might be looking down a bit all the time so it is easier for everyone to hit the top of your head. Make sure you don’t look down when they are striking you.

In jigeiko, you do not have to strike their men. You need to work on oji-waza such as

- debana-kote
- nuki-do
- kaeshi-do

Make them feel like they cannot strike your men because you will counterattack them with these techniques. This is the time for you to “steal” their distance and get into your own distance to strike their men.

If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Good luck!

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