Let me just call bullshit right off the bat on those people who say size and strength don't matter in martial arts. I cannot speak for all martial arts but I can tell you having competed in or coached judo for 42 years, that damn, I am really old! Well, in addition to that, I can tell you that size matters. Of course a very skilled 110 pound female can beat an out-of-shape unskilled 145 pound male. That same female will get crushed by a very skilled, fit, 145 pound male and that same 145 pound male will get slammed by the 230 pound male.
If Ronda and Julia got in a fight, I would not say size and strength don't matter. I would say, "Ronda! What the hell is wrong with you?! Leave your little sister alone!"
Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I have said that - about seven hundred times.
Don't even start telling me about Moshi-moshi sensei who won the all-Japan championships in 1928 and only weighed 76 kilos (see, I can do metric weights just like the rest of the world).
A. Even the small people who won the All-Japan championships were significantly larger than the average Japanese person, especially of that time. Random diversion here - even more random than the rest of this blog - there has been a significant increase in height of Japanese people over the past 100 years, as noted in this article from the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In other words, Sensei Moshi-Moshi was pretty damn big for the time.
B. Even though there may be an occasional outstanding smaller man beat a much larger man, that is not the way to place your bets. This is why we have weight divisions.
I was wondering about this the other day when I was trying to teach tomoe nage (a circle throw) to one group of students and they were having trouble. The next day, I was trying to teach a matwork move to another group that involved scissoring your legs to lift and turn your opponent, and this group was having trouble.
So, I called up Jim Pedro because I hadn't bothered him recently and asked his opinion,
Do you think that people need a certain level of conditioning before they can do techniques effectively, and that is why some beginners have difficulty? Do you think that maybe it's necessary to say, do exercises to develop leg strength before doing throws that require lifting with your legs?
He said, "No." Well, actually, because he has a funny Boston accent it sounded more like, "No-o."
He brought up that when we were kids, everyone had the same rule,
"Be home when the streetlights go on."
Now, kids watch vampire shows, play on the Wii and text their friends all day during the summer. I asked Jim didn't that mean that it would be a good idea to work with them on getting strong enough to actually do the techniques but he thought it was coordination as much or more than strength.
So, his idea was to just have them to do whatever technique it was, a throw, or a turnover, and do lots and lots of repetitions. As they do the repetitions, they'll develop in coordination and strength and they'll learn the technique, too.
Interesting theory and I don't really have any better idea, so I'm going with that for now.
What do you all think?