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giriasis
09-20-2006, 09:46 PM
All I know is that there are no kids (and no women) that train at my aikido dojo and I am greatful. There are kids at the hapkido dojo that I attended for the past year, and they sure could make things difficult for everybody involved.

You're glad you don't have to train with women? or do you mean just the kids? If you mean the women, too, "them are fightin' words here." (and a whole other topic of coversation)

Wow, I never knew anyone who had trained with him... I do have a friend of mine up here in Seattle that actually had a date with Ted Bundy when she was in high school. You can imagine how she felt when the news broks about him!

My friend tried to set me up with Edward Humphries who was the initial suspect in the Gainesville murders. I hung out with him and my friend for a day swimming and cooking out right in Melbourne, Florida. He had a lot of marks against him to begin with but his life there was ruined due to being suspected of those ghastly murders.

hapkidoike
09-20-2006, 11:36 PM
You're glad you don't have to train with women? or do you mean just the kids? If you mean the women, too, "them are fightin' words here." (and a whole other topic of coversation)
.

I guess that is exactly what I mean. I am sure there are lots of women (aikidoka and others) who could teach me something, kick my ass, or both. But my experience has been that classes segregated by sex work out better. I say that not only as a student of martial arts, but also as a teacher. I teach at 4 different public schools in Korea (about 2 hrs a day on the motorcycle, good fun). Of those four 2 are middle schools. One segragates the sexes, the other does not. Of thesse two schools the one with segragated classes does exceptionally better (at least in my classes) than the one that does not. I am not suggesting that we segragate the sexes all the time. I am saying I enjoy it more and I think the training (whatever that may be) is more focused that is all.
There was one woman I looked forward to working out with, she is a 4th dan in hapkido, can do spinkicks over my head with ease (which is hot) and is one of the most martial people I have ever met. I would not say that I have a philosophical or ethical objection to working out with women, it is just that I have had some bad experiences with them in the past, and class runs smoother when theyre not involved (I would say that it would be fair to assume that the inverse is true also) .
Just my observations about classes I have been to.
later
bettis

Kevin Wilbanks
09-21-2006, 10:24 AM
Ugh. The last sex-segregated thing I did was a bachelor getaway weekend at a cabin, prior to a friend's wedding. Men behave horribly when no women are around. It was both disgusting and boring. I came away thinking that if I had to live in a sex-segregated society, I'd kill myself. One of the main things I like about Aikido is that there are lots of women involved and it's not some sweaty jockstrap, towel-snapping boys club.

Another thing, I have done a bit of hostel travelling. From my experience and talking to people who run hostels, it turns out that mixed-sex dorm rooms tend to work better than single sex. The men are cleaner and the women are more friendly. I consider separating the sexes an artifact of a less civilized era.

Chuck.Gordon
09-21-2006, 11:02 AM
I hate sex-segregated practice. It's a: unrealistic, and b: boring.

We have much to learn from each other, men and women, and segregating the sexes simply reinforces stereotypical training. Unless you can practice effectively and with intent with someone half your size or half-again your size, you ain't training right.

My MLE interviewed a (THE US Army) boxing coach 2-3 years ago, asking about his views on teaching women. He said, if you won't train women, you shouldn't train anybody.

I agree. And add the conjunction 'with' ...

cg

MikeLogan
09-21-2006, 11:03 AM
I guess that is exactly what I mean I'm not sure this is exactly what you mean, unless you are exactly in middle-school. I can see how things could work better through segregation at such a young age, mainly due to the beginnings of behavior patterns inspiring conflict amongst youngsters that they have no experience (nor concept of motivation) in controlling them. Or in other words, until boys and girls learn otherwise, boys will continue to be boys, and girls will be girls, in the traditional sense of dominant and passive roles.

If you insist the same holds for adults, well that is indeed a throw-back. I don't know how inflammatory this next comment might be, because I'm not female, but I am of the opinion that training in martial arts, and so in aikido, is more important for women than men. Training with women would be worthwhile, but to restrict them to such is nonsense, as they will most likely need to employ martial arts against men. I have no figures handy, (a sin of responsible posting, I know) but I'll bet my life's earnings, before and after today, that the odds favor most violent acts being commited by the male of our fine species.

In short, Isaac, I see what you mean, but do you see what you say?
;)
michael.

E.D. Gordon
09-21-2006, 11:53 AM
I guess that is exactly what I mean. I am sure there are lots of women (aikidoka and others) who could teach me something, kick my ass, or both.

I trust you will continue in your quest for this. ;-)


But my experience has been that classes segregated by sex work out better.

In middle school, perhaps. For adults, the truth is that we have to work together. I understand that cultures in the East, perhaps especially Korea, may be different. However, evolution is what happens, if we don't remain in the past or just die out. Sex segregation is dinosaurian. It may still light fires, but the players are all dead.


I say that not only as a student of martial arts, but also as a teacher. I teach at 4 different public schools in Korea (about 2 hrs a day on the motorcycle, good fun). Of those four 2 are middle schools. One segragates the sexes, the other does not. Of thesse two schools the one with segragated classes does exceptionally better (at least in my classes) than the one that does not. I am not suggesting that we segragate the sexes all the time. I am saying I enjoy it more and I think the training (whatever that may be) is more focused that is all.

What do you teach?

Wouldn't that be nice, if we never had to deal with people different from us? If you are teaching English, you may not be Korean. Things may be different. How does that feel?

I have to deal with men all the time.
Regardless of how clumsy, closeminded and stinky I might think they are, I have to hold my nose and deal. Then there's the whole IQ problem. Men are too stupid to figure out how much smarter women are.

Not nice eh? Yes, I am being confrontational. It's not pleasant to be a second class citizen, is it.

Welcome to our world as you see it.


There was one woman I looked forward to working out with, she is a 4th dan in hapkido, can do spinkicks over my head with ease (which is hot)


So, if a woman is badder than you, and she can do something "useful" like spin kicks over your head (which is very important to martial competence) then you can deal with it. Especially if she is "hot". Spin kicks notwithstanding. These, of course, are the penultimate in martial competence. This means she missed your head... feel free to admire the view, however.


and is one of the most martial people I have ever met.


How many women in martial arts have you talked to?

I would not say that I have a philosophical or ethical objection to working out with women, it is just that I have had some bad experiences with them in the past, and class runs smoother when theyre not involved (I would say that it would be fair to assume that the inverse is true also) .
Just my observations about classes I have been to.
later bettis

I'd love to hear what the experiences were.

I have had bad experiences with both sexes.

Some of my worst experiences have been with men who didn't think, or understand, that women should be on the mat. Some of the other worst have been with women who didn't want any competition (however they saw that!).

Some of the best have been at the hands of men, and women, who were secure enough to help others succeed.

Like Einstein said, it's all relative.

ED Gordon
I've said it all before here:
http://ejmas.com/proceedings/GSJSA03dolan.htm

Ron Tisdale
09-21-2006, 12:26 PM
Regardless of how clumsy, close minded and stinky I might think they are, I have to hold my nose and deal.

Ok now, just because certain stereotypes are true in an overwhelming portion of the populace, doesn't mean you have to bring it up in polite conversation! :D

Best,
Ron (I'm only stinky in those [ahem] "gassy" moments) :yuck:

Robert Rumpf
09-21-2006, 12:44 PM
But my experience has been that classes segregated by sex work out better.

I would expect that this is because the students are more focused on their classwork, and the subject matter of learning to deal with those of the opposite sex is not on the table.

Likewise, I would assume that many people who are home-schooled or whom receive private lessons in something progress "better" than those distracted by others and the subject of interpersonal relationships and differing interpretations and interests amongst peers.

However, this type of environment is unrealistic, as everyday life inevitably involves a lot less isolation and segregation. The skills that are useful in the broader context are exactly the types of skills that being shunted off by this imposed, artificial separation.

If the students are not to learn (or at least exercise) these interpersonal skills in school or in the dojo, when are they supposed to learn them? Are these skills not especially helpful to an art such as Aikido that is an inherently social art?

You're learning more in the school or in the dojo then what is taught on the syllabus. I personally think that learning to deal with personal relationships is a long-term benefit that outweighs the short-term issues and short-term benefit of an extra hundred facts, theorems, or techniques being learned.

Rob

Trish Greene
09-21-2006, 12:57 PM
First of all, pairing midschool aged kids together in a coed physical situation is not really condusive to learning. Too many hormones running around!

However I do completely agree with Emily and Mike on this one! We are not there to be "hot" (totally sexist remark BTW) but to learn how to defend ourselves against people that are out to physically attack us. If we don't train against the attack, then we become victims. THAT is why we train.

Are you the Uke for each one of those girls you teach in middle school? No? Then how are they going to know what to do if an adult male attacks them?

I am the only adult female in my dojo, I have a teenage girl that works out with us as well. Her father, who is often my Uke, makes sure that she works in with the big guys so that she knows what it will feel like if she is attacked on the street, and what her reaction would be. THAT is why we train.

I do understand that there is, perhaps, a different social climate in Korea then here in the US and if I were to move to Korea, I would be respectful and not expect men to train with me, since that seems to be their custom. However, here in the US, it is quite a different story!

Mike Sigman
09-22-2006, 08:18 PM
Another thing, I have done a bit of hostel travelling. From my experience and talking to people who run hostels, it turns out that mixed-sex dorm rooms tend to work better than single sex. The men are cleaner and the women are more friendly. I consider separating the sexes an artifact of a less civilized era.That's an interesting comment. I see the point of view for hostel living. Depending on what I want for a martial workout, from mild to harsh (depending on my goals in training), I may want a mixed dojo or I may want all-male. Whichever choice I make, I'd hate to be put down for not conforming to someone else's ideas of what is "correct", etc.

Take as an example every professional-level MMA training hall. How many are mixed-gender? Do you think it's because all those men have psychological hang-ups that need to be corrected or balanced? Would mixed-gender practice make them more in shape to win competitive matches?

I can see both sides of it... both the dojo's where mixed-gender is the norm and dojo's/training-halls where single-sex is the norm. Each to his own, as far as I'm concerned. Single-sex training halls don't call for as much approbation as trying to lay guilt trips on people, IMO.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
09-22-2006, 09:18 PM
Single-sex training halls don't call for as much approbation as trying to lay guilt trips on people, IMO. Oops... make that disapprobation. Typed too fast.

gdandscompserv
09-22-2006, 10:26 PM
Take as an example every professional-level MMA training hall. How many are mixed-gender? Do you think it's because all those men have psychological hang-ups that need to be corrected or balanced?Probably. :D

hapkidoike
09-23-2006, 11:38 AM
Gordon:
I trust you will continue in your quest for this. ;-)
I always am


Wouldn't that be nice, if we never had to deal with people different from us? If you are teaching English, you may not be Korean. Things may be different. How does that feel?


I am not Korean, that is the case. It feels a little wierd to be one of only crackers around, but I kind of get off on the discomfort.


I have to deal with men all the time.
Regardless of how clumsy, closeminded and stinky I might think they are, I have to hold my nose and deal. Then there's the whole IQ problem. Men are too stupid to figure out how much smarter women are.


And you dont think the door swings both ways?


Not nice eh? Yes, I am being confrontational. It's not pleasant to be a second class citizen, is it.

I'm not too worried about you being nice to me or anybody else. I have rarely been accused of being a nice guy, and don't expect from people, nor do I get all that upset when they are jerks. Most folks are, and I include my self in this statement.


Welcome to our world as you see it.

We all live in the same world, and we all see it differently.


So, if a woman is badder than you, and she can do something "useful" like spin kicks over your head (which is very important to martial competence) then you can deal with it. Especially if she is "hot". Spin kicks notwithstanding. These, of course, are the penultimate in martial competence. This means she missed your head... feel free to admire the view, however.


It is not that she is 'badder than me, nor did I say that SHE was hot I said that IT (the fact that she could do spinkicks over my head) was hot (which I meant more as a joke than anything, and if you can't see that then you know what they say "f em if they cant take a joke"). Read my post carefully and don't confuse the issue this way. Dont get me wrong she is an attractive woman, but that is not what I was refering to. The fact that you interpreted it this way just shows me how immature you really are (HA!)


How many women in martial arts have you talked to?
I'd love to hear what the experiences were.
I have had bad experiences with both sexes.

I dont know a specific number, nor am I really inclined to think about it all that much right now. I am sure you would love to talk to them but I doubt you speak Korean and I woudlnt know how to get ahold of any of them in the States. I too have had bad expierences with both. I was not trying to say that I did not.



Some of my worst experiences have been with men who didn't think, or understand, that women should be on the mat. Some of the other worst have been with women who didn't want any competition (however they saw that!).

Some of the best have been at the hands of men, and women, who were secure enough to help others succeed.


Nowhere did I say that I thought 'women did not belong on the mat' nor do I buy into that statement. If somebody wants to do aikido or tae kwon do, or build boats, or repair aircon units they ought to be allowed to regardless of their sex, race, color . . . you get the idea.

I really dont think that what I said was all that objectionable. I have a better experience training in an all male environment. That is all I was saying. I was stating that it was my prefrence. I am sure that there are people who want to train in a co-ed environmnet, and I know of people who do not (both men and women). The both can co-exist. There is no reason that they cannot. And, there are many women I am sure that I would greatly enjoy training with, and there are some women that I am greatful to have trained with, but as a matter of course, I enjoy training with men better, and feel that I learn more.

All of you people are right, we do all have to live and work together, and I dont think that we ought to live in a sex segragated society. I dont think that what I wrote suggested that. If it did then I misrepresented my position. My position is that I think some or most people would (or could) benifit from male/female only classes. From my limited expierence my students do. Maybe it is unfair to compare adults to middle school students, but maybe not. I am not really sure yet. Give me 10 years of experience with them and I will let you know.
But the idea that something as dinosaurian just because it does not jive with your "wordview" (I hate that word) is a bit excessive. What is your evidence. Look, I am not trying to come off as sexist and don't think that what I am saying is, all I am trying to say is that I think both sexes would do well to train in their own space. For some that would mean all female classes, for some all male classes, and for some co-ed classes. I happen to have foudn that I fit better in one niche than anthoher. Someone asked me a question. I awnsered it honestly, for that I am unapologetic.



Like Einstein said, it's all relative.


Damn straight.

hapkidoike
09-23-2006, 11:50 AM
Greene:

However I do completely agree with Emily and Mike on this one! We are not there to be "hot" (totally sexist remark BTW) but to learn how to defend ourselves against people that are out to physically attack us. If we don't train against the attack, then we become victims. THAT is why we train.

I didnt say she was hot. I said the fact that she could do spinkicks over my head was hot. Dont let your political ideology get in the way of the argument.


I am the only adult female in my dojo, I have a teenage girl that works out with us as well. Her father, who is often my Uke, makes sure that she works in with the big guys so that she knows what it will feel like if she is attacked on the street, and what her reaction would be. THAT is why we train.

Probably a good idea.


I do understand that there is, perhaps, a different social climate in Korea then here in the US and if I were to move to Korea, I would be respectful and not expect men to train with me, since that seems to be their custom. However, here in the US, it is quite a different story!
As a matter of course men and women do train together. It merely happens to be the case that no women train at this dojang (there are only 9 of us that show up with any regularity), given that there is not much interest in Japanese martial arts due to the Koreans hatred of the Japanese, which exists for good reason.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-23-2006, 01:53 PM
Actually, Einstein never said everything was relative, nor is it implied by his theories of relativity. In fact, the theories allow one to take account of the relative differences between space and time frames and make exact quantitative measurements - it is intended as a means to 'cancel out' the relativity in a problem. The relativity referred to by the name has to do with differences between objects that are traveling near the speed of light in different directions, or near huge gravitation sources. For objects like a bunch of humans stuck to the surface of one planet, it makes such a small difference from measuring things the old Newtonian way that it is insignificant. There is no way to legitimately extrapolate from the relativity of space and time frames to arenas like cultural differences. Einstein was very outspoken politically, and not a relativist in the philosophical sense at all.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-23-2006, 02:18 PM
That's an interesting comment. I see the point of view for hostel living. Depending on what I want for a martial workout, from mild to harsh (depending on my goals in training), I may want a mixed dojo or I may want all-male. Whichever choice I make, I'd hate to be put down for not conforming to someone else's ideas of what is "correct", etc.

Take as an example every professional-level MMA training hall. How many are mixed-gender? Do you think it's because all those men have psychological hang-ups that need to be corrected or balanced? Would mixed-gender practice make them more in shape to win competitive matches?

I can see both sides of it... both the dojo's where mixed-gender is the norm and dojo's/training-halls where single-sex is the norm. Each to his own, as far as I'm concerned. Single-sex training halls don't call for as much approbation as trying to lay guilt trips on people, IMO.

Mike Sigman

My point was that even in sleeping quarters mixed sex works better, which most people probably wouldn't expect.

Your point is illogical - putting the cart before the horse. If you want to train hardcore for MMA fights, what you are probably looking for are strong people who like extremely rough training. Most women probably won't want to be involved in it because they are generally smaller and not into that sort of thing. However, this is merely a tendency, not a rule.

The makeup of such a class will likely be all-male by selecting based on performance criteria. The element of sex discrimination is unnecessary. If some huge, tough woman who was really good showed up, a dojo of your description would turn her away, to their detriment.

To make it more clear: If one did a thorough demographic analysis, one would probably also find all sorts of other categories of people who aren't likely to be suited for such an MMA class: maybe interior decorators, people who write romance novels, collectors of Precious Moments figurines, whatever... There is no need to find out who all these groups are and expressly exclude them, as it will all happen naturally based on performance-based selection criteria.

Mike Sigman
09-23-2006, 09:01 PM
My point was that even in sleeping quarters mixed sex works better, which most people probably wouldn't expect. To be honest, I've always thought that mixed sex works better in sleeping quarters. No surprise to me. ;) Your point is illogical - putting the cart before the horse. If you want to train hardcore for MMA fights, what you are probably looking for are strong people who like extremely rough training. Most women probably won't want to be involved in it because they are generally smaller and not into that sort of thing. However, this is merely a tendency, not a rule.

The makeup of such a class will likely be all-male by selecting based on performance criteria. The element of sex discrimination is unnecessary. If some huge, tough woman who was really good showed up, a dojo of your description would turn her away, to their detriment.

To make it more clear: If one did a thorough demographic analysis, one would probably also find all sorts of other categories of people who aren't likely to be suited for such an MMA class: maybe interior decorators, people who write romance novels, collectors of Precious Moments figurines, whatever... There is no need to find out who all these groups are and expressly exclude them, as it will all happen naturally based on performance-based selection criteria. I think you're only repeating what I said... depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for hard-core martial arts, you're going to find that it's almost purely male. I.e., it's a performance-based criterion and the social aspects of male-female mixing have lesser importance. To trivialize all-male, hard-core training as having something intrinsically wrong with it, as a couple of people implied, doesn't stand up to any rigorous (or even casual) scrutiny.

There is no case that can be made for mixing of genders as other than a social comment, if the focus of the martial training is indeed on martial excellence. And of course when I say that, I don't exclude women at all.... I simply say that they, like the men, need to be able to walk the walk. "Gender diversity" has got nothing to do with good fighting, when you cut to the chase.

FWIW

Mike

Kevin Wilbanks
09-23-2006, 10:47 PM
If you really thought I was repeating what you said, you didn't understand what I said, or what you previously said, or both. You referred to "single sex training halls" and wanting to train at "all-male" dojos. The first is stating that the training hall is single sex by design, not happenstance, and the second implies that the lack of females training at the dojo would be your selection criteria, not performance level.

I doubt anyone on this board said or implied that a certain quota of women should be forced upon every martial arts class everywhere. If that is what you were arguing against, then you misinterpreted most or all of the posts you were responding to and grossly misstated your response. The original guy did not say that he liked to train so brutally that he happened to end up in classes with no women in them, he said he did not like to train with women. The people here are objecting to the idea of excluding women by design, and of an express preference not to train with women.

Edwin Neal
09-23-2006, 11:16 PM
COED NAKED AIKIDO!!! to be followed by COED NAKED GRAPPLING class!!! HOORAY!!! I'm there! :D

But seriously... i enjoy training with females some of my favorite (best) instructors are... gives you a different perspective since IMO females tend to be naturally better aikidoka... don't rely on upperbody and lower center and all... plus they smell better... ;)

Mike Sigman
09-24-2006, 08:38 AM
The original guy did not say that he liked to train so brutally that he happened to end up in classes with no women in them, he said he did not like to train with women. The people here are objecting to the idea of excluding women by design, and of an express preference not to train with women.??? My point (which was pretty darn clear) is that some people have perfectly valid reasons why they don't want to train with women... or with men....and that's up to them. I was objecting to someone's opinion being trivialized or denigrated because it doesn't conform to someone eles's idea of "correct thinking". I was pretty clear and I don't want to get pulled into a useless argument after stating an opinion, Kevin.

If I have set goals in my training and I don't want to train with women or with too-aggressive men or *whatever*, they're my goals and preferences and I should be able to decide what I want to do without anyone haranguing me because my decisions don't conform with their established "correctness". It's that simple.

I go to a dojo to train, not socialize. And yes, a lot of dojos are run by "dojo momma's" who pretty much decide who fits and who doesn't, according to their own views of political correctness. I don't complain; I just leave. Same way I leave a dojo that is run by a "herd bull" type guy who is running his own little empire of followers. Each to his own, I allus sez.

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-24-2006, 09:13 AM
??? My point (which was pretty darn clear)
Your points have never been clear to me.

Dojo momma's, herd bull's, dive bunny's...You crack me up. What dojo do you train at BTY?

Mike Sigman
09-24-2006, 09:25 AM
Your points have never been clear to me.
Then I think you need to go back to some of the other posts, not necessarily Kevin's or mine. There were other comments disparaging anyone preferring not to work out with women... I was obliquely replying to them. Dojo momma's, herd bull's, dive bunny's...You crack me up. What dojo do you train at BTY? As you noticed in the "Dive Bunnies" crack, a of people knew exactly what I was referring to. When I say "Dojo Momma" and "Herd Bull", I assure you a lot of people know exactly what I'm talking about, too.... I've been in after-hours conversations with too many people noting the same things. "Dojo Momma's" and "Herd Bulls" have been spotted in more than a few places. ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-24-2006, 09:57 AM
You forgot to tell me where you train at Mike.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-24-2006, 11:13 AM
OK, Mike, now it's clear. Your first post was not a misstatement and you did not understand my objection to your response. You are conflating sex discrimination and performance-based training goals in a way that you can't really account for. You are saying that you want to be able to act in accordance with your prejudices and boldly state them in public with complete impunity... without even having to hear a sentence or two of criticism. This seems silly to me, given that your prejudice in this case is clearly unpopular. That's not the way freedom or free speech works. Besides, I don't see how such senstitivity to a few lines of criticism squares with being a hard-training tough guy who sees no other purpose to training besides better fighting. Why not just take it like a man, so to speak?

Mike Sigman
09-24-2006, 11:32 AM
OK, Mike, now it's clear. Your first post was not a misstatement and you did not understand my objection to your response. You are conflating sex discrimination and performance-based training goals in a way that you can't really account for. You are saying that you want to be able to act in accordance with your prejudices and boldly state them in public with complete impunity... without even having to hear a sentence or two of criticism. Cite please? I have said no such thing. I was defending a previous poster's right to post his opinion without being hammered by the "correctness" crowd. He has an opinion. You have an opinion. I have an opinion. This seems silly to me, given that your prejudice in this case is clearly unpopular. That's not the way freedom or free speech works. Besides, I don't see how such senstitivity to a few lines of criticism squares with being a hard-training tough guy who sees no other purpose to training besides better fighting. Why not just take it like a man, so to speak? Take what like a man? Your opinion or your bellicosity? Do you think it's OK for people to want to train with whom they choose or not? That's what the question is that I raised. Somehow that equates with "prejudice", suddenly. Didn't you leave out "bigot" and "racist" and "warmonger"? Let's not get sloppy with the name calling. :)


Mike Sigman

Mary Eastland
09-24-2006, 04:12 PM
Lol


Mike..... quite a while ago you called me a "dojo momma" at a "politically correct dojo"....you probably are right about this.

I don't think you were coming from a place of love when you said it....but who cares..... it is just your opinion. and you are welcome to it.

I do agree with you that people can set their own goals and practice for their own purposes.

At our dojo men and women practice harmoniously together regularly. It makes a difference in my world.

Mary


.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-24-2006, 04:18 PM
Mike,

I am not the one who reasons or writes sloppily. You on the other hand, are piling on the contradictions and obfuscations at a rate that exceeds my willingness to untangle them.

Sticking to this post, you reiterated what I said in the first quote, so there is no need for further citation. No one has a right to post any opinion without being criticized for it, however you characterize the criticism or the crowd. No one has suggested that the original poster be censored, so arguing against that is nonsense. Even if they did, and he actually were, no one has a right to post anything here. It's a private publication. Even if it weren't, criticism of an opinion is also an opinion, and the same protections would apply. Despite your repeatedly asserting it with increasing emphasis, there is no right to not be criticized.

As far as the charge of prejudice goes, perhaps you should look the word up. This is not name-calling, it is an accurate description. You are speaking in favor of pre-judging the fitness of training partners for certain types of training based on their sex, as opposed to judging them based upon their exhibited training capabilities regardless of what their sex might be. The former is prejudicial sex-discrimination, the latter is not.

Finally, with this last paragraph of yours, you are straying into the territory of throwing a tantrum, so I am done responding to you at this time. I doubt that you honestly believe what you are saying or are that illiterate - it's just emotional rhetorical flourish, and I'm not interested in that game.

Mike Sigman
09-24-2006, 05:27 PM
Mike..... quite a while ago you called me a "dojo momma" at a "politically correct dojo"....you probably are right about this. Who would doubt it? ;) I don't think you were coming from a place of love when you said it....but who cares..... it is just your opinion. and you are welcome to it. Absolutely. And you have your opinions, too. To each his own. It is only if I try to define your world for you or you try to define my world for me that it becomes objectionable. I work out fine with men and with women, to whatever degree each person wants to work out. As a general rule, if it's rough play the women are out of it, but then too, so are a lot of men. I know a lot of men that simply want to do a martial art for the martial art and "harmony" has got little to do with it, so they don't particularly want to work out with women (or some men) just because it introduces extraneous topics into the martial arts that they don't want to deal with. I just shrug.... it's their choice and I don't see why they should be berated about "harmony" or some form of "correct thinking".

In the same vein, I know women who simply want to do their version of martial arts and they don't want to work out with men. Again... it's their choice and I don't have any judgemental reaction about it. I was simply speaking to the point of people being judgemental about what others choose to do.

Insofar as "sex discrimination", it's there. The world cup women's soccer team doesn't have any men on it. That's life. I thought we'd gotten beyond the stage of thinking that women were just men who weren't given toy guns to play with when they were toddlers (interestingly, I have a friend who used to swear that was true, but now that that's been totally disproven, he swears he never believed it). ;)

But I think I made my point: there is no self-righteous position that is so morally superior it gives the speaker the authority to tell someone they should "conform" to some trendy beliefs about "gender discrimination". Certainly not in the name of "Aikido", unless someone has a quote handy?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
09-24-2006, 05:28 PM
Mike,

I am not the one who reasons or writes sloppily. [[snip]] Whatever, Kevin. I don't want to get into these consistently prickly conversations with you.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
09-24-2006, 07:34 PM
I know a lot of men that simply want to do a martial art for the martial art and "harmony" has got little to do with it,MikeAre these men practicing Aikido?

Esaemann
09-25-2006, 10:06 AM
Mike's quote:
<<there is no self-righteous position that is so morally superior it gives the speaker the authority to tell someone they should "conform" to some trendy beliefs >>

Sorry, off this topic but couldn't resist.

Mike,
Sure, every American has a right to that. E.g. If many people wouldn't ever defend themselves with a gun, than they have a right to tell you and me that we shouldn't either.

Eric

Mike Sigman
09-25-2006, 10:15 AM
Mike's quote:
<<there is no self-righteous position that is so morally superior it gives the speaker the authority to tell someone they should "conform" to some trendy beliefs >>

Sorry, off this topic but couldn't resist.

Mike,
Sure, every American has a right to that. E.g. If many people wouldn't ever defend themselves with a gun, than they have a right to tell you and me that we shouldn't either.Fair enough, Eric.... "Freedom of Speech" gives people the right to say what they want, but I didn't argue that.

If you look at my statement, I said that no one is speaking from such a high moral ground over others that the high-moral ground vests the authority. I.e., there are some people that would pretend that they are doing things the "correct" way and that therefore others should be forced to conform to their way of thinking. What it boils down to is that there are some people in the martial arts who feel like their opinions are so important and so correct that others should follow them. ;) People don't grow up; they just grow taller and grayer.

MIke

gdandscompserv
09-25-2006, 10:26 AM
People don't grow up; they just grow taller and grayer.
Surprisingly Mike, some of us have actually grown up.

odudog
09-25-2006, 10:28 AM
Ai - as is written in the kanji for Aikido means to meet, to join, to fuse, to match. I looked it up in my wife's dictionaries some time ago.

The English translation of Aikido meaning "way of harmony" or "way of love" are incorrect. Ai does mean "love" in Japanese but the kanji is totally different that was used to write Aikido. Also, the English conotation of harmony that people are using means to sit in a cirlce, hold hands, and sing folk songs together. If you want to apply this meaning then you must use a different set of kanji and then the word would be in Japanese: danran - (n,vs) sitting together in a circle; happy circle; harmony

akiy
09-25-2006, 10:37 AM
Hi folks,

Let's get back to discussing the topic at hand rather than personal/political views, please...

-- Jun

Krista DeCoste
09-25-2006, 11:26 AM
Back to Mary's point.

My only choice for training is with men, and I am greatful for the opportunity.

-Krista

E.D. Gordon
09-25-2006, 01:37 PM
Ya'll lost me at Dive Bunnies. Texas girl here is a veteran of macho dojo, and I don't have much patience for them. I'm lucky that I had patience, and they had patience, and we all not only managed to get along, but also get very fond of one another.

Part of the irony of my "Putting Up With Men" essay is that the women in my early training path failed me (the one I went looking for had died of breast cancer 6 months before I hit the dojo -- certainly not her fault!). I got some nice support, but not a lot of concrete information. This happened later, especially while writing the paper under the support and badgering of Deborah Klens-Bigman.

The fact is that we are out there, we are training, and we aren't worried about what anyone thinks.

This Daito-Ryu dojo is turning out some beautiful technique and spirit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R4_xYauPXs&mode=related&search=

Anyone know these folx?
Wow.
I can only aspire to her delicacy and control.

ED Gordon

E.D. Gordon
09-25-2006, 01:47 PM
In the level of Middle School Training:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WfzAOtDHsQ

Enjoy.

ED Gordon

Brion Toss
09-26-2006, 08:35 AM
1. Sometimes women and men are better off in each other's company, and sometimes not. The tricky part is knowing when. Throughout history, and in all cultures, peoples have attempted to formalize gender mixing and separation, with varying results. It is not an easy question, and one that every individual — and group of people — might want to devote serious attention to. A significantly useful answer is not going to be revealed while motorcycling around in Korea. If you are truly interested in the question, perhaps a little research and contemplation is in order.
2. In 1969, I actually heard someone use the term "politically correct" as an approbation, meaning that the topic at hand would further equality, justice, and a redress of historical wrongs. It seemed like an arrogant, stuck-up position to take then, and it does now. In all the years since then, I have only heard the term used as a means to shut people up, as in, "Oh you're just being politically correct." In this sense, it provides a means of avoiding or dismissing uncomfortable topics, much as the still popular "whatever" does. In reading through this thread, I have found a variety of responses to the original question, but, at least to my eyes, no evidence of a "correct crowd". Disagreeing with someone is not the same thing as forcing something on them.

Mike Sigman
09-26-2006, 09:05 AM
Brion, "politically correct" certainly has negative connotations, but the many people who have attempted to force societal changes through various means have done too many things bordering on the absurd in the name of "compassion" and "doing what's right". Some things have been good changes.... but then it got into micro-managing and telling people what they should do that was "correct". So yes, you can find "politically correct" being used in a way that has an implied negative connotation. But then again, if you want to go back and read ALL the posts, you will find that there are a number of other terms that were used with a negative connotation.

My position is simply that if someone isn't comfortable or doesn't want to work out with women, fine, go somewhere and work out with men. Or if some women don't want to work out with men, fine, go to an all-female dojo. Each to his own. I'm not going to lecture some woman on how she should view and get along with men (think of the outrage that would provoke from the people who like to view women as "downtrodden"!!) and on the other hand, someone lecturing men about how they should or should not view women should raise a similar warning flag.

The stronger worry is really in relation to the idea that a certain attitude should indirectly be forced on anyone "because that's the correct Aikido view". Once someone begins to represent that they are an authority on Aikido's dicta for trans-gender relationships, we're getting out of simple opinions and beginning to get into that ever-bothersome idea of deliberate misrepresentation of Ueshiba's art. It's a misrepresentation that borders on fraud. Ueshiba said nothing about gender relationships in the martial arts. His ideas about "harmony with the universe", which are very standard comments on cosmology in a number of Asian martial arts (the idea that his "harmony" stuff is unique to Aikido shows the level of ignorance within the Aikido community), were never meant to be applied to behavioural situations of the trendy sort.

Women in dojos are fine. They should be treated exactly the same as the men, more or less (I would add that qualifier because in the cosmological sense, women are not the same as men and are treated differently because they have a different position in life). But women who don't want to work out with men, or vice versa, that's their business. People who attempt to make other people conform to "politically correct" ideas should certainly express their opinions, but in Aikido dojos I've seen too many pc ideas foisted off as "this is the proper way according to good Aikido". That's a fraudulent statement, unfortunately, and I think it's led to a lot of harm and has done much to sully the reputation of Aikido.

My opinion.

Mike Sigman

Robert Rumpf
09-26-2006, 09:45 AM
Did O'Sensei allow women to train in his dojo?

Rob

hapkidoike
09-26-2006, 09:58 AM
1. Sometimes women and men are better off in each other's company, and sometimes not. The tricky part is knowing when. Throughout history, and in all cultures, peoples have attempted to formalize gender mixing and separation, with varying results. It is not an easy question, and one that every individual — and group of people — might want to devote serious attention to. A significantly useful answer is not going to be revealed while motorcycling around in Korea. If you are truly interested in the question, perhaps a little research and contemplation is in order.
.
First of all, to reduce my experience in Korea to "motorcycling around Korea" is offensive. Sure, I drive my motorcycle around Korea, I like to drive it fast around sharp corners, it is good fun, but if all I was looking for was driving a motorcycle fast around sharp corners I would probably still be in the States somewhere. Also I have been here a year and a half, so the coolness that is motorcycling around Korea started to wear thin a while ago, and I figure I will be here when riding my motorcycle around Korea has worn completly through.
Also, I dont give a damn about the question of when and where women and men should and should not be segragated if you are suggesting it as some sort of philosophical exercise. If you are suggesting it as an exercise in personal choice, then I would say I dont need to do anymore research, nor do I need to contemplate on it. I have done all the research and contemplation that I am prepared to do, I have made my choice and I stick by it. As a matter of course (and there have been exceptions) I do not enjoy training with women. I am not trying to say men and women should not train together, and I am not saying that I will not train with women, people ought to be able to train in the manner they want and in a manner in which they are comfortable. I am sure that there will be situations the future where I will have to choose either: (1) train with women or (2) not train at all. I will most likely choose to train with women.

CitoMaramba
09-26-2006, 09:58 AM
Did O'Sensei allow women to train in his dojo?

Rob
Takako Kunigoshi is one of the few women who trained at O-Sensei's pre-war Kobukan dojo in Ushigome. She did the illustrations for O-Sensei's book, Budo Renshu. She was interviewed by Stan Pranin for Aikido Journal. You can read the interview here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=613) .

gdandscompserv
09-26-2006, 10:01 AM
Too much testosterone is bad for you. :D

Kevin Wilbanks
09-26-2006, 10:07 AM
I believe Mary Heiny trained under O'Sensei, and along with his top students immediately following his death.

CitoMaramba
09-26-2006, 10:15 AM
In the postwar period, I remember reading about Mariye Takahashi and Virginia Mayhew as training at Aikikai Hombu Dojo before the passing of O-Sensei. I'm sure there were others.
Also I think there was no separate women's section, unlike the Kodokan, which had a Joshi Bu.

James Davis
09-26-2006, 10:19 AM
I believe Mary Heiny trained under O'Sensei.
Yup, she said so. She also said that she wasn't treated any different from the other students.

Mike Sigman
09-26-2006, 10:24 AM
Takako Kunigoshi is one of the few women who trained at O-Sensei's pre-war Kobukan dojo in Ushigome. She did the illustrations for O-Sensei's book, Budo Renshu. She was interviewed by Stan Pranin for Aikido Journal. You can read the interview here (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=613) . There is a very beautiful passage at the end of the interview:

I spend most of my time with the tea ceremony but when I am holding the water dipper it is just like holding a sword. I have the same feeling and I remember the things I was told by Sensei. Whether you do tea or flowers, there are common points with Aikido, because the whole world (tenchi) is made up of movement and calm, light and shadow. If everything only moved and moved then there would be complete chaos, right?

Editor: Those ideas came from China didn't they?

Yes, from China, but I think that the idea that the heavens and the earth arose from the in and the YŁ (yin and yan) (or the Positive and Negative principles) is not limited to China alone. Although the words of course are different, it's simply a matter of differences in expression. All the world's nations have the same truth, I think. Whenever the sun is shining there must be shadows, too. I believe we can say that the same thing applies to budo as well, don't you?

Robert Rumpf
09-26-2006, 10:58 AM
Well, if O'Sensei allowed women to train in his dojo, and every other Aikido instructor that I personally have ever met or heard of in America or Japan has allowed it, than I see that choice as a very deliberate representation of Ueshiba's art. Ueshiba said nothing about gender relationships in the martial arts, but the nonverbal message speaks loud and clear.

Besides, any person on the mat gets segregated training all the time - whenever they have a partner who is the same sex. The fact that there are other genders (or people) on the mat doesn't affect how you train with your partner.

Rob

ChrisMoses
09-26-2006, 11:20 AM
I believe Mary Heiny trained under O'Sensei, and along with his top students immediately following his death.

She was a student at hombu dojo right around the time of his death (1968-1973). OSensei was not teaching much (particularly at hombu) at that time however, so while she was deeply moved by OSensei, it would be more correct to say that she studied with OSensei's direct students before returning to the States to teach. She most definitely did experience him in person and has talked about his remarkable presence on several occasions.

E.D. Gordon
09-26-2006, 02:32 PM
For myself, I am most interested in finding ways everyone can work together.
The rest of it is neither helpful nor interesting.

Um.. now I have to go find out why hubby is laughing so hard..

ED Gordon

Mike Sigman
09-26-2006, 04:12 PM
For myself, I am most interested in finding ways everyone can work together.
The rest of it is neither helpful nor interesting. I can appreciate that viewpoint. Each to his own, as I've stated before. Personally, I am most interested in learning martial arts and all the subtleties, strengths, etc., that I can. That's why I do martial arts.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

roninroshi
09-26-2006, 07:55 PM
I've trained w/some very tough gal's,one of whom f...ked up a very big friend of mine w/a wicked IrimiNage...Damn near took his head off....and the Japanese Yudansha women kicked some serious ass...Women in the Dojo are just another training situation...

Kevin Wilbanks
09-26-2006, 10:23 PM
Too much testosterone is bad for you. :D

You don't say... This just in: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060927/hl_nm/testosterone_dc_3

Brion Toss
09-27-2006, 10:22 AM
Brion, "politically correct" certainly has negative connotations, but the many people who have attempted to force societal changes through various means have done too many things bordering on the absurd in the name of "compassion" and "doing what's right". Some things have been good changes.... but then it got into micro-managing and telling people what they should do that was "correct"
Fine. But do you think that such things are happenning here?
So yes, you can find "politically correct" being used in a way that has an implied negative connotation. But then again, if you want to go back and read ALL the posts, you will find that there are a number of other terms that were used with a negative connotation.
Your point being? I was speaking not about negative connotations per se, but the tactical application of a particular phrase.

My position is simply that if someone isn't comfortable or doesn't want to work out with women, fine, go somewhere and work out with men. Or if some women don't want to work out with men, fine, go to an all-female dojo. Each to his own. I'm not going to lecture some woman on how she should view and get along with men (think of the outrage that would provoke from the people who like to view women as "downtrodden"!!) and on the other hand, someone lecturing men about how they should or should not view women should raise a similar warning flag.
Again, do you think that this is happening here?

The stronger worry is really in relation to the idea that a certain attitude should indirectly be forced on anyone "because that's the correct Aikido view". Once someone begins to represent that they are an authority on Aikido's dicta for trans-gender relationships, we're getting out of simple opinions and beginning to get into that ever-bothersome idea of deliberate misrepresentation of Ueshiba's art. It's a misrepresentation that borders on fraud. Ueshiba said nothing about gender relationships in the martial arts. His ideas about "harmony with the universe", which are very standard comments on cosmology in a number of Asian martial arts (the idea that his "harmony" stuff is unique to Aikido shows the level of ignorance within the Aikido community), were never meant to be applied to behavioural situations of the trendy sort.
Mike, this seems like a disproportionate response. No one forcing anything on anybody. At least here. All I can see is an interesting collection of diverse, mostly civil opinions. From these and from past statements, might I conclude that you have been on the receiving end of agenda-pushers? If so, I can certainly understand your being sensitive to such things. I just don't see it happening here.
Yours,
Brion

Brion Toss
09-27-2006, 10:34 AM
First of all, to reduce my experience in Korea to "motorcycling around Korea" is offensive.
Ouch. Sorry. My reference to motorcycle riding was an attempt at lightness, a shorthand alternative to: "Given the miniscule size of the statistical sampling base, and bearing in mind the likely constraints of interpreting data derived from an alien culture..." I meant no offense, and apologize for the reference.
Also, I dont give a damn about the question of when and where women and men should and should not be segragated if you are suggesting it as some sort of philosophical exercise. If you are suggesting it as an exercise in personal choice, then I would say I dont need to do anymore research, nor do I need to contemplate on it. I have done all the research and contemplation that I am prepared to do, I have made my choice and I stick by it. As a matter of course (and there have been exceptions) I do not enjoy training with women. I am not trying to say men and women should not train together, and I am not saying that I will not train with women, people ought to be able to train in the manner they want and in a manner in which they are comfortable. I am sure that there will be situations the future where I will have to choose either: (1) train with women or (2) not train at all. I will most likely choose to train with women.
Dear heart, you were the one who asked the question; I was replying to it, and I was careful to include words like "might want to," and "perhaps." I was also, of course, not replying directly to you (unlike this message), but taking part in a conversation with many other people. It is useful for me to know that you do not feel the need for more research and contemplation, and that as a rule you do not enjoy training with women. But the question you raised, as it happens, is bigger than you.
Yours,
Brion Toss

Mike Sigman
09-27-2006, 10:44 AM
Mike, this seems like a disproportionate response. No one forcing anything on anybody. At least here. All I can see is an interesting collection of diverse, mostly civil opinions. From these and from past statements, might I conclude that you have been on the receiving end of agenda-pushers? If so, I can certainly understand your being sensitive to such things. I just don't see it happening here.I would make an easy and substantial bet that I'm not the only one who has encountered people in some dojos that discourage certain civil and political agendas and encourage others, Brian. In fact, western Aikido as a whole has that sort of reputation. Are you saying it's not there and that a lot of people are simply mistaken with the idea that there are a lot of politically correct and even "New Age" type people in Aikido? Let's be civil, but let's be realistic also.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Brion Toss
09-27-2006, 11:53 AM
I would make an easy and substantial bet that I'm not the only one who has encountered people in some dojos that discourage certain civil and political agendas and encourage others, Brian. In fact, western Aikido as a whole has that sort of reputation. Are you saying it's not there and that a lot of people are simply mistaken with the idea that there are a lot of politically correct and even "New Age" type people in Aikido? Let's be civil, but let's be realistic also.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Hi again,
I absolutely know that such behavior exists in some Aikido dojos. I was only wondering why you felt the need to go to such lengths about it here. Granted, the question is one that is likely to be a concern for people with woo-woo agendas, but so are a lot of other things. And on the other hand, the question — Men and Women Training Together — bears no intrinsic relation to such agendas, and I don't think that it has been promoted or referred to as such in this thread. I'm just trying to stay with the question, and seeking to avoid potentially inflammatory distractions. You know, like the motorcycle crack I made yesterday.
As for the fact that some dojo's can be found to "...discourage certain civil and political agendas and encourage others..." that is a broad stroke there. Any group social interaction tends to do just that. Must, in fact, or it ceases to be social; in order to be with each other, we must make some agreements on behavior, including expressions of thought. The question, it seems to me, is, when does such discouragement and encouragement become oppressive and counterproductive?
For myself, I practice Aikido in part for the stated and implied (as I understand them) enjoinders to behave in a some ways, and not in other ways. Regarding the current question, training with either gender is an opportunity to examine and develop my attitudes and beliefs on the roles of women and men. When I was starting Aikido, I am sure I would have progressed faster martially if no women had been present, but I'm pretty sure it would have retarded my emotional — and, long-term, martial — development.
If I understand your viewpoint correctly, the dojo is there as a place to accquire martial skills, and any civil and political flavors only distract from that. I can understand that, it's just not my, um, agenda.

Yours,
Brion

Kevin Wilbanks
09-27-2006, 11:57 AM
I find all the talk about political correctness a bit ironic. The first time I got into a bruhaha with people over sex-discrimination and sex-exclusive clubs it was with feminists when I first went to college, and the "women's studies" program, which I think is an illegitimate academic discipline. I won't even get into what happened when they convinced the faculty to let them run an 'anti-homophobia' education day. Discrimination and prejudice are not limited to one end of the political spectrum, and neither is demagoguery.

Aside from a couple of tangential comments here, I see nothing to compare to 'political correctness' I've seen. We have one person who proclaimed his prejudice as a personal matter, and lots of people criticized him for it. Another came out in favor of prejudice and sex-discrimination in priniciple, and people have argued against it. If you really want to imagine a firestorm, mentally drop a racial or religious "preference" in the slots in their posts where "women" have been... "I don't like to train with Jews" or "People should be able to choose whether or not they train with blacks". The fact that these sound much more inflammatory on it face should tell you something.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-27-2006, 12:01 PM
If I understand your viewpoint correctly, the dojo is there as a place to accquire martial skills, and any civil and political flavors only distract from that.

If this were the case, then judging training partners based upon their sex rather than their exhibited martial skills would be precisely such a distraction.

Mike Sigman
09-27-2006, 12:14 PM
We have one person who proclaimed his prejudice as a personal matter, and lots of people criticized him for it.I would have said that he proclaimed his "preference", but you seem not to understand the "negative connotation", as Brian notes, to using certain terms. I have a "preference" for cinnamon buns.... does that really indicate a "prejudice" against non-sweet buns? I don't approve of polygamy... does that mean that I have a "phobia" about polygamy or a "prejudice"? Emotionally-indexed terms shouldn't be needed as a way to score rhetorical points. Another came out in favor of prejudice and sex-discrimination in priniciple, and people have argued against it.I wonder if you mean my comment about the women's soccer teams being prejudiced against men? No, wait... that wouldn't be PC. I actually came out in favor of people doing what they want without having to get piled on by the PC amongst us, so "in favor of prejudice and sex-discrimination", as you put it, I'll let stand as your own demonstration of your "logic and reasoning". ;) If you really want to imagine a firestorm, mentally drop a racial or religious "preference" in the slots in their posts where "women" have been... "I don't like to train with Jews" or "People should be able to choose whether or not they train with blacks". The fact that these sound much more inflammatory on it face should tell you something. Now why would we build a strawman like that and then demolish it? Since neither race nor religion nor hair-color nor foot-size was mentioned, why would you attempt to score such silly points by introducing a comparison to something so off-topic?

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
09-27-2006, 01:07 PM
If I understand your viewpoint correctly, the dojo is there as a place to accquire martial skills, and any civil and political flavors only distract from that. I can understand that, it's just not my, um, agenda.First of all, I never said that, so your "understanding" is simply a mischaracterization of what I said. I said to each his own, without having to have people pile on him because they don't agree with his viewpoint. But you know that's what I've said several times, don't you? So does Kevin, but he's suddenly equating that Isaac's preference to work out with men to religious and racial discrimination. But we all knew that was behind the PC pressure and just waiting to pop out, didn't we? My comments to Kevin about just saying "racist" and "bigot" were spot on, as was pretty obvious.

It's against the rules for a man to be on the USA women's soccer team.... isn't that officially sanctioned "discrimination", as a lot of people loosely apply the term? Yet women are free to try out for the NFL if they want. If we want to play silly subjective games, let's apply them all the way around. Frankly, regardless of the attempts to pressure someone into saying that "fighting gender discrimination is a valid goal in an Aikido dojo", I still say each to his own.

Just out of curiosity, let me ask you this: Given that there are some women who are good fighters (and some men are poor fighters), would you say that statistically women are as good at fighting as men and therefore there is no reason for anyone to conclude that martial arts would be arguable different between any given group of 100 men and 100 women? What's your honest opinion?

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Wilbanks
09-28-2006, 11:52 AM
It's sad Mike. You appear to be incapable of simple reasoning, and you still don't know the definition of the word 'prejudice' despite the fact that I have explained it and you could have looked it up at my suggestion in a matter of seconds. The emotional charge in these terms is yours. Let me help you:

PREJUDICE: " a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge". One can be prejudiced against nearly anything, it simply has to do with approaching an individual or thing with a preconceived opinion or judgement not based on experiece with that particular individual.

DISCRIMINATION: "a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating (to make a distinction) categorically rather than individually" Discrimination is not necessarily bad either, so long as the category is valid and relevant to whatever people are being selected for or against. This is why I used the term "sex-discrimination" to indicate what you were talking about.

Application of concepts: If Isaac had trained with every woman in the world, his statement of not wanting to train with women would be a preference. Since he hasn't, and in fact has only trained with an infinitessimally small portion of them, it's a prejudice.

I don't like to train with a guy named Fred. I've trained with him before, so it's preference - informed by experience.

Now let's say a guy named Pete shows up. I've trained with three guys named Pete before, and they were all jerks. My experience is that guys named Pete act like jerks. If I say that I don't like to train with Petes, it's a prejudice. If I refuse to train with this Pete, it's discrimination, name-discrimination, to be more precise.

See, this is how analogies work. By substituting simple names here for the complex categories we were using before, I can illustrate the concepts more clearly. So, we move on to the point of suggesting race and religion. By a similar act of substitution, we could put a particular race or religion in many of your and Isaac's statements and they would seem offensive to most people. Why? Because prejudice and discrimination on racial and religious grounds is less acceptable in our society. I think that's interesting. You wouldn't have dared to say what you have said in favor of indulging one's prejudices and practicing discrimination regarding race or religion, yet you have no problem going off thusly about women.

The form is the same. We are still talking about prejudice and discrimination. If you want to argue that prejudice against women is valid, that's fine - it appears you've made a few foundering attempts. But try to have the honesty to admit what you are really talking about.

As far as all the sports analogies go, these are all hoplessly convoluted, largely because you still don't understand what prejudice is. Averages are averages, the limits of the elite are the limits of the elite. Averages are not individuals, and averages do not get turned away from establishments unfairly.

The reason professional and Olympic level sports are segregated probably has to do with performance differences at top levels, though I'm not even sure that it is legitimate in all cases. Nonetheless, elite performance on this level is extremely rare. Most people of both sexes are scattered throughout the middle. The vast majority of men are less capable than elite level women, for instance, in most sports - the existence of these few alone is a conclusive argument against the legitimacy of prejudice and sex-discrimination everywhere other than professional and Olympic level training establishments. Furthermore, as I've said earlier, such establishments have no need to practice sex-discrimination, as the women will be excluded automatically if they discriminate based on performance criteria.

James Young
09-28-2006, 12:37 PM
Application of concepts: If Isaac had trained with every woman in the world, his statement of not wanting to train with women would be a preference. Since he hasn't, and in fact has only trained with an infinitessimally small portion of them, it's a prejudice.

I guess technically that may be correct, but I always thought and was told that those women who join female-only gyms or participate in the women aikido classes at honbu for that matter did so just because they had a preference to work out or practice with those exclusively of their own gender. I've never heard them being referred to as prejudiced against men just because they've arrived at their decision to do so without first working out with every man in the world.

For the record my aikido practice has always been co-ed and I've enjoyed it and never had a problem with it.

Hogan
09-28-2006, 01:42 PM
...If Isaac had trained with every woman in the world, his statement of not wanting to train with women would be a preference. Since he hasn't, and in fact has only trained with an infinitessimally small portion of them, it's a prejudice.

But what is important is HIS world. If he has trained with all the women in HIS world, is it a preference, then?

... Because prejudice and discrimination on racial and religious grounds is less acceptable in our society.

Make that some prejudice & discrimination IS acceptable.

hapkidoike
09-28-2006, 07:01 PM
It's sad Mike. You appear to be incapable of simple reasoning, and you still don't know the definition of the word 'prejudice' despite the fact that I have explained it and you could have looked it up at my suggestion in a matter of seconds. The emotional charge in these terms is yours. Let me help you:

PREJUDICE: " a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge". One can be prejudiced against nearly anything, it simply has to do with approaching an individual or thing with a preconceived opinion or judgement not based on experiece with that particular individual.

DISCRIMINATION: "a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating (to make a distinction) categorically rather than individually" Discrimination is not necessarily bad either, so long as the category is valid and relevant to whatever people are being selected for or against. This is why I used the term "sex-discrimination" to indicate what you were talking about.

Application of concepts: If Isaac had trained with every woman in the world, his statement of not wanting to train with women would be a preference. Since he hasn't, and in fact has only trained with an infinitessimally small portion of them, it's a prejudice.

First, if you are going to quote things cite your sources. Second. I take issue with the idea that I would have to have trained with every woman on the planet to have a 'preference' vs a 'prejudice'. I have not listened to the complete recordings of all country music, nor have I listened to the complete recordings of all jazz music, but given the choice I am probably going to choose jazz. I have (A) listened to both of kinds music (at least in a limited scope), (B) have formed an opinion on that music, due to my personal tastes, and (C) determined that I would rather listen to jazz, for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I am diggin on some Hank Sr., but most of the time I will opt for some Django, or maybe Ella Fitzgerald. I don't think that anybody would ever say that I am prejudiced against country music. They would merely say "That guy likes jazz more than country". The same holds true with how I feel about training with women. I just don't like it as much, usually. I don't like onions either, nor have I sampled every type of onion. But you have got to be kidding me if you are suggesting that anybody is going to tell me I am prejudiced against onions because of this.

See, this is how analogies work. By substituting simple names here for the complex categories we were using before, I can illustrate the concepts more clearly. So, we move on to the point of suggesting race and religion. By a similar act of substitution, we could put a particular race or religion in many of your and Isaac's statements and they would seem offensive to most people. Why? Because prejudice and discrimination on racial and religious grounds is less acceptable in our society. I think that's interesting. You wouldn't have dared to say what you have said in favor of indulging one's prejudices and practicing discrimination regarding race or religion, yet you have no problem going off thusly about women.

The problem with this argument is that "women" and "black folks" or "Muslims" or whoever are not logically equivalent terms. Also, I didn't say anything about people of other races or religions, why bring it up. It merely distracts from the issue at hand. You have indeed in some ways set up a straw man here. The issue is not race, or religion, or even gender. The issue at hand is that some people think that I am 'wrong' in feeling more comfortable and enjoying myself more in an all male training environment.


The form is the same. We are still talking about prejudice and discrimination. If you want to argue that prejudice against women is valid, that's fine - it appears you've made a few foundering attempts. But try to have the honesty to admit what you are really talking about.

You are right. It is discrimination. But sex discrimination is not all bad. Should men be allowed entrance into women's shelters, or women be allowed access to men's restrooms? No.

As far as all the sports analogies go, these are all hoplessly convoluted, largely because you still don't understand what prejudice is. Averages are averages, the limits of the elite are the limits of the elite. Averages are not individuals, and averages do not get turned away from establishments unfairly.

To say that Mr. Mike "still don't understand what prejudice is" is not a fair statement, to the degree that definitions are merely conventions. You may have a disagreement with him (as well as others) on the necessary and sufficient conditions that are required for something or someone to exibit prejuidice, but that is what it is, a disagreement. If everyone on this forum agrees that from now on "window" will refer to the board with keys on it that is used to imput text into a computer, that is fine. There is nothing "wrong" or "incorrect" about it.

Mike Sigman
09-28-2006, 09:48 PM
It's sad Mike. You appear to be incapable of simple reasoning, ((snip complete BS of the supercilious variety))

The reason professional and Olympic level sports are segregated probably has to do with performance differences at top levels, though I'm not even sure that it is legitimate in all cases. Nonetheless, elite performance on this level is extremely rare. Most people of both sexes are scattered throughout the middle. The vast majority of men are less capable than elite level women, for instance, in most sports - the existence of these few alone is a conclusive argument against the legitimacy of prejudice and sex-discrimination everywhere other than professional and Olympic level training establishments. Furthermore, as I've said earlier, such establishments have no need to practice sex-discrimination, as the women will be excluded automatically if they discriminate based on performance criteria. So there are no statistical performance variations at any other than the "top levels"? Really? The high-school men's volleyball team players are no different than the high-school women's volleyball team in terms of performance? We must live on different planets. Sell it to someone else. One of us has got some very drastic problems in perception.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Wilbanks
09-28-2006, 10:43 PM
First, if you are going to quote things cite your sources. Second. I take issue with the idea that I would have to have trained with every woman on the planet to have a 'preference' vs a 'prejudice'. I have not listened to the complete recordings of all country music, nor have I listened to the complete recordings of all jazz music, but given the choice I am probably going to choose jazz. I have (A) listened to both of kinds music (at least in a limited scope), (B) have formed an opinion on that music, due to my personal tastes, and (C) determined that I would rather listen to jazz, for the most part. Don't get me wrong, I am diggin on some Hank Sr., but most of the time I will opt for some Django, or maybe Ella Fitzgerald. I don't think that anybody would ever say that I am prejudiced against country music. They would merely say "That guy likes jazz more than country". The same holds true with how I feel about training with women. I just don't like it as much, usually. I don't like onions either, nor have I sampled every type of onion. But you have got to be kidding me if you are suggesting that anybody is going to tell me I am prejudiced against onions because of this.

The definitions were just out of some online dictionary. I pulled them to save the trouble of formulating the exact phrasing myself. And yes, I say it would be technically correct to say you are prejudiced against country music and onions. Although moreso the music, as you've probably tried a smaller, less representative sample. It's true people don't often speak that way - mostly because prejudice against a type of music or food doesn't really have the potential to harm or exclude anyone. CDs and vegetables don't seem to care how they are treated.

The problem with this argument is that "women" and "black folks" or "Muslims" or whoever are not logically equivalent terms. Also, I didn't say anything about people of other races or religions, why bring it up. It merely distracts from the issue at hand. You have indeed in some ways set up a straw man here. The issue is not race, or religion, or even gender. The issue at hand is that some people think that I am 'wrong' in feeling more comfortable and enjoying myself more in an all male training environment.

Why are these terms not logically equivalent? All three are categories of people. And, I might add, all three represent categories that are legally protected against discrimination in the US. There is no straw man fallacy here. Why is a prejudice or an act of discrimination on the basis of sex "logically" different than when based on race or religion?

At first, the issue was just about your prejudice/preference, but since then, arguments in favor of discrimination and prejudice have been put forward.

You are right. It is discrimination. But sex discrimination is not all bad. Should men be allowed entrance into women's shelters, or women be allowed access to men's restrooms? No.

Actually, men are also beaten and threatened by their wives. They often don't get help, largely due to the embarassment associated with sex-stereotypes. Maybe it also has to do with not going to shelters because they aren't allowed. I don't see why they shouldn't be - why they can't be domestic abuse shelters instead of sex-discriminating domestic abuse shelters. And, unisex bathrooms are becoming more common in the US. I have yet to hear of the sky ripping open or the streets flooding with blood because of it.

To say that Mr. Mike "still don't understand what prejudice is" is not a fair statement, to the degree that definitions are merely conventions. You may have a disagreement with him (as well as others) on the necessary and sufficient conditions that are required for something or someone to exibit prejuidice, but that is what it is, a disagreement. If everyone on this forum agrees that from now on "window" will refer to the board with keys on it that is used to imput text into a computer, that is fine. There is nothing "wrong" or "incorrect" about it.

It's true that definitions are merely conventions, but Mike has shown by his arguments that he does not understand what prejudice is in principle - the part about preconceived judgement in particular. It was not a matter of disagreement about what met the conditions.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-28-2006, 10:47 PM
But what is important is HIS world. If he has trained with all the women in HIS world, is it a preference, then?





His statements about women made no such qualification. If he had limited his statement to no liking training with any of the women he had already trained with, there may not have been as much complaint.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-28-2006, 10:56 PM
So there are no statistical performance variations at any other than the "top levels"? Really? The high-school men's volleyball team players are no different than the high-school women's volleyball team in terms of performance? We must live on different planets. Sell it to someone else. One of us has got some very drastic problems in perception.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

The problem is not perception, it's cognition. I do question sex-segregation in school sports. I would be very surprised if the best player on the girl's team was always worse than the worst player on the boy's team. Unless this is always the case, some girls are missing out on the opportunity for competition at their level. You still don't seem to understand the problem with discrimination. It's about giving each individual a fair opportunity. Discrimination exclusively on the basis of relevant abilities ensures this, and does nothing to prevent certain teams or clubs from ending up being composed of all one sex, race, or whatever. Sex-discrimination, on the other hand, prevents individual opportunity for no good reason.

Krista DeCoste
09-29-2006, 06:29 AM
I would like to add my two cents...men are not allowed in women's shelters because the women and their children have been traumatised by men (a small percentage by their same sex partner). Women and children need to feel as safe as possible in order to regain some balance and healing.

In sports it is about competition, but what I love about aikido is that there is no competition in that sense. I also love that when I walk into the dojo to train I am respected for where I'm at and challenged to push myself further. If I had the opportunity to train with only women I might try it, especially if I felt the men resented my presence...but then maybe I would have just not bothered with aikido if I really wasn't welcomed.

Krista

Amelia Smith
09-29-2006, 06:51 AM
(I have been avoiding this thread because I don't want to get involved in the snarling, but I couldn't resist:)

Have the men who favor all-male training environments been traumatized by women, perhaps?

Mike Sigman
09-29-2006, 07:05 AM
The problem is not perception, it's cognition. I do question sex-segregation in school sports. I would be very surprised if the best player on the girl's team was always worse than the worst player on the boy's team. Unless this is always the case, some girls are missing out on the opportunity for competition at their level. You still don't seem to understand the problem with discrimination. There is "discrimination" in everything we do in life. However, the subject was not everything to do in life, it was whether Isaac prefers, in his own voluntary workouts, to work with women and to accomodate factors other than a simple workout. He apparently just wants to workout. It's his choice. He doesn't need to be artificially saddled with some trendy guilt because he doesn't conform with yours or anyone else's guilts. He stated his preference. I understand it without having to label him or to worry out load about any perceived responsibilities he has to women and society.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
09-29-2006, 07:15 AM
(I have been avoiding this thread because I don't want to get involved in the snarling, but I couldn't resist:)

Have the men who favor all-male training environments been traumatized by women, perhaps? The question I keep asking is whether anyone really thinks that there is inherently no difference in women's sports and men's sports. No one seems to really want to address it. At best, I seem to have the idea proffered that perhaps sports should be dumbed down in order to give the poorer performers some more equal footing... which of course totally "discriminates" against the people who are capable of doing far better.

Does someone who prefers to work out with 200-pound, very aggressive martial arts partners have to have been "traumatized" to want that kind of workout? Does he have to be accused of "discrimination" and "prejudice" because he prefers that kind of workout? Or do the people who are wringing their hands about these sorts of personal preferences need to take a long look in a mirror somewhere about what kind of people *they* are??? :)

FWIW

Mike

Hogan
09-29-2006, 07:59 AM
His statements about women made no such qualification. If he had limited his statement to no[t] liking training with any of the women he had already trained with, there may not have been as much complaint.

I think that when someone says they don't like training with type A, it is assumed they mean it because of those type A's they have trained with, not the entire world.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-29-2006, 10:09 AM
I think that when someone says they don't like training with type A, it is assumed they mean it because of those type A's they have trained with, not the entire world.

Then you need to go back and re-read what he said.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-29-2006, 10:17 AM
I would like to add my two cents...men are not allowed in women's shelters because the women and their children have been traumatised by men (a small percentage by their same sex partner). Women and children need to feel as safe as possible in order to regain some balance and healing.

I think this is poor reasoning, and the discrimination involved is probably self-defeating. Instead of huddling together, hiding from "men" and telling each other how they have been traumatised by "men", they would be much better off in a place where they focussed on the fact that they were traumatised by a particular person, probably technically a criminal. If there were men and maybe even gay men at the shelter in exactly the same predicament, it could only benefit them. It might be that women and children don't want to be exposed to men in this situation, but I think that if people who run these places indulge this fear and reinforce a prejudice against "men" they are doing their clients a disservice.

mrfeldmeyer
09-29-2006, 10:28 AM
I train in a small dojo that consists of three women, and three men on the regular, with the occasional newbie. I am usually the largest and strongest of the people in the dojo, which has served as more of a disadvantage for me, and an advantage for the smaller people in my dojo.

However, it has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved to have such diversity. When switching from uke to uke, the change in height, strength, and flexibility helps open everyone's mind on how to perform techniques on people of all shapes and sizes. The women are fully committed and the men are as well for the most part (There is the occasional man afraid to commit to attacking a woman, with new students). Training with both sexes, for me, has done nothing but help me progress further and faster in my aikido training. You really begin to learn how to improvise quicker during randori and experimental techniques.

Just thought I would add in my thoughts. :)

Matt Feldmeyer

Janet Rosen
09-29-2006, 10:43 AM
I am going to stay off the main topic and address a side tangent: women's shelters. The issue is not the avoidance of psychic trauma by being around men. The issue is one of security: most women in shelters have literally fled from men who are intent on harming or killing them, and who DO use all kinds of ploys to try and find their whereabouts. These are ongoing extreme situations, well outside the norm of civil human interaction, where courts and police and families have often been incapable of preventing murder. Therefore the location of shelters for battered women is usually a secret (from men AND women) and keeping men not only out but not able to discover their locations is a prudent form of security.
Feel free to return to your regularly scheduled discussion :-)

Kevin Wilbanks
09-29-2006, 10:54 AM
The question I keep asking is whether anyone really thinks that there is inherently no difference in women's sports and men's sports. No one seems to really want to address it. At best, I seem to have the idea proffered that perhaps sports should be dumbed down in order to give the poorer performers some more equal footing... which of course totally "discriminates" against the people who are capable of doing far better.

Does someone who prefers to work out with 200-pound, very aggressive martial arts partners have to have been "traumatized" to want that kind of workout? Does he have to be accused of "discrimination" and "prejudice" because he prefers that kind of workout? Or do the people who are wringing their hands about these sorts of personal preferences need to take a long look in a mirror somewhere about what kind of people *they* are??? :)

FWIW

Mike

All that stuff in the first paragraph is strawman nonsense, if not flat-out absurdity. I have stated repeatedly that discrimination should be on the basis of ability, not sex. In such a scheme, no one would be competing where they weren't qualified, and no one would be unfairly discriminated against. This is about the fifth time I have expained this with crystal clarity.

As for the second, I'll try this one more time in a different way, to see if you get it. What if a 200 pound, aggressive, butch woman wants to get in on that training? Should she be allowed to 'train with whomever she wants'?

By now, surely onlookers can see that you are just repeatedly reiterating fallacies and ignoring counter-arguments, so I think I'll leave you to do more of it without further interference.

Hogan
09-29-2006, 10:55 AM
Then you need to go back and re-read what he said.

You talkin' about this, his 1st post where he explained himself?
"... I am sure there are lots of women (aikidoka and others) who could teach me something, kick my ass, or both. But my experience has been that classes segregated by sex work out better. I say that not only as a student of martial arts, but also as a teacher. I teach at 4 different public schools in Korea (about 2 hrs a day on the motorcycle, good fun). Of those four 2 are middle schools. One segragates the sexes, the other does not. Of thesse two schools the one with segragated classes does exceptionally better (at least in my classes) than the one that does not. I am not suggesting that we segragate the sexes all the time. I am saying I enjoy it more and I think the training (whatever that may be) is more focused that is all...Just my observations about classes I have been to.
later
bettis

Sounds like he meant he formed his opnion based on those he has trained / tought with and not the whole world.

Kevin Wilbanks
09-29-2006, 07:51 PM
Give it up John. He expressly said that he did not like to train with women, and would prefer not to in the future - not just those whom he had already trained with, but 'women'. He formed his opinion based on his experience - a limited sample - but then he generalized about their entire sex. Therein lies the formation of preconceived judgements about people based on the category they belong to, not experience of them as individuals. Note that the portion you quoted also contains arguments in favor of sex-segregation.

I don't see how so many adults that presumably have at least a high-school education are having so much trouble understanding this. Perhaps understanding isn't the problem... it seems suspicious to me that people will argue so virulently in favor of something yet be so evasive about admitting what it is.

clwk
09-29-2006, 08:11 PM
Give it up John. He expressly said that he did not like to train with women, and would prefer not to in the future - not just those whom he had already trained with, but 'women'. He formed his opinion based on his experience - a limited sample - but then he generalized about their entire sex. Therein lies the formation of preconceived judgements about people based on the category they belong to, not experience of them as individuals. Note that the portion you quoted also contains arguments in favor of sex-segregation.
Kevin, just so I understand, would you say that both heterosexuality and homosexuality are 'prejudiced' positions because they base a general preference on a limited set of prior experiences, initially *zero*? Should a straight man have to say, "I prefer romantic relationships with women with the following social security numbers: xxxx, xxxx, ... ; but I'm otherwise open to, well . . . anything?"

Yes, I know, that would be a strange and silly. How is it, exactly, that your position differs? What would a heterosexual or homosexual man or woman need to do - in your opinion, to not be considered 'prejudiced' with regard to sex? Could this be accomplished if the individual wanted also to avoid universal promiscuity? Do you have a sexual preference, or just a prejudice? No need to answer: it's a rhetorical question.

I don't see how so many adults that presumably have at least a high-school education are having so much trouble understanding this. Perhaps understanding isn't the problem... it seems suspicious to me that people will argue so virulently in favor of something yet be so evasive about admitting what it is.It's not clear to me how presuming that readers of this forum have or do not have any particular level of education is at all relevant to the discussion. What if someone reading this *hadn't* yet graduated from high school? What difference could that possibly make? It seems to me that remarks like that serve no purpose other than to belittle those with whom you argue - by implying that their responses are somehow childish when compared with your informed and adult remarks.

-ck

-ck

Mike Sigman
09-29-2006, 08:48 PM
It seems to me that remarks like that serve no purpose other than to belittle those with whom you argue - by implying that their responses are somehow childish when compared with your informed and adult remarks. A pretty good encapsulation. Now imagine someone like this being a dojo cho.....

hapkidoike
09-30-2006, 03:16 AM
Guys, it is the case that the only one making any sort of universal claim about the sexes is Mr. Willbanks in his signature
"All men are frauds.
The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
- H. L. Mencken

If I ever made a universal affirmative or universal negative statement about women OR men please point it out to me, because I cannot find it.

giriasis
09-30-2006, 11:41 AM
Guys, it is the case that the only one making any sort of universal claim about the sexes is Mr. Willbanks in his signature
"All men are frauds.
The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
- H. L. Mencken

If I ever made a universal affirmative or universal negative statement about women OR men please point it out to me, because I cannot find it. :rolleyes:

Isaac, you forget that in literary, expository and most forms of writing in the English language that the terms "Men", "he", "him" are used as universal terms to include both men and women such as the quote "All men are created equal" includes women not just men. Thus, Kevin's quote of "All men are frauds..." Includes women as well. Now, can we keep these kinds of red herring arguments out of the debate, or is this your best argument?

Like I said Isaac. Your words are fighting words. If someone doesn't want to train with me because my ukemi is not that great especially if they want to train really intense, then that's fine. If someone doesn't want to train with me because I have an attitude with them, then that's fine. But if someone doesn't want to train with me JUST BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN. No, that is NOT fine. Few people are able to admit when they actually harbor prejudice towards a class of people. In this case, you're specific prejudice against women. I do applaud you for having the courage to admit your prejudice against women. Very few people who do are willing to admit that. I know of a dojo in Florida where you would be welcomed at (or did he change his policy?) But just don't come to where I train. Because you will have to train with women.

Now, we all have prejudices and we all do discriminate. It's our (really, my Western American) society that determines whether these prejudices and discrimination is bad. It's our society (Western American specifically) that has determined that gender, race, ethnic and religious discrimination is bad. As a result our law makers have written laws to protect people of the above mentioned groups and our judges have interpreted these laws to say that in most cases you can not discriminate along those lines. However, lawmakers could care less that some people discriminate against other people for wearing white tops and blue skirts with white long pants underneath them. However, society still says that gender discrimination is bad, that race discrimination is bad, that religious discrimination is bad, and that ethnic discrimination is bad. I'm not a PC police type person, but when you express controversial opinions please expect the obligatory debate that will go along with it. You opened a can of worms, buster. Now, are you willing to eat them?

Mike Sigman
09-30-2006, 12:19 PM
So, Anne Marie.... as part of your signature, there's this phrase:

Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.

What's wrong with a guy preferring to work out with just other guys? You prefer to chat with "gals" on "Women in Aikido" and no one is preaching to you about "discrimination", the "laws of western society", or "eating worms" when you do exactly the same thing and publicly broadcast it as part of your sig. Why are you laying all this heavy stuff on Isaac?

Mike Sigman

hapkidoike
09-30-2006, 10:29 PM
Giri:
Never did I say that I WOULD NOT train with women as a personal policy, nor that I WOULD NOT train with women due to a philosophical aversion. I merely stated that I preferred to train with men. I have never REFUSED to train with anybody, unless I thought the person was a danger to my physical well being, due to lack of personal control or actively being reckless. My point was that, all things being equal, I would choose to train in a sex segregated environment. We all make personal decisions of this type, they are merely personal preferences. I do not take issue with women who want to attend female only gyms or MA classes, and many women do. That is a legit decision and some women make that choice, I do not see how my decision to prefer training in an all male environment is a philosophically different position, nor any different that you deciding to advertise an exclusive form for women dealing with aikido and related issues in your signature.

It may be the case that "men" in the sense it is being used by Mr. Willbanks is in reference to both sexes, I don't know, nor can I say that I am really that interested. What I was trying to point out was that I never made a universal claim about women, or men for that matter. It was also meant to bring a bit of humor to a topic that has angered so many, and angered them without good reason as far as I can tell.

About me being prejudiced against women: I never said that they could not train as hard. I never said they were no good at aikido. I merely said that I had a better experience, enjoyed class more, and learned more in a class consisting only of men. I never made any claims about the nature of women, merely claims about myself. It is most likely the case that we will never meet, but if we did meet inside of a training environment I would never refuse to train with you or any other woman, except for the aforementioned reasons (recklessness, carelessness, etc.). The fact of the matter is that there happen to be no women who train at the dojo where I train. It is not a matter of design, nor would anybody be turned away due to their gender, nor would anybody refuse to train if a woman did show up. I really feel like people have misunderstood the facts. The facts are: (A) I have trained in male only environments and co-ed enviroments (B) I am more comfortable in a male only training environment (C) that being said I do not have a philosophical aversion to training with women, and would more than likely never refuse the opportunity (unless I felt they were reckless or careless), given that I am more interested in training than being comfortable all the time. So don't think that I am against something that I am not. I am not against training with women, I merely prefer it with men. I prefer to listen to the Pixies or Coltrane than to listen to Patsy Cline or Willie Nelson. Does that mean I am against Patsy Cline and Willie? Of course not, I think they were/are both great musicians, I merely have a preference for one over the other.

I am sure there are activities in your life where you exclude men (all of the women and men I know on a personal level do this, although they may not think of it in these terms they do actively exclude the other sex, and you necessarily do given your participation in a female only message board about aikido). How is my assertion that I prefer to train only with men any different?

One more thing, I have no desire to fight you, that is a fact. The idea that you want to fight me over this I find absurd. But if you still feel the need, given that you have challenged me, I get choice of weapons, and we can meet in Dodge City at high noon. Just don't forget your .45 Long Colt. :) HA!!! (that was a joke by the way)

Oh yeah and Mr. Willbanks:
About me not being exposed to country music:
I grew up in a town famous for it, and was exposed to it from a very young age and still listen to a great deal of it. Don't make claims about a person which you have no knowledge of. It makes you look arrogant and stupid, epically when it turns out to be incorrect.

hapkidoike
10-01-2006, 12:39 AM
Isaac, you forget that in literary, expository and most forms of writing in the English language that the terms "Men", "he", "him" are used as universal terms to include both men and women such as the quote "All men are created equal" includes women not just men. Thus, Kevin's quote of "All men are frauds..." Includes women as well. Now, can we keep these kinds of red herring arguments out of the debate, or is this your best argument?

One more thing, if you are refering to the passage in the Declaration of Independance of the United States, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (1) then neither women nor all men were seen as being included. Also given that acedemics and the like are expected to use "gender inclusive" language, and that there is a faily large push for this type of language in everyday usage, I would say that determining in what sense a given author is using the term 'men' out of context is impossible. Given that I know very little about his work and his life I really don't know if he meant it to be gender inclusive or not. I was only trying to point out that I have not made any universal claims about the nature of either sex, as I have been accused by Mr. Willbanks.

1. http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm

gdandscompserv
10-01-2006, 06:34 AM
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
She who lives in glass house, should not throw stones. :p

Lorien Lowe
10-02-2006, 12:08 AM
Men sometimes like to hang out with other men. Ok. Women sometimes like to hang out with other women. Ok.

The problem - the reason that so many women are speaking up so vocally against the idea of all-male training - is that men have the power in to enforce their 'likes' to the point that it limits women's training resources. Even in aikido, and more so in other ma's, most senseis are male; if an equal percentage of male and female senseis limit their classes only to their own gender, women are going to lose out significantly more than men. Aikido dojos are a limited resource (the one I train in is the only one in my entire county).

Many of us on this board remember a very controvertial sensei in Florida who proudly talked about how his he limited his dojo to men because he wanted to have a male-only retreat - kind of an aikido boy's club. He was quiet open about it, but I'd bet money that there are more dojos out there which are all-male by their sensei's design but are less vocal about it.

To criticize Ann Marie for running an all-female chat site is to compare apples to oranges in this case. All-male ma websites, and all-male dojos, are *not* as limited a resource as ma websites or dojos where women are even welcome, much less the majority, much less the only gender.

-LK

hapkidoike
10-02-2006, 06:06 AM
I really feel like you guys have misinterpreted what I have said. The dojo I attend is not limited to males by design. There was a woman who trained there for a few weeks, but she (for reasons unknown to me) quit after a month or so. Aikido is not very popular in Korea, for obvious reasons (Japan/Korea political relations have always been bad). I happen to like the fact that I train in a male only environment. I would never expect that anyone would be turned away based on their gender, and realistically would not want them to. All I mean is that given the option, and all things being equal, I would MOST LIKELY choose to train in an all male environment. That is all, and I don't see why such an opinion is objectionable.

Secondly, Lorien Lowe, as to your position:


The problem - the reason that so many women are speaking up so vocally against the idea of all-male training - is that men have the power in to enforce their 'likes' to the point that it limits women's training resources. Even in aikido, and more so in other ma's, most senseis are male; if an equal percentage of male and female senseis limit their classes only to their own gender, women are going to lose out significantly more than men. Aikido dojos are a limited resource (the one I train in is the only one in my entire county).


This position assumes that people have a fundamental right to train whatever art they want with whomever they want. Although I may agree that maybe this ought to be the case, to make the claim that it is some sort of right is difficult to maintain. If someone does not want to transfer information they have worked hard to get, for whatever reason, I do not see how they are obligated to. I really dont believe that anybody should be turned away from a training experience, but that sword cuts both ways. If a woman wants to train in an all female environment, and such an enviornment is available, they ought to be allowed to train, and vice versa. If such an resource is unavailable, then you either suck it up, or you don't train. It will most likely be the case that I will be in a situation where I am required to train with women, and (unless I think they are careless/reckless) probably suck it up, which really wont be that hard for me. given that it is merely a preference, much like my preference to scotch over white wine, or BMW motorcycles to Hondas.

gdandscompserv
10-02-2006, 06:47 AM
The problem - the reason that so many women are speaking up so vocally against the idea of all-male training - is that men have the power in to enforce their 'likes' to the point that it limits women's training resources. Even in aikido, and more so in other ma's, most senseis are male; if an equal percentage of male and female senseis limit their classes only to their own gender, women are going to lose out significantly more than men. Aikido dojos are a limited resource (the one I train in is the only one in my entire county).
What is the reason that there are more male sensei's than female?
Why are there more males in martial arts period?
I don't know.
Personally, I have always enjoyed training with both genders and cannot see the advantage of limiting my training to one gender.
To criticize Ann Marie for running an all-female chat site is to compare apples to oranges in this case. All-male ma websites, and all-male dojos, are *not* as limited a resource as ma websites or dojos where women are even welcome, much less the majority, much less the only gender.
Ann Marie has every right to run her forum as she pleases. But to me it seems contrary to her philosophy. Like I said, I don't see the advantage in excluding 50% of the population.

Mike Sigman
10-02-2006, 07:48 AM
Men sometimes like to hang out with other men. Ok. Women sometimes like to hang out with other women. Ok. Voila'! There is indeed a human element to be considered. The problem - the reason that so many women are speaking up so vocally against the idea of all-male training - is that men have the power in to enforce their 'likes' to the point that it limits women's training resources. Even in aikido, and more so in other ma's, most senseis are male; if an equal percentage of male and female senseis limit their classes only to their own gender, women are going to lose out significantly more than men. Aikido dojos are a limited resource (the one I train in is the only one in my entire county). On a realistic level, women cannot physically compete as well as most men in many (not all) sports. That's why worldwide there are male and female teams, to a large degree.

A male trying to compete toward the highest level he can is going to work with the strongest competitors that he can. Ergo, there will always be a natural inclination to workout with mainly men. A male trying to gain a number of other benefits (or goals that are not necessarily benefits) may find that mixing with females is productive and desireable. Those two males should be able to choose what they want to do with their lives without someone loading them with some artificial (and questionable) responsibility like "diversity" as a factor in martial training. For the same reason, AMG should be able to have a chat group that excludes males, if she wants. (I think my widdle psyche may have been wounded because I wasn't allowed to participate... I may have to sue. ;) ). Many of us on this board remember a very controvertial sensei in Florida who proudly talked about how his he limited his dojo to men because he wanted to have a male-only retreat - kind of an aikido boy's club. He was quiet open about it, but I'd bet money that there are more dojos out there which are all-male by their sensei's design but are less vocal about it. I can add to your observations.... I know of a lot of males who simply get together and workout because they are interested in hard-core martial-arts studies without the encumbrances of dojo rituals, having to be careful not to be too "rough" with women, etc. I know a couple of pretty tough women and I work out with them occasionally... but they're still not as tough as some of the guys I work out with. If my interest is *purely* in improving my own martial skills, isn't it logical that I'm going to work out with strong men (not weak, non-athletic men) rather than women? That's just life. If the only strong martial-arts partners I could find were women, I assure you I'd only work out with women and I'd exclude men. To criticize Ann Marie for running an all-female chat site is to compare apples to oranges in this case. All-male ma websites, and all-male dojos, are *not* as limited a resource as ma websites or dojos where women are even welcome, much less the majority, much less the only gender. Oh, pooh... she has egg on her face and we all know it. Let's be realistic, please. ;)

Regards,

Mike

James Davis
10-02-2006, 10:37 AM
On a realistic level, women cannot physically compete as well as most men in many (not all) sports. That's why worldwide there are male and female teams, to a large degree. A male trying to compete toward the highest level he can is going to work with the strongest competitors that he can. Ergo, there will always be a natural inclination to workout with mainly men.
The above statement shows us partly where the difference of opinion originates. Some look at their training and desire competition, and some train in a different way. "Training" means different things to different people.

A male trying to gain a number of other benefits (or goals that are not necessarily benefits) may find that mixing with females is productive and desireable.
Due to my training, I am confident that I can bring an angry woman to the floor and immobilize her, injury free, after I say something stupid. ;)

Those two males should be able to choose what they want to do with their lives without someone loading them with some artificial (and questionable) responsibility like "diversity" as a factor in martial training. For the same reason, AMG should be able to have a chat group that excludes males, if she wants. (I think my widdle psyche may have been wounded because I wasn't allowed to participate... I may have to sue. ;) ).
In my experience, female aikidoka are rare. There was never more than a couple in our dojo at a time. For us men, having a place to talk is pretty easy, AMG is providing a place for women to talk. I don't think we're missing out on anything; after all, she comes here to talk to us.

If my interest is *purely* in improving my own martial skills, isn't it logical that I'm going to work out with strong men (not weak, non-athletic men) rather than women?
If a woman wants to know how to take care of herself, and she thinks that you have some skills to offer her, is it right for you to turn her away? In her mind, it might not be about competition.

Hogan
10-02-2006, 11:04 AM
Give it up John. He expressly said that he did not like to train with women, and would prefer not to in the future - not just those whom he had already trained with, but 'women'. He formed his opinion based on his experience - a limited sample - but then he generalized about their entire sex. Therein lies the formation of preconceived judgements about people based on the category they belong to, not experience of them as individuals. Note that the portion you quoted also contains arguments in favor of sex-segregation.

I don't see how so many adults that presumably have at least a high-school education are having so much trouble understanding this. Perhaps understanding isn't the problem... it seems suspicious to me that people will argue so virulently in favor of something yet be so evasive about admitting what it is.


"Sigh". Talk about not understanding. I said he formed his opinion based on the women he has trained with. Understand? He prefers not to train with women based on the women he has trained with. I did not say that he prefers not to train with just the women he has trained with.

Again:
"Sounds like he meant he formed his opinion based on those he has trained / tought with and not the whole world."

And you know what? So what if he prefers to train with certain types of people - I prefer to not work with people 6'5" and 300 pounds - so??. That's what makes this country great - freedom to prefer what you want.

Mike Sigman
10-02-2006, 11:52 AM
In my experience, female aikidoka are rare. There was never more than a couple in our dojo at a time. For us men, having a place to talk is pretty easy, AMG is providing a place for women to talk. I don't think we're missing out on anything; after all, she comes here to talk to us. I could just as easily "for us men, having a dedicated, real martial Aikido dojo is hard to find", etc. I.e., these things are all judgement calls and what I'm trying to say is that no one should *force* their personal judgement on someone else in the name of "here is my view of what moral standards in the martial arts *should* be". You see how hypocrisy encroaches when you do that. Anne Marie is willing to talk about the law and eating worms in regard to something she doesn't like, but she's totally oblivious to her own actions when it relates to men. You may make a judgement call and decide for yourself that it's perfectly OK for Anne Marie to do that (which I agree), but if you arbitrarily decide there's a reason why standards apply sometimes and not others, that's simply the typical hypocrisy that insidiously crops up so often.
If a woman wants to know how to take care of herself, and she thinks that you have some skills to offer her, is it right for you to turn her away? In her mind, it might not be about competition.Bullshit. Let me phrase it another way. If a male Japanese teacher decides he won't accept a male student and show the skills he has earned over many years, is that a form of "discrimination" or is that a valid choice? If the NFL has no female players and the US Women's Soccer team has no male players, are we looking at some form of "discrimination" or are we looking at real life? Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, as Freud said.

If the college men's team will let females try out for the team (and they will), but the college women's team won't let males try out, is that "discrimination"? No. Even in P.C. colleges there's a point where reality has to be acknowledged, doesn't it? I never got everything I wanted in life (not even my main goal in life, to be on Anne Marie's "Women in Aikido" mailing list!!!), but sometimes you just have to work with life if it doesn't work with you. ;)

FWIW

Mike

DaveS
10-02-2006, 12:16 PM
I know of a lot of males who simply get together and workout because they are interested in hard-core martial-arts studies without the encumbrances of dojo rituals, having to be careful not to be too "rough" with women, etc. I know a couple of pretty tough women and I work out with them occasionally... but they're still not as tough as some of the guys I work out with. If my interest is *purely* in improving my own martial skills, isn't it logical that I'm going to work out with strong men (not weak, non-athletic men) rather than women?
It means that you're probably going to end up working out almost exclusively with strong men. But presumably if you did meet a woman who could kick your arse with one hand tied behind her back, you wouldn't say 'yes, but you're a woman and therefore statistically likely to be weaker than a man and therefore I don't want to train with you.'

It might not make much difference practically, but I think there's an important difference between saying 'I don't want to train with women' and saying 'I want to train in such a way and at such a standard that most women aren't suitable training partners.'

Mike Sigman
10-02-2006, 12:23 PM
It means that you're probably going to end up working out almost exclusively with strong men. But presumably if you did meet a woman who could kick your arse with one hand tied behind her back, you wouldn't say 'yes, but you're a woman and therefore statistically likely to be weaker than a man and therefore I don't want to train with you.'

It might not make much difference practically, but I think there's an important difference between saying 'I don't want to train with women' and saying 'I want to train in such a way and at such a standard that most women aren't suitable training partners.' That last statement is pretty accurate. And I think that's probably what the original poster meant, not that he had uncontrollable misogynistic tendencies. ;)

I don't really know enough women who could kick my arse (not saying there are none) in a good fight, so you're right... statistically I'll seek men for training partners. I know a LOT of women that can kick my butt in bridge tournaments and I look to them frequently as training partners... gender has nothing to do with it; I simply look to make myself better in both cases.

FWIW

Mike

Esaemann
10-02-2006, 01:47 PM
I've heard it said (in a Tai Chi book or two and from one or more practitioners) that it is easier for women to learn Tai Chi, because men are more likely to use their muscles.

Eric

Mike Sigman
10-02-2006, 01:53 PM
I've heard it said (in a Tai Chi book or two and from one or more practitioners) that it is easier for women to learn Tai Chi, because men are more likely to use their muscles. The moon is made from blue cheese. Now you've "heard it said", Eric. ;) You get my light-hearted point.

I dunno.... "use their muscles"? Everyone uses their muscles. It's *how* the muscles are used and the forces are sourced that is important. I saw a cute saying on how the term "relaxed" is used in this type of martial art and the comment was making fun of many westerners: "Relax like a snake, not like a bunny". ;)

FWIW

Mike

Esaemann
10-02-2006, 02:26 PM
AHHHHH HAHAHAHAHA!

Fair enough.

gdandscompserv
10-04-2006, 05:15 PM
This is a nice thread. (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35445)

Lorien Lowe
10-05-2006, 12:26 PM
There was a woman who trained there for a few weeks, but she (for reasons unknown to me) quit after a month or so.
hmm, maybe she was uncomfortable because she could tell the people there would rather train without her.
Or maybe she just decided aikido wasn't for her...

This position assumes that people have a fundamental right to train whatever art they want with whomever they want. Although I may agree that maybe this ought to be the case, to make the claim that it is some sort of right is difficult to maintain.
I never said anything abouit rights; I said that men exercising their preferences have more of an impact on women than women exercising their preferences have on men. I'm not trying to claim that men in specific shouldn't have freedom of association, or that private organizations in general shouldn't be able to choose their membership.
A lot of the men posting seem to be bewildered by why women react so strongly to the issue of men wanting to train by themselves, when women also want to train by themselves at times; my post was an attempt to explain that to some degree.

If my dojo were private, and my sensei (having been abducted by aliens) decided to kick all of the women out, I would be sorely dissapointed. I'd probably join some jujutsu or escrima dojo instead, because there are no other aikido dojos in my area. I would say that such a decision was prejudiced, narrow-minded, and self-limiting - but that's not the same as saying that he wouldn't have a legal right to do so.

-LK

Lorien Lowe
10-05-2006, 12:38 PM
On a realistic level, women cannot physically compete as well as most men in many (not all) sports.
A couple of points.
First, if your sole criterium is fitness/martial effectiveness, then yes - most of the people you admit will be male; however, if your criterium is testicles, then you'll be admitting some weak men and excluding some strong women.
Second, Mike, you seem to be into really hard, martial training, and if your level is such that only the strongest men can compete then, yes, the vast majority of women won't fit in. That's great - it's good to know that places like that exist out there. I'm not sure, however, that the other men present are talking about really hard, martial training such that only the very strongest men can do it. I think this argument is about dojo atmosphere, and prefering not to train with women on any level.

-LK

Mike Sigman
10-05-2006, 01:12 PM
A couple of points.
First, if your sole criterium is fitness/martial effectiveness, then yes - most of the people you admit will be male; however, if your criterium is testicles, then you'll be admitting some weak men and excluding some strong women. Hmmmm.... I made it a point to mention that *at certain levels* a lot of men don't make the grade, either, Lorien. I wouldn't say that the only criterion is fitness/martial-effectiveness, but it certainly is, IMO, a primary one when one publicly states that he/she is "studying martial arts", wouldn't you agree? There may be other factors and criteria, but surely you can see the argument that those things are secondary. I'm not sure, however, that the other men present are talking about really hard, martial training such that only the very strongest men can do it. I think this argument is about dojo atmosphere, and prefering not to train with women on any level. Well maybe you're right and I missed it. I thought the discussion was about training for a martial art with, as I noted above, the study of a real martial art being the dominant theme.

There may be arguments about "fairness", etc., that feed into running a dojo, or there may be arguments about how "diversity" makes someone's actual martial art better (I'd be interested in hearing that one and how that diversity ultimately happens to help in a real and hard fight), or how a "philosophy" is important, etc., but ultimately I think that a fight is actually physical and physical accomplishment is valid as the primary criterion. That being my point, I was suggesting that I tend to understand without quibbling when someone wants to only train with men.... or women. I don't try to suggest that they have some genetic flaw. Each to his own.

Me, I work out with women, although let's be fair.... I have to go easier on them AND on certain males. If I wanted to work out pretty hard with a group of guys and a woman OR a not-so-big-or-strong male wanted to work out with us, I'd say the same thing... "let's give it a try; if you can do the job you're welcome to stay". But ultimately and truthfully, don't we all know that in general the same point is being proved?

Incidentally, there's a group I meet with every week that has a couple of women who are getting better and better while the men are all drearily staying at the same level. Now I tend, in that group, to give more attention to the 2 females *because they are thinking and applying themselves and getting better constantly.* I.e., I am cold-bloodedly a results person. If I was a "diversity" person, I would be giving equal extra pointers to the thick-headed and unteachable men. ;)

Mike

giriasis
10-05-2006, 08:09 PM
Okay, back from work...sorry it's taking me so long to reply.

First, Lorien and James Davis are pretty on ball for the reason I established my site. In some dojo a woman is often the only female in the dojo and she has no other woman to talk to so my site is for her, even if she is one of a few. It's not for all women, either. It's just for those who need to hear or speak to another woman to gain her perspective in aikido training. It is a place to find like minded individuals so they can find their place in their aikido training. In fields or other areas where men are in the minority, for example, nursing schools or other areas that are traditionally female dominated such as aerobics then I would be all for a site called "Men in Nursing" or "Men in Aerobics." I wouldn't want to participate on them though. Because I'm not a man and there would be plenty of other reasonable alternatives out there for me as woman.

As far as missing out on the conversation, if you've discussed it here on Aiki Web you more than likely will find a similar discussion on Women In Aikido. Unless, of course, you really want to talk about which tampon is best to use during your training or what kind of sports bra you should buy. I mean, really, do you really want to talk about which tampon is better? Playtex, Kotex, O.B., or menstrual cups? Or what about which breast protectors are best for hard training? Or how about how to balance motherhood, career and training? How about is it okay to cry in front of the guys?

Normally, we're talking about dealing with jerks (male and female) on the mat, dealing with negative emotions, learning ukemi, getting ready for our next test, the impact of age in training, dealing with injuries, putting new entries in our training journals, celebrating promotions, and announcing seminars.

If you don't get it, that's okay, because the site is not created for you. There are plenty of other reasonable alternatives for you participate on on line bulletin boards. So cut the argument that you're not able to participate on my site. You have plenty of other sites where you can discuss aikido without harassment and antipathy. And due to the nature of the Internet you are more than welcome to start your own "Men In Aikido" discussion board.

Second, it is a false notion that women can not handle hard training. It is also a false notion that soft training is not a worthy pursuit either. It is also a false notion that all women prefer soft training and all men prefer hard. If you all you do is treat us like porcelain dolls then that is how we will react. A person will only rise to your level of expectations. I often fuss at the guys for not throwing me harder. Now that I'm 1st kyu, approaching shodan, and am confident in my ukemi the only reason to go easier on me is size differential, which is not necessarily gender based.

Third, by preferring to train in an all male environment is really wanting to not train with any women. Unfortunately, I agree with other posters that you really are basing your decision on a very limited experience.

Mike Sigman
10-05-2006, 08:31 PM
Okay, back from work...sorry it's taking me so long to reply.

First, Lorien and James Davis are pretty on ball for the reason I established my site. In some dojo a woman is often the only female in the dojo and she has no other woman to talk to so my site is for her, even if she is one of a few. It's not for all women, either. It's just for those who need to hear or speak to another woman to gain her perspective in aikido training. It is a place to find like minded individuals so they can find their place in their aikido training. In fields or other areas where men are in the minority, for example, nursing schools or other areas that are traditionally female dominated such as aerobics then I would be all for a site called "Men in Nursing" or "Men in Aerobics." I wouldn't want to participate on them though. Because I'm not a man and there would be plenty of other reasonable alternatives out there for me as woman.

As far as missing out on the conversation, if you've discussed it here on Aiki Web you more than likely will find a similar discussion on Women In Aikido. Unless, of course, you really want to talk about which tampon is best to use during your training or what kind of sports bra you should buy. I mean, really, do you really want to talk about which tampon is better? Playtex, Kotex, O.B., or menstrual cups? Or what about which breast protectors are best for hard training? Or how about how to balance motherhood, career and training? How about is it okay to cry in front of the guys?

Normally, we're talking about dealing with jerks (male and female) on the mat, dealing with negative emotions, learning ukemi, getting ready for our next test, the impact of age in training, dealing with injuries, putting new entries in our training journals, celebrating promotions, and announcing seminars.

If you don't get it, that's okay, because the site is not created for you.Hi AMG:

So you've got a site for women only. It doesn't bother me. Each to his own. My only comment was that when a male says he wants to do something without women, he shouldn't be hassled for it. If you posted that you enjoy a chat-site that doesn't have men on it, I would say the same essential thing to anyone who tried to hassle you for wanting to do something without men. C'est la vie.
There are plenty of other reasonable alternatives for you participate on on line bulletin boards. So cut the argument that you're not able to participate on my site. You have plenty of other sites where you can discuss aikido without harassment and antipathy. And due to the nature of the Internet you are more than welcome to start your own "Men In Aikido" discussion board. There are plenty of places you can do martial arts with men, too. Why hassle some man who doesn't want to practice with women? Same thing, right?Second, it is a false notion that women can not handle hard training. It is also a false notion that soft training is not a worthy pursuit either. It is also a false notion that all women prefer soft training and all men prefer hard. If you all you do is treat us like porcelain dolls then that is how we will react. A person will only rise to your level of expectations. I often fuss at the guys for not throwing me harder. Now that I'm 1st kyu, approaching shodan, and am confident in my ukemi the only reason to go easier on me is size differential, which is not necessarily gender based.

Third, by preferring to train in an all male environment is really wanting to not train with any women. Unfortunately, I agree with other posters that you really are basing your decision on a very limited experience.I'm not sure where you got all those "false notions", but I never made any statements like that and I don't know anyone who did, AM. However, I don't want to get into a pointless argument. The point I was making was that if you want to be with women, it's OK. If some man wants to be with men, it's OK, too. And hey... it's OK if I'm not on your web-forum.... but you're welcome to come workout with me any time you want. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

James Davis
10-06-2006, 10:32 AM
And hey... it's OK if I'm not on your web-forum.... but you're welcome to come workout with me any time you want. ;)


Ditto. :)

Stellaluna
10-06-2006, 12:16 PM
I just had to jump into this for two reasons:
First - because my Sensei is a woman and I believe that if a woman is physically able to teach Aikido effectively, then she should certainly be given the opportunity to learn it.
Second - because I'm new to Aikido. Here's this Kohai's perspective: Perhaps it will help to get this topic back to basics. Last night we practiced blending techniques. Blending??? Hmmmm... I'm going to be chewing on this one for days... how to blend with different heights, weights, speeds, strengths...
Okay - now, riddle me this one - if you have separate dojos for men and women then how are you blending?
I am fortunate enough to have a Sensei who reminds us that the 'new' students should not feel like we are keeping the 'experienced' students back. There is always something to learn from your partner regardless of size, strength, height, weight, experience or whether they are male of female....
Ahhhh - Blending! :p

Mike Sigman
10-06-2006, 12:20 PM
I just had to jump into this for two reasons:
First - because my Sensei is a woman and I believe that if a woman is physically able to teach Aikido effectively, then she should certainly be given the opportunity to learn it.
Second - because I'm new to Aikido. Here's this Kohai's perspective: Perhaps it will help to get this topic back to basics. Last night we practiced blending techniques. Blending??? Hmmmm... I'm going to be chewing on this one for days... how to blend with different heights, weights, speeds, strengths...
Okay - now, riddle me this one - if you have separate dojos for men and women then how are you blending?
I am fortunate enough to have a Sensei who reminds us that the 'new' students should not feel like we are keeping the 'experienced' students back. There is always something to learn from your partner regardless of size, strength, height, weight, experience or whether they are male of female....
Ahhhh - Blending! :pWho in this thread has suggested "separate dojos for men and women"?

Stellaluna
10-06-2006, 01:15 PM
Certainly not accusing anyone of suggesting anything... but there was a reference in the thread to the affect of:
If my dojo were private, and my sensei (having been abducted by aliens) decided to kick all of the women out, I would be sorely dissapointed. I'd probably join some jujutsu or escrima dojo instead, because there are no other aikido dojos in my area. I would say that such a decision was prejudiced, narrow-minded, and self-limiting - but that's not the same as saying that he wouldn't have a legal right to do so.
Perhaps I took the word 'private' out of context????...
Gina

Mike Sigman
10-06-2006, 01:20 PM
Certainly not accusing anyone of suggesting anything... but there was a reference in the thread to the affect of:

Perhaps I took the word 'private' out of context????...
GinaLorien (female) was making a rhetorical point, not a suggestion.

Regards,

Mike

Lorien Lowe
10-07-2006, 10:49 AM
Hmmmm.... I made it a point to mention that *at certain levels* a lot of men don't make the grade, either....
In that instance, I was arguing against the whole 'private dojo for men only idea, not just you, Mike. You're generally careful to point out that you're equally down on small people of all genders.
I wouldn't say that the only criterion is fitness/martial-effectiveness, but it certainly is, IMO, a primary one when one publicly states that he/she is "studying martial arts", wouldn't you agree?....I thought the discussion was about training for a martial art with, as I noted above, the study of a real martial art being the dominant theme.
Imnsho, 'real' martial arts is not just the provence of very big, very strong people. Everyone should have the chance to learn how to protect themselves. If some f#@%^& wants to attack me at night somewhere, they're not going to do it when I have a very big, very strong person to protect me. They'll do it when I'm alone.
Since I really want to learn how to protect myself, I'm not going to go to a dojo where everyone takes it easy on me because I'm shorter than they are; I'm also not going to take it easier on any of my aikido colleagues who are shorter than I am. There are a few in my dojo, both men and women, and they make up in fierceness and flexibility what they lack in height. I'm 'killed' by them just as often as I'm 'killed' by other students of thier rank - in one case, even more, because I keep on throwing atemi as though they're a big person and they just bends over backwards and then whip up and 'get' me. Good thing I have a flexible, short person to work with, eh? Otherwise I woldn't ever have a chance to learn how to deal with that.

As I mentioned before (and, again, I'm not just responding to Mike), very big, very strong people are dominant enough in this field to be able to enforce their preference to train only with people like themselves. Even if the dojo in question is technically open to smaller people, not very many people will stay and train in a place where it's clear that everyone else there wants them to leave.

-LK

Mike Sigman
10-07-2006, 11:32 AM
In that instance, I was arguing against the whole 'private dojo for men only idea, not just you, Mike. You're generally careful to point out that you're equally down on small people of all genders. Lorien, Lorien...tsk, tsk... "down on small people"? I don't work out with small children or aged adults, either, but I'm not "down on them" because I prefer to work out with strong men as a method to the most efficient use of my own time in getting better in martial arts. If you choose to neglect large males in favor of "diversity" or whatever, I certainly am not going to infer that you're "down on large males". Let's be careful of the emotionally-indexed terms, please. I'm very sensitive and shy. ;) Imnsho, 'real' martial arts is not just the provence of very big, very strong people. Everyone should have the chance to learn how to protect themselves. If some f#@%^& wants to attack me at night somewhere, they're not going to do it when I have a very big, very strong person to protect me. They'll do it when I'm alone.
Since I really want to learn how to protect myself, I'm not going to go to a dojo where everyone takes it easy on me because I'm shorter than they are; I'm also not going to take it easier on any of my aikido colleagues who are shorter than I am. There are a few in my dojo, both men and women, and they make up in fierceness and flexibility what they lack in height. I'm 'killed' by them just as often as I'm 'killed' by other students of thier rank - in one case, even more, because I keep on throwing atemi as though they're a big person and they just bends over backwards and then whip up and 'get' me. Good thing I have a flexible, short person to work with, eh? Otherwise I woldn't ever have a chance to learn how to deal with that.

As I mentioned before (and, again, I'm not just responding to Mike), very big, very strong people are dominant enough in this field to be able to enforce their preference to train only with people like themselves. Even if the dojo in question is technically open to smaller people, not very many people will stay and train in a place where it's clear that everyone else there wants them to leave. Well, of course you're more than welcome to come visit and workout sometime, Lorien. We can try all sorts of "diversity" in training. I was thinking about all these arguments (not particularly yours, but from others, too) in which the "need for diverse training" is mentioned repeatedly. OK, so smaller people need to be able to train against big, strong males occasionally to check out their stuff and see if it works. Cool. I see the point.

But think about it. How "diverse" is the training in most Aikido dojos, in reality? It's done on mats in a dojo(I like grass or a parking lot because it's more realistic and I can take ukemi on those without any problem). The attacks in a dojo are almost completely in the realm of stylized, unrealistic attacks.... where's the diversity you (and others) keep mentioning? Very, very few people in most dojos can really hit well enough to support even their stylized, ritualistic atemi. Many, many openings and techniques used in the real world are NEVER practiced in an Aikido dojo. And so on.

In other words, the question enters my mind... OK, all these women that have been training with all these men in some of these dojos -- how effective is their martial art after all these calls and discussions about "diversity" and "we need to train with males, too"? On a realistic level, I suspect most of the arguments/debate have been more for show than the reality would reflect. I'll bet the results would be embarrassing... or would you disagree?

OTOH, Isaac simply doesn't want to get side-tracked into a pretend reality and is just saying that he wants to honestly train martial arts. I'll bet his results (which is probably what he's interest in) will support his preference.

Best.

Mike

Keith R Lee
10-07-2006, 11:54 AM
It's semi-related so I thought I'd throw this out there: we don't allow women into our Sambo club. Sure it's a different thing than Aikido but they're both martial arts. Not that there are really many women banging on our door wanting to join... :)

Mike Sigman
10-07-2006, 01:37 PM
It's semi-related so I thought I'd throw this out there: we don't allow women into our Sambo club. Sure it's a different thing than Aikido but they're both martial arts. Not that there are really many women banging on our door wanting to join... :) Why you rogues!!! If you guys would start wearing Hakamas .... ;)

Mike

Mary Eastland
10-08-2006, 07:18 AM
It's semi-related so I thought I'd throw this out there: we don't allow women into our Sambo club. Sure it's a different thing than Aikido but they're both martial arts. Not that there are really many women banging on our door wanting to join... :)

Hi Keith:
Could you talk about why women are not allowed in your Sambo club? (If they wanted to be :) )
Mary

Keith R Lee
10-09-2006, 07:15 PM
Hi Keith:
Could you talk about why women are not allowed in your Sambo club? (If they wanted to be :) )
Mary

Sure! It's because we're a lot of loud-mouthed misogynists! ;)

Really, we don't allow women because we're focused purely on competition. We're not a self-defense joint or a martial arts dojo or anything like that. We're a competition-based sports team. It just so happens that the sport we train in is a martial art as well. There is no cross-sex competition. So purely at that level, what's the point?

Along those lines, there are weight divisions as well. The lightest guy we have weighs 155 and he's solid as a rock, and we try to roll with people in similar weight classes generally speaking. There's no point in rolling with a woman, the strength difference and weight sizes are far too different. Sure you can find accident in that statement, there will be women who weigh the same as men and are equally as strong, but they are far and few between. That's why women have their own divisions in BJJ tourneys.

Also, we don't slow the curriculum down at all, for anyone, period. If someone is a new student (a guy or a hypothetical female), they need to come in, shut up, train their butt off, and then roll. There is not a lengthy introductory process as is found at most Aikido dojos I have been a part of or have visited (admittedly this varies from dojo to dojo). It's a real our way, or the highway mentality. I'm not saying it's the best thing, but it's a very common attitude found amongst highly comptetive sports. Ask any guy who played football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, etc. while growing up in the US. There is just not a lot of accomdation to new people. They have to get by on their own gumption.

So quite predictably, everyone at our club is 25-35ish, fit guys.This ensures that everyone has plenty of people to train with, and the training will always be high intensity. Sometimes I miss the diversity of an Aikido dojo, but not for what that diversity does for training, but more for the social aspect it brings. That being said, I find the lack of diversity a worthwhile trade-off to be able to train without compromise.

Hopefully no one will take offense at what I've said, I've merely tried to be as up front and forthright about our 'no women' policy as I could be. I have NO problem with women training martial arts, even Sambo and BJJ! I am well aware that there are women in BJJ that could kick my butt in a match! However, we are a small club (15 or so people at any given time) and there is neither the time nor desire to alter our training regimine to accomodate women.

Okay, now no one come after me all :grr: after this post!

Pauliina Lievonen
10-10-2006, 02:25 AM
Keith, I think what you're saying makes a lot of sense. Actually I think that what the original poster was saying made a lot of sense, too. FWIW.

kvaak
Pauliina

DonMagee
10-10-2006, 05:54 AM
Sure! It's because we're a lot of loud-mouthed misogynists! ;)

Really, we don't allow women because we're focused purely on competition. We're not a self-defense joint or a martial arts dojo or anything like that. We're a competition-based sports team. It just so happens that the sport we train in is a martial art as well. There is no cross-sex competition. So purely at that level, what's the point?

Along those lines, there are weight divisions as well. The lightest guy we have weighs 155 and he's solid as a rock, and we try to roll with people in similar weight classes generally speaking. There's no point in rolling with a woman, the strength difference and weight sizes are far too different. Sure you can find accident in that statement, there will be women who weigh the same as men and are equally as strong, but they are far and few between. That's why women have their own divisions in BJJ tourneys.

Also, we don't slow the curriculum down at all, for anyone, period. If someone is a new student (a guy or a hypothetical female), they need to come in, shut up, train their butt off, and then roll. There is not a lengthy introductory process as is found at most Aikido dojos I have been a part of or have visited (admittedly this varies from dojo to dojo). It's a real our way, or the highway mentality. I'm not saying it's the best thing, but it's a very common attitude found amongst highly comptetive sports. Ask any guy who played football, baseball, basketball, wrestling, etc. while growing up in the US. There is just not a lot of accomdation to new people. They have to get by on their own gumption.

So quite predictably, everyone at our club is 25-35ish, fit guys.This ensures that everyone has plenty of people to train with, and the training will always be high intensity. Sometimes I miss the diversity of an Aikido dojo, but not for what that diversity does for training, but more for the social aspect it brings. That being said, I find the lack of diversity a worthwhile trade-off to be able to train without compromise.

Hopefully no one will take offense at what I've said, I've merely tried to be as up front and forthright about our 'no women' policy as I could be. I have NO problem with women training martial arts, even Sambo and BJJ! I am well aware that there are women in BJJ that could kick my butt in a match! However, we are a small club (15 or so people at any given time) and there is neither the time nor desire to alter our training regimine to accomodate women.

Okay, now no one come after me all :grr: after this post!

We just recently got a few women in our bjj club. I was uncomfortable at first because I was not sure how they would take actions that would be done to them (for example, north south position, placing your face on their chest while holding a shoulder pin, etc.) But the girls are ok with it and roll with the guys all the time. It is really neat to watch them grow and to watch all the young guys learn to cope with fighting a girl. And yes we are very competition focused. In fact I can't think of one time my instructor has ever mentioned self defense.

Mary Eastland
10-10-2006, 06:07 AM
Thanks Keith......your explaination is quite helpful.

Does roll mean something different at your club than it does at an Aikido dojo?

(i. e..... roll with someone???)

Mary

DonMagee
10-10-2006, 06:47 AM
Thanks Keith......your explaination is quite helpful.

Does roll mean something different at your club than it does at an Aikido dojo?

(i. e..... roll with someone???)

Mary

roll is a term many judo/sambo/bjj guys use in place of sparing. When I say roll I mean sparing with grappling only without strikes.

Lorien Lowe
10-16-2006, 12:12 AM
How "diverse" is the training in most Aikido dojos, in reality? It's done on mats in a dojo(I like grass or a parking lot because it's more realistic and I can take ukemi on those without any problem). The attacks in a dojo are almost completely in the realm of stylized, unrealistic attacks.... where's the diversity you (and others) keep mentioning? Very, very few people in most dojos can really hit well enough to support even their stylized, ritualistic atemi. Many, many openings and techniques used in the real world are NEVER practiced in an Aikido dojo. And so on.

In other words, the question enters my mind... how effective is their martial art after all these calls and discussions about "diversity" ...?
If the question is about effectiveness, let's all just get guns. It's what the cops do, and they're the ones with their asses on the line irl.

-LK

DonMagee
10-16-2006, 06:12 AM
I got to roll (spar) with a girl last week in bjj. It was a unique exp. She constantly felt like I was holding back (and I was, but it was because she was new not because she was a girl). So she kept telling me to not hold back. But at the same time I knew that if I didn't hold back, I would get looked down on for hurting a girl who couldn't defend herself. At the same time however, I had to be tougher on her then I would with a new guy, because if I let her submit me there could be the apearance that I was beat by a girl. And with a gym full of pro fighters and testosterone, that's not a good impression to leave.

Mike Sigman
10-16-2006, 07:24 AM
If the question is about effectiveness, let's all just get guns. It's what the cops do, and they're the ones with their asses on the line irl.Cops also take self-defense and/or martial arts.

I think the long-term point gets back once again to the idea of whether someone can insert their ideas about "diversity", "universal love", "gender equality", etc., into a cooperative "dance" (not my word, but one I've actually heard used as in "Aikido is the dance of the soulds") and really call it "Aikido".

Effectiveness? Would you agree that someone has to have at least some amount of "effectiveness", body skills, etc., before they can really claim to be doing Aikido to any reasonable degree? The point Isaac seems to be looking at (I don't want to put words in his mouth) is that he wants to be effective in a martial art and therefore he's going by the more direct route, foresaking other peoples' perceived goals in Aikido of "gender diversity", etc., because those things are extraneous to the core martial art.

The interesting part to me is seeing what appears to be very obviously trendy goals tacked on top of supposedly "traditional Aikido" and then hammering someone who doesn't appreciate the importance of the beliefs of some others. I.e., this idea of trying to get people to conform to some "socially acceptable" ideas sort of tickles me. I try to picture telling my sensei on Okinawa that my sorry efforts in the class would have been excusable if I had been able to convince him that "gender diversity" was important to me learning the real stuff. It's an interesting visual scene. He wouldn't have taught me and probably would have encouraged me to go to some dojo where they were more interested in something other than the real art.

As I said, "to each his own". Perhaps that's better than berating someone for not conforming to trendily popular concepts?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Gwion
10-16-2006, 03:13 PM
It seems to me that Aikido is about unity, so any idea of separation of anything, whether it be nage and uke, black and white, adult and child, japanese and american, men and women, is against the spirit of aikido, and the principle of the universe, that all is ultimately one. You can find all sorts of quotes to this effect in Ueshiba Sensei's dialogues.

Mike Sigman
10-16-2006, 03:32 PM
It seems to me that Aikido is about unity, so any idea of separation of anything, whether it be nage and uke, black and white, adult and child, japanese and american, men and women, is against the spirit of aikido, and the principle of the universe, that all is ultimately one. You can find all sorts of quotes to this effect in Ueshiba Sensei's dialogues.Could you lay a couple of the "unity" quotes on me? I'm not sure what you're talking about. If you're referring to the Chinese cosmology, which seeks for working without resistance to the natural laws of the universe (sometimes misappropriately translated as "universal harmony"), that's not what it means.

If anything, one of the common mistakes made by wannabe-spiritual-types is the the idea that there is a purely yin approach to life which precludes personal frictions, meat-eating, etc. The actual idea is that there is and always will be a dichotomy in all things and that we should always seek a balance. I.e., there are male and female roles and physiology... the idea is not to artificially represent that there are no differences, but to learn to live with the appropriateness of that division. There is no admonition, as another example, to only eat vegetables ... a balanced diet and a balance in everything is considered harmonious. The idea of ascetic extremes is avoided in the purer cosmology.

If some women want to train together without men, fine. If some men want to train together without women, fine. But one's life on the whole should include both men and women in a natural accord. Interestingly enough, probably none of us modern types would be tolerant of the highly limited role that women played in the early cultures where all this Asian spirituality evolved. So to argue about what spirituality and equality demand, based on the ancient ideas of "harmony", etc., is a little bit humorous. ;)

My opinion, FWIW

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
10-16-2006, 03:43 PM
good stuff Mike, philosophically I agree. The big catch to me though is that we as people define for ourselves through various paradigms, filters, and experiences what we consider to be "balanced".

for example, meat eating. Some may consider it to be a norm and in balance. Others may consider it to be an aberration and not normal.

I do agree, for example, if everyone stopped eating meat today, that we would have a huge problem and things would be out of balance for quite a while and may cause huge problems.

At the same token, I have not eaten meat for almost 7 years now. I consider myself to be more at balance and healthier than when I did.

So, I think balance can be a matter of perspective and is multi-echeloned and not so simplistic meaning that there is one definition of balance that is right for all.

Theoretically, macroscopically there is only one "balance", however microscopically, there are multitudes of definitions and "right ways" that feed into that macroscopic view.

Another good example is killing. I don't hunt because of spiritual/religious reasons. However, here in Germany, I recognize the need for hunting as deer have no natural predators and need to be kept in balance. So, what is right for me, is not right for Germany.

If I did eat meat, I would not have a problem eating venison from these deer that were killed compassionately and for a greater good. I would, however have a problem with livestock raised solely for the production of meat in a system that marginalizes their live and exploits them to make a profit.

Anyway, some more thoughts on the subject of harmony and yin/yang.

Mike Sigman
10-16-2006, 04:07 PM
good stuff Mike, philosophically I agree. The big catch to me though is that we as people define for ourselves through various paradigms, filters, and experiences what we consider to be "balanced". Sure. I agree, Kevin. And if you look at "people", i.e., the plural, there are some people that eat mainly meat, some that eat vegetables only, etc., but on the whole there is a balance that essentially evolved among the people on this planet in which both meat and plants are eaten.

Similarly, there are people who prefer male-only interaction and people who prefer women-only... but on the whole, there is a male-female interaction that was determined long before our current theories of "what is the right thing to do" and, for the most part, that evolved relationship isn't going to go away. In fact, many of the customs and traditions of humans aren't going to be legislated or moralised out of existence because they derive from fundamental human traits. The "balance" that is talked about is the frictionless recognition and peaceful accord with those things which humans "naturally" do. Forcing some sort of artificial "harmony" on Isaac is actually a very unnatural thing to do, BTW.

On the other hand, trying to force other people to conform to the way we do things is pretty much typical pack and tribal social behavior. We just dress it up as religion and political correctness and "spiritual" and pretend it's something much more elevated than it really is. ;)

By the way... I'll be in Berlin this weekend, if you're anywhere around.

Mike

Lorien Lowe
10-20-2006, 08:39 PM
I think the long-term point gets back once again to the idea of whether someone can insert their ideas about "diversity", "universal love", "gender equality", etc., into a cooperative "dance" ...and really call it "Aikido".
Effectiveness? Would you agree that someone has to have at least some amount of "effectiveness", body skills, etc., before they can really claim to be doing Aikido to any reasonable degree?
Whoa, who said anything about dance? Who said anything about universal love?
The distinction we were talking about was very hard aikido that only the biggest, strongest people could participate in, vs. aikido that women and average-size or smaller men could do. Are you implying that the latter is wishy-washy, fake aikido?
Personally, I think that there is a continuum between aiki-fruity and aiki-thug. Most people train somewhere in-between, and the fact that they aren't on the farthest end of the thug scale does not mean that they are not martial or not effective. Maybe they couldn't survive a fight in a cage with some very big, extreme martial artist who really wanted to kill them, but the average aikidoist of any gender probably isn't too concerned with that. I don't think that people who train somewhere in the middle of the spectrum are dumbing down aikido.
And, sure, for those who want to prepare for when they're attacked on the street by a roving band of ninjas - fine. Let them train together. But let them not claim that their aikido is the only true aikido, that their aikido is more 'realistic,' or that anyone who does anything else is somehow failing the founder. For those who aren't training at the high-ultra-martial-god level but want to exclude certian people anyway, let them not claim that they're doing it because the people whom they exclude can't handle it, or that a dojo which excludes women is necessarily better/more martial/more real than a dojo which does not.
Let those senseis who do exclude women just because they feel like it acknowledge that they are excluding people who want to train and who could train if they had the opportunity, and not try to dress it up as anything other than a boys' club with an aikido theme.

all, of course, imnsho.

-LK

Mike Sigman
10-20-2006, 11:50 PM
Let them train together. But let them not claim that their aikido is the only true aikido, that their aikido is more 'realistic,' or that anyone who does anything else is somehow failing the founder. For those who aren't training at the high-ultra-martial-god level but want to exclude certian people anyway, let them not claim that they're doing it because the people whom they exclude can't handle it, or that a dojo which excludes women is necessarily better/more martial/more real than a dojo which does not.
Let those senseis who do exclude women just because they feel like it acknowledge that they are excluding people who want to train and who could train if they had the opportunity, and not try to dress it up as anything other than a boys' club with an aikido theme.Let the edicts be obeyed!!! ;)

Mike

Lorien Lowe
10-21-2006, 12:33 AM
I said it all humbly, in case you didn't notice. :)

-LK

Dirk Hanss
10-21-2006, 07:15 AM
I find this thread somehow funny, as there are many opinions thrown together and few ones really respond to the others.

1.) If you do not want to have bad students, the only way is to reject everyone.
2.) If you do not want to miss the best ones, do not reject anyone.
3.) If you think you are a good aikido teacher, select by viewing there skills, efforts, etc. and not by any prejudice (gender alone might be one of the worst). Of course we are all not perfect ...

And now it is starting to get less simple:

4.) If you do not want to get your students disturbed by other students, which are somehow different. the best idea is to get them used to those. Only the second best choice is to exclude those.
5.) If you take sponsors' (public) money, you have to enter compromises or reject that support.
6.) If you want to protect good (religious?) habit or discourage bad habit (e.g. sexual harassment?), you might offer special classes, if there is enough space, time, and energy. Nevertheless there might be good arguments, that the effect is quite the opposite.

7.) As member of your social environment, you should not exclude any student with valid interest in training, who has no other possibility to train.

8.) But as you are not responsible for all your social environment, you might reject them, if you can only offer classes to those by violating your interests or valid interests of your other students.

I cannot offer a simple solution.
If people feel uncomfortable to practice with the other gender, I can understand. There are hundreds of reasons, few good ones and many ridiculous ones. My personal opinion is that your first task to get beyond those feelings, which in general is a task for martial artists - not to ignore, but to prudently deal with fear, hunger, exhaustion, tiredness and any other natural or educated reaction. And just change sides once again: I have not seen any dojo, where they start to fast for a week or do not sleep for 3 days before the first lesson - or start ukemi classes by falling down 5 meters (on a soft mat).

There is still much to say, but for the moments that is enough to think about.

Take care

Dirk