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Edwin Neal
01-29-2006, 11:42 AM
yeah mark... it is a technicality that allows such groups to use the claims of freedom to exists... by that argument then al qaeda should be able to freely meet and associate anywhere anytime in the united states... there is a distinction between private/public that i truly do not have the expertise to really claim any authority to discuss... i am not a lawyer... but if he is associated with ASU and they have a stated policy that is contrary??? why is there any need for such a statement??? if they can legally discriminate (which i do not believe) then why state that they don't when in fact they do? this really gets my ara mitama stoked (on the verge of raging)... my feelings are that it is easy for some to practice aiki-ostrich-do, bury their heads in the sand and ignore it, but that is not what i feel aikido is about... we should "fight" against injustice and wrong wherever we find it...

Mark Freeman
01-30-2006, 06:59 AM
Hi Edwin

Maybe Al Quaeda freely meets in the US anyway, how would you know if they are non explicit. :(

As for the ASU I'm not even sure what that TLA ( 3 letter abbreviation ) is. I cant comment on them specifically as I have no idea what their policy states. However any organisation that has a policy that is not being upheld by one of it's associated units is in my opinion duty bound to do something about it. Namely get them to change to conform to the policy or eject them from the organisation. Ejecting them will not stop the unit acting the way that they do, at least the larger organisation have taken care of the situation as far as their own integrity goes.

I feel the best way to 'fight' the emergance of 'dark' thinking is to shine the bright light of scrutiny, knowledge and co-operation onto these areas.
Aikido is for all, I think we can all agree on that, however we have to accept that there will be dissenters even in the most agreeable of situations. Maybe they are there to keep the rest of us on our toes! :eek:

Cheers
Mark

Chris Li
01-30-2006, 10:16 AM
As for the ASU I'm not even sure what that TLA ( 3 letter abbreviation ) is. I cant comment on them specifically as I have no idea what their policy states. However any organisation that has a policy that is not being upheld by one of it's associated units is in my opinion duty bound to do something about it. Namely get them to change to conform to the policy or eject them from the organisation. Ejecting them will not stop the unit acting the way that they do, at least the larger organisation have taken care of the situation as far as their own integrity goes.

I posted this earlier in the thread from the ASU student handbook:

The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba is an equal opportunity organization, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnic group, religion, age, or sexual orientation.

That being said, I believe the kind of policy that was under discussion earlier in the thread to be mistaken (as I also stated earlier in the thread), but that doesn't mean that Dan ought to be demonized, or that he's somehow an evil person (as is sometimes being implied). There are plenty of single-sex groups throughout the US that nobody gives a second thought - a lot of them are Catholic schools, for example.

Best,

Chris

aikidodragon
01-30-2006, 11:23 AM
For a long time and maybe even now, I am having trouble finding out by reading, the Kodokan had not only seporate classes for men and women but also seporate dojos. It used to be that woman could not advance past fifth dan in judo, and the fifth dan for a woman was the equal of a ninth or tenth dan for the men. The first woman was promoted to sixth dan in like the 40s or 50s if my mimory serves me right. Also women were not allowed to wear a solid colored belt, every woman't belt had a white stripe down the center. When judo compitition first started women had there own compititions and kata was the only form of compitition allowed. Infact women's judo has just resently been added to the olimpics games.

Professor Kano and O sensei lived around the same time and in the same country, but there approaches to training was totally different.

Personally i wish that I had access to womens only dojo. I have learned from years in judo jujitsu and aikido, that some throws I can do on a man I can not apply on a woman. Our bodies move and are shaped differently then a mans body.

I also injoy training with men only, in most of the dojos I have trained I was the only female.
It is just recently that I have seen the dojos I train or have trained in have more then three girls in dojos that have 40-60 members, Infact i think at least attending students all three dojos I have trained in are now equal, and in one us girls are trying to run the guys out of the bigger dressing room because there are times we out number them.

Any thats my two cence worth take it or leave it, and feel to correct my history if my dates or something are incorrect.

Mark Uttech
01-30-2006, 11:36 AM
Please, if I may ask, why do you bother looking for distinctions long past and gone?

aikidodragon
01-30-2006, 11:43 AM
I am just using history to show that seporating the sexs was common in Japan, I'm sure that there still are schools in the countryside that may still be one gender.
I personally don't think that same gender dojos are bad, as long as the oppertunity for cross training with the other gender are presented and incouraged.

aikidodragon
01-30-2006, 11:45 AM
However i do disagree with soporate ranking systems, and double standerds. I think that fifth dan should mean fifth dan no matter race, sex, sexual oriantation, religion, or disability.

Dan Herak
01-30-2006, 11:47 AM
Ok, I just hopped onto this thread and tried to get up to speed, but apologize if I am repeating what someone has already said.

.

I'm sorry Mr. Linden is bitter about women encroaching on historically male activities,

It strikes to me, Ms. Northcutt, that you seem far more bitter than Dan Linden. You claim that you really have no problems with single sex activities but your crude characterizations of Mr. Linden truly undermine such assertions. I am not trying simply to make personal attacks here but to make a larger point. It is simply a bit tiring that women who want their own space are viewed as liberated and free thinking but men who want their own space are characterized as wanting to put women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

I agree that Mr. Linden's initial post on this matter seemed a tad harsh. Clearly he has a brusque style. But his points regarding male bonding are valid. I also cannot help but speculate that some of Mr. Linden's curtness is due to encountering the double standard to which I have referred. Having encountered it myself, I can attest that one quickly adopts an oppositional attitude when one knows the types of characterizations that will be forthcoming.

On another matter, if it has not already been addressed, so long as Mr. Linden's dojo does not accept governmental money (which seems unlikely) there is nothing illegal about a single sex dojo.

Mark Freeman
01-30-2006, 11:55 AM
There are plenty of single-sex groups throughout the US that nobody gives a second thought - a lot of them are Catholic schools, for example.

Best,

Chris

Hi Chris,

Unlike the ASU, the Catholic church is not an equal opportunity organisation.

regards

Mark

Dan Herak
01-30-2006, 12:28 PM
I want first to thank Mr. Linden for outing himself as a bigot in a public forum...


I would argue that women face a holocaust as well, a holocaust in which at least as many women have suffered and died as in Europe, over the course of many more years. Violence against women affects hundreds of American women every day - we are raped by strangers, beaten and killed by our lovers and husbands. In the eyes of these rapists, batterers and murderers, it is culturally appropriate to violate and kill women because women are less human than men, because they have a social place, because they're always whining. Men who hurt women are act because they think they are right to hate women, because they see their own bigotry reflected all around them,


I have read some truly over the top posts in my day but this one has got to take the cake.

This position is untenable. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to be on the receiving end of vioent crime than are women. Further, the response from some women (and allow me to be blunt - feminists) is quite revealing. When I point this out, their response is to twist their faces in disgust and spew out something along the lines that, maybe so, but they are being attacked - BY OTHER MEN!!! Factually true but morally disgusting. What kind of person is not willing to make a moral distinction between violent criminals and their victims? Certianly no one in a position to lecture the rest of us about anything.

Tying this in to your hit statement, how can women be the victims of a holocaust of violence when they are less likely to be violently attacked? The only way around this is to sink into the moral degeneracy that I have described. Let me add that I can understand that a man would downplay violence against men and focus on that against women for reasons of chivalry, but that does not resolve the issue which I am addressing.

Edwin Neal
01-30-2006, 01:21 PM
i still hold to the belief that while it may not be in a technocal sense illegal... it is questionable... any lawyers out there???... recieving government money is i think a red herring most business don't get federal money, but try to go to a restaurant that says we only serve men!!! lets not get off track here it is a form of discrimination(good or bad) that could be likened to violence or disenfranchisment of women... I think his position is wrong... there are of course proper circumstances for same sex practices, but to discrimanate against all women is wrong... if any one seems more bitter than the original poster they probably feel like i that my art has be hijacked and comprimised by a practice that clearly is contrary to the basic principles of aikido...

Dan Herak
01-30-2006, 01:55 PM
... any lawyers out there???...


Yes. Me. An aikido club would not provide public accomodations the way a restaurant would nor would it affect interstate commerce. It is akin to the Augusta National Golf Course that hosts the Masters. Couple years back some people did decide to shove their noses into its private affairs trying to get it to admit women. As a private club, however, it could dictate its own membership and stood its ground.

Personally I find nothing wrong with this. In fact, I am much, much more disturbed by the low regard demonstrated on this board for freedom of association, which, I might add, is right in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Dan Herak
01-30-2006, 01:57 PM
Unlike the ASU, the Catholic church is not an equal opportunity organisation.




No but ASU is a private organization. End of issue whether one likes it or not.

Chris Li
01-30-2006, 03:16 PM
Hi Chris,

Unlike the ASU, the Catholic church is not an equal opportunity organisation.

regards

Mark

Well, it was just an example - but I'd note that many (most?) Catholic schools these days are actually run secularly, not by the church, and that many (most?) publish non-discrimination statements similar to the one in the ASU handbook.

Best,

Chris

Edwin Neal
01-30-2006, 03:21 PM
i have no problem with free association nor the first amendment, however i am confused on the issue of the stated policy of the ASU being in fact contradictory to this dojo's policy... i suppose you would know better than i the difference between a club and a business... i would consider any dojo a business unless it specifically states it is non profit... we pay for the sensei's instruction... could you give some more info... i just think it is clearly discriminatory, and counter to the ASU policy, and IMHO counter to the fundamental ideals of aikido... however the law is a tricky business... which is why most of us don't try to represent ourselves...

Chris Li
01-30-2006, 03:28 PM
No but ASU is a private organization. End of issue whether one likes it or not.

Martial arts dojos have been sued in the past in the US under the ADA, and were recognized as public conveyances, and therefore subject to anti-discrimination laws and regulations. Legal issues rarely end so clearly :). Also some private organizations (private schools, for example) are required to publish anti-discrimination statements in order to qualify for non-profit status.

Best,

Chris

Edwin Neal
01-30-2006, 03:30 PM
yeah the legality of it is obviously "fuzzy"...

Chris Li
01-30-2006, 03:38 PM
Yes. Me. An aikido club would not provide public accomodations the way a restaurant would nor would it affect interstate commerce. It is akin to the Augusta National Golf Course that hosts the Masters. Couple years back some people did decide to shove their noses into its private affairs trying to get it to admit women. As a private club, however, it could dictate its own membership and stood its ground.

Personally I find nothing wrong with this. In fact, I am much, much more disturbed by the low regard demonstrated on this board for freedom of association, which, I might add, is right in the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

Just because people have the right to do something doesn't necessarily make it a good idea to engage in that activity.

As I said before, legal issues can be unpredictable, but my guess is thet he'd probably be OK. OTOH, I still think that such a policy is a bad idea.

Best,

Chris

Dan Herak
01-30-2006, 04:00 PM
Martial arts dojos have been sued in the past in the US under the ADA, and were recognized as public conveyances, and therefore subject to anti-discrimination laws and regulations.

The case to which you refer is a karate dojo sued under the ADA. It is important first to note that the school actually won the case and was able to exclude a student who was HIV positive. More important is your extrapolation to single sex clubs. The ADA ruling would have no precedent whatsoever on such an analysis and, in this matter, even less so given the singularity of the case and the ultimate outcome.

If things are in any way hazy, and I do not think that they are, it is because so many people have no respect for other people's rights to associate privately with whom they want. Several people have claimed that they, of course, have utmost respect for freedom of association but then continue posting to this forum statements that show the opposite. I find statements along the lines of "I respect freedom of association and think that Mr. Linden has every right to have a single sex dojo, but I just do not think that he should..." to be rather disingenuous. If they really had the respect for personal freedom they claim, they would realize that their personal feelings are irrelevant to Mr. Linden and leave it at that. Such statements have the effect of softening the intellectual climate to chip away at such freedoms bit by bit and people should recognize that for what it is.

Edwin Neal
01-30-2006, 04:21 PM
i believe in the KKK's freedom to associate however i do not agree with their beliefs... i believe in a womans right to choose, but do not think abortion is usually the proper choice... i believe homosexuals should have the same rights as all other adults including the freedom to marry whoever they choose, but i am not gay... there are plenty of 'laws' that are not enforced or are anachronistic...the world is not black and white... legality sometimes has little to do with real life... i do not believe that Mr. Linden should practice such a policy if he claims to follow the teachings of aikido... why would the ASU have such a stated policy if they did not need or believe in following it... just to cover their ass, if challenged?...if you read this thread in it's entirety, quite a herculean task ... Mr. Linden "seems" to have some basically prejudiced ideas of women and homosexual... this is my problem people who use the law as a shield for immoral purposes...

Chris Li
01-30-2006, 06:01 PM
The case to which you refer is a karate dojo sued under the ADA. It is important first to note that the school actually won the case and was able to exclude a student who was HIV positive. More important is your extrapolation to single sex clubs. The ADA ruling would have no precedent whatsoever on such an analysis and, in this matter, even less so given the singularity of the case and the ultimate outcome.

They did win the case, but not because the court didn't have jurisdiction. It was implicit in the ruling that the dojo was being treated as a public conveyance, or else the whole thing would not have been an issue.

If things are in any way hazy, and I do not think that they are, it is because so many people have no respect for other people's rights to associate privately with whom they want. Several people have claimed that they, of course, have utmost respect for freedom of association but then continue posting to this forum statements that show the opposite. I find statements along the lines of "I respect freedom of association and think that Mr. Linden has every right to have a single sex dojo, but I just do not think that he should..." to be rather disingenuous. If they really had the respect for personal freedom they claim, they would realize that their personal feelings are irrelevant to Mr. Linden and leave it at that. Such statements have the effect of softening the intellectual climate to chip away at such freedoms bit by bit and people should recognize that for what it is.

So any behavior that's legally permissable should not be commented on or criticized, is that what you're saying?

What about your criticisms of people exercising their right to free speech?

Best,

Chris

George S. Ledyard
01-31-2006, 01:46 AM
I have read some truly over the top posts in my day but this one has got to take the cake.

This position is untenable. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to be on the receiving end of violent crime than are women. Further, the response from some women (and allow me to be blunt - feminists) is quite revealing. When I point this out, their response is to twist their faces in disgust and spew out something along the lines that, maybe so, but they are being attacked - BY OTHER MEN!!! Factually true but morally disgusting. What kind of person is not willing to make a moral distinction between violent criminals and their victims? Certianly no one in a position to lecture the rest of us about anything.

Tying this in to your hit statement, how can women be the victims of a holocaust of violence when they are less likely to be violently attacked? The only way around this is to sink into the moral degeneracy that I have described. Let me add that I can understand that a man would downplay violence against men and focus on that against women for reasons of chivalry, but that does not resolve the issue which I am addressing.

This represents a serious misunderstanding of the meaning of the statistics on violence... The larger numbers of violent incidents involving males is due to the extremely large number of violent incidents which take place between the members of organized gangs in the nations urban areas. In other words, these statistics are about violence between groups of professional criminals. If one removes those statistics from the sample, and then perhaps further removes those encounters which take place between drunken males at establishments in which alocohol is served, and simply focusues on the liklihood of an average citizen experiencing a violent attack. women are FAR more likely to be the victims of violence. There are only a small number of domestic violence cases in when women have been beating their male partenrs, whereas the number of these cases involving violence against women is in the millions. There are relatively few cases of rape in which men are raped, either by other men or by women (at least oustide of prison) whwreas the number of sexual assaualts against women is astronomical. Why aren't there homes for battered husbands in virtually every city in America as there are for women? Pretty simple, there aren't that many battered husbands.

Violence against women has been an issue in our culture for hundreds of years. It wasn't that long ago when hundreds of thousands of women all over Europe and America as well, were being murdered as witches. Ever hear the phrase "rule of thumb"? It had to do with the law which allowed men to beat their wives as long as the stick as smaller than the diameter of their thumb... This law was in effect when our country was founded and our Consititution written...

To deny that men are the perpretrators of violence against women on a far greater scale than against each other is simply a misrepresentation of the facts if one is talking about the average citizen who is not involved in drug related criminal activity or frequenting drinking estbalishments.

Mato-san
01-31-2006, 07:56 AM
To the origanal post, and I have to be honest I did not read the whole thread cause its to darn long, but I shall when I have time.

But here in Japan I am often paired off with a female, because of her quality or rank for some kata, we also train in taking "urami" so any jealousy in the dojo should be eliminated and if it is present it does not go unoticed and will be addressed even if not verbal. From my experience most violence against women stems from jealousy or prevoked from an involvement in drug or crime circles as goerge stated. But as far as being a regular at the local waterhole, thats me and I have never allowed drinking get to that point, IMO there is happy drunks and violent drunks and violece is deep seated, drinking brings it out of those who are violently inclined, but to directly associate frequent drinking to domestic violence is, IMO not cricket. The violently inclined get most unstable after drinking. But thats just my opinion and I am a boozer!

Dan Herak
01-31-2006, 09:25 AM
This represents a serious misunderstanding of the meaning of the statistics on violence...

There are only a small number of domestic violence cases in when women have been beating their male partenrs, whereas the number of these cases involving violence against women is in the millions. There are relatively few cases of rape in which men are raped, either by other men or by women (at least oustide of prison) whwreas the number of sexual assaualts against women is astronomical. Why aren't there homes for battered husbands in virtually every city in America as there are for women? Pretty simple, there aren't that many battered husbands.


With due respect Ledyard Sensei, it is you who misunderstand the statistics on violence and egregiously so. Even accounting for men who are the victims of violence in a situation in which violence is likely to occur, the numbers cannot be equalized. I apologize in advance for those that will take offense at this but some facts need to be better understood. The numbers bantered about publicly with respect to the number of rapes and domestic violence against women have been, to put it mildly, inflated through the roof (See WHO STOLE FEMINISM?, Christina Hoff Sommers for an explanation of exactly how exceptionally broad definitions have been misused to accomplish this.) For example, feminist activists lump together everything from raising your voice towards your wife to beating her senseless under the heading of domestic violence and then present those numbers to the public. Conveniently, they never seem to ask how often women raise their voices towards the men or other mirroring behavior questions. That you have placed the numbers "in the millions" demonstrates your willingness to buy into such tactics rather than obtain accurate information. Similar tactics have been used with rape and sexual harassment.

Your statement regarding male victims of domestic violence is particularly misguided. Every single study on the prevalence of domestic violence shows roughly equal parity between men and women both in terms of frequency and in terms of initiation of violence. Although women are smaller than men, they compensate by being more likely to use a weapon. See CEASEFIRE by Cathy Young or peruse ifeminist.com as they discuss the issue on a regular basis. You ask why there are not shelters for battered husbands. The answer is simple. Because certain domestic violence activists have more concern with perpetuating a vision of women as the perpetual victims of men than they are with the facts and have unfortunately been successful in getting their misguided message out and accepted. Combine this with the natural tendency of men to be reluctant to discuss vulnerability on the subject of violence, even more so when it is from a woman, and you have the situation in which women's needs in this area are addressed but men's are not.

I realize I am inviting a firestorm here. So be it. I think these issues are important enough that we need to get our facts straight. And the first step is addressing head on those assertions that do not stand up under scrutiny.

Mato-san
01-31-2006, 09:40 AM
IMO, the are ways to minupulate and destroy a human being, physical is one, but look at a female that is physically weak and wants to harm she has, mental, spiritual and emotional to play with as attacks. They do it. But I never would support physical against a women. Its a combative world and it aint always physical.If someone wants to really destroy you they will adapt all methods, but If you strong in all aspects they are nothing but being disruptive in your path. Just my Take!

Dan Herak
01-31-2006, 09:44 AM
They did win the case, but not because the court didn't have jurisdiction. It was implicit in the ruling that the dojo was being treated as a public conveyance, or else the whole thing would not have been an issue.



So any behavior that's legally permissable should not be commented on or criticized, is that what you're saying?

What about your criticisms of people exercising their right to free speech?

Best,

Chris

My post never indicated anything about jurisdiction, so I am not sure why that has been brought up. As to whether the dojo was a public place, that would depend on the facts and circumstances of that dojo. I have perused Mr. Linden's website and he is not holding his dojo out in a "come one and all" manner.

Let us put aside your attempt to put words into my mouth ("...is that what you're saying?") and examine the issue. My position is not that if something is legal it is free from criticism. Rather, my position is that if you really believed that Mr. Linden has the right to run his dojo as he sees fit but disagree with that decision, you would make the statement and move on. Rather, you have written post after post after post after post after post on the matter. Certainly you have the right to write as many posts as you want, but it is completely reasonable for others to speculate that maybe, just maybe, your assertion that you recognize Mr. Linden's rights might be a bit disingenuous given your unwillingness to let it drop. This is particularly so when one considers a separate factor - no one is being damaged by Mr. Linden's business practices. As he himself stated, there is another ASU dojo right in the city that takes students that he does not. Therefore, the numerous criticisms of him are not equivalent, say, to speaking out again and again against public marches by the KKK.

Finally, I have in no way criticized anyone's right to free speech. I have simply been around the block enough to know a few things. One of those things is that many people do not respect other's rights to free association but recognize the necessity of paying lip service to them while chipping away at such rights bit by bit. When one encounters someone who states his case but then continues on and on, it is not beyond reasonable speculation that one has encountered such a person.

Amelia Smith
01-31-2006, 12:07 PM
This position is untenable. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to be on the receiving end of vioent crime than are women.

I have a hard time swallowing that one, so I did a little google search. Here are some statistics: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_v.htm#gender
Scroll down this page and look at self-defense measures, among other interesting stats: http://www.gendercenter.org/gencrime.htm

More likely, yes, but not overwhelmingly more likely. In addition, it seems to me that women are socialized to be a bit more cautious than men. The idea that women don't need self-defense skills strikes me as downright creepy. :crazy:

Chris Li
01-31-2006, 12:19 PM
My post never indicated anything about jurisdiction, so I am not sure why that has been brought up. As to whether the dojo was a public place, that would depend on the facts and circumstances of that dojo. I have perused Mr. Linden's website and he is not holding his dojo out in a "come one and all" manner.

It was brought up because whether or not a dojo can be classified as a public conveyance is a key issue in this kind of case. You're right, Dan's dojo may well escape that classification - I never said that it didn't, my point was to illustrate to another poster that such issues are not always as clear cut as they appear.

Let us put aside your attempt to put words into my mouth ("...is that what you're saying?") and examine the issue.

Asking a question is putting words in your mouth?

My position is not that if something is legal it is free from criticism. Rather, my position is that if you really believed that Mr. Linden has the right to run his dojo as he sees fit but disagree with that decision, you would make the statement and move on. Rather, you have written post after post after post after post after post on the matter. Certainly you have the right to write as many posts as you want, but it is completely reasonable for others to speculate that maybe, just maybe, your assertion that you recognize Mr. Linden's rights might be a bit disingenuous given your unwillingness to let it drop. This is particularly so when one considers a separate factor - no one is being damaged by Mr. Linden's business practices. As he himself stated, there is another ASU dojo right in the city that takes students that he does not. Therefore, the numerous criticisms of him are not equivalent, say, to speaking out again and again against public marches by the KKK.

It had been dropped for months - I wasn't the one that revived the thread. In any case, if you actually read through the thread my statements that Dan has the right to things as he likes were in response to posts implying or stating the he did not. In other words, they were contained in responses in the course of a discussion.

Is there any damage? Well, I don't know. Certainly some people would believe that such practices damage the art of Aikido as a whole - which may or may not be true. There are sure to be some issues for many ASU members in belonging to an organization that permits (or at least turns a blind eye to) this kind of practice.

Finally, I have in no way criticized anyone's right to free speech. I have simply been around the block enough to know a few things. One of those things is that many people do not respect other's rights to free association but recognize the necessity of paying lip service to them while chipping away at such rights bit by bit. When one encounters someone who states his case but then continues on and on, it is not beyond reasonable speculation that one has encountered such a person.

Didn't you already say that :) ?

Best,

Chris

Don_Modesto
01-31-2006, 12:26 PM
url]http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cvict_v.htm#gender[/url]
http://www.gendercenter.org/gencrime.htm

Nice, Amelia. Thanks.

Dan Herak
01-31-2006, 12:46 PM
More likely, yes, but not overwhelmingly more likely. In addition, it seems to me that women are socialized to be a bit more cautious than men. The idea that women don't need self-defense skills strikes me as downright creepy.


Using the cites that you yourself provided:

"Males were 3.4 times more likely than females to be murdered in 2002" and it seems beyond unlikely that 2002 was an anamolous year. Further, "[m]ales experienced higher victimization rates than females for all types of violent crime except rape/sexual assault." I certainly would consider a 3.4 times more likely chance of being murdered to be appropriately characterized as "overwhelming."

There is nothing in my post expressing any idea that women should not learn self-defense. In fact, I pointed out that Mr. Linden expressly stated that another affiliated dojo in the same city trains students that he does not accept. Although you did not explicitly accuse me of making such a statement, it was so clearly juxtaposed in your response to me that your "downright creepy" characterization is clearly nothing more than a cheap shot against me.

As an additional matter, maybe women are socialized to be more cautious. I think that only takes us so far as such socialization parallels intrinsic differences between men and women hardwired into us. However, I cannot help but notice a pattern and, although you did not necessarily contribute to it, your post provides a good opportunity to address it. If women are socialized in some manner that may be maladaptive, i.e. coy and non-confrontational which might hold them back in the business world, many would point to the socialization and make all sorts of arguments that such socialization constitutes sexism, etc. etc. etc. But if males are socialized in a way that might be maladaptive, i.e. being aggressive which might be a big problem when one encounters one tougher than oneself, well there never seems to be any similar analysis regarding that. Instead we hear things along the lines of, well, maybe more men are attacked but they were out looking for trouble. Why shouldn't the same analysis hold true and force us to look at similar issues, i.e. the socialization of men that makes them less cautious in such situations? Ledyard Sensei recently posted a response to me that tried to point out (incorrectly I might add) that many male victims of crime are parts of gangs or in such situations in which violence is likely to result and that when one takes such factors into account, the gender disparity in violence reverses. I did not see any post from you as to the socialization of men that would tilt the perspective in a more sympathetic light.

Dan Herak
01-31-2006, 12:51 PM
Asking a question is putting words in your mouth?



It was a loaded question and therefore my characterization was accurate. At this point, we have made our respective positions clear. I stand by my statements and am sure you stand by yours. Let others read them and reach their conclusions respectively.

dan h.

Marnen
01-31-2006, 03:17 PM
Certainly you have the right to write as many posts as you want, but it is completely reasonable for others to speculate that maybe, just maybe, your assertion that you recognize Mr. Linden's rights might be a bit disingenuous given your unwillingness to let it drop.

I haven't been particularly vocal on this thread, so I don't think I'm in this category. But I believe you're confusing legal and moral rights. Speaking only for myself, I believe that Linden has a legal right to do what he is doing, but that it is morally questionable. However, it is also morally questionable to use legal coercion (rather than logical persuasion) to have him stopped.

This is particularly so when one considers a separate factor - no one is being damaged by Mr. Linden's business practices. As he himself stated, there is another ASU dojo right in the city that takes students that he does not.

I am not sure that no one is being damaged by these practices. I think it's fair to conclude that Linden may well be doing his students a disservice by not giving them a wider choice of training partners. His practices may also be reinforcing their prejudices, but having no experience with his dojo, I certainly can't say for sure.

Therefore, the numerous criticisms of him are not equivalent, say, to speaking out again and again against public marches by the KKK.

Well, public marches by the KKK may be ugly spectacles, but they don't harm anyone. I fail to see your point.

Edwin Neal
01-31-2006, 03:37 PM
public marches by the KKK are legally protected, but i feel they do indeed harm (both participants and observers)... this is being used as an example in this discussion, not as an indictment of Mr. Linden

Don_Modesto
01-31-2006, 05:45 PM
I am not sure that no one is being damaged by these practices. I think it's fair to conclude that Linden may well be doing his students a disservice by not giving them a wider choice of training partners. His practices may also be reinforcing their prejudices, but having no experience with his dojo, I certainly can't say for sure.

FWIW, I have trained with Dan, consider him a friend. His dojo is a beautiful, backyard, labor-of-love affair. This in itself speaks to variety of participants. The guys who are there are fun to train with, however, and Dan runs a good class.

Don't know why he keeps out women, if he still does. The training is solid but not brutal, and nothing women I've trained with couldn't handle. As to reinforcing prejudices, I think the guys I've met there are perfectly capabel of thinking for themselves.

All the best.

Lorien Lowe
01-31-2006, 07:37 PM
... Why shouldn't the same analysis hold true and force us to look at similar issues, i.e. the socialization of men that makes them less cautious in [dangerous] situations?...There are quite a few feminist analyses out there that do point out things like this. Of the top of my head, Susan Faludi's Stiffed is one (focusing more on the employment aspect of things, specifically with reactions to downsizing).

-LK

E.D. Gordon
03-18-2008, 04:54 PM
Don't know why he keeps out women, if he still does. The training is solid but not brutal, and nothing women I've trained with couldn't handle. As to reinforcing prejudices, I think the guys I've met there are perfectly capabel of thinking for themselves.

All the best.

That's the thing that has always puzzled me. Dan's good people, and well loved here in Germany. People I love to train with, train with him. I was invited. Sadly, couldn't go. :-(

Having spent almost 6 years now on an Army post, watching women in command, women in combat, and women in the community, the whole discussion has become a complete non sequitur.

Observing it, a couple years out, I see it's still a non sequitur.

That is, a problem which didn't exist, wasn't relevant, and, quite simply, wasn't.

Good.

Let us train together as human beings, to the best of our abilities.
The rest, don't matter.

E.D. Gordon.

GrazZ
03-18-2008, 05:53 PM
its funny, i was having this very conversation with one of our highest ranking black belts a couple months ago and another girl, and we were wondering just how many girls leave aikido due to what they felt was inappropriate touching. Since uke and nage are supposed to be very close for most throws, i wonder if some of them just cant get past that?

Personally i dont necessarily think classes should be split, however i do think its nice to practice with someone your own size. Otherwise you end up just basically being nice to each other both when throwing and being thrown and no one really learns anything. In talking to the women at our dojo the common consensus is "dont go easy on us we want to feel the technique" however i've abided by that wish and then been told "not to go so hard" by the very same people....which is irritating...because then it becomes a waste of everyones time.

Chris Lacey
03-18-2008, 10:26 PM
**sigh**

First of all, in 39 years, I have yet to meet a woman studying ANY martial art or participating in ANY sport who will let a guy get away with not giving his full. Period. Not only is it disrespectful to her, it is disrespectful to yourself.

In our society, many men liken women to "June Cleaver" and many have a hard time dealing with women on "equal footing". I don't understand this. I never have. Frankly, If I am facing a woman in a sport who is at my skill level or better, I am going to push my skill set and hers. If she is below my skill level she gets the same experience as would a male.

If you have a woman come at you with a sharp pointy knife, are you going to treat that threat any differently than a man coming at you with the same knife and intent? Somehow, I don't think so..

After all, the ancient Celts had women train the male warriors and men train the female warriors. I suppose they were just more enlightened then we are today....

Be Safe and Be Well.

Chris

Cyrijl
03-19-2008, 08:40 AM
First of all, in 39 years, I have yet to meet a woman studying ANY martial art or participating in ANY sport who will let a guy get away with not giving his full. Period. Not only is it disrespectful to her, it is disrespectful to yourself.

Well many, including myself, have had very different experiences. But I think the issue usually arises from size and not sex.

If you have a woman come at you with a sharp pointy knife, are you going to treat that threat any differently than a man coming at you with the same knife and intent? Somehow, I don't think so..
Actually, if a guy comes at me with a knife and I am able to disarm him, I am probably going to make him pay for it. Whereas a woman, who is statistically likely to be smaller than me, who is attacking me, I'd most likely just try to retrain after a successful disarm.

Ron Tisdale
03-19-2008, 09:28 AM
Actually, if a guy comes at me with a knife and I am able to disarm him, I am probably going to make him pay for it.

That could get you put in jail (although I very much understand the sentiment).

Whereas a woman, who is statistically likely to be smaller than me, who is attacking me, I'd most likely just try to retrain after a successful disarm.

And that could get you killed. Truth is, you do what you have to, and live with the consequences.

Best,
Ron

Chris Lacey
03-19-2008, 10:13 AM
Well many, including myself, have had very different experiences. But I think the issue usually arises from size and not sex.

I think that is my point. Everyone is different. However, it is up to the experienced to help instill things like self confidence in anything that a person chooses to pursue. Size has nothing to do with it. A short 115 pound woman can still fling a 6 foot 230 pound guy around. I personally believe that what's lacking are more positive role models of both genders. There is a lot of ambivalent sexism going on out there and sadly, that is slow to change.

I won't even go into the Social Psychology angle as there are more qualified people here to discuss things like Social Cognition, Social Roles and Status and Stereotypes.

Actually, if a guy comes at me with a knife and I am able to disarm him, I am probably going to make him pay for it. Whereas a woman, who is statistically likely to be smaller than me, who is attacking me, I'd most likely just try to retrain after a successful disarm.

That is interesting! So you would make a male "pay" for the knife attack and not the female. That is an interesting (and common) hypothetical response. Why not restrain both?

The whole point of my stand on the issue is to encourage us to evaluate the reasons behind their gender role beliefs and perhaps break out of certain social group mentalities.

Personally, I think we all would benefit in "easy bake ovens" for boys. Then, maybe more future bachelors could learn how to cook! :D

(yes..I realize that I am fostering the stereotype that bachelors can't cook.. :rolleyes: )

{edit}
And that could get you killed. Truth is, you do what you have to, and live with the consequences.

Ron has a good point. Just because your attacker is smaller than you Does not mean you should under estimate them!
{/edit}

Be safe and Be well.

Chris

Jennifer Yabut
03-19-2008, 11:09 AM
its funny, i was having this very conversation with one of our highest ranking black belts a couple months ago and another girl, and we were wondering just how many girls leave aikido due to what they felt was inappropriate touching. Since uke and nage are supposed to be very close for most throws, i wonder if some of them just cant get past that?

Or maybe something WAS going on which wasn't appropriate. Whether you are aware of it or not, sexual harassment on (and off) the mat *is* a common problem.

Personally i dont necessarily think classes should be split, however i do think its nice to practice with someone your own size. Otherwise you end up just basically being nice to each other both when throwing and being thrown and no one really learns anything. In talking to the women at our dojo the common consensus is "dont go easy on us we want to feel the technique" however i've abided by that wish and then been told "not to go so hard" by the very same people....which is irritating...because then it becomes a waste of everyones time.

Has it occurred to you that it may not be a "woman thing"?

I often go after the bigger guys on the mat to test my technique. The guys *really* throw me - and I *like* it.

Trish Greene
03-19-2008, 11:38 AM
Has it occurred to you that it may not be a "woman thing"?

I often go after the bigger guys on the mat to test my technique. The guys *really* throw me - and I *like* it.

I have to agree with Jennifer on this one. I need a lot of work on my ukemi! I have been working with a lot of the new people lately, mainly teenage girls, and I have not been thrown around hard enough to get some good hard throws in! I am using the time to concentrate on cleaning up my movements while teaching them the fundamentals. When we are done practicing a move, I have one of the big guys come over and work through with them so that they know what it's like to have to defend them selves.

I also don't think its an issue of the size of a person either, from what I understand O'sensei was not too tall of a person !

~TG

Cyrijl
03-19-2008, 12:15 PM
So you would make a male "pay" for the knife attack and not the female
Because it has been my experience that women are generally not as aggressive as men. There are guys I train with who are overly aggressive all the time, even if you try to tell them differently. They just don't learn. Women I have trained with are usually less aggressive.

Whether people like it or not, life is a numbers game. We are conditioned based on likely outcomes. It is more likely if a woman is trying to stab me that it is something I did whereas if a man is trying to stab me it is more likely something in that individual.


--added
And by make him pay I don't mean kick him on the ground and stomp him, but I would be more likely to throw him than I would a smaller woman. I have a general distaste for hitting anyone (unfortunately).

d2l
03-19-2008, 12:17 PM
I believe both sexes should train together. Women tend to be more flexible, and faster. And that in itself helps me. I recall a sparring session I had a few years back with a young lady. She was wayyyy smaller than me, and damn sure didn't weigh as much. Anyway, she got past my defense and hit me right in the mouth! Believe it or not, I wasn't mad, my ego/pride wasn't hurt. In fact, I was very proud of her! I believe my Sensai purposely paired us up so I can learn to be faster, and she could learn to not fear someone of my stature who has been fighting in one form or another all their life.

On another note; Men tend to underestimate the ferocity of women. BIG MISTAKE! In my dealings with female inmates, they tend to play sex games in order to gain your trust. When they don't get what they want, they tend to be more violent than males. Quite a few male staff have been assaulted by females because the males underestimated them. If a woman comes at me with a shank, I'm not going to *restrain* her, it's going to be open season on her ass!

My whole point here is, men can benefit from being paired up with a female from time to time, and women can benefit from being paired up with men from time to time. Being paired up with a member of the opposite sex can be mutually beneficial in training. And don't ever underestimate the power of a woman! ;)

Cyrijl
03-19-2008, 12:34 PM
If a woman comes at me with a shank, I'm not going to *restrain* her, it's going to be open season on her ass!The prison population does not adequately reflect the general population. And my comments were directed to after actually surviving a disarm. Whatever it takes to get out of a knife's way takes priority over gender, size, metnal state,etc.

ChrisMoses
03-19-2008, 12:38 PM
The prison population does not adequately reflect the general population.

One might say it adequately represented the "goes after you with a knife" population however...

George S. Ledyard
03-19-2008, 12:44 PM
**sigh**

First of all, in 39 years, I have yet to meet a woman studying ANY martial art or participating in ANY sport who will let a guy get away with not giving his full. Period. Not only is it disrespectful to her, it is disrespectful to yourself.

In our society, many men liken women to "June Cleaver" and many have a hard time dealing with women on "equal footing". I don't understand this. I never have. Frankly, If I am facing a woman in a sport who is at my skill level or better, I am going to push my skill set and hers. If she is below my skill level she gets the same experience as would a male.

If you have a woman come at you with a sharp pointy knife, are you going to treat that threat any differently than a man coming at you with the same knife and intent? Somehow, I don't think so..

After all, the ancient Celts had women train the male warriors and men train the female warriors. I suppose they were just more enlightened then we are today....

Be Safe and Be Well.

Chris

Chris,
I respectfully disagree, completely. What constitutes "giving ones all"? I am a large man. For the majority of my career I have outweighed my female partners by 100 to 150 pounds. I have trained with many of the very best female teachers in the United States... but until someone gets to the level of a Mary Heiny, a Pat Hendricks, or a Kayla Feder, they simply cannot handle the kind of power I can put out. Training full power way with a woman of typical size (or a man of smaller stature for that matter) would be abusive. It would unnecessarily stress them physically and would almost certainly imprint fear and tension in the training that would run counter to what we are attempting to imprint via the training.

My Assistant Chief Instructor for a number of years was Lee Crawford Sensei, who now runs Aikido Northshore. When I was throwing her one night I dropped her very hard. She was tough and had excellent ukemi and when I asked if she was ok, she said yes. She took the same hard fall a second time and it turned out that I had hurt her neck. I had quite simply exceeded her ability to handle the kind of power I was generating. I had this misplaced idea that I should treat her like any senior student. That was wrong. Senior or not, I should have been smart enough to adjust to the fact that she had a much smaller structure to absorb impact. I learned the hard way.

Anyway, we all have to temper how we train. We adjust for age, for size, for injuries, handicaps, and even different personal preferences about how to train. It isn't about the sex of your partner... when I find a 300 pound female who has trained for 30 years, I'll hit her as hard as I can too.

Aiki is about finding the proper balance with the particular partner you have at the time. Your goal as a partner should be to create a positive training experience with any partner, male, female, large, small, brave, fearful, whatever. The goal is to leave your partner better off than they were before they trained with you. If you are training the same way with everyone, you are forcing your own ideas about training on your partners. That almost certainly does damage, physically and/or emotionally.

This crap about size doesn't matter... it's just that, crap. In martial arts it always matters. That's why there are weight classes in every sport fighting system. That's why the men and women don't compete against each other in full contact fighting. A large man can manhandle his small female partner in a way that simply cannot be done in the reverse.

This idea that adjusting ones training to fit with a given partner's capabilities is somehow making ones training less is the source of a tremendous amount of elitist thinking. Seniors who don't train with juniors, men who won't train with women, young people who won't train with older folks...

Aikido is about fostering a highly developed sensitivity, both psychically and physically. You can work on this with any partner. In fact, Tres Hofmeister Sensei pointed out that sensing very small changes in an energetic system needs to be done at low energy states. Dial up the voltage too high and you can't discern subtle changes in the system. So, whereas getting your yah yahs out by training at high intensity with partners who can handle it is an important aspect of training, it is not necessarily the part of training which is most valuable.

I know of several folks who, when young, thought hard, physical training was everything. Later in life, they saw that they had ignored many aspects of the training which were at least, if not more important. I think that people need to be aware of the different styles of training and goals for training which people have. The idea that there is a one size fits all approach isn't true. There's no way you can train with everyone the same and be training in the proper spirit nor will that way of training optimize what you get out of the training over time.

edtang
03-19-2008, 12:54 PM
Thank you for that post Mr. Ledyard. I was just sitting here shaking my head at the (quite frankly, wrong or at the very least oversimplified IMO) same comments about size and gender in martial arts compared with my own training experiences in Aikido and elsewhere, but am definitely not able to articulate those thoughts as clearly as you.

Trish Greene
03-19-2008, 01:08 PM
Thank you Mr.Ledyard,

Your response has given me much more to think about during my training!

GrazZ
03-19-2008, 07:37 PM
Or maybe something WAS going on which wasn't appropriate. Whether you are aware of it or not, sexual harassment on (and off) the mat *is* a common problem.

Has it occurred to you that it may not be a "woman thing"?

I often go after the bigger guys on the mat to test my technique. The guys *really* throw me - and I *like* it.

thats great....and i know many girls who like to dish it out but cant take it, so what exactly is your point?

actually read my post: i never said it was a woman thing either, i was just stating that was the conversation i was having with A WOMAN and another guy. Did it ever occur to YOU that it it wasnt sexual harassment and it was just perceived as such? I never said it was impossible but the close nature of aikido techs could be misconstrued. But apparently that is impossible according to you, and if someone left, it was obviously sexual harassment...thats what i got out of your post.

CatSienna
03-20-2008, 10:19 AM
In my own dojo, we've generally made sure any junior belts particularly white belts are always paired off with senior belts and there's a gender line drawn in beginner's classes. We're all on the mat at the same time and doing the same techniques, but the women generally pair off with women and stick to one side of the mat and the men take up the remainder of the space.

In intermediate classes and above, then we generally pick partners around our skill level and this can be cross gender or not...that's just usually left to individuals to decide. Naturally we accept whomever bows to us. On the whole, this has meant women probably practice far more with other women but certainly not exclusively and I do notice some of the women who are very good, to tend to partner men more often than the less skilled ones (except the couples who every once in a while partner their significant other regardless of skill level). So I'd say it's simply that the more skilled women feel more able to take on guys than the less skilled ones who find taking on someone bigger and stronger something they'll do more of when they feel up to it.

Having experienced this for approx 4+ years which isn't that long, I'm of the opinion that it's *generally* beneficial at the start for women beginners to just start out partnering other senior women. Later on, then I think gender matters a lot less and it's more about physics...size, weight, strength, speed, flexibility and timing.

lbb
03-20-2008, 10:50 AM
There's something odd about the tone (or even existence) of a thread like this one. I'm reminded of the saying by Simone de Beauvoir about what happens when women try to act like human beings. Specifically, I'm detecting a bit, here and there, of a tendency to treat women in the dojo as some kind of anomaly: there's the norm of practice, and then there's the question about whether women can practice in that norm or not, or if we need some kind of "special" accommodation. My question is: what makes the one thing the norm, and the other thing "special"? Women are always going to be marginalized in a situation that defines any concession to their existence as a special accommodation.

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2008, 11:39 AM
There's something odd about the tone (or even existence) of a thread like this one. I'm reminded of the saying by Simone de Beauvoir about what happens when women try to act like human beings. Specifically, I'm detecting a bit, here and there, of a tendency to treat women in the dojo as some kind of anomaly: there's the norm of practice, and then there's the question about whether women can practice in that norm or not, or if we need some kind of "special" accommodation. My question is: what makes the one thing the norm, and the other thing "special"? Women are always going to be marginalized in a situation that defines any concession to their existence as a special accommodation.

Well Mary, let's be realistic. Women are a small minority in the martial arts. Aikido probably has more women training than any other martial art except T'ai Chi Ch'uan, but it's still a minority. Even in the dojos here in Seattle where Mary Heiny Sensei raised up a generation of female teachers, the majority of the students at their dojos are men. At dojos run by male teachers this is even more true.

This isn't some "concession" to their existence, it's a fact. It's not a "special accommodation" to put some attention on how to ensure that each population within the whole is getting what it needs from the training.

Political correctness has taken us to the point at which we aren't supposed to even talk about the fact that men and women have differences when it comes to the martial arts. I was present at our police academy when the head of instructor training chewed out one of the master instructors for even mentioning that a certain technique was more difficult for the female officers to do because of the fact that it required more strength to pull off. Afterwards he privately apologized to the trainer saying that, while what he (the trainer) said was true, he was required to disavow the statement or be open to disciplinary action himself.

This is insanity. Men and women have very different dispositions, different strengths and weaknesses, different goals and aspirations on the average. Good training does not expect everyone to be the same because they are not.

The traditional model was that the style never changed and the student changed to fit the style. So what you ended up with was a group of people who were capable of adjusting to that style successfully. Everyone else washes out. When you decide to open up training to the masses and encourage wide growth world wide, then you darn well better adjust the training to the folks whom you've reached out to enlist.

Are there women out there who can go toe to toe with the men and play the man's game? Yes, of course there are. Patty Saotome Sensei, and Mary Heiny Sensei are two that come immediately to mind. However, both of them are really trashed physically from all that hard training when they were younger when they hadn't yet developed the skill to handle the superior power of the men they were training with. Neither one of them teaches the same way they trained. Mary Sensei has successfully developed a number of excellent senior women teachers, all of whom run their own schools now. She did this by making the training accessible to the particular needs of the female students. The number of women who would be willing to train the way she did in Japan is minute (Ikeda Sensei once said Mary was the toughest woman he ever met).

There is no question that discrimination has been and continues to be a problem world wide. But attempting to redress that fact by pretending that we are all the same is silly and ignores that facts. Men and women are different, period. Any training which ignores that fact isn't optimizing the benefits of that training to someone.

lbb
03-20-2008, 12:11 PM
Well Mary, let's be realistic. Women are a small minority in the martial arts. Aikido probably has more women training than any other martial art except T'ai Chi Ch'uan, but it's still a minority. Even in the dojos here in Seattle where Mary Heiny Sensei raised up a generation of female teachers, the majority of the students at their dojos are men. At dojos run by male teachers this is even more true.

This isn't some "concession" to their existence, it's a fact. It's not a "special accommodation" to put some attention on how to ensure that each population within the whole is getting what it needs from the training.

So why is the dichotomy drawn along the lines of male and female? Why does it have to even be a dichotomy? You talk about what "each population" needs, but it comes back to a binary separation into men and women.

Political correctness has taken us to the point at which we aren't supposed to even talk about the fact that men and women have differences when it comes to the martial arts. I was present at our police academy when the head of instructor training chewed out one of the master instructors for even mentioning that a certain technique was more difficult for the female officers to do because of the fact that it required more strength to pull off. Afterwards he privately apologized to the trainer saying that, while what he (the trainer) said was true, he was required to disavow the statement or be open to disciplinary action himself.

IMO, anecdotes about the extremes of so-called "political correctness" add more heat than light, and do nothing to advance solutions. Instead, they further demonize the populations whose needs are purportedly addressed by this so-called "political correcness" and those who advocate for them, and reinforce the notion that that population is only admitted on sufferance. They're just not at all helpful.

This is insanity. Men and women have very different dispositions, different strengths and weaknesses, different goals and aspirations on the average. Good training does not expect everyone to be the same because they are not.

"Men" and "women" don't have anything. Individuals have different dispositions, strengths and weaknesses. You can make some generalizations about physiology and socialization, but take care not to lean on them, or they'll collapse under you.

The traditional model was that the style never changed and the student changed to fit the style. So what you ended up with was a group of people who were capable of adjusting to that style successfully. Everyone else washes out. When you decide to open up training to the masses and encourage wide growth world wide, then you darn well better adjust the training to the folks whom you've reached out to enlist.

But why is that drawn along the lines of "men" and "women'? That's the problem with this discussion.

Are there women out there who can go toe to toe with the men and play the man's game?

And that's the problem right there: "the man's game". Not our game, not our clubhouse, not ever.

I've had a whole lifetime to get sick and tired of this, Mr. Ledyard. I don't think you can really understand what that's like.

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2008, 12:57 PM
And that's the problem right there: "the man's game". Not our game, not our clubhouse, not ever.

I've had a whole lifetime to get sick and tired of this, Mr. Ledyard. I don't think you can really understand what that's like.

You miss my point entirely. I am not advocating having a "man's game". But what will make it "our game" will not be ignoring what is an observable, biological fact of nature.

This whole gender blindness thing prevents dialog because no one may state the issues in any meaningful manner.

Just take Deborah Tannen's book You Just Don't Understand as an example of how futile it is to proceed on the assumption that men and women are the same. From the very earliest stages in childhood development, boys and girls have very different ways of communicating and different goals for communicating. To ignore this is absurd.

If men and women are to actually become truly equal partners in whatever endeavors we take on in this game of life, it isn't going to happen by ignoring the differences. There can't be any discussion of the issues without acknowledging these differences. This is true in relationship work and its true in the dojo.

Certainly, each person is an individual as well as a member of certain communities. But if we are to discuss changes in prejudice and behavior that go back to the dawn of time, we can't have discussion of the larger issues if we insist that we ignore these communities and only talk about the individual. It is impossible to have discussion if we need to only view things in terms of billions of individuals without any grouping. As soon as it's about individuals only, no more discussion is possible because we are prevented from making any sensible groupings of common factors.

I just can't see how that makes any sense and I don't believe that is the road towards getting past all of the hurt and frustration that his characterized relations between the sexes.

lbb
03-20-2008, 02:06 PM
Mr. Ledyard, this is the problem that I have with this whole discussion: you assert that there are "differences" between men and women, but you don't say what they are, and you don't question where they come from. These aren't irrelevancies to be brushed under the rug -- they're at the heart of the matter, if what you want is a solution and not an excuse for inequality or separation.

Do my two X chromosomes determine how strong I am, how I reason, how nurturing I am, whether I'm better at math or history, whether I'm more likely to be a leader or a follower? Or are these things, in large part, constrained and controlled by the attitudes of others about what I am capable of being? No one has ever found a "math gene", but I have seen with my own eyes and felt in my own life the stifling effects of gender-based expectations. In day to day reality, we do have to deal with the products of these expectations: men and women who have been told all their lives what they may be because of two chromosomes, and have shaped themselves accordingly. But present-day reality is not destiny, and it is crucial to separate recognition of the reality in front of us from the belief that "nature" made it that way, or that the future is immutable.

MM
03-20-2008, 02:07 PM
Was wading through the site Rob Liberti posted about martial artists. Really cool seeing some of them listed. I found this one:

Graciella Casillas
http://www.martialinfo.com/contacts/more_info.asp?contact_id=11701
What was neat was that she's listed as living in WV. What a small world. :)

Anyway, I investigated further and found she did a Playboy interview (and photos) in Feb 1984 according to this site:
http://www.womenboxing.com/Casillas.htm

Read the excerpt from the interview. It has some interesting comments from Graciella Casillas. Remember, "She retired undefeated with a record of 31-0 with 18 KOs."


"The point is not to prove that we're better than men or that we can beat men," say the only woman ever to hold concurrent titles in two sports. "Men and women are different."


and


"Men are stronger than women," she says getting up to leave fro a flight to Los Angeles, where she was to spar with men that afternoon and kick-box with them that night. "But women have other natural gifts.

Cyrijl
03-20-2008, 02:21 PM
"Men" and "women" don't have anything. Individuals have different dispositions, strengths and weaknesses. You can make some generalizations about physiology and socialization, but take care not to lean on them, or they'll collapse under you.
There are more then just generalizations. Considering there are 6 billion people in the world you can't deny there are trends which differentiate the sexes. I think what you are missing Mary is this:

If there is a new female student and a new male student in a dojo, the inclination is to treat the woman easier. That is natural. If the woman proves she can handle the techniques than she should be treated like the men. She should not be treated differently. But in many (dare I say most) cases, she will have to be treated differently for all of the reasons which separate the sexes.

However, the converse is true, if you have a new male student who turns out not to be able to develop at a normal rate you have to make adjustments for that person too.

While we should not pigeon hole people based on gender, we also shouldn't deny that there exists fundamental differences between men and women.

And by the way men and woman DO HAVE this and that. We often try to limit the distinctions between race,gender and people to only shallow physical differences but there are a myriad of combinations of genes which although being without clear delineation, do provide generalities, distinctions and dichotomies...if there were no difference between men and women there would be no difference between men and women.

The fact that women question the motives of men (i.e. sexual harrassment) is just one of these signs.

Cyrijl
03-20-2008, 02:23 PM
Mr. Ledyard, this is the problem that I have with this whole discussion: you assert that there are "differences" between men and women, but you don't say what they are, and you don't question where they come from. These aren't irrelevancies to be brushed under the rug -- they're at the heart of the matter, if what you want is a solution and not an excuse for inequality or separation.....
Fat distribution.
Testosterone Levels (aggression).
Hair Loss (MPB).
Upper body strength.


I don't think you can really understand what that's like.
There's another difference.

Ron Tisdale
03-20-2008, 02:37 PM
The fact that women question the motives of men (i.e. sexual harrassment) is just one of these signs.

Signs of difference? Or a sign that women have been beaten over the head by us often enough to question our motives? If 1 in 10 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime (I don't know the actual figures, just guessing), they'd be stupid not to question our motives.

Doesn't mean we are all guilty...but hey...being cautious couldn't hurt.

I find myself in much the same situation in regard to race. Doesn't play as big a part in my life now as it used to, but it still comes up from time to time.

Best,
Ron

Cyrijl
03-20-2008, 02:46 PM
Just to be clear. I meant in reference to training at the dojo...not in the outside world. It was brought up as a reason to separate the sexes.

I wouldn't think about sexual harrassment if I roll with a homosexual male unless someting really out of the ordinary were to happen.

SmilingNage
03-20-2008, 02:59 PM
That could get you put in jail (although I very much understand the sentiment).

And that could get you killed. Truth is, you do what you have to, and live with the consequences.

Best,
Ron

Is this the old "better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6" rationale.

SentWest
03-20-2008, 03:01 PM
Do my two X chromosomes determine how strong I am, how I reason, how nurturing I am, whether I'm better at math or history, whether I'm more likely to be a leader or a follower?

Funny that you mention it, since as a matter of scientific fact your two X chromosomes certainly do determine how strong you are, how you reason to an extent, some aspects of nurturing, etc...

I'm never going to be able to develop as much upper body strength as most men, no matter how hard I train. Period. Maybe more than *some* men, but not more than most. Training that reflects this accurate fact of nature is appropriate. In fact it would be frustrating and counter productive to try to ignore it.

The sexes are different; I suppose I'm just not seeing why it's such a tremendously big deal to recognize it as so.

As far as the original question. I prefer to train co-ed personally, as working techniques on people bigger and stronger than me is beneficial. If people want to seperate the sexes in their dojo, they can have at it, that doesn't bother me either. There's a place for both approaches, and people who will benefit from either.

G DiPierro
03-20-2008, 03:08 PM
Mr. Ledyard, this is the problem that I have with this whole discussion: you assert that there are "differences" between men and women, but you don't say what they are, and you don't question where they come from. These aren't irrelevancies to be brushed under the rug -- they're at the heart of the matter, if what you want is a solution and not an excuse for inequality or separation.

Do my two X chromosomes determine how strong I am, how I reason, how nurturing I am, whether I'm better at math or history, whether I'm more likely to be a leader or a follower? To a certain extent, the answer is yes. The "differences" between men and women and the impact of these differences on development and behavior are now fairly well-established and accepted within the academic fields of evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, among others. There is also an extensive popular literature available on the subject as well.

In brief, most of the differences between men and women come from the fact that in order to make a baby, a man must only be physically present for a few minutes, whereas a women must carry around her future offspring inside of her body for nine months. This leads women to have very different reproductive strategies than men, and in turn each sex has developed in ways that are most likely to increase their ability to successfully pass on their genetic material to the next generation. An in-depth discussion of this issue would be out of place here, so I would encourage you to explore the subject further at your local bookstore or library.

Cyrijl
03-20-2008, 03:10 PM
^^ i have a feeling someone isn't going to like this repsone.

akiy
03-20-2008, 03:15 PM
Hi folks,

Let's try to steer the discussion back to being directly pertinent to aikido training. If you wish to discuss a more general topic, please do so in the Open Discussions forum.

Thanks,

-- Jun

Ron Tisdale
03-20-2008, 03:21 PM
Is this the old "better to be judged by 12 then carried by 6" rationale.

Pretty much...stinks, but hey...

Best,
Ron

lbb
03-20-2008, 03:54 PM
Fat distribution.
Testosterone Levels (aggression).
Hair Loss (MPB).
Upper body strength.

And you say that XX/XY chromosomes determine what these will be? Be careful of your answer.

lbb
03-20-2008, 03:58 PM
In brief, most of the differences between men and women come from the fact that in order to make a baby, a man must only be physically present for a few minutes, whereas a women must carry around her future offspring inside of her body for nine months. This leads women to have very different reproductive strategies than men, and in turn each sex has developed in ways that are most likely to increase their ability to successfully pass on their genetic material to the next generation. An in-depth discussion of this issue would be out of place here, so I would encourage you to explore the subject further at your local bookstore or library.

No need; I've seen this kind of answer before. All that it is is an explanation that fits (kind of, more or less) the available facts. This does not make it the explanation.

G DiPierro
03-20-2008, 04:10 PM
No need; I've seen this kind of answer before. All that it is is an explanation that fits (kind of, more or less) the available facts. This does not make it the explanation.Yeah, just like the theory of gravity is one explanation that fits the available facts. I guess that doesn't mean that it is right either. Like I said, there is a wide scientific consensus on the subject. If you choose to reject it that is up to you.

Marc Abrams
03-20-2008, 05:25 PM
Mary:

Regardless of how you would like to assign causality to real, physical differences, they will exist, with or without our understandings, or explanations. Embracing our differences and learning how to make our own unique body types work for us is important.

I am 5'5"' and 150 pounds. George is twice my weight and significantly taller than me. When we work together, George can afford to move in a less concise manner than I, and can afford to be struck by me. Those options are simply not available to me. My Aikido must utilize the assets that I have, not the ones that I wish that I had. Likewise, women, with few exceptions, have less muscle mass than men. A man would be better off in an exchange of force than a woman, based upon that generalized fact. The women, whom George mentioned, spent years trying to match the men and are living with the consequences of their actions. When they learned that they did not have to match them, in order to make their Aikido work, it became reflected in how they practiced and taught.

If we take valued judgments away from gender, height, weight, strength, reflex speed, ..... and simply view them as variables in which we can analyze our own particular make-up, it should not matter if their are significant inequities in those make-ups when we practice together. We should focus on how we can make our unique set of variables work for us with other people, situations, and circumstances. The wise person will quickly learn how to use what asset, when, and what to avoid. All of our aches and pains from lessons learned should remind us of that.

George has always been a big supporter of women in Aikido. He was simply acknowledging real differences without value judgments attached to them.

Marc Abrams

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2008, 06:10 PM
Mr. Ledyard, this is the problem that I have with this whole discussion: you assert that there are "differences" between men and women, but you don't say what they are, and you don't question where they come from. These aren't irrelevancies to be brushed under the rug -- they're at the heart of the matter, if what you want is a solution and not an excuse for inequality or separation.

Do my two X chromosomes determine how strong I am, how I reason, how nurturing I am, whether I'm better at math or history, whether I'm more likely to be a leader or a follower? Or are these things, in large part, constrained and controlled by the attitudes of others about what I am capable of being? No one has ever found a "math gene", but I have seen with my own eyes and felt in my own life the stifling effects of gender-based expectations. In day to day reality, we do have to deal with the products of these expectations: men and women who have been told all their lives what they may be because of two chromosomes, and have shaped themselves accordingly. But present-day reality is not destiny, and it is crucial to separate recognition of the reality in front of us from the belief that "nature" made it that way, or that the future is immutable.

The fact that distinctions exist, which I simply don't have the time or inclination to enumerate, does not mean that these distinctions are automatically used to hold women back or to discriminate against them. A proper understanding of these distinctions can allow one to be a better partner in relationship, a better teacher of someone of the opposite sex, a more empowering training partner, etc.

You assume that acknowledging these distinctions is negative. You justifiably point out that a perceived set of distinctions has been used in the past to keep women from achievement in certain areas.

All that is true. But that was a misuse of the concept of distinctions and a good number of those distinctions had no factual basis but were simply cultural myths. Math is a good example, since you bring it up. It is a fact that there are far fewer women doing advanced math than there are men. The argument rages whether that observed fact is due to some inherent difference in average math aptitude or whether the male dominated establishment has simply kept capable women back all these years.

Merely removing the bias against women on the part of the male math establishment might take care of the problem as long as discrimination was the sole reason that their participation in advanced math was less than men.

But ridding ourselves of all ideas of distinction could easily back fire if it turned out that women were quite capable of learning advanced math but did better if it were taught differently. As soon as we say that there are no differences between the sexes, we close off any discussion about how we might do a better job of helping women as an underrepresented group develop their higher math skills. So then, we would be back to the one size fits all approach. We would teach all students in exactly the same way because it would be discriminatory do try to work to optimize each subgroup's achievement by tailoring the instruction to their mode of learning and the different interests and goals they might have.

Aikido, especially, has this issue come up all the time because we do not compete; we are not a sport. I can't think of any sports, just off hand, in which men and women compete as equals. Mia Hamm wouldn't qualify for an English Premier League team, despite being perhaps the finest women's football (soccer) player of all time. No one even suggests that this is due to discrimination, it's a direct reflection that the game involves factors of speed and power that no woman can duplicate.

I had a step daughter who wrestled in junior high. She even won some matches against some male wrestlers when she was still in 7th grade. But by 8th grade, the boys hormones were kicking in and they began to bulk up from their training. My step daughter did the same training with the same coaches, but no amount of weight work was going to bulk her up in the same manner as the boys. It's physiological and yes it is determined by those chromosomes.

So she went on to play soccer. She played for many years in all girl leagues and learned an incredible amount and found the experience quite empowering. She would not have been able to match the boys in speed and power by the time she was in high school and it would not have made any sense to have asked her to compete against the boys.

But in Aikido we don't separate the sexes nor do we have weight classes.So until the higher levels of the art are reached, the point at which one has the skill to handle physical power vastly greater than ones own, the folks with more size and power have a distinct advantage as they can get away with using plain physical power to do technique on many of their partners which folks with smaller stature (women on the average) cannot do.

To insist that we should train everyone the same way and pretend that we are all the same ignores the simple fact that we are not. Time and time again I have heard female friends of mine complain that the guys don't train with them seriously and don't respect them but when they encounter a guy who trains with them exactly the way he does with his male buddies, they complain that he is too rough and is manhandling them.

The fact is, he is manhandling them on a certain level. To optimize the learning of both partners he shouldn't be training the same way with the average woman that he would with the average man. Men in general are very competitive about how they approach their training. It is hard to get them to let go of the "I Win" mode of training. Women, on the other hand, tend to be more interested in cooperative strategies for both partners to get better rather than one do so at the others expense. While there are biological and evolutionary reasons for this and tons of literature on the subject, one can see it simply by ones personal observation in any dojo in which men and women train together and with each other.

I think that at the beginning of their Aikido training, it is good to have women train together with other women much of the time. That gives them that level playing field that lets them test themselves in ways that are meaningful. But it is also useful for them to train with the men because they will have to be better than their male training partners to be able to handle them.

My wife, Genie, was a national champion fencer. She came up training in Alaska where she was just about the only woman fencing. So all her partners were men. It was great training because she was always up against opponents who were physically bigger and stronger than she was. It developed her technique and her spirit.

But in actual competition, Genie, who had an "A" rating, couldn't generally have beaten a male fencer who had the same "A" rating. That's why they had men's and women's divisions. It has been Genie's input that has gotten me to look at the different requirements which men and women have in their Aikido training. I came from a background in which everybody just trained and no distinctions were made. Not many beginner women were willing to even come into that dojo, even though there were some top women yudansha there, and very few stayed with the training. When Genie started training with me, it was she who pointed out that my methods of interacting with the students were based on my experiences training under a male Japanese instructor and that these methods might work for most (probably not all) of the guys but they certainly did not work well for most women.

So I think that gender blind methodology doesn't allow for the fact that there are, in fact, different attitudes, capabilities, and expectations between men and women (on the average) and that to optimize the benefit of training to all of my students, I need to acknowledge that rather than pretend that these differences don't exist. And that's from my wife, a champion athlete, not from my own, male biased, perspective.

bkedelen
03-20-2008, 07:32 PM
Not all of the many known genetic gender differences are to the benefit of men. Women in general have a very statistically significant advantage in resisting disease, both acquired and genetic. That is why women consistently outlive men by a number of years.

lbb
03-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Mary:

Regardless of how you would like to assign causality to real, physical differences, they will exist, with or without our understandings, or explanations. Embracing our differences and learning how to make our own unique body types work for us is important.

I agree. I just think that the causes matter. Are you familiar with the expression, "Biology is destiny"?

If we take valued judgments away from gender, height, weight, strength, reflex speed, ..... and simply view them as variables in which we can analyze our own particular make-up, it should not matter if their are significant inequities in those make-ups when we practice together. We should focus on how we can make our unique set of variables work for us with other people, situations, and circumstances. The wise person will quickly learn how to use what asset, when, and what to avoid. All of our aches and pains from lessons learned should remind us of that.

I'd agree with your list except for gender, which I think can be indicative that certain physical and psychological characteristics may be more likely to be present. I also think the question of why matters -- again, back to causes. Does a woman have a particular level of strength because that's her natural limit...or because she's been told all her life that it's not "ladylike" to exert herself? The cause matters.

George has always been a big supporter of women in Aikido. He was simply acknowledging real differences without value judgments attached to them.

Marc Abrams

Understood and appreciated.

Walter Martindale
03-20-2008, 08:27 PM
Mixing the original topic with some of the later discussion about gender differences. In the 70s when I was training in judo, and a run-of-the-mill ikkyu, I used to practice with a woman who was perhaps the best ikkyu woman in the region. To complete a throw was a piece of cake, the difficult thing was to complete the throw without breaking her. When she flew in at top speed for her attacks, it wasn't quite slow motion, but it was slower than any of the nikyu and sankyu with whom I practiced. However, we did train together.
Occasionally when practicing with women now, and more so with mudansha, I find that SOME, not all, seem to want to prove something when they're throwing me, and the ukemi is harder than with most of the men I'm practicing with. I don't particularly dial back my practice very much because at my age it's pretty dialled back as it is, but in initial practice with a non-yundansha woman, I do check at first to see how much she can handle.

Others have mentioned the different responses to and amounts of testosterone. Others have mentioned that in many sports the men don't compete against the women. I believe that in many of the shooting sports, women could very well compete against men, because what is required is concentration, focus, and "controlled non-movement". However, in most "performance" sports (performance against a tape-measure, stop watch, scale (lifting), team-game sports, or combative sports, women are significantly behind men in their ability. In my sport, rowing, we happen to have in our training centre the fastest male and the fastest female individuals in the world on the Concept 2 rowing machine - each holds the current world record for 2000 m on a machine (and each is or was the world or Olympic champion in a boat, as well) - those world records are approximately 55 seconds apart.
The men race against other men, the women race against other women. The fastest woman is faster than some "club" competitive men, but the fastest of each of the sexes in all of the boat classes in international rowing, are about a minute different in time over 2000 m.

Training together - in Aikido? Sure - all for it. Competing? Good thing we don't have competition in Aikido. Are there problems? In most of the dojo I've been to, no. Does that mean there are no problems? Of course not - some people will take ill advantage of their positions of power, some people"accidentally" put their hands where they don't have to, and I hope that the reputations they gain have a tendency to empty their dojo before too many are hurt. It's abominable that people would take advantage of their power or of the intimacy of the contact in Aikido, but it happens, and we are poorer for it.
W

Chris Lacey
03-21-2008, 01:51 PM
Chris,
I respectfully disagree, completely. What constitutes "giving ones all"? I am a large man. For the majority of my career I have outweighed my female partners by 100 to 150 pounds. I have trained with many of the very best female teachers in the United States... but until someone gets to the level of a Mary Heiny, a Pat Hendricks, or a Kayla Feder, they simply cannot handle the kind of power I can put out. Training full power way with a woman of typical size (or a man of smaller stature for that matter) would be abusive. It would unnecessarily stress them physically and would almost certainly imprint fear and tension in the training that would run counter to what we are attempting to imprint via the training.

My Assistant Chief Instructor for a number of years was Lee Crawford Sensei, who now runs Aikido Northshore. When I was throwing her one night I dropped her very hard. She was tough and had excellent ukemi and when I asked if she was ok, she said yes. She took the same hard fall a second time and it turned out that I had hurt her neck. I had quite simply exceeded her ability to handle the kind of power I was generating. I had this misplaced idea that I should treat her like any senior student. That was wrong. Senior or not, I should have been smart enough to adjust to the fact that she had a much smaller structure to absorb impact. I learned the hard way.

Anyway, we all have to temper how we train. We adjust for age, for size, for injuries, handicaps, and even different personal preferences about how to train. It isn't about the sex of your partner... when I find a 300 pound female who has trained for 30 years, I'll hit her as hard as I can too.

Aiki is about finding the proper balance with the particular partner you have at the time. Your goal as a partner should be to create a positive training experience with any partner, male, female, large, small, brave, fearful, whatever. The goal is to leave your partner better off than they were before they trained with you. If you are training the same way with everyone, you are forcing your own ideas about training on your partners. That almost certainly does damage, physically and/or emotionally.

This crap about size doesn't matter... it's just that, crap. In martial arts it always matters. That's why there are weight classes in every sport fighting system. That's why the men and women don't compete against each other in full contact fighting. A large man can manhandle his small female partner in a way that simply cannot be done in the reverse.

This idea that adjusting ones training to fit with a given partner's capabilities is somehow making ones training less is the source of a tremendous amount of elitist thinking. Seniors who don't train with juniors, men who won't train with women, young people who won't train with older folks...

Aikido is about fostering a highly developed sensitivity, both psychically and physically. You can work on this with any partner. In fact, Tres Hofmeister Sensei pointed out that sensing very small changes in an energetic system needs to be done at low energy states. Dial up the voltage too high and you can't discern subtle changes in the system. So, whereas getting your yah yahs out by training at high intensity with partners who can handle it is an important aspect of training, it is not necessarily the part of training which is most valuable.

I know of several folks who, when young, thought hard, physical training was everything. Later in life, they saw that they had ignored many aspects of the training which were at least, if not more important. I think that people need to be aware of the different styles of training and goals for training which people have. The idea that there is a one size fits all approach isn't true. There's no way you can train with everyone the same and be training in the proper spirit nor will that way of training optimize what you get out of the training over time.

George,
I have to learn to imply in a way so that others can correctly infer. I agree with everything you said, you were more eloquent in your presentation! Please recall I used the term "skillset". The term implies that there is an evaluation of skill, size, weight and many other factors. What is missing from those factors (personally) are "Is this a guy or a girl?"

The particular skill-set (there is that term again) that a person has will dictate a reaction to a situation. If someone (who was 235 pounds) tried to mug you at knife point (imagine you laughing heartily at them) the outcome would be them on the ground and you standing over them, pinning them and calling the cops on your cell.

Now imagine a woman getting robbed by the same guy..who weighs 135 pounds less than the mugger..and has the same skill set that you do. Again there is a hearty (albeit more melodious :D ) laughter and the mugger ends up on the ground again.

The technique that occurs between the laughter-waza (note the subtle differences?) and the mugger being on the ground will be different. Why? Because of that "sensitivity" that you mentioned. That same "sensitivity" is what I was (unsuccessfully) implying and is part of that same skill-set.

Due to this sensitivity, "giving your all" to a white belt and giving your all to Sensei are completely different things.

Thanks for the great reply!

Be safe and Be well,
Chris