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Alex Watts
03-09-2005, 11:54 AM
Hi all, I would like some help please.

I would like to start a martial art for the purpose of self defence and after some research I have decided aikido is best suited to me as I am not a big strong guy. I live in the North East of England and so am looking for a club in the area.

My concern is this: I am gay and while I don't flaunt my sexuality, I do not hide it either. I don't mince around dressed all in pink being camp or anything silly like that, but if someone asks me for example if I have a girlfriend, I will tell them I am gay.

What I would like to know is:

1. Are there any all gay aikido clubs?
2. Is my sexuality a problem in learning Aikido with regards to other students?
3. Are there any local clubs where my sexuality won't be an issue?
4. Are there any openly gay Aikido people I can chat with here to find out their experiences?

Any help will be much appreciated.
Alex

Greg Jennings
03-09-2005, 12:16 PM
Alex,

I don't know about your local aikido clubs. Here is some advice...

1. You may not see short-term success in aikido as a self-defense.
2. My experience is that the aikido community is open and and accepting. It's all about coming together on the mat to train. To paraphrase someone "No sex on the mat, please".
3. Go for it and have fun.

Best regards,

TheWonderKid
03-09-2005, 12:21 PM
Why would your sexual orientation be an issue? The way I see it, you're a person just like anyone else, whether you're gay or not shouldn't make any difference. The same way it shouldn't make any difference what faith/gender/race/etc you are.

Being gay isn't who you are, it's a component of it. Do you worry about anything else that makes up who you are? Perhaps you don't like football are fear being discriminated against because of that?

But seriously, I'm not trying to negate your problem or anything, but anyone with an open mind shouldn't take issue with it. And I've found those who practice Aikido often have open minds. If not, would you really want to practice with them?

While I admittedly may not have always always had an open mind about the issue of sexual orientation, I have since come to see the error of my ways and am the better for it.

Just my two cents.

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 12:28 PM
My concern is this: I am gay and while I don't flaunt my sexuality, I do not hide it either. What do you mean that you "do not hide it"? I have difficulty understanding how anyone should get a clue what your sexual proclivities are or my sexual proclivities are in a dojo unless there's an effort to make sure people know what those sexual proclivities are. Why not just appear to be "gender neutral" as everyone claims they are for (often lying through their teeth, of course) and practice? If you're gender neutral and not trying to signal your particular proclivities or availability, I can't see where it would cause you or other people in a dojo to be apprehensive one way or the other.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Carrie
03-09-2005, 01:18 PM
I think what Alex means (forgive me Alex, if I'm incorrect), is that he doesn't make an effort to conceal who he is - as most of us don't.

It would be nearly impossible not to get to know more about someone as you continue to train with them. Just by being in intimate physical contact with our training partners we learn what techniques they feel comfortable with, those that they resist, strengths, weaknesses, etc. In casual conversation wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, pets, etc may be mentioned. And there is no reason why Alex should have to be anything but upfront about who he is. If someone assumed I was a lesbian and asked if I had a girlfriend, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them I'm straight. Why should it be any different for Alex?

And I do not see how anyone can be 'gender neutral' on the mat. We are who we are. If I take an elbow in the breast, it's gonna hurt presumably more than it would a guy. And I'm willing to bet that there is no such thing as gender neutrality when a guy gets bumped in the stones.....

When I'm training with someone I'm not worried about what sex they are, what their marital status is, if they like dogs better than cats, what they had for lunch, etc etc. I take them at face value and expect them to do the same.

Go to a dojo, watch a class. Talk to the students and the Sensei. I don't think it will be difficult for you to find a place where you will be accepted and welcomed. Why wouldn't you be?

Carrie

rob_liberti
03-09-2005, 01:31 PM
I trained with a guy for 4 years who was gay. He didn't mention it, and neither did I. I didn't care. One day, he told me with this big dramatic pause for my reaction, and I almost think I disappointed him. I really didn't care. I think no sexual acts in the dojo is a fine rule. I don't care too much about that either, but we should make people feel comfortable in the dojo.

Rob

Pauliina Lievonen
03-09-2005, 01:44 PM
I honestly don't know what the sexual orientation of most of the people at my dojo is, apart from the ones with partners who also train, and a couple of people who have become closer friends and who I subsequently have learned more personal stuff about.

I can understand that it could be something that seems an obstacle, especially if you've had bad experiences in the past, and/or if you have an idea of martial arts being a very macho environment maybe. I'd say the chances are that it's not going to be an issue though.

kvaak
Pauliina

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 01:44 PM
I think what Alex means (forgive me Alex, if I'm incorrect), is that he doesn't make an effort to conceal who he is - as most of us don't. Well, I understand that, but surely you don't casually mention the type of sex you prefer in the boudoir, do you? I have certainly never mentioned my sexual proclivities in the dojo (well, except a few whispers when I have them pinned ... er, forget I said that ;) ) and the point I'm making is that most people in a dojo would never know whether I was gay or straight. It would be nearly impossible not to get to know more about someone as you continue to train with them. Just by being in intimate physical contact with our training partners we learn what techniques they feel comfortable with, those that they resist, strengths, weaknesses, etc. In casual conversation wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, children, pets, etc may be mentioned. And there is no reason why Alex should have to be anything but upfront about who he is. If someone assumed I was a lesbian and asked if I had a girlfriend, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them I'm straight. Why should it be any different for Alex? Never mind that... what are you wearing right now? (Sorry. That's sort of an "in" joke on RMA and I couldn't resist -- just being "up front about who I am") And I do not see how anyone can be 'gender neutral' on the mat. We are who we are. If I take an elbow in the breast, it's gonna hurt presumably more than it would a guy. And I'm willing to bet that there is no such thing as gender neutrality when a guy gets bumped in the stones..... We're not talking about gender, though.. we're talking about sexual preferences. If he feels comfortable after a while with someone he meets at the dojo and for some reason thinks his sexual preferences are a good conversation, fine. But the point is that if he's just going to try a dojo or two to see if he likes them and the training, I fail to see why his sexual bent is germane. IMO, of course.

Mike

Carrie
03-09-2005, 02:24 PM
Well now, we're talking about 2 completely different things, aren't we? A statement of sexual orientation (being gay or straight) is not quite comparative to expressing specific affinities (i.e. how ya like it). And well you know it (or should, <g>).

I doubt Alex has any intentions of walking into the dojo and announcing with much fanfare 'Hey, I'm gay!' I just think he wants to feel a bit more comfortable about walking into the place and being accepted, whether they ever get to know him or not.

For that matter, Alex, I was apprehensive about going to my first class too, though my fear was because I'm a woman, and I was kinda scared of having some big manly man grabbing me. Like most fears, it was unfounded, and I wouldn't have learned that if I hadn't just 'bucked up' and walked through the door.

Carrie

And P.S. Mike, I'm wearing what any self-respecting woman is wearing when asked that question......a snowsuit, ski cap and moon boots. <g>

rob_liberti
03-09-2005, 02:37 PM
In Florida? You must be so hot. - Rob

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 02:39 PM
Well now, we're talking about 2 completely different things, aren't we? A statement of sexual orientation (being gay or straight) is not quite comparative to expressing specific affinities (i.e. how ya like it). And well you know it (or should, <g>). Depends. Some people are "proper oriented" and don't want to hear about sex, sexual orientation, feminism, machismo, etc. I try to accomodate them by not giving a clue about my personal predilections. I.e., my general point is that these things don't become issues unless you make them issues... and the dojo is the place to check your issues, if nothing else, out of respect for the people who a seriously focusing on their training. There's a bit of arrogance in the Aikido, Taiji, and a few other "arts" where some of the 'practitioners' think it's their right to force their issues onto the people who simply don't care. It acts, as I've said, like a filtering process... after a while, a lot of people in those types of "martial arts" get tired and depart, leaving a majority of "issues" people as the dominant forces and it takes away from the art, IMO. I.e., it ultimately degrades the art into something else. ;) I doubt Alex has any intentions of walking into the dojo and announcing with much fanfare 'Hey, I'm gay!' I just think he wants to feel a bit more comfortable about walking into the place and being accepted, whether they ever get to know him or not. If no one knows, and they don't unless he declares it in some manner, I fail to see logically how he is going to be "uncomfortable" about being gay. Is that clearer?
For that matter, Alex, I was apprehensive about going to my first class too, though my fear was because I'm a woman, and I was kinda scared of having some big manly man grabbing me. Like most fears, it was unfounded, and I wouldn't have learned that if I hadn't just 'bucked up' and walked through the door. Guess what? EVERYONE feels like that. Life is hard, ain't it? ;) And P.S. Mike, I'm wearing what any self-respecting woman is wearing when asked that question......a snowsuit, ski cap and moon boots. <g> Self-respecting men wear those, too, you sexist rascal. :p

Mike

rob_liberti
03-09-2005, 02:53 PM
Guess what? EVERYONE feels like that.

No sir, not everyone feels like that. I'd say that is more a parenting and cultural issue. It didn't even occur to me to be afraid about walking into my first dojo. I was just excited and tried to do my best. A lot of time has gone by and it hasn't changed.

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 03:02 PM
No sir, not everyone feels like that. I'd say that is more a parenting and cultural issue. It didn't even occur to me to be afraid about walking into my first dojo. I was just excited and tried to do my best. A lot of time has gone by and it hasn't changed.
It's a rare person who isn't "apprehensive", the main word I was replying to, Rob. Everyone has some degree of apprehension.... well, except for you of course. :)

Mike

rob_liberti
03-09-2005, 03:10 PM
Well I can't argue with that. I think I was more apprehensive when I went to get my last hair cut, but fine, silly point conceded.

Alex, please go join a dojo, and train aikido.

Rob

Carrie
03-09-2005, 03:45 PM
In Florida? You must be so hot. - Rob
LOL, Ok, maybe I fibbed a * little* bit about the attire. Actually temp is 63 in Key West, and after having been here for several years, that has become chilly to me. I rather like being that spoiled temp-wise.

Aikiscott
03-09-2005, 04:04 PM
Hi Alex
I won't get hung up on the Gay issue as I think it is irrelevant but I'll answer the other question, though I think you will be lucky to find an all Gay Aikido dojo but who knows, I have heard of All female Dojos before.
Here are some links

British Aikikai
http://www.britishaikikai.co.uk/dojos.htm#North%20East%20England

British Aikido Board
http://www.bab.org.uk/club_directory/county.html

British Aikido Federation
http://www.bafonline.org.uk/baf/bafdojos.html

Hope it helps and good luck with your search.

deepsoup
03-09-2005, 04:52 PM
but if someone asks me for example if I have a girlfriend, I will tell them I am gay.
Mike, for your info, this is one of the first "getting to know you" questions you'll be asked in this part of the world, I guess people are more reserved in your neck of the woods. We usually have beer waza together after training, and we like to get to know the people we train with. That involves talking about our partners/kids/homelife/dates etc. (This is especially true in the North East, where people are generally a bit more gregarious than your average english folks.)
No way is Alex's sexuality going to be a secret unless he lies to people pretty much as soon as he meets them, and who wants to do that?

1. Are there any all gay aikido clubs? Not in the UK that I know of.

2. Is my sexuality a problem in learning Aikido with regards to other students?
I would certainly hope not, and see no reason why it should be, though I guess your chances of meeting the odd bigot are about the same as they are anywhere else.

3. Are there any local clubs where my sexuality won't be an issue?
Again, I would sincerely hope it won't be an issue at any of them, but not knowing the clubs in your area I can't say for sure. Maybe there'll be a poster from your part of the woods who can recommend a club.

HTH
Best of luck.

Sean
x

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 05:04 PM
I would certainly hope not, and see no reason why it should be, though I guess your chances of meeting the odd bigot are about the same as they are anywhere else. Actually, I'm sort of live and let live, although actually I need to stipulate a lot of that is because I just don't get emotionally invested in extraneous political issues... and a lot of people get indignant that I don't share their emotions and personal politics, both from the Left and from the Right. As part of not getting involved (or keeping my "center" in a number of ways), I don't allow myself to slap someone with derogatory terms, whether it's their sexual preferences or personal choice of ethics, religion, etc. Labelling someone who doesn't agree with your beliefs a "bigot" is along the lines of what I mean. But hey, if that's who you are, you should make yourself known, I guess.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Alex Watts
03-09-2005, 05:05 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the replys, I didnt expect so many, though I had hoped for at leat 1 gay aikido person to talk to me :-(

Maybe I didnt write my 1st message very well. My point is that while I do not have an "I AM GAY" tattoo on my head for everyone to see, if someone asks me if I have a girlfriend, I am not going to lie or pretend to be straight as I do not believe my sexuality is anything to be ashamed of.

My other concerns are that if I am training and making techniques on aikido people, that maybe some people wouldnt want me to touch them or whatever because I am gay (this type of thing does happen, especially in the north east which is quite a 'macho' place to be).

Hmmm but still no1 has recomendeda dojo to me :-(

Thanks
Alex

jss
03-09-2005, 05:38 PM
I don't think the training part of aikido is going to be a problem. If someone has a problem with your homosexuality, I suggest a friendly converstation that leads to the conclusion not to train with one another. And since I'd guess (but who am I to say?) that would be a minority of the total number of aikidokas, you'll be fine.
There might be another problem: the locker room and showering part. Unless of course men and women do this together at your dojo, some guys may get uncomfortable. There probably is a solution for this too, but it will be a bit more difficult, I think.

markwalsh
03-09-2005, 06:18 PM
Hi Alex,

There is a gay Ju-Jitsu club in Brighton, geography wise I know this doesn't help I know, but thought it might be of interest.

I know of several gay aikidoka who tell me it has rarely been an issue, though martial arts have a reputation for conservatism, (trannie tendencies of dan grades aside).

There's a good BAF club in Newcastle that's friendly, chief instructor Ian McClarrence. They'll bash you mind, but not on account of being queer :)

Take care mate,
Mark

Mike Sigman
03-09-2005, 06:25 PM
There might be another problem: the locker room and showering part. Unless of course men and women do this together at your dojo, some guys may get uncomfortable. There probably is a solution for this too, but it will be a bit more difficult, I think. Ah, here I must note that I am all for gender parity and only having a single shower room, purely in line with the idea that we are all equal on the mat. I'm certain that Carrie and Pauliina are with me on this one! Sexual preference should have no effect on who showers with whom in the locker room, since it doesn't matter. ;)

Mike

Jerry Miller
03-09-2005, 09:43 PM
Us the Search (http://www.aikiweb.com/search/) Function to find a Dojo. There is at least one dojo around.

wxyzabc
03-09-2005, 11:15 PM
Alex

I dont reckon your sexuality is a big deal as long as you stay focussed and go to the dojo purely to practice mate.

Your worries about some men not wanting to train with you due to being gay are at this point unneccessary...you have to go and see what its like. If the worst situation arises where you do experience some unthinking negativity, then well, thats the time to be concerned or think about finding another dojo.

I would like to think that you will be warmly welcomed by everyone, and I`m sure you will...also dont forget that every dojo will have its fair share of female participants who will definitely welcome a male training partner who doesn`t have the usual thoughts crossing his mind.

All the best

Lee

Hardware
03-10-2005, 02:00 AM
If you join a well run Aikido dojo, any issues regarding your sexuality should only arise if you make them issues. Anyone training there with a good outlook on Aikido (and life in general) really shouldn't give a hoot what you do behind closed doors.

Don't hide who you are, but don't flaunt it. Straight people don't march into a new dojo and proudly announce, "I'm heterosexual." In this day and age you can't really assume people are straight either.

There were some other threads here about the pseudo-sexuality of Aikido (closeness in perfomring pins, submission, etc) and relationships do blossom (someone fell in love with their sensei) but in all reality, Aikido is no more linked to sex than it is any other facet of the human situation, (food, politics, race, etc).

Find a dojo you like. Train there. As you get to know the people there, some may deduce you're gay. Some may not. Who cares?

graham butt
03-10-2005, 05:33 AM
Hey, Alex There is an Aikido Club in Newcastle... I don't know haw far away that is from you, and also in Durham... again i don't know how far it is from you...

I shouldn't think their is an all Gay Aikido club... in my opinion the martial arts are for anyone, whether they are gay, straight, young, old, fat, thin... you know?

:ai: :ki: :do:

David Warden
03-10-2005, 06:30 AM
Hi Alex,
the association I belong to is primarily based in the North East with several clubs in the Newcastle Area - have a look at website - www.aikidonortheast.com. Unless you make your sexuality an issue I do not see what difference it will make. I would like to believe that the Aikido world is at least as tolerant as the rest of society -make your own mind up whether this is good enough.
As has already been stated the British Aikido Board website has a list of many other dojos in the North East area.

Derek Webb
03-10-2005, 07:28 AM
Hi Alex

Some years ago at a BAB course met a group of people from a club who were/are predominately gay/lesbian. If memory serves I think the club was called Stonewall Aikido, though I can't remember where they were based. Training with them was no different from training with anybody else. It really shouldn't be an issue.

If you are ever down this part of world please drop in. Anybody (?everybody) always welcome.

Regards

Delboy

batemanb
03-10-2005, 09:27 AM
I just Googled Stonewall Aikido and found the club is located in Birmingham. Their contact number is Tel 07958 485777. They may know of other clubs in your area.

rgds

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 09:57 AM
Labelling someone who doesn't agree with your beliefs a "bigot" is along the lines of what I mean.
Woah there! I certainly didn't intend to call you a bigot, and re-reading the post I'm pretty sure I didn't.

I did imply that anyone having a problem practicing aikido with a person because they are gay would be a bigot, I'm happy to stand by that, I believe it to be true.

It didn't cross my mind for a moment that you might be such a person (you're not, right?), I'm sorry you seem to have got the wrong end of the stick.

Sean
x

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 10:11 AM
Woah there! I certainly didn't intend to call you a bigot, and re-reading the post I'm pretty sure I didn't.

I did imply that anyone having a problem practicing aikido with a person because they are gay would be a bigot, I'm happy to stand by that, I believe it to be true. I wasn't talking about me or getting offended with the idea that you might be calling me a "bigot". I simply take the stance of live and let live without calling someone names if they disagree with my point of view. Most societal rights and wrongs are subjective and judgemental... and transitory... in my opinion. For instance, you might post something negative about "paedophiles", but technically our view of paedophiles is very Judeo-Christian and doesn't conform with the mores of other cultures. So I'd object to someone calling a paedophile a "pervert" in the same way I'd object to your labelling someone a "bigot". It's simple name-calling, any way you cut it. Not to mention that it raises the question of who is the actual bigot.

FWIW

Mike

Bronson
03-10-2005, 11:39 AM
Not to mention that it raises the question of who is the actual bigot.

Who's the bigger bigot? The bigot, the bigot who calls him a bigot, or the the bigot who calls the person, who called the other person a bigot, a bigot....say that ten times fast :D

Bronson

Justin Gaar
03-10-2005, 12:44 PM
But seriously, I'm not trying to negate your problem or anything, but anyone with an open mind shouldn't take issue with it.
Thing is, Aikido has nothing to do with your sexuality. There is no need to even think that your stance has anything to do with your practice at the dojo. Just put your best foward and realize that in a sense, you are really no different then any other human being at the dojo. I hate to say it, but some people find they have a problem with gay people in dojos. Especially in the south (US), yes i do realize your from the UK. Unfortunatly that is how the world is. Some people can't see past their nose and that is the reality of the world. The only advice i can give you, is research the dojos in your area, take a visit over there and watch a class. Good Luck
:ki:
Justin Gaar

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 12:44 PM
Who's the bigger bigot? The bigot, the bigot who calls him a bigot, or the the bigot who calls the person, who called the other person a bigot, a bigot....say that ten times fast :D

Is it wronger to say whats wrong and try to do right than it is to refuse to choose? Is it intolerant not to tolerate intolerance?

Who "lives and lets live", the guy who lets the guy stop the other guy living, or the guy who stops the guy from stopping the other guy living (ie: the guy who insists the other guy lets the other guy live?)

"For evil to triumph, it is enough that good men do nothing." You don't "live and let live" with bigotry, you don't tolerate intolerance. Injustice must be challenged. There is no point in having ethics in the first place if you're going to behave like an amoral jelly.

Oh man, now look what you made me do, I sound like the Tick! ("Destiny dressed you this morning, Arthur, and now fear is trying to pull off your pants!")

Sean
x

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 01:21 PM
Is it wronger to say whats wrong and try to do right I try to be judicious in all that I may. Apparently, you are the person who determines what is "right" and what is "wrong" and assigns labels accordingly. You've got me there.

Most people want to be "tolerant", they say in the surveys... but the same surveys say that most people don't want their children to be gay, when push comes to shove. So are most people bigotted for not wanting their children to be gay? Are people bigotted, in your opinion, if they want abortions? How about if they don't want abortions? Do you start with the negative labeling based on what YOU think is right and which choices should be forced on other people? I think you do. Particularly when you start labelling people. Why didn't you just make your comment sans the gratuitous labelling? Do you feel all of life is a partisan battle that must be engaged? Get a grip on yourself. Everyone that doesn't agree with you doesn't require such emotional overreaction. ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
03-10-2005, 03:01 PM
For instance, you might post something negative about "paedophiles", but technically our view of paedophiles is very Judeo-Christian and doesn't conform with the mores of other cultures. So I'd object to someone calling a paedophile a "pervert" in the same way I'd object to your labelling someone a "bigot". It's simple name-calling, any way you cut it. Not to mention that it raises the question of who is the actual bigot.

ok...this is kind of interesting...don't take this the wrong way, but can you tell me how this differs from the PC crowd (a crowd I believe you don't go with, from previous posts in other places).

I can see not labeling people who marry 13 year olds as a matter of course in another culture as perverts...but people in THIS culture generally don't do such things...and certainly outside the boundry of marriage at the least, I would tend to call such a person in THIS society a pervert. And not feel too badly about labeling them, either. NAMBLA my a**...

Ron

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 03:02 PM
I try to be judicious in all that I may. Apparently, you are the person who determines what is "right" and what is "wrong" and assigns labels accordingly. You've got me there.
You're judicious, I'm judgemental.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Kettle meet Pot. Pot, this is Kettle.

So are most people bigotted for not wanting their children to be gay?
Parents generally want their offspring to be like themselves, richer, happier and better looking, but basically like themselves. For some reason, a majority of parents seem to be heterosexual, ergo, they'd prefer their offspring to be heterosexual too.
Also, of course, nobody wants their children to have to face prejudice and persecution.
That doesn't make them bigots, of course it doesn't.

Teachers who refuse to teach their children because they're gay on the other hand, they'd be bigots. As would shopkeepers who refuse to serve them, taxi drivers who won't pick them up, and people who'd have a problem practicing aikido with them when they grow up and join an aikido club.

Bigotted and stupid, what are they afraid of? Do they think its ok to treat someone as less than human because you don't like how they live their life? Do you (even though it has no effect on how you live yours)? How can you possibly justify that, Mr "live and let live" guy.

So I guess that answers my question from before, when I asked (indirectly, twice) whether you would have a problem practicing aikido with someone who is gay. Congratulations on coming out of your closet, at least.

So now that we've finally squeezed that out of you, here's a harder one. Why?
Why you would have a problem practicing aikido with someone who is gay. Do you think homosexuality is contagious? Do you think your manly musk is so potent that no gay man could resist? What are you frightened of?

Why on earth did you come into this thread in the first place? Given that you're a) homophobic and b) several thousand miles away from the North of England, what were you hoping to achieve?

To those of us living in the 21st century, you look stupid. Was it worth it just to try to tell Alex that he should be ashamed? To urge him to lie to the people he trains with, as he would surely have to, to remain in the proverbial closet. To tell him that he should deny himself the honest friendship of his training partners? Do you seriously think he's reached adulthood and come out to his friends and family without hearing that shit before?

Everyone that doesn't agree with you doesn't require such emotional overreaction. ;)
No, of course *everyone* doesn't.
But you do. Your "advice" to the original poster was neither honest nor compassionate.

Sean
x

Aristeia
03-10-2005, 03:10 PM
Why on earth did you come into this thread in the first place? x

Since he's shown up I've been kind of wondering what Mike's doing on Aikiweb at all? I suspect it's because the regulars on RMA have gotten bored with him and he can't get a rise there anymore.

Ron Tisdale
03-10-2005, 03:16 PM
ack...

Sean, did you just dive off the deep end??? Sorry, but I just don't get the homophobic and not wanting to train with gays from what Mike said. He simply said he doesn't need to know about someone's sexual preferences in the dojo environment. I frankly can't see anything particularly offensive in such a statement. After all, its a dojo...not a social club (unless you want it to be, and he has every right not to treat it as such).

My advice is probably much the same...show up, train, keep your private affairs private unless you make close friends. In the process of doing that, people will learn as much as they need to about you. Leave it at that.

Or if it doesn't bother you that some people get their panties all in a twist about this stuff, then tell everyone right off the bat, and ignore the funny walking ones after that.

RT

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 03:23 PM
Parents generally want their offspring to be like themselves, richer, happier and better looking, but basically like themselves. For some reason, a majority of parents seem to be heterosexual, ergo, they'd prefer their offspring to be heterosexual too.
Also, of course, nobody wants their children to have to face prejudice and persecution.
That doesn't make them bigots, of course it doesn't. Ah... so grandchildren, etc., no longer mean much in the UK? I.e., the trivializing you're doing is flummery. [snip more flummery] Bigotted and stupid, what are they afraid of? Do they think its ok to treat someone as less than human because you don't like how they live their life? Do you (even though it has no effect on how you live yours)? How can you possibly justify that, Mr "live and let live" guy. I see.... they're "stupid", too. You're fairly arrogant, aren't you? So I guess that answers my question from before, when I asked (indirectly, twice) whether you would have a problem practicing aikido with someone who is gay. Congratulations on coming out of your closet, at least.

So now that we've finally squeezed that out of you, here's a harder one. Why?
Why you would have a problem practicing aikido with someone who is gay. Do you think homosexuality is contagious? Do you think your manly musk is so potent that no gay man could resist? What are you frightened of?

Why on earth did you come into this thread in the first place? Given that you're a) homophobic and b) several thousand miles away from the North of England, what were you hoping to achieve?

To those of us living in the 21st century, you look stupid. [snip]
Unfortunately, I've already said I don't care. I don't. I actually have a number of friends who are gay. What you just tried to do was smear me just like you try to smear anyone who doesn't agree with your views. Then you called me stupid. In other words, I'm nothing like you just tried to smear me and limit my ability to give an opinion and you're exactly like I pointed out you were. There's a problem, but it's you. Not Alex. Not me. How would you like to call me "stupid" to my face? I'll be in the UK next month.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 03:29 PM
Since he's shown up I've been kind of wondering what Mike's doing on Aikiweb at all? Do you think that I shouldn't be on the AikiWeb, Fooks?

Mike Sigman

Aristeia
03-10-2005, 03:41 PM
Nope didn't say that "Mike", just that I was surprised to see you turn up. And then somewhat bemused to see the folk on here take you schtick seriously. That's all.

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 03:48 PM
Nope didn't say that "Mike", just that I was surprised to see you turn up. And then somewhat bemused to see the folk on here take you schtick seriously. That's all. What "schtick" is that, Fooks?

Mike Sigman

Aristeia
03-10-2005, 03:52 PM
Lets just say I'm not a big fan of your style of debate. I don't think it particularly productive and I'm not sure it's meant to be.

rob_liberti
03-10-2005, 04:07 PM
Wow - Mike, this is the second time I read on aikiweb about you taking an argument on the internet to a real life fight. Does this happen often with you? I don't see this happening with anyone else. Isn't that telling? It's too bad because when you are doing positive contributions, it's really great and your one-liners are funny - to me at least. How about you refuse to escalate?

Peace favor your sword - Rob

Ron Tisdale
03-10-2005, 04:11 PM
How would you like to call me "stupid" to my face? I'll be in the UK next month.

Uh, I don't see any mention of a 'fight' here...just an opportunity to see if someone says in person what they say on the internet...my own experience has been *most* tone their rhetoric down considerably...

Ron (I'll be interested to see where this is tomorrow...time to keiko now...)

pezalinski
03-10-2005, 04:15 PM
Mike & Co -- take your debate elsewhere, please -- it really doesn't belong in this thread.

As for gay Aikidoists -- it's no different than dealing with M/F interactions on the mat: sexuality should not intrude into Aikido Proactice. One shouldn't care what sex the other person is or what their sexual preferences are, regardless of what yours is, as this information has no bearing on the aikido techniques being taught or practiced. Anyone raising questions about your sexuality on the mat is probably way out of line, unless your actual behavior on the mat is sexually compromising in some way.

"Cruising" in the dojo during class creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for everyone else, regardless -- it's a violation of the often-unwritten ethical code of the mat. I've worked out with guys who were a little over-eager to work with the new female students, and had to be told by the instructor (privately, mind you) to back off and put their hormones away. Gay, straight, or other -- that's not the kind of interaction we're trying to promote in aikido.

Aristeia
03-10-2005, 04:27 PM
No one's talking about cruising on the mat. No one's talking about coming in with a bold pronouncement on their sexuality. Ok, well some people are, but certainly not the original poster. The concern is more that, being gay, and not being ashamed of or wanting to hide that fact it is likely to become common knowledge. And he's right, of course it is. Everyone in my dojo knows I have a wife and a daughter. Does this have anything to do with training? No. But they know because it's a central part of my life, and as social humans we tend to talk before and after class.

So to answer the original question, my feeling is that the sort of people Aikido generally tends to attract (and yes I'm talking in generalities here), will probably not be too perturbed by it. You may get one or two bigots who react badly but I would expect the dojo as a whole to be just as welcoming as they would to anyone else. Let us know how you get on.

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 04:36 PM
Lets just say I'm not a big fan of your style of debate. I don't think it particularly productive and I'm not sure it's meant to be. You're avoiding anything but negative personal generalities, Fooks. Pick a point or an issue that you take exception to and lay out why it's wrong, etc., as opposed to going immediately to the personal "I don't like the way you...." sort of stuff. Or do you just automatically argue the personality and avoid the issues because that's what you prefer?

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 04:38 PM
Wow - Mike, this is the second time I read on aikiweb about you taking an argument on the internet to a real life fight. Where did you "read" that about a "fight", Rob? Can you give me a quote?

Mike

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 04:39 PM
Sean, did you just dive off the deep end???
Well I don't think so, but it wouldn't be the first time if I did. :)

My advice is probably much the same...show up, train, keep your private affairs private unless you make close friends. In the process of doing that, people will learn as much as they need to about you. Leave it at that.

This is where I came in, back at post #17.
I'm sure thats good advice, but I don't think its an option in this case, because people will learn of Alex's sexuality very early on unless he is evasive or untruthful, thats just the nature of the "getting to know you" chit chat.

I wonder if this is a cultural difference between the UK (specifically the NE) and the US (ie: maybe we brits, and Geordies especially, are nosier with our "getting to know you" chit chat than Americans.

Or if it doesn't bother you that some people get their panties all in a twist about this stuff, then tell everyone right off the bat, and ignore the funny walking ones after that.
Nicely put.

<snip ranting> How would you like to call me "stupid" to my face? I'll be in the UK next month.
You were accusing me (with a wink, no less), of emotional overreaction just a couple of posts ago. And now you're actually threatening me!? Lol.

I think I'll decline your invitation to meet you in the car park, that really *would* be stupid, don't you think?

But assuming you've cooled off a bit by then, where in the UK are you going to be? Maybe someone can recommend a club you could visit. I'm sure you'd be very welcome to train with us if you think you can control your temper.

Sean
x

Alex Watts
03-10-2005, 04:42 PM
WOW! So many replies.... but a lot of petty arguing going on too, it appears I have hit on a 'hot topic' for some people. Strange, but after reading about aikido, I didn't think aikido people were like that - if the books are to be believed.

Several people have mentioned www.aikidonortheast.com and they have a class in Durham where I work which would be great as it's close, so I may try there.

I'd still like to hear from some gay aikido people though.

Lots of people have said it doesn't matter being gay and an aikido person, but thats easy to say when you are straight. Until you experience homophobia I don't think you understand it....... the reason I want to start aikido is in my last job I was threatened and actually attacked several times for being gay.

Anyway, if anyone knows of any gay aikido people, please get them to contact me, I would like to hear from someone with first hand experience

Thanks everybody
Alex
:-)

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 04:44 PM
Uh, I don't see any mention of a 'fight' here...just an opportunity to see if someone says in person what they say on the internet...my own experience has been *most* tone their rhetoric down considerably... Exactly. Never post something that you're not comfortable saying to their face. All this talk about "budo" and stuff is usually just mouth-noises if something basic like calling someone "stupid" or "bigot" or "racist" or (put your own epthets here) with a keyboard gets through. The general view is that these contentious issues displace actual martial issues and in the long term aren't beneficial. I say the same thing to *any* political issue, no matter which partisan way it swings.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-10-2005, 04:47 PM
You were accusing me (with a wink, no less), of emotional overreaction just a couple of posts ago. And now you're actually threatening me!? Lol. Pardon me... where did I threaten you? I think I'll decline your invitation to meet you in the car park, that really *would* be stupid, don't you think?

But assuming you've cooled off a bit by then, where in the UK are you going to be? Maybe someone can recommend a club you could visit. I'm sure you'd be very welcome to train with us if you think you can control your temper. What are you talking about? I didn't call you stupid or lose my temper in the least. In fact, all I did was give you a chance to look like something other than a loudmouth. No problem. Do as you wish.

Mike Sigman

Rupert Atkinson
03-10-2005, 04:52 PM
Hi all, I would like some help please.

I would like to start a martial art for the purpose of self defence and after some research I have decided aikido is best suited to me as I am not a big strong guy. I live in the North East of England and so am looking for a club in the area.

My concern is this: I am gay and while I don't flaunt my sexuality, I do not hide it either. I don't mince around dressed all in pink being camp or anything silly like that, but if someone asks me for example if I have a girlfriend, I will tell them I am gay.

What I would like to know is:

1. Are there any all gay aikido clubs?
2. Is my sexuality a problem in learning Aikido with regards to other students?
3. Are there any local clubs where my sexuality won't be an issue?
4. Are there any openly gay Aikido people I can chat with here to find out their experiences?

Any help will be much appreciated.
Alex

Alex - here are my answers:

1. Nope.
2. Nope - but there will always be some who are biased.
3. All clubs will accept you - but if you walk around proclaiming you are gay all the time you will likely annoy those who are biased (they exist, right?). Be subtle and you'll have no problem at all.
4. I am sure there are.

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 05:10 PM
WOW! So many replies.... but a lot of petty arguing going on too, it appears I have hit on a 'hot topic' for some people.
Nah, I just wouldn't let it lie is all. Its only just dawned on me that I've been feeding a troll. - guess I'm a bit slow.

Strange, but after reading about aikido, I didn't think aikido people were like that - if the books are to be believed.
Hah! I guess that goes to show you can't believe everything you read. :)

Several people have mentioned www.aikidonortheast.com and they have a class in Durham where I work which would be great as it's close, so I may try there. Cool. Let us know how you get on.

I'd still like to hear from some gay aikido people though.
If you don't get a response here, maybe you could try posting to one of the uk.gay newsgroups, or a gay forum to ask about training in aikido. Come at it from the other direction, if you see what I mean.

Best of luck.

Sean
x

mj
03-10-2005, 05:12 PM
... Come at it from the other direction, if you see what I mean...
er

deepsoup
03-10-2005, 05:21 PM
er
Stop it you. :p
And I think you'll find the correct spelling is:
"Ooer, Matron."

mj
03-10-2005, 05:30 PM
Hattie Jacques...there's a picture. :D

btw the 'kenneth williams' quote..was that freudian? :eek:

Lorien Lowe
03-11-2005, 02:18 AM
I had been training for about three months before I found out tangentially that one of my sempai was a lesbian. My first thought was, 'gasp! I've been getting naked in front of her in the locker room!' My second though was that, if I hadn't noticed any inappropriate behavior on her part before, why should it be a problem?

Just be a gentleman. When people realize that your're there to train, not to ogle the other guys, hopefully they'll relax.

-LK

ruthmc
03-11-2005, 04:57 AM
Its only just dawned on me that I've been feeding a troll. - guess I'm a bit slow.
:) A few of us have wandered by the troll enclosure recently - you're not the only one :)

If we ignore it, it will go away. :D

Ruth

Nick Simpson
03-11-2005, 06:29 AM
If your still interested in a dojo Alex, check us out at:

www.whiteroseaikidone.co.uk

We have dojo's in durham and sunderland. Once you get past the thuggishness, then you'll find we are a nice bunch of people! ;)

Hope you find what your looking for.

Mike Sigman
03-11-2005, 08:54 AM
:) A few of us have wandered by the troll enclosure recently - you're not the only one :)

If we ignore it, it will go away. :D

Ruth Odd how another personal attack, this time using the word "troll" starts, isn't it? Still more interesting is that you and Fooks and Sean have been hung out to dry on a couple of legitimate issues to which you can't respond.... I'm still waiting for your answer to why the hand is spread in Yoshinkan, particularly after your arch superiority about how you study Yoshinkan, implying I don't know anything about it.

Inquiring minds want to know the answer about the spread hand, Ruth. I hope you're not going to ignore the question, since you were the one making the attempt to belittle me through your 'knowledge" of Yoshinkan.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mat Hill
03-11-2005, 09:21 AM
Hi Alex, don't know if you missed it among all the less helpful replies but somebody gave you a number for Stonewall. I don't think they are operating anymore but I may be wrong.

There was another all-gay aiki school in Birmingham called the Pink Triangle. They are no longer in existance either but if you get in touch with the site maintainer at http://www.b13.co.uk/colmers/ he should be able to point you in the right direction (he's not gay and nor is that club but he and I used to go along as guest instructors to teh Pink Triangle). If you can't get in touch with him (he's usually busy) try leaving a message on his board.

I know geographically that's not much use to you but I know there was a group from the north-east who used to come down to seminars with that Brummie club.

As to the people who say it shouldn't be a problem, they're right of course, it SHOULDN'T be a problem, but that doesn't mean that it isn't always. I did see some of my gay friends in aiki get negative attitudes and bigotry from straights. I wouldn't say it's common though, in fact if anything less common than in non-martial circles in my experience.

But as you've already had a couple of offers from people in your area on this thread, and they obviously know you're gay, I'd go along with them and see what their dojo are like if I were you.

BTW OT, the geezer who posted here from White Rose: I think I've trained with a couple of your people in the past and found it very good, but just thought I'd point out, there are three spellings of aikido on your top page!!! :D

batemanb
03-11-2005, 09:38 AM
When I googled Stonewall, it also listed John Chatfield as an instructor. There is a web site but my office system is blocking it as adult material. Google John Chatfield and Aikido and you can find more links. As Mat suggested above, if you call Stonewall, or track down John, they/he can put you in contact with someone who can help.

Nick Simpson
03-11-2005, 12:12 PM
You know, I never noticed that! Sorry, our web designer is a bloody southerner who doesnt even do aikido anymore, hes too busy swanning about in spirit bloody combat! Or something. ;)

jss
03-11-2005, 12:19 PM
Odd how another personal attack, this time using the word "troll" starts, isn't it? Still more interesting is that you and Fooks and Sean have been hung out to dry on a couple of legitimate issues to which you can't respond.... I'm still waiting for your answer to why the hand is spread in Yoshinkan, particularly after your arch superiority about how you study Yoshinkan, implying I don't know anything about it.

Inquiring minds want to know the answer about the spread hand, Ruth. I hope you're not going to ignore the question, since you were the one making the attempt to belittle me through your 'knowledge" of Yoshinkan.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I have trouble believing that Mike is a troll.
On the other hand, his style of discussion IS more in the realm of a mental chess game than in the talking/sharing attitude I am used to seeing on aikiweb. Some people like to play those kind of games and some don't, I guess.

Mike Sigman
03-11-2005, 12:29 PM
I have trouble believing that Mike is a troll.
On the other hand, his style of discussion IS more in the realm of a mental chess game than in the talking/sharing attitude I am used to seeing on aikiweb. Some people like to play those kind of games and some don't, I guess. I agree, Joep. I noticed that there is a tendency to have vague conversations that demur to social issues and don't ask direct questions, etc., in some sort of way that I guess is taken to be "harmonious". I tend to post more on forums where more rigorous use of statement, facts, cites, etc., are required as a convincing part of debate and discussion. No attitude is assumed by the rigour, BTW, on most of those lists, but I recognize that on some lists the expression of "feelings" is more important than facts. So it's a draw, I guess. ;) If someone can convince me logically why I should use more feelings than facts, I'll change. :D

Regards,

Mike

Aristeia
03-11-2005, 01:23 PM
If your still interested in a dojo Alex, check us out at:

www.whiteroseaikidone.co.uk

We have dojo's in durham and sunderland. Once you get past the thuggishness, then you'll find we are a nice bunch of people! ;)

Hope you find what your looking for.

I'd give this what reccommendation I can. I know the head of White Rose Shane Riley a little from correspondence and have seen some video of one of his seminars. I hold him in very high regard and am sure you'd get both a warm welcome and an effective practical approach in his organisation.

bogglefreak20
03-15-2005, 01:47 AM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the replys, I didnt expect so many, though I had hoped for at leat 1 gay aikido person to talk to me :-(


Well, you got your wish. I'm also gay and train in Ki Aikido. I can say, like yourself, that I don't make my lifestyle an issue in any and every discussion, but am honest when answering direct questions regarding the subject. I truly don't know and/or care how many people in our dojo realise what my sexual preferences are.

The policy in our dojo is that everyone willing to train in Ki Aikido following the dojo rules is welcome. No questions asked, no forms to fill out, no funny looks etc. Our sensei is often quite fascinated by (and perhaps a bit proud of) the fact that there is actually such a variety of people's ethnic backgrounds, professions, ages, cultures etc. in the dojo whenever we train.

So far my personal circumstances of any kind have never been an issue for my colleagues in Ki Aikido. I have always felt welcome.

I suggest you try it out and see for yourself. Though perhaps Aikido in itself, as some have already suggested, is not the best way to learn efficient self-defence in shortest time possible. Still, it's up to you. :D

bogglefreak20
03-15-2005, 05:20 AM
Strange, but after reading about aikido, I didn't think aikido people were like that - if the books are to be believed.

"Aikido people" are still just people. With their good and bad sides. Some saints, but mostly "sinners". We've all got some dirt on our heads.

As I said before...I recomend training in Aikido, because I have great experience with it. Though, as is quite obvious from my other posts, I don't train for self-defense purpouses. So, it's up to you to decide.

john.burn
03-15-2005, 09:47 AM
Hi Alex,

I used to go and train with the Stonewall bunch on a Wednesday night from time to time when they were running but the teacher left to go live / work in Holland and so they closed the club down. I was not a member of the club but had the blessing of my teacher to train with them. I think the Jujitsu club mentioned came down one day for a course they were holding so I guess I've trained with them too.

I wouldn't worry too much about being gay at an Aikido club, my teacher knew about my being gay and never had any problems with it and neither does anyone else in the club (I don't think they do anyway! lol). My partner comes to the club, he came to our dan gradings and if we have an event at the club he also comes along... hopefully he will be starting Aikido in June too. Most people know who he is or they find out by asking. It's honestly no big deal.

If you want to talk to someone else who's gay and into Aikido from the UK then feel free to PM me or email me.

samurai_kenshin
03-28-2005, 06:30 PM
there's a gay teen in my dojo and guess what? No one cares! He's a person doing aikido, just like the rest of us

Michael Neal
03-29-2005, 07:59 AM
If you make it an issue then other people may as well. You are there to train Aikido.

big old smiler
03-29-2005, 06:52 PM
Hi Alex, I train in your area, (just down the road in fact) and know of a few dojos in your area, I also happen to know that some gay people train in these dojos, though as you would expect it is a treated in a fairly unremarkable way in that nobody bothers to bring it up (as they could not give a dam). If you want the details then please get in touch. I think that you can send messages over heere if not I will watch this forum thing.

By the way, being gay does not stop you from doing anything (had to say that).

Best Wishes... mort

Alex Watts
03-31-2005, 05:15 PM
Hi Mort,

I am not sure how to reply to your private mesage. How many gay aikido people train with you? Are they in the club you teach at?

Alex

mj
03-31-2005, 05:21 PM
I am not sure how to reply to your private mesage....
You would go to his post, put the mouse over his name and left click it.

You get 6 options and you want the 2nd one 'send a private message to...' :)

Benjim
04-02-2005, 12:44 PM
Hi,

I'd just repeat what David Warden and Neil Morton said; I train at the DAN dojo in Newcastle (www.aikidonortheast.com). The Durham training is held by Phil Knight who is an *excellent* aikidoka. One of the things lots of us pride ourselves on, is our open-mindedness, and I'm sure you will see no predjudice at the dojo.

HTH

Ben

gintaiwan
04-08-2005, 11:50 AM
Alex,
I'm gay and I started aikido years ago, but have only been actively training for about 8 years total (that is, my training has been interrupted a few times for grad school, etc.). I've never heard anyone say anything really bad about gays, only one or two poor attempts at humor. I'm a moderator for an online glbt group (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/GLBTAikido/). We hope to work with IAGLMA (http://iaglma.org/), the group that organizes the martial arts division of the Gay Games (next one is in Chicago in 2006!), and even have a couple glbt aikido seminars. However, things have been going a bit slow. Anyway, you're welcome to sign up as a member. We've got quite a few members so far, and we're always looking to diversify the locations of members (too many Americans so far! [I'm one of them! haha!]). Also, u might be able to find a few others from the UK who can give you more suggestions.

On a personal note, while I'd love to have a bf that does aikido, I'm not out at the dojo. I just like to keep these areas seperate. I have my gay friends, and I have my aikido friends. In a nutshell, I want to keep things simple.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to me or post them on our bulletin board.

Good luck! I love aikido and hope you will too!

Greg

gintaiwan
04-08-2005, 11:52 AM
Alex,

Sorry, minor correction: We HOPE to have a couple glbt aikido seminars.

Greg

oudbruin
04-11-2005, 07:17 PM
Saddly, I fear that the MA community is largly homophobic.
While politics have no place on the mat, sometimes, it becomes hard to not "be outted", wether one wants to live by stealth mode or or be OUT- sometimes it's unavoidable.
One of my freinds who is transitional, and was just starting on hormones, stopped going to class when someone remarked about what happened to his body hair and "oh my God, you've got breasts.."
Untill people be come more accepting of the GLBT community.. you're better off using the US Army line- "don't ask and don't tell'..
For me I;m tired of making excuses and appoligising...
That is the reason why I started with aikido in the first place.
As for the Gay community, we have a gay oylimpics and a gay rodeo, and I know several lesbians who hold sandan (or higher) belts in other ma forms.
I used to say I'm from New Jersey Ya gotta problem with that??
You can guess what I say now.
HAVE YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT??
GOOD-confront your own inner demons and than lets talk....
Regards
HBH

Tony Hudspith
04-16-2005, 02:19 PM
Hi Alex
My name is Tony Hudspith and I belong to the United Kingdom Aikido Union which has classes in your area. Whilst I myself am not gay I know a lot of people in our classes that are gay both men and women. In Aikido there should never be any problem with anyones sexuality. I would recommend that you go to the Gateshead International Stadium as I know a friend of mine, Kevin Price, has a dojo there. Alternatively check out our website for further info at www.aikidonortheast.com
Good luck and if you do start with us say hi on the next course.
Regards

Tony

big old smiler
04-22-2005, 01:10 PM
[ I would recommend that you go to the Gateshead International Stadium as I know a friend of mine, Kevin Price, has a dojo there.


That class is no more tony, Kev teaches at alnwick now. Eeeeeee, leading people astray again.

(Unless it has reopened in which case I am talking out of my arse,......again)

Mort

Creature_of_the_id
04-23-2005, 12:13 PM
Hi Tony,
Neil is correct. I dont teach at Gateshead any more.
although since I closed the class I have had so many enquiries about it it may be worth getting someone to open it up again.

However, I have been in touch with Alex and let him know where the nearest clubs to him are :)

catch you on wednesday

Lambdadragon
11-04-2006, 07:34 AM
Thanks for posting your questions and concerns Alex. If you are interested, there is a gay and lesbian aikido forumn known as Niji Aikido which you can access at <http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/GLBTAikido/>. All of the nearly 400 members world-wide belong to a home dojo.

There is one gay Yondan who opened a dojo in the gay and lesbian center in North Carolina, but membership is not restricted to sexual orientation. There are several lesbian and gay aikidoka who own dojos around the world, but once again, none of them restrict membership. Sensei John Chatfield's Stonewall Aikido was mentioned in a prior posting. One of his senior students informed me a couple years ago that he was having health issues and I am not certain that dojo is still open. If you send me an email at <Lambdadragon@aol.com> I'll connect you with my contact.

I have been practicing Aikido since 1998 and have never experienced bigotry in the dojo for my being gay. The topic has never come up on the matt, but many times groups of us will go out to a pub afterwards and it occaisionally will arise in the natural course of discussion. It is never an issue I blurt out, but when people share about their families and ask me about mine, I am never afraid to honestly share who I am with nice people. I am a gay dad, and recently a gay granddad :).

I have practiced Aikido in several states and countries...even attending practice with my eldest son at the dojo where he practices in Shanghai.

Another of my Yondan friends just returned from a year at Hombu dojo in Japan. He informed me there are many gay and/or bi Aikidoka. A handful were even Yakuza.

Enjoy practicing Aikido and don't worry about sexual orientation being an issue.

Mike Sigman
11-04-2006, 09:03 AM
Saddly, I fear that the MA community is largly homophobic.Tsk, tsk. The butchering of the English language again. If someone disapproves of a lifestyle, such as a bohemian one or a spartan military lifestyle, it is not a "phobia". We can disapprove of pedophilia, vegetarianism, and long-distance runners without being a ".....phobe" of any sort. At best, the "....phobe" words used like this are simply "gotcha's" and do nothing to further any constructive dialogue. Besides, we literalists get shudders to language butchered like that. I'm a butcheraphobe. ;)


Mike

deepsoup
11-04-2006, 11:12 AM
it is not a "phobia"
With you it seems to be bordering on some kind of obsession, is there something you're trying to tell us Pastor Mike? ;)
(Smiley added to make it look like I'm being friendly. Yours doesn't fool anyone either.)

David at least had something relevant to add to this long-dormant thread.

DonMagee
11-04-2006, 03:41 PM
I spar with girls in bjj, i supose a gay guy wouldn't be any different, well with the exception of possibly more upper body strenght.

Mike Sigman
11-04-2006, 07:27 PM
With you it seems to be bordering on some kind of obsession, is there something you're trying to tell us Pastor Mike? ;)
(Smiley added to make it look like I'm being friendly. Yours doesn't fool anyone either.)

David at least had something relevant to add to this long-dormant thread.I'm not trying to "fool" anyone, Shawn. I'm pointing out something that is factually true, aside from the point that calling people who disagree with you names or suggesting that they have a phobia.

But notice how once again, as you've done many times in the past, I made a post that was within the construct of a factual issue and you've turned it into a personal discussion. Are you unable to logically debate an issue? Try to stay on topic, please.

Mike Sigman

Infamousapa
11-05-2006, 04:52 AM
Oh No.....
And This Whole Time I Just Thought Everyone Was Extra Nice At My Dojo...now We Have Gay Aikido Artist...i Quit..

ian
11-05-2006, 05:15 AM
My concern is this: I am gay and while I don't flaunt my sexuality, I do not hide it either. I don't mince around dressed all in pink being camp or anything silly like that, but if someone asks me for example if I have a girlfriend, I will tell them I am gay.


Alex - I'd say that sex and sexuality has nothing to do with the dojo. Often when people start aikido they get embarrassed because of the close physical contact (especially with pins), but this soon wears off as they start to focus on training.

I'd say that aikido is no more pro- or anti- gay than any other type of club; it depends on the people you train with. I doubt whether there are all gay aikido clubs and I would question the motivation of setting up such a club (its like having an all male or all female club). We've had one gay (as far as I'm aware) training with us, and he never hid it; but I'd be suprised if anyone except me even knew or cared.

Roman Kremianski
11-05-2006, 06:46 AM
Gay, Straight, whatever...more people for me to throw around anyway. :D

MikeLogan
11-05-2006, 10:22 PM
So one would better serve themselves by openly disapproving, and if need be, disapproving of someone else's disapproval. I guess bigot is a word assigned by the French to the Normans describing the former's disapproval of the latter's intense disapprobation of anyone outside their culture.

Anyway, it seems most of your gripe is language and reason based, Mike. The strict rationing of rationality I very much agree with, but the formation or reformation of language conventions should be kept simple until the actual convention is reached.

psenson
11-11-2006, 10:06 PM
I'd still like to hear from some gay aikido people though.

OK, consider yourself hearing :)

Actually, it was someone pointing out your posts to me that got me signed up to the forums...My name is Pat, I'm one of the senior students at Shugyo Aikido in Toronto Canada. I'm both gay and completely out at the dojo. Doesn't mean I make anything of it in class, but my partner comes to any dojo parties that we hold, he and I have been known to host a few for that matter.

I treat it the same way any other person treats their spouse or equivalent...if we're changing and talking about our families, mine is fair game for conversation too. I think this is what often gets missed in these discussions (no matter what the forum). Many (not all) straight people forget how many times a day they assert their sexuality (by talking about their relationships...or, in the case of the change room at our dojo when the younger men are around, by talking about the relationships they'd like to have). As a gay man, doing the same thing quickly becomes 'flaunting' ones sexuality.

Having said that, I do find the dojo a fairly accepting place. Of course, only one student there (other than the chief instructor) out ranks me, so I might have a slight advantage over a beginner :D and any of the junior students who are gay know that the dojo's a pretty safe place to be with me around :)

Alex, feel free to contact me directly if you want to talk more.

Cheers

Pat (second post ever, and already into politics!)

Guilty Spark
11-12-2006, 08:11 AM
As with most kids growing up it seems I used to be quite 'anti-gay' for the simple fact that it was just common place. You made fun of gays. This carried over into the army. "gays shouldn't be in the military, bla bla".
One remembrance day drinking with the vets one of our guys made a comment in front of one of the vets, no doubt just trying to fit in. Why should we let gays in the military?
"Because their buried on the beaches of Normandy"
How do you argue with that?

Some guys (and girls) are uncomfortable near gays and I don't hold that against them. It's their business. Who am I to judge how they feel or were brought up. Same goes with race. Some people are uncomfortable near people of different races or culture. Theirs a few cultures I'm very uncomfortable near. I don't hold it against them or consider people less for it. To each their own.

Gays who flaunt their relationship in front of everyone are just as annoying as everyone else who does it. Why do they do it? Same way soldiers, police officers, teachers, DJs and everyone else make sure EVERYONE around them hears and knows what they are or what they do. It's just their way of letting people know.

I love the atmosphere in in Aikido. You can test yourself and challenge yourself without the ego of beating someone or trying to prove your better. Look at Aikiweb and all the drastically different political views.
The dojo is a place people form all walks of life, race, sexual orientation political views and careers can come and be peers. It's silly to think people won't have likes, dislikes & prejudices, just remember to treat them like politics and leave it at the door.

An Aikido dojo to me is a sacred place where humans share something.

markwalsh
11-12-2006, 07:36 PM
Really appreciated that post Grant as guess it would get across to more people than the way I would have put it. If you're military or ex you're a credit to the service,
regards
Mark

Guilty Spark
11-13-2006, 05:07 PM
Thanks Mark!
I've read hate is fear turned inside out and I believe it.

I think many lessons are only learned through pain.
I've looked into the eyes of a man who hated who I was/represented so much, without every having met me, that he killed himself in an attempt to try and harm me and my friends. He also took out half a dozen civilians including children.
Really got me thinking. Learning not to hate people but their actions.

Thats kinda depressing though sorry :)

ian
11-14-2006, 07:04 AM
Why should we let gays in the military?
"Because they're buried on the beaches of Normandy"


That sure is hard hitting!

Also agree, especially in combat, seeing the hate in someones eyes is often more terrifying and perplexing than knowing what they are going to do. Something hard to replicate in the dojo (though I do try to look as hateful as possible when attacking ;))


(PS. I corrected the spelling mistake in this version ;))

Lambdadragon
05-11-2008, 03:48 PM
The August 1-2, 2010 Lesbian and Gay Cologne/Köln Germany Aikido Seminar is the brainchild of Clarissa Henke, who has a dojo in Berlin .

Clarissa has rented a dojo in Cologne/Köln Germany to coincide with the 2010 Gay Games . The Aikido seminar will not be part of the Gay Games but will run simultaneously. Niji Aikido members will therefore be able to take advantage of many of the sporting and cultural events of the Gay Games, while at the same time joining their Aikido friends on the mat for two days.

The Games is expecting over 50,000 attendees. I'm not certain how many will be competitors.

The Aikido seminar will include four 1.5 hour sessions each on Sunday and Monday with different instructors for each sessions. If the Gay Games is interested, Niji would also be willing to conduct a special Aikido event/demonstration for the games. The autonomy from the games will allow for planning of Aikido activities without the need to receive either Gay Games or IAGLMA approval.

Clarissa knows many lesbian aikidoka in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and in the Netherlands.

Clarissa is still working on ideas for Cologne and would like to collect names of potential session instructors who would enjoy participating in the Aikido seminar. To keep costs down, those willing to be instructors would also be willing take a smaller than usual fee for the class they teach. She is looking mostly for people
who have a desire to come to the games.

Would you know of someone who would be interested in instructing one of the sessions?

If so, please let either Clarissa or myself know.

numazu
05-12-2008, 08:12 AM
I think that dojo's should be sexual orientation free. Anybody and everybody should train together. Everybody has to get a long in society regardless if we really agree with other peoples politcs, beliefs etc. I am against any suggestion of having gay dojo's. That is exclusivity and not in the spirit of mutual cooperation that an aikido dojo should be. More people only hang around with their own kind then society just gets more closed minded.
Train with others and be honest with yourself and with them. Thats all anybody can ask.

Dan O'Day
05-12-2008, 07:23 PM
I posted a message on this thread a couple days ago and then another today. Now they are both gone. I'm a new user to this board.

Do any of you folks know why posts may dissappear?

My last post of today was in reply to someone who directly referenced my initial posting. Are direct replies not permitted?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Lauren Walsh
05-12-2008, 11:18 PM
Hi Alex,

I do not believe in or condone practices which involve segregating people in training due to gender, sexual orientation, race etc. If Aikido is about harmony and love, then how can we possibly believe in or practice these values if we discriminate against ourselves or others, or try to place ourselves into different 'catagories'.

I train at four different dojos a week which is a wonderful oppotunity as it allows me to train with people of greatly varrying ability and from all walks of life. Our club is primarily male dominated, but most of the men I train with are hardly 'macho'.

Any Aikido dojo should be place of love, nurturing and acceptance. When you are on the mat you are there to train; superficial issues such as sexual orientation should never be a cause of concerne for anyone. Anybody who does take offense to training with someone who is homosexual absolutely needs to reassess their understanding and comprehension of Aikido principles.

Alex, in my opinion an "all gay Aikido" club is not a truely wise path to take. In the same light, I would never take a womens only class or a hetrosexuals only class! Don't segregate yourself. No sense of freedom, love or harmony will come from it.

Best Wishes,
Lauren

dalen7
05-13-2008, 02:19 AM
Alex I suppose you focus to much on mental labels.
None of us are the labels we make about ourselves.

What is gay exactly? How does that define you.
Yes you can make a label and let it define you, or you can drop labels and just be Alex.

I would highly recommend listening to Eckhart Tolles audio books (A New Earth is a good place - ) to get a better understanding of where I coming from.

You act as though you have to defend some identity, at least it appears this way. Here is what I mean...

Someone ask you if you have a girlfriend and you feel that you are not being yourself if you do not go into an explanation that no you dont have one because you are gay.

Whats wrong with just saying you dont have a girlfriend?
Its almost like a defense over some identity.

Hope you dont mind, but I will use a little analogy that Jesus actions used...

He got along with everyone quite well - except for the religious crowd - precisely because he did not see a prostitute, a homosexual, tax collector, etc.

He saw people...point blank.
Those people he did not define by past actions - and this is what liberated them to make a choice in future actions...not some guilt trip over needing to change. They were who they were at the precise moment they were with Jesus.

It was not a prostitute or gay eating with Jesus, it was Mary or Tom, minus the egoic stories that we cary.

Once we get that part the world begins to change, I believe...
And the irony is that indeed most Christians missed Jesus teachings (by not observing his actions described in the Bible) and have become a hate group to everything they dont agree with.

(Not knocking Christians, if I carried a label I would be one...in fact I was an evangelical Christian, most my life - missionary on top of that - )

So I believe it boils down to all what I said above.

Do you feel comfortable with yourself? If so, go train.

The fact is your their to train not to chit chat and gossip, right?
Well, its easy for me as I dont speak Hungarian so I cant talk to anyone in my dojo. lol

I do realize that one key thing for people is the social aspect of it...if thats what your looking for, yes you will find that most people will identify you, not as Alex but as Alex the gay - and that may also be due to the fact that is how you present yourself when asked about questions as simple as if you have a girlfriend.

Im not say be deceiving - but I think your responses will change and adapt when you shift your view and see who you really are. ;)

Peace

Happy aikido training

dAlen

Peter Goldsbury
05-13-2008, 03:02 AM
I posted a message on this thread a couple days ago and then another today. Now they are both gone. I'm a new user to this board.

Do any of you folks know why posts may dissappear?

My last post of today was in reply to someone who directly referenced my initial posting. Are direct replies not permitted?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

The thread has been split and your posts put in another thread in the Open Discussions sub-forum.

Dan O'Day
05-13-2008, 09:10 AM
Thank you Peter. I located the new thread.

Mike Sigman
05-13-2008, 09:26 AM
Someone ask you if you have a girlfriend and you feel that you are not being yourself if you do not go into an explanation that no you dont have one because you are gay.

Whats wrong with just saying you dont have a girlfriend?
Its almost like a defense over some identity.That's a good question and the whole discussion of societal norms is a fascinating read in good books on anthropology. "Does he have a girlfriend", "does he have a job", "did he go to college", and so on are all more or less pecking-order questions that people use to sort out who stands where in human society, who is desireable as a mate, who gets what favors because they can return favors, and so on. If you're really interested in the topic, it's worth an extensive read.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Takuan
05-13-2008, 10:50 AM
A gay aikido dojo? What a terrible idea!

I practice aikido exactly because I find it a discipline to educate and integrate people. We are all wearing gis and have a common purpose to pursue day after day on the mat. Our sensei does not even allow us to wear any kind of jewelry or wedding rings on the mat.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2008, 11:07 AM
I guess an interesting aside to this is if I walk into a dojo everyone knows right off the bat that I am black. :D If they chose to attach labels or expect patterns of behavior based on that, that's up to them, and there isn't much I can do about it. For a long time that bothered me quite a bit...but as I've gotten more comfortable with who I am, not so much, and not so often.

I've had some gay/lesbian friends in my life, and I'd say most of them just lived their lives. They went to ball room dancing classes, aikido classes, basket weaving classes...

They didn't go to "Gay" ball room dancing, aikido, basket weaving. What exactly would be the point? ;) Baskets are woven the same way whether you are gay or straight. :D

Marching for AIDS awareness or civil rights or what ever would be different, as those activities are targeted toward specific goals directly related to a particular lifestyle (and I in no way mean that in any pejorative sense; I realize many people who aren't gay march for AIDS awareness, for instance).

Best,
Ron

lbb
05-13-2008, 01:32 PM
The reason why a gay person might want to not train with straight people is straight people's homophobia. Who wants to train in an environment where people are freaked out at the idea of touching you or being in the same dressing room as you? Yet that's how many straight people feel about gay people. You can disclaim all you want about how aikido's not like that or your dojo's not like that, but the world is like that. Gay people aren't to blame and they're not being silly if they want to train and not be harassed or hated on. Chances are, their concerns are based on a lifetime of incidents of bigotry that most straight people don't even believe exist.

Ron Tisdale
05-13-2008, 01:47 PM
Hi Mary, your statement sounds almost verbatim like an arguement I would have made 20 years ago for Black or African only environments for a host of things.

Somehow though, it just seems to miss the point. If you don't want to be hated on, get out there and let people get to know you as a human being.

They'll learn quickly enough that you don't find them in the least bit attractive! :D

Best,
Ron

Lambdadragon
05-14-2008, 03:51 AM
I am against any suggestion of having gay dojo's.

Hello Alastair,

Who is supporting a gay only dojo? Not anything I posted. My message was about the Gay Games which occur every four years, and btw heterosexuals are also welcome to participate. The Lesbian and Gay Aikido Association called Niji also has heterosexual members. The Niji Seminar will be held for two days and all of the instructors and participants belong to and regularly train in regular dojos. Even my friend who runs a dojo in the gay and lesbian center in North Carolina has heterosexual members too. So before we lynch those damn gay only dojo people, lets make certain we know who they are.

numazu
05-14-2008, 04:01 AM
Hello Alastair,

So before we lynch those damn gay only dojo people, lets make certain we know who they are.

Bit of an over reaction to my opinion there David. "Lynching dam gay dojo people" is quite an extreme way to express something I have not at all inferred.
My view is that it is simply not necessary to distinguish a club based on its sexuality. I really dont see the connection being relevant. By putting a tag on a dojo you really are not sending out an everyone welcome vibe. You could well be right that a gay dojo means that straight people are welcome but is that what people are going to think or feel?
A dojo is a place to leave everything at the door. And I mean everything. Any intolerances or bias or opinions etc. It's a place of training - that's it.

Lambdadragon
05-14-2008, 04:06 AM
They didn't go to "Gay" ball room dancing... What exactly would be the point? ;)

Hello Ron,

Gay ballroom and also country dancing is very popular and one reason that may not be obvious is it is a great way to meet a potential gay date. :) ...but not the only reason.

Lambdadragon
05-14-2008, 04:16 AM
Bit of an over reaction to my opinion there David. "Lynching dam gay dojo people" is quite an extreme way to express something I have not at all inferred.

My apology Alastair, your comment was not in the extreme. I should not have stated it so.

Regarding the gay dojo point, another of my friends runs a taekwondo dojo in San Francisco. They do have heterosexual members. One is a family with teens. The parents like the dojo atmosphere because they feel it does not have macho climate that they experienced in other dojos they visited.

Personally, I train at a regular dojo that does have a couple other gay men as members. No one gives it a second thought. We fit in quite nicely and consider everyone there our friends. One of the men once even brought his partner to the dojo.

Elijah211Barr
05-15-2008, 02:54 PM
It shouldnt be

Lyle Bogin
05-15-2008, 11:14 PM
Ron, that just seems naive. "going out there" in our great country as openly gay can get you killed. Kids who come out to their parents wind up homeless, or horribly abused. So it might not be such a bad idea to give people who have been beaten, raped, mentally tortured, or have generally lived their lives in fear the opportunity to get educated without having to be either a target or a hero.

Ron Tisdale
05-16-2008, 08:35 AM
Ok, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how having a "gay" aikido dojo has anything to do with any of the above. If they face these things in a "regular" aikido dojo, then that dojo should be closed down.

I've faced just about all of the things you've described in my life. But I don't train in a "Black" aikido dojo. I just train in an aikido dojo. Having a seperate place to train wouldn't help me in the least, and certainly wouldn't address the issues you mention.

Best,
Ron

Basia Halliop
05-17-2008, 06:08 PM
Alex, I seriously doubt you can answer your question by asking on an internet board. Considering how many different countries in the world there are dojos in, and how many very different cities in each country, what answer you get will have way way more to do with the city the dojo's in and the individuals in that particular dojo than anything remotely connected to Aikido itself. The only way to find out if you're going to feel welcome in a particular dojo is to go to that dojo and feel it out and see for yourself if it's a place you want to spend more time.

Michael Douglas
05-18-2008, 03:46 PM
Someone has mentioned John Bluming already right?
If they havent, then I offer this humour ;
He said (sort of) when shown some Aikdido practice ; "If I wanted to watch blokes dancing I'd have gone to a gay bar".
So ... a gay Aikidojo? Already happened.

lbb
05-19-2008, 09:51 AM
Ok, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how having a "gay" aikido dojo has anything to do with any of the above. If they face these things in a "regular" aikido dojo, then that dojo should be closed down.

I've faced just about all of the things you've described in my life. But I don't train in a "Black" aikido dojo. I just train in an aikido dojo. Having a seperate place to train wouldn't help me in the least, and certainly wouldn't address the issues you mention.

Ron, I respect your experiences and acknowledge that you have been in a situation that was similar in some ways -- but you haven't been in the same situation. Please respect the struggles of others and don't be dismissive if they don't choose your solution, which for them is a partial solution at best.

It's simplistic and more than a little childish to say that all bigotry is the same. It differs in its nature, its methods and its impact; for this reason, while there are always things to learn from the experiences of others who have also been discriminated against, each situation of bigotry is unique and requires its own unique solution. Even speaking in larger terms of different oppressed groups, black people and gay people face different challenges from bigotry, not just because of their differing histories but because of the differing nature of their stigma. Your stigma (using the sociological term as used by Irving Goff) is a visible one -- it is known from your birth, and shared by at least some of your family. In contrast, homosexuality is an invisible stigma, not known at birth and perhaps not shared by anyone in the gay person's family or community. A black person is not born into a family that hates and reviles blackness; the same cannot be said of gay people. A black person walks into a dojo, and everyone knows he/she is black; the same is not true of a gay person. It's a different problem, and the solution that worked for you won't necessarily cut it.

Ron Tisdale
05-19-2008, 10:20 AM
It's simplistic and more than a little childish to say that all bigotry is the same.

Ok, so my arguement is simplistic and childish? Please. No one said it is all the same, but enough characteristics are there in common to enable me to have some grasp of the condition. I combine that with the experiences I have with friends who are gay or lesbian, and make my judgement calls accordingly.

This does not make me simplistic or childish...it may mean I have a different opinion than yours though. ;)

It's a different problem, and the solution that worked for you won't necessarily cut it.

Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...some others say create an environment where every one is the same. That will not address the larger issue in the society (in my opinion). So which solution is simplistic and childish? Addressing the problem in an existing dojo, or saying I don't like y'all, so I'm going to my own room and play? ;) See, any position can be mis-characterized. :D

I think we as humans are better off at this point in time in coming together and working together. Learning from each other where we can, and learning to tolerate difference where we cannot find common ground.

Insulting each other or even our arguements is not a part of that.

Best,
Ron

lbb
05-19-2008, 11:27 AM
Ok, so my arguement is simplistic and childish?

Did your argument say that all bigotry is the same?

FWIW, I wasn't thinking about your argument, but about the many people who haven't been on the receiving end of bigotry and who say fatuous things like, "All bigotry is bad" or "racism is racism", as if there were no difference between (for example) a black person being shadowed by store personnel because they're automatically under suspicion the second they walk in the store, and a white person who once got called "honky" by someone in junior high.

Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...

Which means what, exactly?

some others say create an environment where every one is the same. That will not address the larger issue in the society (in my opinion).

Let's assume you're right about that -- I don't think you are, but the point can be argued. If so...so what? Why is it the task of an individual gay person to "address the larger issue in society"? That person's job is to live their life as best they can, to make their own spaces where they can survive and thrive and stay sane. Why is it the job of the victim of discrimination to "address the larger issue in society"?

So which solution is simplistic and childish? Addressing the problem in an existing dojo, or saying I don't like y'all, so I'm going to my own room and play? ;) See, any position can be mis-characterized. :D

Except, Ron, that you had already done exactly that with regard to the idea of a gay dojo. So you're not in a position to get indignant over being called simplistic and childish, even if I had done so, which I didn't. Glass houses and all that.

I think we as humans are better off at this point in time in coming together and working together. Learning from each other where we can, and learning to tolerate difference where we cannot find common ground.

I think we as human beings are in different places, and it's not for anyone to say what another individual, much less an entire group of which the speaker is not a member, should be doing in order to be "better off". I think we need to let people seek their own solutions, which will take a myriad of forms, and not be judgmental when they sometimes seem counterintuitive to our outsider perspective.

Ron Tisdale
05-19-2008, 11:53 AM
Did your argument say that all bigotry is the same?
No, it said there are similar componants, and that I've faced many of them.

FWIW, I wasn't thinking about your argument

Ah, that's why I was confused...you mentioned my name and a quote from me first...

Ron Tisdale wrote:
Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...

Which means what, exactly?
It means address the problem where it exists. If all the things in the original example are taking place in a dojo, that dojo needs to be closed down. If the members are simply openly disrepectful of others lifestyles, that should be dealt with by the dojo leadership. If someone is being bullied on the mat, the instructor should be informed and the issue addressed directly. What ever it takes. Doesn't seem like a mystery to me.

Let's assume you're right about that -- I don't think you are, but the point can be argued. If so...so what? Why is it the task of an individual gay person to "address the larger issue in society"?


Why shouldn't they participate in addressing the issue? The issue affects them directly doesn't it? Or should we wait for the government to do it for us? Why shouldn't we actively participate in changing organizations and entities in our own local community (like dojo) for the better?

That person's job is to live their life as best they can, to make their own spaces where they can survive and thrive and stay sane. Why is it the job of the victim of discrimination to "address the larger issue in society"?

Why indeed? So we should sit around and whine for 400 years, but do nothing to change the society that oppresses us? Can't buy that myself. Even if it's only in my own local sphere, I can still work for positive change. Some would say that is the ONLY place you can really make such change.

You don't have to shove your lifestyle down someone's throat. Just stand up personally for what is right.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
05-19-2008, 11:58 AM
Except, Ron, that you had already done exactly that with regard to the idea of a gay dojo. So you're not in a position to get indignant over being called simplistic and childish, even if I had done so, which I didn't.

Uh, where exactly did I do that? Post a quote, and if I agree, I'll appologize.

Best,
Ron

lbb
05-19-2008, 03:00 PM
You don't have to shove your lifestyle down someone's throat. Just stand up personally for what is right.

Best,
Ron

It's a waste of time tp engage someone who would trot out that tired and hateful canard in support of their arguments. I'm done here.

Ron Tisdale
05-19-2008, 03:14 PM
YIKES. Must have hit a hot button. Sorry if that line offends, I certainly didn't mean any offense by it.

Let me re-phrase: I don't think that you have to march down the street carrying a sign post to stand up and oppose injustice. Most often you can do it in small, quiet, persistant ways.

Pardon any canards...

Best,
Ron

DH
05-19-2008, 04:28 PM
Hi Ron
While that is true, I think at a certain point action on a national level needs to go along with personal witness. After all the years, long years, It really took Martin Luther King to Be the galvanizing voice that lead both Back and whites into the streets. It was also the burgioning of a new era with Television broadcasting all the hatred, the dogs being let loose on moms and the elderly protesters to make complacent people wake up. So it is with gay rights. People sometimes need a personal contact that speaks to them to break steriotypcial views they often were raised with. But a national voice to lead goes a long way for national change.
It is unfortunate that we often let the media now choose our leaders. Why? They make spokesman out of the most polarizing of the voices available for good sound-bites, instead of the most intelligent for thoughful discourse in the long term.
Example? The people picked Mr. King.
The media picked Al Sharpton.
We suffer for lack of leadership on many fronts; empty hope of change without real substance and a plan, or the same old plan, (lobbying, bribery and special interest) without any real hope of change.:rolleyes:

DH
05-19-2008, 04:30 PM
Deleted as it was already addressed

Mike Sigman
05-19-2008, 05:46 PM
YIKES. Must have hit a hot button. Sorry if that line offends, I certainly didn't mean any offense by it.

Let me re-phrase: I don't think that you have to march down the street carrying a sign post to stand up and oppose injustice. Most often you can do it in small, quiet, persistant ways.

Pardon any canards...

Best,
RonYou just lost, Ron. You meekly accepted the guilt-charge/labelling of what you said. Loser. You gotta learn to label and guilt back at 'em. ;)

Problem is, we now have 40 years of politically-correct society where the label charges are counted as bona fide playing cards that outweigh facts.

Mike

Lyle Bogin
05-19-2008, 06:12 PM
Being gay is like being black...... 50 years ago.

DH
05-19-2008, 06:32 PM
No it isn't. Not in many respects. But there isn't a need to exaggerate to validate. The discrimination is true enough

Ron Tisdale
05-20-2008, 08:09 AM
And in fact, no one is saying it doesn't exist. What I (at least) am saying is that just because it exists, doesn't mean that the best way to fight it is to isolate yourself in a "Gay" dojo.

Yeah, Mike. I understand sensitivity to certain phrases, but jeez, sometime just look under the hood at what someone is saying.

Being gay is like being black...... 50 years ago

I wasn't here 50 years ago, though my relatives have given me a pretty good picture. But hey, just for the sake of conversation, 50 years ago, I could have put on a suit and tie, and not been admitted to many resturants, hotels, etc. If I'm gay and I put on a suit, not one of those establishments would turn me away. Not now, and not then either. Make of that what you will...

Best,
Ron

Jacqueline von Arb
10-17-2009, 06:20 PM
This thread is a bit old (Alex, you still around?)... but I thought i'd share this:
The Gay Games VIII are held in Köln (Cologne) in the first week of August 2010. And Aikido is featured within the discipline 'Martial Arts': http://www.games-cologne.de/en/sport/sports/Martial+Arts

sakumeikan
02-23-2010, 05:54 PM
Hi all, I would like some help please.

I would like to start a martial art for the purpose of self defence and after some research I have decided aikido is best suited to me as I am not a big strong guy. I live in the North East of England and so am looking for a club in the area.

My concern is this: I am gay and while I don't flaunt my sexuality, I do not hide it either. I don't mince around dressed all in pink being camp or anything silly like that, but if someone asks me for example if I have a girlfriend, I will tell them I am gay.

What I would like to know is:

1. Are there any all gay aikido clubs?
2. Is my sexuality a problem in learning Aikido with regards to other students?
3. Are there any local clubs where my sexuality won't be an issue?
4. Are there any openly gay Aikido people I can chat with here to find out their experiences?

Any help will be much appreciated.
Alex
Dear Alex,
I wouldnt worry overmuch about being gay .In the dojos in Durham nobody questions anybody's sexual proclivities.Just go along to a dojo and train.Why bother about an issue like this?If yoou require any info.Reply to this blog.Cheers, Joe.

Jon Diesch
03-09-2010, 05:57 AM
Just to add to Jacqueline's post, there is to be an Aikido seminar in Cologne during the Gay Games, in august 2010, the details of which are here: http://www.games-cologne.de/de/static/fansfriends/aikido-seminar-international

Hope to see everyone there!

Jon Diesch
03-09-2010, 06:23 AM
Details of the cologne seminar, during the Gay Games this summer, are now available here: http://www.games-cologne.de/de/static/fansfriends/aikido-seminar-international

Hope to see everyone there!

Jacqueline von Arb
03-10-2010, 03:00 AM
Thanks, Johathan! Any info on who the 8 instructors will be? (maybe a bit too early to know?)

Jon Diesch
03-10-2010, 04:19 AM
One of them will be me...

RED
03-10-2010, 04:47 PM
Being gay is like being black...... 50 years ago.

With all respect to the gay community, that's offensive to blacks. I can't recall the last time I saw a "No Gays, Straights ONLY" signs outside of a dinner or department store.

I agree with Ron.
That's over emphasis. You don't have to over emphasize to make a point :D The statement "it's bad to discriminate against gays" would have been just enough. :D

lbb
03-11-2010, 08:08 AM
With all respect to the gay community, that's offensive to blacks. I can't recall the last time I saw a "No Gays, Straights ONLY" signs outside of a dinner or department store.

That's because they don't need signs.

The comparison is in some ways a poor one --and in other ways an exceedingly good one. A lot of straight people think that gay people have it all hunky dory now. News flash: popular-culture idiocy like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" does not equality make. Some fun facts about the legal status of gays in the United States:

Consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex were only decriminalized in the United States in 2003.
Both public and private sector employment discrimination against gays is legal in most US states.
Housing discrimination against gays is legal in most US states.
Refusal of service on the basis of sexual orientation is legal in most US states. As I said, they don't need signs.
Marriage between same-sex couples is only legal in five US states and the District of Columbia. In 45 states, same-sex couples may not marry; furthermore, same-sex couples who are legally married in other states are unconstitutionally denied their rights under the full faith and credit clause of the US Constitution. These rights include, but are not limited to, 1138 statutory provisions "in which marital status is a factor in determining or receiving 'benefits, rights, and privileges."

In short, there is no sweeping federal legislation equivalent to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that grants civil rights to gays throughout the entire United States. What exists instead is a patchwork of partial rights under continual threat and attack. Given all that, do you really think the absence of a few signs means anything?

akiy
03-11-2010, 10:40 AM
Hi folks,

Please try to keep the thread pertinent to aikido and the original toopic. If you wish to move the topic domain outside of aikido, please do so in the Open Discussions forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

shakou
03-11-2010, 05:38 PM
What a thoroughly interesting (if not marred by patches of pomposity and pedantry) thread..... I wonder also if old Alex found what he was looking for, I hope he did, If we can have marital rights for gay people then why not also have martial rights as well....? :D