Re: Physical contact vs. "no-touch" policy
I think so much of sexual intimidation and inappropriate contact is dependent on the complex relationship between two people. I myself am naturally a very physical person - both in the dojo and outside the dojo. Also I sometimes make jokes with sexual inuendos as well (outside the dojo). However it is extremely important to judge what is appropriate with a particular person, so that they are not upset by it. Basically, if someone is upset by the physical contact or the lecidiousness, the other person has made a bad judgement and should be made aware of the fact immediately - and future behaviour disciplined.
Personally I find it easy in aikido since the concentration on training and teaching means I never think of any sexual undertones. To some extent I do think it depends on the 'purity' of intention. In aikido there is no need for contact which is in any way overtly sexual (even though some contact may be considered 'intimate').
I would hate to see an increase of the aversion to physical touch - I think it is essential to human psychological health, and I do believe that the contact in aikido is actually psycholigcally beneficial. This is especially the case with children, who should feel relaxed with normal physical contact (both giving and receiving). Of course your have to be careful about contact, to prevent court cases; but if you are aware of how comfortable the person is with different levels of contact, and there is no sexual objective perceived by either party, I cannot see a case being brought.
P.S. I don't work with children - obviously what is acceptable with children is slightly different since they are much more vulnerable to accepting what we, society (and their parents!) will consider inappropriate behaviour.
Last edited by ian : 05-17-2005 at 11:22 AM.