A question I have been grappling with was touched on in many of the replies to the underestimated post. I am training in a country which is segregated in most public spheres. Our dojo does allow men and women to train together, however, not everyone agrees with this policy, and it has been a source of conflict among many on several occassions. In a seminar recently, I was told informally not to approach men I don't know to ask them to train with me (I am a woman) as it may be considered insulting to them. After many instances of being left alone while everyone else paired up, I approached a man and he reluctantly began to train with me. He was so violent that I was sure he was close to breaking my arm several times. The sensei came over and instructed us to "play nice" but of course there was no point made about the general issue of gender and the problem of men and women training together in a situation where the "culture" looks down on this practice. I would be curious what others believe I should do in this situation where the culture of aikido is at odds with the culture of my country.