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Old 03-15-2006, 11:25 AM   #2
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,135
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

??? You're kidding?

I've had some mild experience with this sort of thing, but not exactly. My issue was a student that refused to speak Japanese or participate in any "Japanese rituals." I explained that he would not be comfortable practicing, given his constraints. After a few classes, he realized that fact and left. If you are worried about legal liability, you should definitely get a lawyer.

That said, the issue appears to be whether or not the student can participate in class based on his religious beliefs. I would begin by stating that while a student may request special needs to participate in class, you cannot absolutely guarantee that his requests can be honored. Your student needs to know that he may (intentially or unintentially) come into contact with a female student during training. There are some alternatives that may be available such as solo training (sote waza) or only working with male students, but you have to be sensitive not to degrade your existing students' training quality to accomodate a new student...

If you student is uncomfortable with the possibility of contacting a female student, you need to be prepared to opening admit that the environment may not be conducive to his special training needs. I understand that I likely will not drown when I swim, but I also understand that I will get wet. Some expectations are more excessive than others, and I would consider an aversion to contact during a contact martial art to be an excessive expectation.

Last edited by jonreading : 03-15-2006 at 11:27 AM. Reason: grammar;
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