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Old 03-17-2006, 10:08 AM   #56
Michael O'Brien
Dojo: Nashville Aikikai
Location: Nashville, Tn
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 288
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Krista DeCoste wrote:
I agree with what Chris had to say. In my opinion, if we want to live in harmony with others we should accomodate them when possible. If this is his religious belief then it informs all he does and he should not be expected to leave it off the mat, as if it were that simple. This belief is not about hating women, it is a clearly defined boundary between unmarried men and women. More energy should be put towards finding a way to include him rather that trying to justify being rude to him and telling him there is no way he can train. I am wondering if this is not stemming from a resentment (coming from off the mat) of accomodating difference, a resentment of this culture and religion?


Living in harmony with others does not mean being a doormat to everyone who doesn't like the way you do business. It means allowing them to live their life as they see fit as long as it doesn't cause harm to you and yours.

A dojo should not be required, or even expected, to make special considerations for someone because they have an issue with the way you train.

Let's say for instance I am a recovering alcoholic. Is it fair for me to walk into a bar that has really good hot wings and say "I don't want you to serve alcohol anymore. I love your hot wings but I'm an alcoholic and I can't be around alcohol anymore but I still want to eat here." No, it isn't. I need to find a place that serves hot wings and doesn't serve alcohol.

I have trained in many other martial arts including Tae Kwon Do and Kenpo where contact with female students was rare if ever. He can find another place to train that will better suit his needs.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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