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Old 04-10-2006, 11:11 AM   #72
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,068
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

It's tricky to decide when an accommodation for a students with special needs crosses the line and becomes inappropriate. I have noticed a trend that students are requiring more accommodation in training, but also expecting more from their training. It scares me that this "have your cake and eat it too" attitude is creeping into training and demanding dojo to make exceptions and accommodations to meet individual needs.

I appreciate that everyone has a right to train in aikido if they choose, but if a pre-existing lifestyle excludes a potential student from participating in aikido as taught by the dojo, why should a dojo change their instruction? What right does one person have to demand accommodation over the instruction of an instructor or a dojo?

There is a fine line between accommodating a reasonable request that does not significantly impact the atmosphere of a dojo, then there are requests that significantly impact the atmosphere of a dojo. I think that is very important to maintain a clear distinction of what requests your dojo is willing to accommodate, and what requests your dojo is not willing to accommodate.

When a person makes a choice that impacts his/her interaction with the world around them, that choice carries with it preclusive terms that pre-determine some situations. The ability to stand by those choices even when their result is undesirable is what I call "integrity."

Imagine an alcoholic sworn from drinking as part of the rehabilitative process. Now imagine that alcoholic spending free time at a bar. Maybe that alcoholic is not drinking, but that environement is encouraging of an "accident." Imagine your spouse spending time "socializing" with past significant others. Technically, that spouse isn't cheating but the environment is certainly encouraging of that act.

No, there is something about our culture and "accidents" that makes for an irresponsible society in some respects. The original post is about a student's religion that prohibits them from female contact. So my question is why is this student tempting his decision to avoid contact with females by deliberately participating in an act that almost certifies contact with a female at some point in time? My original post was perhaps too subtle. This student is deliberatly creating an environment to encourage an "accident." And guess what, if an "accident" occurs, guess who will be blamed...
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