Amelia Smith wrote:
I have a couple of minor points to quibble with here. Religion is a choice in the modern, "Western" world, but historically and across cultures I don't think most people experience religion as a matter of choice. Religion is a matter of identity, like family, tribe, nationality, and native language. Simply because one can change religions doesn't mean it is purely a matter of choice. It's more like changing families than changing fashions -- not something to be done lightly.
Anne Marie -- I believe that aikido was introduced to Morocco via Tamura Sensei, before Yamada Sensei's involvement, but I can't find the reference at the moment.
Yes, the "choice" issue was revealed recently in Pakistan where the young man who converted to Christianty was threatened with the death penalty.
Amelia, you may be right about Tamura. But, my point is more along the lines of the intent to make aikido available and to continue to spread aikido to people we normally would assume it would not be available to, unless someone made it accessible to them in the first place.
Kevin, thank you for your example, I, too, admire someone who is able to follow their convictions under such harsh conditions. Yes, the accomodation needs to be reasonable and not cause an undue burden on those who are doing the accomodating. This is why I think in a very small school where's there a female instructor and a few female students such a request to not train with the women would most likely be an undue burden on the dojo. But in a dojo of our size (80 adults with about 10 active women) it should not be a problem.