Re: Religious Restrictions on Training
aikido was never meant a a religious movement. Many instructors who have managed to spread the art to muslim countries for example becoz mainly they are able to accomodate the needs of their members.
I am a muslim and Aikido was frist introduced to the Borneo side of Malaysia in 1971, when our chief ministers made arrangements for a japanese intstructor to be posted in our state under a muslim youth organization.
We've always had training session at the dojo without need to bow to any altar or pictures and no mixed training between the different sexes.
Those who train at our dojos consist of people of different religious and cultural background becoz Malaysia is a multiracial country and we train without having any issues why we can't train between the men and women.
Fine, we understand that some people would consider it a lost by not allowing men and women to train together. it is much like the issues of some people considering it a lost why there are no competitions in Aikido Aikikai or some other styles.Lost or no lost it is a subjective matter.
What I consider a true lost is when we are unable to respect each others differences and thus lose the opportunity of making friends.
In Malaysia for example, people have different religious beliefs, culture and practices. we respect our diferences and do not try and force things which are against their principles be it due to religion or other reasons which maybe collective or personal.
we find our common grounds and work on them the best we can to help everyone progress in aikido.
I have chinese non muslim ladies and muslims ladies train together with no problems in progressing in their aikido skills much as like their other friends who mix around in training. Why?