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Old 05-12-2008, 07:34 PM   #32
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Location: San Diego CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 561
Inclusion is the point

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Why would anyone be getting beat up by more experienced practitioners in a beginner's class?
Well, they probably wouldn't. What is at issue here is perception. If you are not a martial artist, but are still a person who could benefit from aikido, you might not necessarily know about how things go in a martial arts class. So you wouldn't realize that aikido is something that is good for you. You might never think about aikido, and what a shame (for all of us) that would be. The point is outreach catered towards people who feel excluded.

Really this type of class is a way to include those who may not feel comfortable under normal circumstances-- there are in fact a lot of them.

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Now if you're talking about special circumstances, such as self defense classes for abused women, then it may be that you can make a compelling argument.
Well, maybe that is what we are talking about, in essence. Many people do aikido for self defense, and many people are abused women. If you are an abused woman seeking a self defense class, then aikido for that person is exactly a "self defense class for abused women." So, this temporary 10-week intro class is a way to reach out to her, so that she will see the benefits of aikido for her, so that she can become a regular dojo member in the future.

Look, everyone can see that your general argument makes some sense. Dividing people is bad, that is of course true. If male dominance in the dojo creates a barrier that keeps women out of the dojo, then by your own argument, something should change. So what can change? Well, someone creating an all-women dojo is one way. I think we all see the problem with that system of permanent divisiveness. No wonder the aforementioned dojo failed. This women's intro class however is a form of outreach, which by its very nature is a form of inclusion, not exclusion. I see it that way anyway. It is just 10 weeks of a class where women are not made to feel uncomfortable. There are still infinite weeks of classes where men are not made to feel uncomfortable, even on the same days as the women's class. It is hardly a case of male exclusion.

Well, that's my opinion anyway! There is no right or wrong, so I won't argue any more. I just hope you can see that the point of this, and the results of this as mentioned in previous posts, is inclusion of women, not exclusion of men.
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