Thread: How to Say No
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:50 PM   #36
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Anonymous User
Re: How to Say No

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Please be careful. Aikido Dojos aren't safe places for women, that's my experience. Don't trust too much in "Senseis" words.
The rule is: You have to train with everybody - which also means, everybody is allowed to touch you (Where I trained, it was even: you have to hug everybody to say Hello and on the mat after training). This creates an athmosphere of "love and harmony", which is really nice and comfortable - as long as nobody misunderstands the missing borders.
If a man is bothering you/ inviting you all the time, although you've clearly said "No", you would normally never allow him to touch you. But Aikido-practice takes away this normal and easy way of "defending" yourself through physical distance.
In a Dojo, where people have to expect "trouble" for talking on the mat, no matter why, you can be quite sure, that they care more for their facade then their (female) members.
I hear you. And thank-you for your concern. In my darker moments, I mentally divide dojo men into two categories. Type 1 are all the obnoxious idiots I have to wade through just to come into the dojo and train. Type 2 are all the other men who don't fit the Type 1 catagory, but I have nonetheless irrevocably angered because I treat them as if they were Type 1, largely because I'm too exhausted from dealing with Type 1 to distinguish appropriately.

Thankfully, I'm not in one of my darker moments. I could sure go there fast if this situation takes a turn South, though. Also, this particular dojo, for all it's oddities, seems to have very few of Type 1. This individual is the only one I've met so far.

As far as dojos being "safe" for women. I think it depends on the situation and time. Certainly some dojos could be safe for given periods of time with the right people, proactive policies and vigilance. I hate to set the bar too high, but I'd sure like to see something more than just safety. Someday, I'd like to walk into a dojo and not have to give a second thought as to who might be ready to hit me up for a date, exercise their gender specific potty mouth in my direction or "cop a feel" pretending it's part of a technique. I wonder how many men have ever had to run that gauntlet just to come on the mat and train? And I wonder how many women accept these indiscretions as the price of participating in a male dominated martial art?

OK, I'm starting down that dark path again. Gotta keep focus.
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