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Old 08-01-2009, 08:45 AM   #131
Guilty Spark
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Location: Flordia
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 300
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Mohammad Ahmad wrote: View Post
Here's a perspective from the other side...

I started practicing Aikido for the beauty of the martial art and for its spiritual aspect, I'm also studying O Sensei's teachings and I'm greatly influenced by them.

I must admit, though, that I have internal conflicts when it comes to being forced to bow or practice with a partner of the opposite sex, this is just who I am and I certainly don't expect people to understand, but their accommodation would be greatly appreciated.

I have asked a few Senseis if I could get away with these (primarily practicing with women), and they refused, which is fine, it's their Dojo and it's their rules. I'd also want to practice in a place that would understand my situation. I guess it is something I have to accept as a price to pay for being the way I am.

I haven't gone through all the dojos in my city, and hopefully I will find one, but if I don't, I guess I'm a minority and I'll have to live with it.
That was a really polite approach to the issue Mohammad, good stuff.

For starters I would mention that no one is forced to bow to another student. No one is being forced to attend Aikido classes (as far as I know).
You choose to attend.
In class there are certain rules and traditions that people are expected to follow as they are a part of the art/environment.

I remember training with one guy once who made a point about hating all things Japanese and making sure everyone around him knew it. He didn't feel he needed to wear the dogi, he wanted t wear shorts and a T shirt. His argument was that fighters on TV wore shorts, he should be allowed to wear what he wanted too. He was of course asked to leave.

Gender segregation creates a poor training environment IMO. To me it is the exact same as someone not wanting to train with African Americans, Asians, Muslims, Native Americans etc..

Me not wanting to train with black students "just because it's the way I am" probably wouldn't see me training there. Is it fair to them? Nope. Humans are humans.

I respect the fact that people have religious issues but why should a school for example bend their rules and traditions?
Why not have the student with the religious issues bend their own rules?

In your case why couldn't you accept the fact that you're in an environment where men and women and equal, train with each other and just follow suit?

I'm also studying O Sensei's teachings and I'm greatly influenced by them.
Imagine you're in his Dojo learning his art. What do you think his reaction would have been if you said I don't want to bow to that student because she's female?

Last edited by Guilty Spark : 08-01-2009 at 08:49 AM.

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