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Old 08-02-2009, 07:37 AM   #133
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 643
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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?
The Sensei has to make a decision, is he interested in accepting all interested students, or is he going to discriminate against those for whom the Dojo rules must change?

Any decision is legitimate. But please, be honest, if you insist a student must transgress basic rules of his religion, you may as well ask him to change religion. This type of requirement is discriminatory.

I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment). I do not know of equivalent fundamental rules in Christianity. Though I am sure there are some. Growing in a secular post Jewish community, I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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.
This might be the legal side. Yet, this is discriminatory in the moral sense.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
In class there are certain rules and traditions that people are expected to follow as they are a part of the art/environment.
True, but are all the rules equally important?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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.
Sorry, but this example is misleading. You compare a person with no respect to tradition, to a person who follows one tradition and is interested in practicing and honoring another.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Gender segregation creates a poor training environment IMO.
I agree, this does make a poor training environment. Yet, not traveling and not turning the lights on one day a week seems much more harmful of life quality, and religious Jews do it one full day (>24 hours) every week.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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.
The difference is the matter of cause\motive. If one is dismissive of other peoples, and a racist, you are right. But if one only follows his religion, and is willing to do the most his religion allows him to, it is not the same.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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?
WE respect Japanese tradition while practicing Aikido, are we bound to disrespect any other tradition (most of which pre-date Aikido by many hundreds of years)? Can one not find a way to respect both?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
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?
Ahmed never said men and women are not equal, this is your interpretation.
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside.
Ahmed (and many religious Islamic and Jews) may train with women – these are the rules of his religion – you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Actually Religious Jews are only allowed to touch women, after both have gone to purify in the Mikve (special water pool), are you willing to create on in your dojo and ask all women and men to go there prior to training?

Amir
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