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Old 02-01-2010, 02:15 PM   #321
Toby Threadgill
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 166
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training


Leading a koryu I've run into this problem and its pretty simple with us. The student adjusts to the dictates of dojo. The dojo does not adjust to the dictates of the student. If you don't like the rules, fine. Go somewhere else, and don't let the door hit your @$$ on the way out.

I will not tolerate students trying to dictate how a TSYR dojo operates. We are koryu. We have time honored traditions that are not negotiable. We once had a female student who insisted that the opening Shinto prayers were offensive to her newly found Christian sensibilities, and should therefore cease. After unsuccessfully trying to reason with her Takamura sensei finally led her to the door and literally booted her out with the bottom of his foot. Immediately following this was the first time I witnessed the formal ceremony of expulsion (hamon).

In modern a dojo where a student might feel training is some sort of commodity, I suppose catering to students sensitivities might be considered acceptable. However, in a koryu dojo the schools knowledge is seen as a sacred trust where martial & cultural traditions trump individual dictates. When cultures or religious beliefs clash in Nihon koryu dojo, the student conforms or leaves. Like I said....It's very simple.

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
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