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Old 06-03-2010, 07:41 AM   #45
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: more religious issues


O'Sensei was NOT in charge of running the dojo after WWII. O'Sensei seemed to be acknowledging that religious people can understand the spirituality that he was connected to. That is a FAR cry from explicit acceptance of Islamic practices (or any religious practices for that matter). Would you like to comment on what O'Sensei would say about child marriages, Jihad, floggings and some other distasteful practices common within the Islamic faith?

Being spiritual is entirely different from interpreting and enacting religious dogma that is discriminatory. The people who were/are running the dojo that was mentioned by this poster ran a "wonderful" dojo that explicitly required bowing to shomen and training with everybody regardless of gender.

About 1.5 years ago, a Muslim gentleman wanted to join my dojo. I made it a point to talk to him at length about the history behind bowing and the handshakes (which comes from the battlefields). I placed this in context of bowing to shomen, bowing to the teacher and bowing to each other as part of the practice in the cultural milieu of training at my school. This gentleman did not seem to have a problem with that. He did seem to have a problem with my also offering his wife the opportunity to train here as well. I went on to explain that women did train at my dojo and that my wife was the assistant instructor. He chose not to join my school. I did not discriminate against him and he did not discriminate against me. Neither one of us (to the best of my knowledge) felt bad, wronged or insulted by the actions or inactions of the other person. The US is a wonderful country in which tolerance and acceptance of differences are encouraged (sadly not enough!). In many countries of the world that are dominated/run by a fundamentalist religious belief, this openness does not exist. That is why I speak of the gross hypocrisy that these religious people engage in when they accuse societies and people of discriminating against them, while knowing that they would never reciprocate in kind.

Marc Abrams

Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
No, it wasn't conjecture. The student told me, he told Osensei that he wouldn't bow low because it's against his faith as he interpreted it and Osensei told him, that's ok.

Then, some other time, Osensei talked a lot about kami waza, spiritual stuff and etc etc... The student told him, that what Osensei taught sounded familiar and similar to what is taught in Islam. Then Osensei said...please excuse the paraphrase "Yes, you understand. And then pointing to the japanese students... but they don't".


That's all I'm saying... bowing, its not the outward form that matters. Its the rei in our spirit that's more important. To exclude someone because of this... well that's shallow.

As for cross gender/cross sexual preference training. Training is training. To me that's the end of it. But honestly, its the dojo's right to discriminate against potentially harmful pairings. I.e. disease, bad intentions and etc.
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