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Old 08-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #54
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
Re: teaching the blind

Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Hey Graham, I think we have to be talking past each other. In this most recent post you reaffirm there are no additional burdens or risks in the dojo, then acknowledge there are risks and burdens. Incidentally, I agree with you that new students also present increased risk in a dojo.

I do not think a dojo in which accidents happen would ill disciplined. Sometimes accidents happen. You can blame whomever, but it happens. I do not want to communicate that we should ignore risk, I want to communicate that we should be aware of risk and undertake it of informed consent.

Finally, I am not sure where the PC thing is going. In the United States, political correctness is a social pressure tool of progressivism. Liberally speaking, the very nature of the concept is to apply social pressure to progress a concept from a point of exclusion to a point of inclusion (or acceptance). In fact, I believe that is part of the tension in teaching disabled students - there is a social pressure to include them because they are disabled, to make a decision to move past their disability and include them in the dojo. I am not sure how your statement matches that definition. More specifically, I would argue that advocating blind people carry additional burdens in society is very un-PC - the very nature of PC would be to move past their disability. (Let it be known I have rarely been called politically correct.)

Although you bring up a great point about realizing a student is a burden within his dojo. I think many students do not like thinking they are a burden in a dojo. How many students have thought, "Man, I wish I could take sutemi so I could train harder." Or, "I don't train with black belts because I am not good enough to give them a workout." Or, "My leg hurts, I won't be a good uke." I think it is natural for us to desire to carry our own weight; I don't think that observation is specific to blind people. What about the deadbeat student who doesn't pay his dues? or the lazy student who doesn't help clean the mats? I do not mind students who carry with them a sense of obligation and duty to carry their weight. The solution for blind students is to give them other opportunities to carry their weight and contribute to the dojo. Again, some dojo are better equipped than others to accommodate blind students. That's why I advocate the choice should remain with the dojo.
Hi Jon.
I think your right, we are talking past each other somehow.
I do not say anyone is a burden or risk in actuality. When I mention that I am referring to how others see it. What I am saying is that it's a viewpoint. It's a burden only if you create it as such.

It's a risk only if you don't have the necessary responsibility needed. To me it's a pleasure.

Students and teachers even do no doubt look at things as burdens and not wanting to be a burden etc. but to me this is irresponsible thinking. It's actually arrogant and selfish really.
It's all backwards. There's enough people willing to try and make you feel you are a burden and there are enough people considering they are a burden. Now in the world of selfishness that would make sense. It's all put downs and control mixed with false sympathy.

Not in my world thank God.

Thinking of things in terms of burden is the road to misery as far as I'm concerned.

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