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Old 01-15-2014, 01:16 PM   #3
MattMiddleton's Avatar
Dojo: MUN Aikido
Location: Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 48
Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"

**DISCLAIMER: This is strictly my opinion, and doesn't represent the views of my teachers, fellow students, or anyone else for that matter.

I practice Aikido in Canada, and I disagree with two things in this situation:

1) The method by which the male student was accommodated. Segregating the entire class robs everyone of the opportunity to practice with all sizes, shapes, and genders. This variety, in my view, is a key component of aikido practice. There was a much simpler way to accommodate the male student: Ask one or two of the other male students if they would be willing to practice with this fellow exclusively during the class. It would be an inconvenience for the students, but the "pain" could be spread around by asking different students each class.

2) Allowing the distribution of religious tracts. To be blunt, I don't think that has any place in the dojo, regardless of what the flyer says. In particular, the tracts being distributed in this situation supposedly advocate some pretty terrible views, certainly not in keeping with ideas like "love" and "harmony".

I sincerely hope for a positive outcome to this situation, and that it doesn't lead to a knee-jerk reaction in the opposite direction (ie. a reduction in tolerance for differing religious beliefs).

Last edited by MattMiddleton : 01-15-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Added disclaimer.
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