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Old 01-15-2014, 03:02 PM   #5
Jennifer Yabut
Jennifer Yabut's Avatar
Dojo: Aikikai of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 100
Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"

If this man's religion doesn't allow him to be in physical contact with women, then *why* train in a touchy-feely martial art like Aikido? I faced a similar situation at my dojo several years ago. A Muslim male trained at the dojo, but did not train with the women. He didn't make eye contact with us either. I didn't know what was going on, until the situation was explained to me. But unlike this other Aikido sensei in the article, my sensei did *not* segregate the class for the benefit of this one man.

I understand that martial art schools have a responsibility to *not* discriminate against potential students because of religion. However, I have a big problem when the entire structure of the school is changed to accommodate *one* person's beliefs. What about the rest of the students? Should their rights to train with *anyone* they choose be violated to accommodate one person?

I would also draw the line at passing around religious literature at a MARTIAL ART SCHOOL. The sensei in the article should *not* have condoned the man proselytizing his current students. That would have been the perfect reason to show him the door.

"The ultimate aim of martial arts is not having to use them." - Miyamoto Musashi
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