Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"
Perhaps the most delicious irony is that here we have a student who is willing to disrupt an entire community for his own asserted values, no matter what level of discomfort, inconvenience or sense of threat threat that he might cause. That is real commitment! He does so in the name of his asserted religious values--values identical to those of 10's of millions of people, fwiw.
He passes out a religious tract that "also authorizes husbands to administer a "light strike" to their wives in cases of "serious moral misconduct." Well, thank God he is in an aikido class, because, the non-violent martial art that it is, this is the perfect place to learn those "light strikes."
Therefore, when this man who can't touch non-related women by his religion, but can hit related women (these are HIS assertions of what his religion is) goes home and when his wife or sister exhibits 'serious moral misconduct' (like talking to a Christian man or in the latter, going out with him, or in many such homes, wearing a dress that's too short, or refusing to wear the 'proper' head covering), he can use the shihonage he learned in class (whooops, that 'light' chastisement ended up in a torn ligament or a head injury) or one of those atemi that aikido is reportedly 99% of to put her back in line.
In other words, this flaccid instructor is morally culpable for any injuries or violence this man commits, given that the instructor has made him more able to commit it.
I am reminded of H.G. Wells - the Morlocks and Eloi. And lest, in my disgust, anyone throws out the usual accusations of what I might mean--I am talking about the relational dynamic between a forceful ideology that is sure of itself - committed - opposes to a liberal ideology that values only not giving offense (which it defines as anyone asserting offense based on their own values).
And yes, this directly concerns aikido. If one is teaching a martial art, one must take responsibility for what one teaches and who one teaches. And one must embody integrity in the process. This instructor has failed on all counts. (as has the social system which supports such policies as described in the article).