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Old 01-16-2014, 06:20 AM   #13
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,887
Re: Teacher OKs "Avoid[ing] touching females on religious grounds"

Perhaps I am that freak who really believes in freedom of thought and expression. Perhaps I believe in the gentle empathy and compassion of blending-with rather than resisting.

Perhaps an individual has a right to train with whomever they feel comfortable with based on whatever criteria. Forcing them to violated their belief system seems rather un-Aikido-ish. Perhaps with time and mindful compassion, they will change that view. Either way, its their belief and its about them. I have people I tend not to train with. Don't you?

If an instructor chooses in their own school to honor (or not honor) a student's request is their choice and shows their perspective. Its about the instructor.

If another person chooses to take offense/degraded because some one has a different belief, or some one chooses to honor/respect that belief/request - then that's about them, not the other person's belief system.

We all tend to want freedom of belief and expression/choice for what we believe/agree-with. Doesn't that also extend to the beliefs and expression of others, even if we do not agree with them?

If a student feels uncomfortable for any reason being touched by (or touching) another student, I would tend to respect what that student is telling me about themselves even if I do not personally agree with that perspective and position. It may about their fear and ignorance (or traumatic history). I do not expect people to come in with the empathy and compassion (in all three directions in this scenario) that I hope they will leave with.

This may be an unpopular and politically-incorrect stance, but hey, I am that freak who believes in freedom of belief and expression even if its different from my own.

Any thoughts anyone?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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