Thread: Equitable?
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:49 AM   #203
Lorien Lowe
Dojo: Northcoast Aikido
Location: California
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 289
Re: Equitable?

Recently our dojo lost one of our brown belts, a young woman, because we are too 'sexist, racist, feudal, backwards, and undemocratic (etc.)' for her to continue training there. Those of us who remain can do little but shake our heads at her (what the heck does democracy have to do with training in a martial art?).

One of the many things that attracted me to this dojo in the first place, and that keeps me there, is the hard-line egalitarianism set by Sensei. Everyone is expected to train at the same level, everyone is held to the same standards, and everyone is expected to take care of their own bodies. These were the exact things, however, that drove a different woman away.

If we want to 'attract and retain women,' we are going to have to acknowledge that different women want different things and start by deciding whom we want to attract. However, if the dojo-cho refuses to admit that some aspects of training are different for men and women, I'm willing to bet fifty rolls that they won't get many women at all. Only once in the five or so years that I've been training has Sensei had to say anything about harassment, but on that occasion (as, I am told, happened once or twice before I came as well) he made it blindingly clear that it would not be tolerated. That attitude is clearly felt in the atmosphere of the dojo, and I think it's a prerequisite for most women regardless of their training goals.
Caveat: I'm only one gal, not 'most,' and all of the above is mnsho.

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