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Old 07-27-2011, 06:55 PM   #31
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,153
Re: teaching the blind

Thanks Janet. I appreciate the consideration. To me, the issues surrounding whom we choose to train is important. When we touch upon the sensitive issues it can be all to easy to misinterpret or mis-state a perspective and that can derail a productive conversation.

I believe it is important to the students of the dojo and to the student whose training will be unique that everyone understands what to expect from their training. Ultimately, that decision lies with Sensei and sensei assumes the responsibility for the decision. For me, aikido is something that changed my life and I wish to share that experience with as many people as I can. But as sensei, I also assume the responsibility of each student with whom I train. And I also share that burden of responsibility with the other students in the dojo. Whatever the burden, my students must accept the burden and alter their training. Maybe younger students do not receive an education from a sempai to which they can relate. Maybe older students are at physical risk because of the movements of their disabled partner. Maybe fit students cannot train with as much vigor. Maybe experienced students cannot train with as much intensity. Maybe there are many different ways in which that burden of responsibility manifests itself in a dojo.

I think we should invite students to train aikido, but not fool ourselves as to the conditions and sacrifices we make in our training. Aikido may be non-competetive, but do not every tell my wife that my time away from her or my family is not a sacrifice. I cannot afford to not maximize my efforts in the time I train.

Thanks again Janet. I appreciate your comments.
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