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Old 03-07-2013, 12:46 PM   #8
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,154
Re: The Great Non-Issue

I think this was a great post. I think more of a opinion rather than a open discussion, to which I think Jun has a point. But this is a worthwhile topic so here I go...

1. The dojo is not a place for sexuality. Aikido is an intimate art that requires a great deal of contact that can be made uncomfortable by sexual tension... of any nature. I try to maintain a straight line here for the comfort of all students.
2. The dojo is not a soapbox platform. Be it gay rights or the f&*%ing Ravens winning the Superbowl, I think as dojo leaders we need separation between personal perspectives and dojo perspectives. I try to lead by example without the weight of the dojo forcing compliance.

These things being said, I do have a couple of observations:
1. People who are uncomfortable with homosexual behavior are people, too. I have never once convinced a friend to be more open-minded about sexuality by calling them childish. Nor by diminishing or dismissing their concerns. Change is difficult and scary and I try to be empathetic to that experience. Then I throw them into a dark elevator filled with a bunch of gay people, suspended over a pit of snakes.
2. Sexual abuse in martial arts is a serious problem. It is not OK for anyone to endure unwanted sexual advances. I don't care who is advancing and who is receiving, and I don't care what the score ever was; sexual harassment is wrong.

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