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Old 04-03-2001, 10:12 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 237

Hmmmm, let me tell a story. I teach beginner's Aikido classes for a local Youth Center. There is another instructor who teaches a different martial art at the same center (it doesn't matter what art really, OK you pulled my leg, it's Kempo Karate). About two or three weeks after both of our classes started, the youth center director visited my class and told me that he had several students that were interested in transfering from the Karate class to my Aikido class. I wondered why. It turns out that during the beginning of the Kempo class, the instructor leads the students in a prayer that is very similar to an "Our Father" crossed with a "Hail Mary". It seems that the parents of said students were not all that happy about the prayer. In fact, I've had some parents ask me about "Meisoho" and exactly what type of "meditation practice" it really is.

So, what do I think? I don't think an Aikido dojo is the proper location for discussing religious views or beliefs. Students come from many different religious backgrounds, by discussing your personal views or beliefs with them, especially in a learning environment such as an Aikido Dojo, you may be inadvertently dismissing their own beliefs. As an Aikido instructor, you must remain professional at all times; students come to you so they can learn Aikido, not your personal thoughts on religious practice.

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