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Old 04-20-2006, 10:49 AM   #101
"Perplexed"
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Anonymous User
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

I am the person who started this thread.

The young man never returned to the dojo.

Thank you to all who responded! If this comes up again, I have decided to follow Eric Webber's advice in post # 7: "We had the same issue several months ago. My answer to the gentleman was that everyone is expected to practice with everyone else, and he would have to decide for himself if he is willing to accept that, coming into our space."

As a 501(c)(3) organization, we will not discriminate on the basis of religion. As an aikido dojo, we will not alter our training methods. If following those two principles ever puts the dojo on the receiving end of a lawsuit, we will drop our tax-exempt status.

Thank you again for all your ideas and suggestions.
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Old 05-26-2006, 03:29 PM   #102
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Just as an aside that I didn't see in this thread:

There is increasing pressure on all groups that unless it is absolutely required, there should be no physical contact of older males with younger females. I noticed this trend as Aikido moved more into the mainstream.

The government of one country wanted to make all organisations that received funding support from the government to require all coaches to be certified through the government. Part of the Level One Coaching course was on touching of females by males during coaching. The course taught that touching should be minimised so that the coach was not implicated in unwanted sexual contact. The course suggested ways to limit physical contact during coaching. You know, it is real difficult trying to teach a kinesthetic activity without touch? I asked about that and was told that touching of females by males should be minimised in all cases (a textbook answer by the instructor). I pressed further and asked about martial arts where contact was required. (The textbook answer again.) I pressed further and the response was that: "Well, sometime you have to be in contact but you should minimise that contact." I guess that is why I don't let my dojos join into any oversight organisations. Sooner or later, some government prick will come along and tell you that you have to do things in a way that is politically correct. That's when I pick up my bokuto and chase them out of the dojo. You can do that when it is a private dojo.

Back to the point.

While I believe that each dojo is the responsibility and under the full authority of the head teacher and that teacher is the teacher at the will of the students, our society is constantly changing and the requirements to be harmonious with the rest of society requires that we sometimes go along with the views of the rest of the society. This is especially so if you end up with some sort of social contract like if you end up becoming registered as a charitable organisation. You have less requirement to fit into society if you are a private dojo but that is less harmonious with the rest of society. But then, you might wish to be harmonious with something else other than the rest of society. You can still remain harmonious if OSensei was right and you can be orthogonal to all dimensions/attackers if you go above them. The last option is to run away to some place where your values are more in line with the rest of that society.

Hell, escape to the Caribbean!

Rock
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Old 05-26-2006, 06:36 PM   #103
eyrie
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Hell, escape to the Caribbean!
I'm there Rock... I'm there.... got a plane ticket for me?

Ignatius
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:09 PM   #104
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Sorry, I also believe in paying your own way. Do as I do, not as I say.

Rock
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Old 05-28-2006, 07:04 AM   #105
villrg0a
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Our aikido club is in Saudi Arabia. We have a couple of locals in our roster. They dont bow to the shomen and their partner, both in seiza and standing. We dont have a problem with that. Women are also not allowed to mix with the opposite sex in public areas, that is why we dont have women in our dojo.

Regarding the bowing, we requested our students to just make a fist with the right hand, and an open palm on the left just like in most kung fu and say osu!

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-28-2006, 10:48 AM   #106
giriasis
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Romuel Villareal wrote:
Our aikido club is in Saudi Arabia. We have a couple of locals in our roster. They dont bow to the shomen and their partner, both in seiza and standing. We dont have a problem with that. Women are also not allowed to mix with the opposite sex in public areas, that is why we dont have women in our dojo.

Regarding the bowing, we requested our students to just make a fist with the right hand, and an open palm on the left just like in most kung fu and say osu!

Hope that helps.
Romuel,

Thanks for your response. I was curious how that worked in Saudi Arabia. I take it that most of your members are foreign nationals?

I remember someone metioned somewhere on this board that they knew of a dojo in Indonesia where they had the women and men split up in separate areas. But then someone else spoke up saying they have never seen that. And there was also a young woman training some where in southeast asia who wrote an anonymous post where at a seminar many men would not train with her and some of the few who did were unnecessarily rought with her.

Currently one of our members teaches aikido at a local mosque in Fort Lauderdale and it's open to men and boys. But a couple of men who do practice and want to grade in the USAF will occaisionaly train at our dojo. Recently we had a seminar and they just trained amongst themselves. However, a couple of them did train with women. We also have less conservative muslim members in our dojo who have absolutely no problem training with women.

I was just curious how this plays out in Islamic countries or those countries with very large Muslim populations.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 05-29-2006, 12:09 AM   #107
villrg0a
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Hi Anne,

We are located in the eastern part, where oil was discovered. Refineries built, etc., resulting in population boom. Majority of our members are expatriates, few local males, zero local ladies. We are renting a place downtown, and shares it with aerobics and karate. Although we are located on the 2nd floor, there are big windows all over the place, making it very visible from the outside. The place is exclusively for male only, so is the case for most establishments all over the Kingdom. There are also places that caters exclusively for women but they are mostly beauty shops. Normal mixtures can only be seen in compounds, seldom in public areas.

So if one wishes to spread the art to local ladies, one has to be a lady too. Most local males would not mind the mixture in training but is not generally allowed. Its a little bit complicated but basically male and female are not allowed to talk, etc., in public unless you are related to them. Even in Restaurants they are not allowed to mix unless they are one family.

So if even a short conversation with the opposite sex is not encouraged, what more in aikido training where a lot of touchings are involved.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:35 PM   #108
JAMJTX
Dojo: Aikibudo Seishinkan
Location: FORT WAYNE, IN
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
A man has visited my dojo and is interested in practicing. His religion prohibits him from touching a woman who is not his wife. My dojo is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) educational organization, and thus may not discriminate based on religion.

Has anyone else faced this issue? Any suggestions?
Perhaps you would be "guilty" of discrimination if you told him whe don't allow people of your religion to train here.

But, not if you told him that there are both men and women in the class, we all train with each other regardless of religion, race, creed, etc. and you can not promise that he will not come in contact with a woman. Make this clear, and then let him decide to take the class or not.

Another question would be, where does his religion stand on bowing to Sensei, a partner, etc. I'm sure there are a lot more restrictions. Probably a traditional martial way is not the right thing at all for this person.

Jim Mc Coy
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Old 11-29-2007, 08:21 PM   #109
Din
Dojo: Islah Matial Arts dojo
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

People have done many trainings nowadays all over the world using virtual system, verbal instructions and many other methods which have used non physical contact in many things including martial arts. It has been a common asian ways of martial arts instruction of learning by observation.
I myself am an instructor in Silat and Aikido and have taught for many years without having physical contact between the different sexes due to religious restrictions.
Aikido as well as other arts originate from a certain culture and they all spread all over the world. How? Tolerance..
It depends whose dojo you go to and which religion u follow. Some dojo cho probably are okay with everything such as bowing to shomen and mixed training between the different sexes. Then, if a person who has such restrictions come to your dojo just allow him or her to do according to their restrictions. It does no harm if u look at it in a more positive point of view.
T o me discrimination wud also mean to force others to strip off their religious practice as well.
In my dojos and gelanggangs, I always tell my students of different beliefs to pray or meditate according to their own beliefs. The important thing is we can train together. The ladies train separately among themselves either during separate sessions or space in the dojo. I've been doing this for many yrs and there has been no complains. I did it as well when I was training in Adelaide for silat.
My students and also teachers which I've trained with have accepted the idea very well. I have many different people in my dojo and with this we r able to gain more friends and learn about one another.
Some people see that not training with different sex as being discriminative. We see it as a sign of respect to the other sex and to avoid sexual harassment issues. We come from different cultural background. That is all.
Muslims, jews and Christians of many different denominations and also other beliefs have long lived side by side according to their own religious adherences. We don't serve beef to hindus, we don't serve meat to vegetarians, we don't bow to objects which signify glorification or prayer. We don't force chirstians to come and train during their Sunday sessions. Neither do we want to be forced to eat pork, drink alcoholic drinks or bow to the shomen in the dojo or train with the other sexes. What is wrong with that?
What I d make sure is I try my best sharing with each individual my experience and knowledge in martial arts so that they come and return home benefiting from my classes.
If u see women training wearing scarfs, let them be. It is their choice much like we Asians don't understand why some westerners like sun bathing and getting tanned. It's hot, why bare yourself in the sun, we would think. Why u want to get your nice fair skin tanned? Of course you'd think otherwise., right?
But what we all don't do is to discriminate based on race, country, religion/beliefs,political,physical disabilities,talents,etc . Heck, I've trained with people who has no religion as well.
Islam is the 3rd largest religion in the world and aikido has spread to may countries and many muslims have trained and still train aikido. Sooner or later we all will meet with people with different kinds of restrictions based on their beliefs. Are we going to be closing our doors to our potential friends and not share this great knowledge and experience of aikido?
How about people with HIV positive coming to your dojo?how would u handle it? I always make it a point to ask my students on the their needs either physical or due to religious. Then I'll ask them how I can accommodate their needs and requirements so that we can train together.
BTW, thanks to everyone for bringing this topic. Good topic to discuss and sorry if my reply is too long and my English is incorrect here and there.happy training everyone...
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Old 12-04-2007, 08:20 PM   #110
xuzen
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Zainuddin Akhalic wrote: View Post
People have done many trainings nowadays all over the world using virtual system, verbal instructions and many other methods which have used non physical contact in many things including martial arts. It has been a common asian ways of martial arts instruction of learning by observation.
I myself am an instructor in Silat and Aikido and have taught for many years without having physical contact between the different sexes due to religious restrictions.
Aikido as well as other arts originate from a certain culture and they all spread all over the world. How? Tolerance..
It depends whose dojo you go to and which religion u follow. Some dojo cho probably are okay with everything such as bowing to shomen and mixed training between the different sexes. Then, if a person who has such restrictions come to your dojo just allow him or her to do according to their restrictions. It does no harm if u look at it in a more positive point of view.
T o me discrimination wud also mean to force others to strip off their religious practice as well.
In my dojos and gelanggangs, I always tell my students of different beliefs to pray or meditate according to their own beliefs. The important thing is we can train together. The ladies train separately among themselves either during separate sessions or space in the dojo. I've been doing this for many yrs and there has been no complains. I did it as well when I was training in Adelaide for silat.
My students and also teachers which I've trained with have accepted the idea very well. I have many different people in my dojo and with this we r able to gain more friends and learn about one another.
Some people see that not training with different sex as being discriminative. We see it as a sign of respect to the other sex and to avoid sexual harassment issues. We come from different cultural background. That is all.
Muslims, jews and Christians of many different denominations and also other beliefs have long lived side by side according to their own religious adherences. We don't serve beef to hindus, we don't serve meat to vegetarians, we don't bow to objects which signify glorification or prayer. We don't force chirstians to come and train during their Sunday sessions. Neither do we want to be forced to eat pork, drink alcoholic drinks or bow to the shomen in the dojo or train with the other sexes. What is wrong with that?
What I d make sure is I try my best sharing with each individual my experience and knowledge in martial arts so that they come and return home benefiting from my classes.
If u see women training wearing scarfs, let them be. It is their choice much like we Asians don't understand why some westerners like sun bathing and getting tanned. It's hot, why bare yourself in the sun, we would think. Why u want to get your nice fair skin tanned? Of course you'd think otherwise., right?
But what we all don't do is to discriminate based on race, country, religion/beliefs,political,physical disabilities,talents,etc . Heck, I've trained with people who has no religion as well.
Islam is the 3rd largest religion in the world and aikido has spread to may countries and many muslims have trained and still train aikido. Sooner or later we all will meet with people with different kinds of restrictions based on their beliefs. Are we going to be closing our doors to our potential friends and not share this great knowledge and experience of aikido?
How about people with HIV positive coming to your dojo?how would u handle it? I always make it a point to ask my students on the their needs either physical or due to religious. Then I'll ask them how I can accommodate their needs and requirements so that we can train together.
BTW, thanks to everyone for bringing this topic. Good topic to discuss and sorry if my reply is too long and my English is incorrect here and there.happy training everyone...
Bravo Din, spoken like a learned and enlightened man.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:14 PM   #111
Keith Larman
Location: California
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

It is an interesting ethical question which was raised in our dojo a while back as a matter of fact. It was never resolved as the persons who said they wanted to train never got back to us after we were presented with their issues on bowing and training with women. But the issue has been bouncing around my head for a while.

So let me put on my flame-proof underoos... There, all set...

First let me say that I truly appreciate the various points of view. I am glad to see Aikido spreading and I think it is a great thing that it has found a way to be taught in many varied cultures.

But that said I don't think it is really so easy as some make it to be.

I think "reasonable accommodation" is a devilishly difficult concept which is itself firmly embedded in all sorts of cultural constructs.

So to create a sort of thought experiment... The original question was about a person wanting to train but not wanting to train with women. Let's focus on that part. But let's turn the question upside down and change it to the dojo in an Islamic state much as described above. What if a non-Muslim women applied for classes but wanted to train with both men and women as their goal was to learn aikido so they would be able to defend themselves from both men and women? Assume she is a staunch American feminist with deeply held convictions of the equality of the sexes.

So now the question is how should the dojo in this Isamlic state accommodate that need? She feels very strongly that gender should play no role in her training. And that she should be allowed to train with men as well as women. And that frankly the men should be bowing to her just as they bow to each other.

Frankly I don't think they have any sort of moral imperative to adjust their training methods to her strongly held beliefs and/or needs. It might simply be too far outside the local norm given the social and religious constructs of where the instruction is taking place. In my hypothetical I think the woman's expectation is unreasonable given the local values. Unfortunately for my female feminist friends in an Islamic country, well, they will have to find another way of learning aikido in the way they want to learn it. Or wait/hope/etc. that the social values will change in such a way that will allow them to train the way they want. Or maybe they'll need to relocate in order to do that. It is simply a reality of where they are.

The tricky part here is that the notion of "reasonable accommodation" doesn't exist as some absolute ideal outside of any other context. It is defined in terms of the culture, the location, the local religions, etc. It just isn't a simple issue. As I said, I think it is great that people have worked hard to spread aikido across the world. And I think it is great that it is finding its way into the Muslim community as well. And I think it is perfectly reasonable for those in the Muslim community to have different means of presentation which are compatible with their cultural imperatives. As a matter of fact I applaud it. But I would no more expect my wife to be accepted for training with men in a Muslim society than I would expect to have to *significantly* adjust our training to accommodate Muslim men who wanted to train here outside of a Muslim area. I would do what I could do within some sense of reasonable accommodation as I do believe there are probably some cases where we could make it work. But *if* it was too much of a problem, well, the answer is that maybe they would need to look elsewhere for their training. Just like that christian woman in a Muslim land who wanted to learn aikido to defend herself from men as well as women would need to look elsewhere.

Frankly I would do whatever I could. But the moment I felt the accommodations were an undue burden on the instructors or was resulting in lost opportunities for the other students (i.e., the female students), well, that's where I would personally draw the line. I see no problem in doing what we can. But for me, well, I have no desire to tell my female assistant to not come to class because there's only one other student and he happens to not believe in touching a woman who is not his wife.

If his religious restrictions are to have an impact on someone not getting training, well, he will be the one who will need to suffer that. I would do what I could, but if I felt it was negatively impacting my female students'/assistants' training, well, he's going to lose in the coin toss. Because where I am at women are encouraged to train with the men. That is our tradition.

All that said I have no problem with the notion of each group training as it sees fit. And I think we all have a moral imperative to reasonably accommodate as many people as we can. But there are still competing value systems in conflict lurking underneath. And sometimes what is "reasonable" in one place is totally unreasonable elsewhere. It just ain't all that easy...

I think it is a really difficult question with no easy universal answers. It is naive to say we *should* accommodate everyone. That simply isn't possible in all cases.

All that said... Everything I wrote is just my own 2 yen worth. I don't speak for anyone but myself...

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Old 12-05-2007, 06:13 AM   #112
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Onegaishimasu. It is completely possible that if you can't accomodate everyone, you can't be "modern". In the art of aikido there is no gender.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:09 AM   #113
Din
Dojo: Islah Matial Arts dojo
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Arrow Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

aikido was never meant a a religious movement. Many instructors who have managed to spread the art to muslim countries for example becoz mainly they are able to accomodate the needs of their members.
I am a muslim and Aikido was frist introduced to the Borneo side of Malaysia in 1971, when our chief ministers made arrangements for a japanese intstructor to be posted in our state under a muslim youth organization.
We've always had training session at the dojo without need to bow to any altar or pictures and no mixed training between the different sexes.
Those who train at our dojos consist of people of different religious and cultural background becoz Malaysia is a multiracial country and we train without having any issues why we can't train between the men and women.
Fine, we understand that some people would consider it a lost by not allowing men and women to train together. it is much like the issues of some people considering it a lost why there are no competitions in Aikido Aikikai or some other styles.Lost or no lost it is a subjective matter.
What I consider a true lost is when we are unable to respect each others differences and thus lose the opportunity of making friends.
In Malaysia for example, people have different religious beliefs, culture and practices. we respect our diferences and do not try and force things which are against their principles be it due to religion or other reasons which maybe collective or personal.
we find our common grounds and work on them the best we can to help everyone progress in aikido.
I have chinese non muslim ladies and muslims ladies train together with no problems in progressing in their aikido skills much as like their other friends who mix around in training. Why?
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:38 AM   #114
Din
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

we probably need look back to our aikido and what is the main aim of aikido and does it really matter much if accomodate and tolerate according to some religious restrictions.
if we believe that we should not adhere to the needs of certain religious or cultural in our aikido training especially mixed training and bowing to pics, then maybe aikido is after all not an art for everyone which is contrary to what we all understand.
Aikido has spread to countries with strong religious practices such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Why? becoz intstructors who train there have succeeded in accomodating according to the needs of the people of the land.
Thus, we aikido is able to be shared with others and through aikido we have been able to make new friends.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #115
kapakahi
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Location: Woodbourne, NY
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

I am new to this forum but not to Aikido and not to Orhtodox Judaism.
Yoshioka Sensei told me about 30 years ago that "First comes religion and your duty to G-d. Second comes your family and your duty to your family. After that you come to practice Aikido." Yoshioka Sensei rescheduled the Shodan Test because I would not take the test on Saturday for pure religous reasons. Reading the responses to this issue I see that not everyone is fluent on all the issues. It is very, very, questionable if a Torah Jew can choose to practice Aikido over spending the same time learning Talmud. I admit wholeheartedly that of all the Martial Arts, Aikido as we have received from O'Sensei is as close as a martial art can come to be in concert with Jewish Law. Once there is a hint of competition, winners or losers, it is not the Aikido I understand or have been conscious of for the last 45 years.

Many will not understand this prohibition about touching between genders. It applies also to one's spouse in public, modesty applies in that aspect of the Jewish Law, also. I grew up practicing with many girls and women. They were the minority. It could be a non-issue just as if a woman had a male doctor or vis-a-versa. This can be looked on as a totally professional vocation and then it would be a lesser issue. It may still bother the fellow. It shouldn't bother the fervent Aikidoist as such a person is serious and wishes to better his/her partner regardless of their religious beliefs. Aikido has always accomodated the religous beliefs of people.
O'Sensei projected much love into Aikido. Of the last 3000 years Aikido is perhaps the only "language" that has crossed cultural and political boundaries to join people regardless of their predispositions. Interesting that while Aikido is bringing people together from around the World, the Jewish People, though they are dispersed among the four corners of the World, have a commonality unique from all other peoples and that common thread keeps the Jewish People unified more than any Martial Art. A jew gets hurt in Mambai and the Jew in Hawaii cries. It is if the Jewish People were as one body. When one part fails the rest of the body feels the pain. Aikido has a uniqueness that "once you are a part of Aikido it never lets go." While one body (Jew) is whole and striving to stay together the other body (Aikido) is building the parts and making them all one family.
There are some foreign forms of Aikido that preaches competition, winning, and loosing. There are also strains of Jews who are not mindful of the goals of Judaism. Both are not making the World a better place nor are they bringing more peace to the World.
Glanstein Sensei was quite unique in teaching Aikido and Judaism. There are many people I know of who became better people because of Glanstein Sensei's touch. Glanstein Sensei caused Aikido to travel to the United States. He left the womb of New York City to practice Aikido in Hawaii amongst the great Aikidoists in Hawaii.

Lastly, lawsuits. If anyone would want to bring suit against Aikido because of some discriminatory practice it would make for some scholastic debate. However, the nature of Aikido is to be totally accepting of one's religious beliefs and sexuality.
That aside, "Let's practice!"
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:43 PM   #116
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

If one is a teacher/sensei one tries to accommodate all....... but not when religious idealism dictates what should and shouldn't be..... When in Rome......
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:03 PM   #117
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Jeff Glanstein wrote: View Post
It is very, very, questionable if a Torah Jew can choose to practice Aikido over spending the same time learning Talmud. I admit wholeheartedly that of all the Martial Arts, Aikido as we have received from O'Sensei is as close as a martial art can come to be in concert with Jewish Law.
I am a (not-so) good Catholic boy and a lawyer -- so a whole heaping hopper of salt later -- on the first point, I would ask if Eccl. 3:1-8 does not state the principle on this point: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ... a time for war, and a time for peace."

The Mishneh Torah discusses the positive commandment "To imitate His good and upright ways, as it is written 'and walk in His ways.'" (Deuteronomy 28:9). Maimonides says that men are called upon to imitate every quality of the Lord, as we are made in his image. Every quality of the Lord -- both merciful and warlike. The Song of Moses (Ex.15:1-2) declares that "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea. ... The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name."

Some things to think about, anyway.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:20 AM   #118
Eva Antonia
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Hi to all,

my experience from Turkey (with a large but very moderate Muslim population ) and Belgium with a not so large but also moderate Catholic population is that no one has any problems concerning women mixing with men and bowing to O'Sensei, the teacher and your partner. Why should they? The bow is different from the bow at prayer, it's just a form of greeting or politeness in Japanese, and no one would confuse it with the bow in the Mosque.

Same for man-woman issues, and also luckily, no one thinks it should be restricted that older men train with young women or girls or vice versa. I've never observed any type of sexual harrassment in any dojo, and I don't see any sexual component in touching during techniques. If someone is looking for it, he would certainly find it, but then he would also find it in swimming pools, overcrowded buses or his office/ factory. You shouldn't restrict a sane activity because of some insane individuals.

In my opinion you could accept that someone refuses to bow or to train on Sabbath (Friday, Hindu or whatever other sacred days) everywhere in the world; it wouldn't really affect aikido - but I'd hate to train in a pure women dojo. That's just one of the main attractions of aikido - you train with old, young, male, female, heavy, light, all sorts of people. But then again, I'd refuse to go to such a country where they insist on male-female segregation or any other type of apartheid even as a tourist or for a short-time consultancy job.

Best regards,

Eva
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:22 PM   #119
giriasis
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

I just want to add that last year, Donovan Waite Sensei was at our dojo teaching and he mentioned that he was going to teach a seminar in Indonesia. My sensei asked about Muslim women not being able to practice aikido because that is what he was told by our more orthodox Muslim men in the dojo. Waite Sensei said that were he teaches there that the women wear their chador and under their dogi tops they wear another longer sleeve shirt that comes down past their hands. So, when they train with their male counterparts they grab their clothe from the longer sleeved shirt.

To those not in the U.S. we have a lot of legal issues related to how the balance the rights of all our students. My right to not be discrimnated against because I'm a woman is balanced against an orthodox Muslim's right to follow his religious beliefs. A dojo can easily be subject to a possible lawsuit if a reasonable accomodation is not made.

Any how, my more recent experience since I first posted. I was actually told by on of my senior students not to train with one our orthodox Muslims. I was told just to try not to train with him out of respect. Well, the problem came in when I was filling in teaching for this same instructor. And I was the only woman in class. It became rather difficult, well, more awkward, to try and instruct him. So, after class I told him I understood his beliefs but I do appreciate training with him. Still, today, before I partner with him I ask him if it's okay. Of course, he says, yes, but I still like to make the concession out of respect to ask.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:53 PM   #120
Buck
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post

To those not in the U.S. we have a lot of legal issues related to how the balance the rights of all our students. My right to not be discrimnated against because I'm a woman is balanced against an orthodox Muslim's right to follow his religious beliefs. A dojo can easily be subject to a possible lawsuit if a reasonable accomodation is not made.
Please help me understand how that works. I really don't understand how that can be. Can you really be sued?

Quote:
Any how, my more recent experience since I first posted. I was actually told by on of my senior students not to train with one our orthodox Muslims. I was told just to try not to train with him out of respect. Well, the problem came in when I was filling in teaching for this same instructor. And I was the only woman in class. It became rather difficult, well, more awkward, to try and instruct him. So, after class I told him I understood his beliefs but I do appreciate training with him. Still, today, before I partner with him I ask him if it's okay. Of course, he says, yes, but I still like to make the concession out of respect to ask.
But doesn't his beliefs-accommodating to them- over ride your culture, your beliefs, and your rights as a women? Why surrender them to him. If the guy, any guy has issue with a woman instructor, he either gets with the program or really needs to walk. This is America 2009 ,people from other countries who come here must also observe, and respect our culture and beliefs. Women are not cattle here.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:14 AM   #121
DonMagee
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

I spell out the rules fairly plainly to anyone who asks me what it is like to take my judo class. I've had serveral people ask similar religious questions (mostly about bowing). I've always told them this.

I welcome anyone who wants to train from any religion. But we do not make special accommodations for anyone. The rules are well spelled out and if they do not suit you, then it is not for you. Coming on my mat and asking me to change the rules for you is no different then me walking in your church and asking you to change your religion for me.

We work as a team. Anyone who breaks that harmony hurts the other students. It's like building a house next to an airport then claiming you didn't know it was loud.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-08-2009, 02:58 PM   #122
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I spell out the rules fairly plainly to anyone who asks me what it is like to take my judo class. I've had serveral people ask similar religious questions (mostly about bowing). I've always told them this.

I welcome anyone who wants to train from any religion. But we do not make special accommodations for anyone. The rules are well spelled out and if they do not suit you, then it is not for you. Coming on my mat and asking me to change the rules for you is no different then me walking in your church and asking you to change your religion for me.

We work as a team. Anyone who breaks that harmony hurts the other students. It's like building a house next to an airport then claiming you didn't know it was loud.
Well put, Don.
What is funny, and often happens; ppl asking for accommodation will never do themselves any accommodation for others.

The dojo is a special place for study. The dojo rules can't be changed to suit every existing religious requirement in the world - what a nonsense! Particularly, they can be contradictory. It is the students that must do a serious effort to change themselves, as a important part of their training.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #123
giriasis
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
But doesn't his beliefs-accommodating to them- over ride your culture, your beliefs, and your rights as a women? Why surrender them to him. If the guy, any guy has issue with a woman instructor, he either gets with the program or really needs to walk. This is America 2009 ,people from other countries who come here must also observe, and respect our culture and beliefs. Women are not cattle here.
Women are no longer chattel (that is property). We are have never been cattle (the livestock).

I live in South Florida and we have a large immigrant population, thus we are a very diverse population. We are not a monolithic "American" culture down here.

Also, how do you know the person I'm talking about is not a citizen born in the U.S.? There ARE native born Americans who convert to Islam. And that is part of the case, here. It just so happens the person who will not train with women in our dojo is a native born American not a foreign national. It's our foreign national friend who will train with me.

Respect goes both ways. By showing respect for his beliefs, he shows respect for my right to train with men...and he trains with me. Of the three that started in my dojo, he's the only one who trains at our dojo. Two of them do not train in our dojo anymore, just at their mosque aikido club. The one who trains with me and who has stayed in our dojo is an Egyptian national; the one who won't is an American convert. Go figure.

Also, the key word here is "reasonable" not just any accomodation. And forget whether someone gets sued or not. Anyone can try to sue for anything - it doesn't mean that they have leg to stand on though. It's just a matter of common decency and respect really. Schools do not need to go to extraordinary lengths but I don't think we should be a doormat to the PCism either. And that is not what I'm advocating either.

Like my direct experience, they will either stick around and find a way to train in a dojo with women and without conflicting his beliefs or they don't and find another alternative and that alternative exists for them - their male-only aikido classes at their mosque.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:30 PM   #124
Buck
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post
Women are no longer chattel (that is property). We are have never been cattle (the livestock).

I live in South Florida and we have a large immigrant population, thus we are a very diverse population. We are not a monolithic "American" culture down here.

Also, how do you know the person I'm talking about is not a citizen born in the U.S.? There ARE native born Americans who convert to Islam. And that is part of the case, here. It just so happens the person who will not train with women in our dojo is a native born American not a foreign national. It's our foreign national friend who will train with me.

Respect goes both ways. By showing respect for his beliefs, he shows respect for my right to train with men...and he trains with me. Of the three that started in my dojo, he's the only one who trains at our dojo. Two of them do not train in our dojo anymore, just at their mosque aikido club. The one who trains with me and who has stayed in our dojo is an Egyptian national; the one who won't is an American convert. Go figure.

Also, the key word here is "reasonable" not just any accomodation. And forget whether someone gets sued or not. Anyone can try to sue for anything - it doesn't mean that they have leg to stand on though. It's just a matter of common decency and respect really. Schools do not need to go to extraordinary lengths but I don't think we should be a doormat to the PCism either. And that is not what I'm advocating either.

Like my direct experience, they will either stick around and find a way to train in a dojo with women and without conflicting his beliefs or they don't and find another alternative and that alternative exists for them - their male-only aikido classes at their mosque.
First, I don't have Ph.D. in the meaning of words, but I really think it is important to let you know that I meant cattle and not chattel.

Chattel meaning owned slaves. Cattle being a beast of burden, a creature that is easily domesticated, and dominated and is often use to describe human beings en masse, and specifically to this discussion women. Now some religions and peoples treat and feel woman are equal or even less than cattle. A quick search to an online dictionary will have the following stuff for the word cattle is related to in the word chattel. ETYMOLOGY of Cattle: Middle English catel, from Anglo-French katil, chatel personal property, from Medieval Latin capitale, from Latin, neuter of capitalis of the head . I thank you for your keenness, but I think I used the right word of cattle, and not chattel. Chattel is above cattle, because chattel means slave, and cattle doesn't.

With the rest... thanks and good luck.

Last edited by Buck : 01-08-2009 at 10:34 PM.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:34 AM   #125
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote: View Post
Also, the key word here is "reasonable" not just any accomodation.
What is reasonable for one person will be not reasonable at all for other. As such, it can't be a stable foundation for harmonious relations between people.
Especially it is true when you deal with different cultures. So such approach can be seen as a kind of favoritism in the dojo, and for me it is very wrong thing.

Nagababa

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