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Old 01-09-2009, 05:30 PM   #126
Buck
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
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.
If it wasn't evident I don't think anyone should be treated like cattle.

As the saying goes, "when in Rome..."
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Old 01-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #127
Buck
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Eric in Post #7 said it well. But that is a problem as we as Americans kind of lose our identity our unity as a people that is a part of the idea of patriotism. We have become very splintered and different ideologies, politically etc. Ann Marie is a good example of it when she said "we are not Monolithic America." Florida isn't its own country, or an island or something. I don't think each and every state has their own mores that come from all the different mixes of people that live there. These states become united. It seems we really lost that.
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Old 01-16-2009, 11:57 AM   #128
""Frances Bacon""
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

I have a friend who is a lawyer. I asked my friend about this situation. I assumed that the dojo is in the U.S.

My friend stated that discrimination is only illegal in the sense of providing employment or government sponsored benefits. My friend did not believe that it was gender discrimination to have the man in question train only with male students. My friend also believed that it would not be discrimination to refuse to accomodate the man at the dojo.

My friend believed that the only situation that might be discrimination is if the man in question was forced to train with female students. Also, If the dojo is taking government money, through grants or government assistance, then it would be required to try to accomodate the man.

The only requirements for a 501(c)(3) that does not take government money is that 1. it is not set up to benefit one person more so than others and 2. you can't lobby for political candidates. Here is the IRS link with details.

http://www.irs.gov/charities/charita...=96099,00.html

I have tried to give answers about the legal question. My information is being related second-hand and I am posting anonymously, so this is not official legal advice.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:54 AM   #129
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Smile Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Hello,

I would like to add some prespective to this discussion if I may, from the islamic side, or jewish side.

Reading through the many posts I would like to summarized my points as follows:

1. Those who say men/women who refuse to train with the opposite sex are missing out, since this is a martial art and you dont choose you attacker in life, yes but who said that man or woman training has similar goals as the others? They could be training for the love of Aikido, not for the defensive tactics. They could be training for good health, etc. They are in a free country, they are free to choose.

2. Some say ''leave your religion outside'' and come on to the mat. Yet from the other perspective religion is part of them, its in their heart, can they leave their soul outside and come on the mat? Some would respond and say ''can you also stop the creator of the universe from watching us?" It is not like a T-Shirt you just take it off whenever u want.

3. As some members pointed out, not accommodating the special needs of members could result in discrimination against that member. Personally I would accommodate them to add perspective and diversity, yet as long as no hate and intolerance is spread. As a member pointed out on a specific case, some men/women wont touch the opposite sex not because of hate or intolerance, but because 1st of religious rules (no offense intended to anyone) 2nd it is part of their respect of the opposite sex that they do not touch them, ie. it is considered rude or insulting to touch a woman if your a man (its part of the religion's etiquette you can say).

4. The issue with Islam and intolerance. Doing some research I found that many so called Muslims act in the name of Islam and do bad things yet it is against the teachs of their religion, its a cover for them, and media projects it as ''Islamic''. For example, with the issue of the danish cartons as one member pointed out, the cartoonist's life was threatened. In brief, I learned that in no way or shape or form should his life be threatened by any Muslim, except the authority of that country who imposes the law. Its true that that cartoonist did an immensly insulting thing and gesture towards Muslims under the cover of freedom of speech, yet the ruler of law is the one who takes care of him not anyone else according to Islamic teachings.

5. I spoke to a few Senseis I know, running their own dojos. I have found that its an issue specific to the Dojo itself. Meaning, if their are more men than women, then a woman with religious restrictions can't practice there, yet if its 50 ; 50 , then they could accommodate her partnering her with a woman. Again, it depends on the Dojo's situation. Yet what worries me is that some instructors will be hard in they way they turn down these people's requests (what ever religion they come from), and then the person turned down would associate that rude rejection with how Aikido operates and attitude it carries. After all instructors are representatives of Aikido. I personally have seen instructors who were rude in turning down special accommodations because of that instructor's own perspective or beliefs, not because he or she can't accommodate a student. I know students who grew more in respect of an instructor because that instructor turned them down with a smile and politeness. After all its all about peace and harmony!

Finally, I would say its an issue of dialogue and understanding the other side's story. Its up to the dojo and instructor and their special situation if they can or can't accommodate. But my wish is that an instructor takes the time to understand the student. Who knows that student could be an asset in the future, bring in diversity, perspective, and harmony to the class with his uniqueness.

Enjoy Aikido and have fun, relax
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Old 08-01-2009, 01:18 AM   #130
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Here's a perspective from the other side...

I started practicing Aikido for the beauty of the martial art and for its spiritual aspect, I'm also studying O Sensei's teachings and I'm greatly influenced by them.

I must admit, though, that I have internal conflicts when it comes to being forced to bow or practice with a partner of the opposite sex, this is just who I am and I certainly don't expect people to understand, but their accommodation would be greatly appreciated.

I have asked a few Senseis if I could get away with these (primarily practicing with women), and they refused, which is fine, it's their Dojo and it's their rules. I'd also want to practice in a place that would understand my situation. I guess it is something I have to accept as a price to pay for being the way I am.

I haven't gone through all the dojos in my city, and hopefully I will find one, but if I don't, I guess I'm a minority and I'll have to live with it.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:45 AM   #131
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Mohammad Ahmad wrote: View Post
Here's a perspective from the other side...

I started practicing Aikido for the beauty of the martial art and for its spiritual aspect, I'm also studying O Sensei's teachings and I'm greatly influenced by them.

I must admit, though, that I have internal conflicts when it comes to being forced to bow or practice with a partner of the opposite sex, this is just who I am and I certainly don't expect people to understand, but their accommodation would be greatly appreciated.

I have asked a few Senseis if I could get away with these (primarily practicing with women), and they refused, which is fine, it's their Dojo and it's their rules. I'd also want to practice in a place that would understand my situation. I guess it is something I have to accept as a price to pay for being the way I am.

I haven't gone through all the dojos in my city, and hopefully I will find one, but if I don't, I guess I'm a minority and I'll have to live with it.
That was a really polite approach to the issue Mohammad, good stuff.

For starters I would mention that no one is forced to bow to another student. No one is being forced to attend Aikido classes (as far as I know).
You choose to attend.
In class there are certain rules and traditions that people are expected to follow as they are a part of the art/environment.

I remember training with one guy once who made a point about hating all things Japanese and making sure everyone around him knew it. He didn't feel he needed to wear the dogi, he wanted t wear shorts and a T shirt. His argument was that fighters on TV wore shorts, he should be allowed to wear what he wanted too. He was of course asked to leave.

Gender segregation creates a poor training environment IMO. To me it is the exact same as someone not wanting to train with African Americans, Asians, Muslims, Native Americans etc..

Me not wanting to train with black students "just because it's the way I am" probably wouldn't see me training there. Is it fair to them? Nope. Humans are humans.

I respect the fact that people have religious issues but why should a school for example bend their rules and traditions?
Why not have the student with the religious issues bend their own rules?

In your case why couldn't you accept the fact that you're in an environment where men and women and equal, train with each other and just follow suit?

Quote:
I'm also studying O Sensei's teachings and I'm greatly influenced by them.
Imagine you're in his Dojo learning his art. What do you think his reaction would have been if you said I don't want to bow to that student because she's female?

Last edited by Guilty Spark : 08-01-2009 at 08:49 AM.

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Old 08-01-2009, 02:18 PM   #132
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

And what happends if only he and another female student shows up? Then what....

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:37 AM   #133
Amir Krause
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Imagine you're in his Dojo learning his art. What do you think his reaction would have been if you said I don't want to bow to that student because she's female?
The Sensei has to make a decision, is he interested in accepting all interested students, or is he going to discriminate against those for whom the Dojo rules must change?

Any decision is legitimate. But please, be honest, if you insist a student must transgress basic rules of his religion, you may as well ask him to change religion. This type of requirement is discriminatory.

I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment). I do not know of equivalent fundamental rules in Christianity. Though I am sure there are some. Growing in a secular post Jewish community, I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
For starters I would mention that no one is forced to bow to another student. No one is being forced to attend Aikido classes (as far as I know).
You choose to attend.
This might be the legal side. Yet, this is discriminatory in the moral sense.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
In class there are certain rules and traditions that people are expected to follow as they are a part of the art/environment.
True, but are all the rules equally important?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
I remember training with one guy once who made a point about hating all things Japanese and making sure everyone around him knew it. He didn't feel he needed to wear the dogi, he wanted t wear shorts and a T shirt. His argument was that fighters on TV wore shorts, he should be allowed to wear what he wanted too. He was of course asked to leave.
Sorry, but this example is misleading. You compare a person with no respect to tradition, to a person who follows one tradition and is interested in practicing and honoring another.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
Gender segregation creates a poor training environment IMO.
I agree, this does make a poor training environment. Yet, not traveling and not turning the lights on one day a week seems much more harmful of life quality, and religious Jews do it one full day (>24 hours) every week.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
To me it is the exact same as someone not wanting to train with African Americans, Asians, Muslims, Native Americans etc..
Me not wanting to train with black students "just because it's the way I am" probably wouldn't see me training there. Is it fair to them? Nope. Humans are humans.
The difference is the matter of cause\motive. If one is dismissive of other peoples, and a racist, you are right. But if one only follows his religion, and is willing to do the most his religion allows him to, it is not the same.

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
I respect the fact that people have religious issues but why should a school for example bend their rules and traditions?
Why not have the student with the religious issues bend their own rules?
WE respect Japanese tradition while practicing Aikido, are we bound to disrespect any other tradition (most of which pre-date Aikido by many hundreds of years)? Can one not find a way to respect both?

Quote:
Grant Wagar wrote: View Post
In your case why couldn't you accept the fact that you're in an environment where men and women and equal, train with each other and just follow suit?
Ahmed never said men and women are not equal, this is your interpretation.
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside.
Ahmed (and many religious Islamic and Jews) may train with women – these are the rules of his religion – you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Actually Religious Jews are only allowed to touch women, after both have gone to purify in the Mikve (special water pool), are you willing to create on in your dojo and ask all women and men to go there prior to training?

Amir
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:56 AM   #134
"Unreg56"
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
"I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam ...I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women."
At least for the sake of people familiar with racial segregation and discrimination around the world, you will have to do better then that.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
"... but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside."
If I remember correctly these are the same people that demand segregated public transportation (brings memories doesn't it?) and praise god every day for "not making me a woman".

An ideology that preaches segregation by race or sex is discriminating by the definition of the word and should not be accommodated.
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:10 PM   #135
aikilouis
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Sorry, but this example is misleading. You compare a person with no respect to tradition, to a person who follows one tradition and is interested in practicing and honoring another.
Hell is paved with good intentions. No matter what excuse one finds for one's behavious, only the acts matter.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy, and her honor should therefore be kept inside.
Ahmed (and many religious Islamic and Jews) may train with women -- these are the rules of his religion -- you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Well, no matter what fancy clothes the various religious authorities dress it with, it is still the manifestation of sexual repression and fear, and the most vocal advocates of purity are often the most hypocritical in private.

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #136
Guilty Spark
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
The Sensei has to make a decision, is he interested in accepting all interested students, or is he going to discriminate against those for whom the Dojo rules must change?

Any decision is legitimate. But please, be honest, if you insist a student must transgress basic rules of his religion, you may as well ask him to change religion. This type of requirement is discriminatory.
Interesting times we live in isn't it.
I come to your house and if you make me take off my shoes at your door you may very well be discriminating against me.

Quote:
I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment). I do not know of equivalent fundamental rules in Christianity. Though I am sure there are some. Growing in a secular post Jewish community, I find a huge distinction between the Orthodox Judaism concept of opposite sexes segregation and discrimination against women.
I may border on being a hypocrite.
Personally I don't like training with females. Might be due to the hooah environment of the military I work. May be due to previous bad experiences I have had and seen in a different MA school. It might be the constant threat (real or feigned) of sexual harassment that often accompanies females places. (Yes happens to guys too but it's uncommon)

This said my current training partner is a female whom I consider to be my best friend. There are female members of this bored who would do circles around me on the aikido mat and I'd love to get the snot beat out of me by them.

The difference is that while I may have personal reservations against training with females (for some valid reasons IMO) I'll never refuse to train with one or refuse to bow to one showing the same amount of courtesy I would a male. They have every right to be on the Aikido mat that I do and I feel I would be disrespecting them, myself and the Dojo if I treated them any differently.

My issue is that people come to various institutions and want to bring their religious and cultural practices.
Why does it often come across that the same people are reluctant to accept that the institution they are attending has different practices than them and choose to modify their own while present?

Do you see where I am going?
I admit I know very little about religion. This may be a bad example but I'll try.
Lets say your religion does not allow you to eat on Fridays. For whatever reason I go to an establishment belonging to your religion. Fridays are TGIFs (ThankGod It's Friday) for me at and my tradition (work/family whatever) to order Pizza at lunch.

Would it be rude of me to order pizza and eat it in front of you at your establishment or would you expect me to respect you your religion and the establishment and refrain from eating?

That may be a little simplistic but that's how I see a lot of religious and cultural issues on the matter. You respect mine while I don' really worry about yours.

Quote:
True, but are all the rules equally important?
Yes otherwise they would be suggestions.

Quote:
I agree, this does make a poor training environment. Yet, not traveling and not turning the lights on one day a week seems much more harmful of life quality, and religious Jews do it one full day (>24 hours) every week.
How much does not traveling or turning lights on compare with behaviors at a dojo?
Perhaps an issue would be the actual location of the OPs Dojo.

The difference is the matter of cause\motive. If one is dismissive of other peoples, and a racist, you are right. But if one only follows his religion, and is willing to do the most his religion allows him to, it is not the same.

Quote:
WE respect Japanese tradition while practicing Aikido, are we bound to disrespect any other tradition (most of which pre-date Aikido by many hundreds of years)? Can one not find a way to respect both?
That may be an ideal solution, a compromise but ultimately I would err on the side of respecting Aikido's traditions vice someone choosing to show up and train there.

Quote:
Ahmed never said men and women are not equal, this is your interpretation.
Not in as many words no, I was referencing what I've seen and dealt with regarding treatment of women.
Why do you think it woul be offensive to bow to a woman, Amir? Remembering you're not touching them, what might the reason be?

Quote:
I do not know his explanation (the Islamic one), but for instance some Orthodox Jew interpretations I have heard would believe that the woman is more worthy.
Amir, you should take a few minutes and research Islam and what they think of women being more worthy then men.

Quote:
-- these are the rules of his religion -- you can either accept him or discriminate against him, period.
Or, they can accept that a school doesn't treat women differently than men for whatever reason (training, bowing) contact) and either accept it or find something else to do.

Quote:
are you willing to create on in your dojo and ask all women and men to go there prior to training?
If I was running a school in Israel? Maybe.

In Canada I would say no students under 18,men train with women, no heavy make up or cologne, accept and respect my schools rules and traditions and leave the drama at the door.

While we obviously don't agree on this issue Amir (Nor probably will) I appreciate your opinions and the time you took for the well worded and thought out post thank you.

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Old 08-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #137
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Interesting thread....I like to train with everyone.....even the people I might not like to train with.

If men won't trian with women how can women become teachers?
Mary
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:48 PM   #138
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
I guess many here miss the importance of sex segregation in Orthodox Judaism and Islam due to your living and being brought up in a Protestant Christian environment (or a secular post Protestant Christian environment).
Protestant Christians were fine with slavery, witch trials, and not letting women vote long before they embraced equality.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:13 PM   #139
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

it is funny how people think. i had a couple parents who approached me with concerns regarding bowing and those strange words i said to begin meditating and to end it. i explained to them what was going on and they seemed satisfied that it didn't conflict with their religious beliefs. course the fact that they often fail to pay their monthly dues wasn't mentioned. not sure how they reconcile that. lol
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:24 PM   #140
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

This is a very touchy subject. My dojo only has a few females (5 and I am the only one that trains regularly) so training with a female could be minimized usually. However, 3 out of 4 classes this week involved 3 students. That meant 2 males and me being the one female. Now, when there are 3 students in my dojo, one person is in the middle and the other 2 take turns being uke. Then you switch.

Now, this allows one person to rest for a tiny bit. IF you were to say "Hey Ashley, sorry but you aren't going to be able to work with XYZ." Then the other poor uke is the only that can work with myself and XYZ, which means they will not be able to rest at all. This may not be a big deal, but when it is 108 degrees and you are still doing an intense class, then a tiny break every now and then is good. Sure, the instructor for that class could work with a student to even the numbers out, but usually our sempais and sensei prefer to watch so they can help.

Having said this, I am an advocate of allowing all to train if they want and I believe that a reasonable attempt to accomodate a student should be made. The training of the other students shouldn't be compromised in this process either. The question is, does this cross the line for this particular dojo. Only this anonymous person knows the proportion of male/female ratio as well as the normal number of students on a daily basis.




On another note (as another female brought this up): I personally prefer to train with men and I will partner up with a man faster then I would a female. Chances are that I will be attacked by a man more then I would a female. Since most... no... all of the men there are stronger then me, then I know I have to get my technique right. I personally would be a little bumbed if a guy refused to work with me, but at the same time, though I amy not understand, I would have to respect his religious beliefs. I would like to think that several other aikidoka would feel the same way.

This person also didn't mention if they were an instructor or a student. I hope they aren't the one to have to make this difficult decision.

Last edited by ninjaqutie : 08-02-2009 at 03:28 PM.

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Old 08-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #141
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Religious restrictions on contact between men and women are all based on very old fashioned assumptions that women are primarily considered to be sexual objects, and any male interest in them whatsoever is considered to 'defile' the woman...

These men need to realise that women are people first, and should not presume anything else!

Treat people as people, and you won't go wrong.

In the dojo we are ALL people

Ruth
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:40 AM   #142
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Let's say that you wanted to be a fireman but religious restrictions prohibited you from touching a woman to save her from a burning building. Most, and I understand not all, would not allow you.

Moreover, Aikido is a martial art and we are learning how to defend ourselves. Women don't need to know how to defend themselves from other women, they need to know how to defend themselves from men. If you are not willing to participate in the passing on of the art to women then I'm afraid that Aikido isn't for you.
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:24 AM   #143
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Anonymous User wrote: View Post
Women don't need to know how to defend themselves from other women, they need to know how to defend themselves from men.
I agree with that and I mentioned this in my post up a couple from you. Another point that hasn't been mentioned is (if he is taking it for a self defense related reason) what would he do if he happened to be attacked by a woman? It does happen. Would he just accept the violence because he isn't allowed to touch her? Or does this cross a line that allows him to protect himself?

Sorry for my ignorance here, but I really don't know how strict this is to be followed. There are so many religions and so many different levels of each of these religions. I feel so ignorant outside of what I do.

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:49 AM   #144
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Hmmm. Great questions. Couple of things that I wrestle with when discussing this kind of hypothetical situation...

On one hand, religious rights are pushing for tolerance in a dojo, on the other hand, women are pushing for equal treatment. The dojo is becoming a battlefield for political lobbies. Advance, advance, advance...

I find it difficult to ask someone to violate the sanctity of their religion in class. If I were to consider such a command, it would only be with the utmost understanding for the gravity of the request, and done with confidence the outcome would be worth the weight of the request.
I also find it hard to allow any student to be treated unfairly for any reason, so I choose to step in when I see discrimination (or discriminatory habits).

Pertaining to a man whose religion prevents him from touching a women...

I think I have said it before in a post, "you can believe whatever you want as long as its what we believe too."
In US, we sometimes trample over others' rights when we try to advance our own. That is the freedom we have when we own our own dojo. But think about what would happen if a bunch of Muslims opened a "Muslim only" dojo [in America]? What about a "Christian only" dojo?
Also, I am hestitant to identify the harm here. From the majority of posts I have read clearly the man is missing out on training, not the other way around.
So the bottom line is a man who suffers [in his training] from not training with others because of his religion does not have the right to train aikido???

Wanna know the two most common complaints I hear about partners who are less desireable as partners? Bad attitude and personal hygeine. I ask people with bad attitudes to leave and I talk to students with bad hygeine - I actually have a web page devoted to personal hygeine... Substitute "bad breath" or "smelly feet" for "women;" are we still willing to kick someone out of a dojo? I am not equating sexism with bad hygeine, but I also want to draw a line of conviction which separates sexism from a preference training with partners. We live in a world of personal preference, discrimination transcends preference and hurts others. We should be tolerant of preference, we should not be tolerant of discrimination.

Work with individuals in the same way you would work with anyone who has individual needs for training - physical, mental, emotional... It is impossible to avoid contact with women in the US every day, our religious friends need to accept that culture in American dojo. Some people don't like working with others for whatever reason (age, sex, attractiveness, smell, attitude), our dojo friends need to accept the fact they possess traits which make them more/less desireable as partners.
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Old 08-03-2009, 12:42 PM   #145
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Religious prohibitions on contact with members of the opposite sex are part of the standard of modesty for both male and female members of those communities. They are not statements about the superiority or inferiority of one sex over the other.

Consider single sex locker rooms. Every gym/dojos I've ever been in offers them. It is an expected part of our social standard on modesty. Because men and women change in seperate areas has nothing to do with sexism. There really is no need to make this issue more than it needs to be.

A conservative woman of faith who wishes to learn Aikido should not be made to abandon that goal or compromise her religious ideals in order to do so.

All those who argue to the contrary are insensitive and fail to extend the priciniples of Aikido to the matter.

In my mind, there is no doubt how O'Sensei would have handled the matter:

[O Sensei said:] "...Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian.” Then I asked, “O Sensei should I remain a Christian?” He replied, “Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian.” If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost." - Andre Nocquet
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Old 08-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #146
aikilouis
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

André Nocquet didn't go to Japan with a list of demands.

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Old 08-03-2009, 02:16 PM   #147
Rabih Shanshiry
 
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
André Nocquet didn't go to Japan with a list of demands.
Part of the problem is that we are unable to differentiate between a demand for preferential treatment and a request for acommodation.

Last edited by Rabih Shanshiry : 08-03-2009 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #148
aikilouis
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

From the moment you start saying "It's part of what I am, I can't change it", you make the situation non negotiable.

It's a crucial situation because joining a dojo is a commitment to a learning process, and implicitly you accept to be changed by it, and most probably in unexpected ways.
On one side there is your personal integrity that will dictate to put an end to the experiment if you consider it goes beyond the acceptable, but sometimes the value of the experiment can also lie in pushing the envelope. On the subject there are very interesting pages in Ellis Amdur's book Old School, concerning loyalty, commitment and limits.

Last edited by aikilouis : 08-03-2009 at 03:10 PM.

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Old 08-03-2009, 03:31 PM   #149
Flintstone
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Religion is NOT negotiable. That's it. Let the man train with men. What's the problem? The word here is respect. How you want them to respect you if you don't respect them in the first place? Half the world's population belong to a religion with such a constraint. Maybe half of the world is wrong, then?
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Old 08-03-2009, 04:07 PM   #150
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

People seem to be mixing apples and oranges here. An Aikido dojo is NOT a religious institution, or place of worship.

If I were to go to an orthodox synagogue, I would expect that I would not be worshiping with the women. If I visited a mosque, I would not expect that I would worship with a women. I can respect the structures that they put in place to demonstrate and teach their value systems.

At the hombu dojo, O'Sensei DID have men and women train together. I should not have to change the nature of the practice environment in order to satisfy all of the students unique demands. One potential student who was a Muslim man did not enroll because of the possibility of his training with women. I liked him, he liked me and the dojo environment, but we agreed to respect the differences that did not allow for him to feel comfortable training at my school.

If people want to start their own schools that blend the religious with training (and there are some out there), then they are entitled to do so.

One person's perception of modesty is another person's perception of bias. I do not discriminate or lack the respect for people who differ in terms of race, gender, religion,...... I do ask that in my dojo, my view of respect is that everybody trains with everybody, regardless of perceived differences. To each their own.... However, we should not confuse a place of training with a place of worship, nor should we have to sacrifice our own values and beliefs to satisfy others. Part of learning to live in a world of differences is to agree to disagree and still respect those differences.

Marc Abrams
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