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Old 07-24-2002, 09:21 AM   #76
Fminor
 
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Hi, Ari.

I might be the perfect candidate to answer your question.
You see - I'm an Orthodox Jewish woman.

I've been training in Israel for less then a year now, so I'm still quite new to Aikido (though very enthusiastic about it).
In my case - I do practice with male aikidoka - I personally have no problems with that, but I understand completely what you're going through.

People sometimes don't understand that it's not easy living by the moral rules you set for yourself.
It needs a great spirit and belief to follow them and I appreciate your persistent.

So - no, I'm not offended by your behavior.
You sound like a good and gentle person and I know that the open minded people in your Dojo won't see your behavior as offensive or discriminating.

My advice - try to talk to the Aikidokas individually and explain to them your reasons.
Sure, they'll be people who won't like it, some might even try to debate with you ("to show you the light") - don't be discourage by that.
You'll love the Aikido world - it's so fulfilling and exciting and I hope you'll stay a part of it.

Efrat

P.S about Kamiza - I've been debating with myself about it since I started doing Aikido.
I usually bow by leaning forward, but without lowering my head to the ground.
That's how I pay O-Sensei respect and honor, without feeling uncomfortable about it.

Last edited by Fminor : 07-25-2002 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:28 AM   #77
Andy
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Quote:
Dangus McFinghin (Dangus) wrote:
Personally I think it's a very silly rule that's been badly interpretted out of obscure text, but that's my opinion alone.
The same thing could be said about a hell of a lot of aikido texts, too.
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:29 AM   #78
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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Kevin's point makes sense, especially in the world today. But try take it the other way...

What gives you the right to impose on you your set of beliefs? ie. that its totally a personal choice on whether or not to follow precepts laid down by religion. If he believes it to be otherwise, then that is his right.

But then again, this going to degenerate into a debate of personal opinions. We've all given Mr Fuchs there our opinion, it is his thread after all, let him decide his course of action. If this forum can be considered as a reasonable sample, then I would expect that he will get mixed reactions from his dojo mates. Good luck!

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:45 AM   #79
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
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Hi Ari. Like I said, I'm an atheist. The Adam and Eve thing should give most people who take the Bible as absolute truth cause for thought. That level of incest is N.I.N (or even bedworth) but it's not something I'm going to take up in a hurry.

But seriously, it would really be a shame if someone as spiritually aware as yourself was dissuaded from practicing Aikido. Aikido has been a large part of my life for a long time now and has given me more than i have put in.

I sincerely hope that you can solve this dilemma and enjoy the journey.

Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 07-24-2002, 09:49 AM   #80
Sherman Byas
Dojo: Anshindokan Dojo
Location: Chicago, IL
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What?

I'll make it plain.

You mean to tell us, that after all of this back and forth, all this GD international Uproar that the way to solve this is for you to keep your mind on Aikido? Young man you ought to be ashamed. You knew from the beginnign that the key to this whole thing was you and your horny mind! You intentionally misled everyone (and in turn caused a huge debate) into thinking that the touch that happens in class was prohibited No, what's prohibited is you getting a boner while working out. Keep your mind on AIKIDO!

I will now extend my Ki from Chicago and pop you upside your head.

nuff said
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:06 AM   #81
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi There !

I'll put it like this -

if you train in divine flow and rythm

there will be no opening for sin.

This is how I see it and that's what training is like for me, and maybe therefore also the reason that I've never been able to act out

any sexual attraction on the mat,which is perfectly fine with me.

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 07-24-2002, 10:23 AM   #82
Rev_Sully
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Perhaps it is the idea of seeing beyond the gender of the uke/nage. And address the motive behind the touching. The motive for touching the uke/nage is to train.

Also the motive to train and what Martial Art to train should be examined in Ari's case. Aikido fascinates me on a spiritual level. Although I am not a current practitioner, I have been and will be again. But Aikido is a very spiritual martial art in the way that other styles are not. My other two experiences with the Martial Arts are Shaolin Kempo (which I dubbed as "Fred Villari's Fast Food Kung-Fu") and Ju-Jitsu (which was a 12 week course but very interesting). These did not address the spiritual side of budo but the self-defense aspect. But I like to think Aikido and prepare for Aikido by reading O-Sensei's memoirs, by reading the all the helpful resources here at Aikiweb and by contributing to robust conversation on Message Boards such as this one.

I think there is no conflict IMHO. The possible conflict could be Dojo Culture/Etiquette versus Religious Belief. The conflict is a personal one but I tend to agree with the school of thought that choice must be made to take Aikido or not. I feel that there might not be the room for compromise although there is the possibility. My concern of compromise in Ari's favor stems from it might disturb the dynamic of the mat. The points of concern really hit home to Dojo Culture. He has every right to take Aikido and every right to be comfortable taking Aikido but expensing the culture for the rest of the class & mat time.

I guess it depends on Ari's motive for taking Aikido. Is it for self-defense? To keep in shape? What makes Aikido special to Ari.

The person of the Way (do-jin) is something I strive for. The thought of it makes me happy. But Ari might be a do-jin already in another culture/belief system.

I think two things Ari should answer for himself would be:

What is the motivation for touching uke/nage?

And what is the motivation for taking this particular budo?

Cheers and best regards.

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:16 AM   #83
Erik
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It's interesting to me how we support convictions within a certain context. I'm not hearing people loudly proclaim their support of the two Chuck's convictions for instance? Because it's religious, and it's of the A-ok kind (not one of the evil religions) many support Ari's convictions and expect that others should shunt aside their convictions (that everyone practices together) because of it. How interesting.
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:18 AM   #84
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Interestingly, four years ago I was approached by the rabbi of one of the Lebovich groups in Brooklyn. He wanted me to teach a group of their men "serious" aiki-self defense techniques. He was interested in having a mixed class between the military "right wing" radicals in his organization with their all-to-easily-ruffled feathered counterparts in the black community, in an effort to open dialogue between these two notoriously adversarial groups.

Having started a program teaching Aikido to HIV+ homeless teens in New York City, I looked at this - and even bigger challenge - as one of the best opportunities ever to come my way. Unfortunately, the program got caught up in the small mindedness of some politically motivated underlings, and was killed before it got started. Why - in an effort to close the dialogue before any progress could be made, those looking to scuttle the program latched onto the bowing, and O-Sensei's Picture and said, "NO WAY!" never even asking if I had come up with a way of providing a traditional experience in some other manner.

If I ever have the chance to set up a program like this, I would do it in a Heartbeat!

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:35 AM   #85
rachmass
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Wink

okay, now I know I should keep out of this, since I seem to have spurred on so many ruffled feathers, but, here I go again.

Ari started the thread because he wanted to know what peoples reactions might be to his not wanting to train with women. I answered what my feelings were. I was attacked on this, and even to the point of me being told that I might not fit to open a club because I have feelings about what I perceive as discriminatory behavior (interesting though that the person who attacked me could have his own personal feelings, but I cannot have mine?). This thread is all about how we would react. It most certainly should not be a free for all with people attacking each others views. This should be a place where we can discuss our views without fear of being villified. I personally do not think Ari is even the slightest bit of a villan. He has strong feelings about what he can and cannot do, and wants to get our opinions. Nothing more, nothing less.

If Ari were to come to me with his problem, I would most likely be very understanding, but I still would not want to bring it into the dojo. That is my opinion. Others would welcome him, and that is their opinion. Thankfully we have a system that allows for individual differences. I certainly hope that Ari can find a solution to his dilemma, and I hope that involves him practicing aikido!

Best to all of you, and without rancour.
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:50 AM   #86
Misogi-no-Gyo
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...The depths of depravity seemingly take another step down. Simply speaking, there is so much biased, Jew-hatred crap behind many of the responses. Some people are trying to pass this off (to themselves and to us) as being the basis for intelligent discussion. You may not know who you are, but there are many with a clear mind who can see it for what it is. In all fairness to those same people - who in my book are entitled to love, dislike or hate whomever the choose, whenever they choose, Ari will no doubt meet many like you on the mat, so it is good that he get an introduction to the feeling and taste and smell of it here in a venue less likely to be too confronting. What I hear is akin to telling a hemophiliac, "Train hard - JUST BE DAMN CAREFUL OUT THERE"

Since everyone is "entitled" to an opinion, even if completely stupid, I will chime in - judge for yourself mine own content, good, bad or ugly.

first - Buddha sat and starred at a blank wall and was enlightened. As it is so, so it must be that a person will go about their life, and others will be offended. No matter where you go, what you do, and no matter how hard you try to not offend, or to try and have others not dislike you, if you are focusing on "not" doing something, you will surely fail - miserably.

Second - If it were O-Sensei's religious beliefs or convictions and the corresponding behavioral modifications we might have to make that we were questioning, would the responses be the same? I wonder!

Third - Those of you who are students, those not running your own school - whatever the "culture" on the mat at your dojo, please realize that it is by convention - meaning that it is based upon the traditions established by the dojo Cho. Bowing to O-Sensei, to other students, or "training with everyone" is only valid when someone says it is - AND IT AINT YOU - It is the Dojo-Cho who makes these decisions. They can be changed at a moments notice, whether you as a student like it, understand it, or agree with it. For those of you who are teachers, and are against allowing Ari to train at your dojo - although I understand your point, I believe that you are limiting the training of all of your students, preventing them from blending with the feelings that come up in this unique situation. You are also limiting yourself from coming up with ways to expand your own horizons. Astute students may recognize this for what it is and choose to find another teacher more open to discovery and letting students learn from their own experiences. I would hope that you would reconsider, but the choice is yours to make - YOU ARE THE TEACHER. (??)

Lastly - I am surprised that not one person (unless I missed it) asked Ari where he is located. I guess letting the opinions fly was more important than actually trying to find him a place to practice. (??)

So, Ari, where are you located? If you are in the NY, FL, TX or CA areas, we can speak off line and arrange something that will work for you.

My Feeling is that bowing and O-Sensei's picture are pure representative objects within Japanese budo. Although they are fixtures, and required in my Dojo and between my students, I recognize them as only vehicles with which to ingrain the idea of respecting others at all times, between people.

When I asked Seiseki Abe Shihan, aikido 10th Dan about this he said, "All martial arts are about respect. Begin with Bow. End with Bow." But the bow is the Japanese form of showing respect. It is not, nor should it be required as the only way in which to acknowledge the seeking spirit within your partner. As a further example, he offered this while he was instructing me in the Misogi of O-Sensei:

During instruction of Norito-no-Gyo (daily practice of chanting Japanese prayers) he said, "[i]These (prayers) are in Japanese and represent one's things deeply spiritual in meaning, and your connection to them from this plane of reality. However, you are not Japanese. Therefore, you can create your own, in English, based upon your own spiritual convictions. This way, when you chant, you can connect at an additional level, to the meaning behind the words, and not just the use the sound and required breath training." With this flexibility of mind (Takemusu Aiki) It follows that when we bow to O-Sensei's picture, it is not to O-Sensei that we bow. Also, that when we bow to our partner, it is not to the person that we bow. In both cases it is to the spirit - that which is God within each of them, the bow acknowledging the difficulty in bringing this out in ourselves, and in others.

Ari - There simply is no connection between touching women during practice (prohibited) and bowing to the Kamiza, or O-Sensei's picture, or another student (acceptable in the above context). When one deeply studies Shinto, and the etymology of the words found within the Kojiki - the reference manual from which O-Sensei drafted the core principles of his art - it becomes clear that "Kami" has a very different meaning than the Judeo-Christian concept of God.

If anyone is interested in the Misogi or Kojiki as it was interpreted by O-Sensei, please send me email off the message board and I will try to get your answers our without clogging up the board with boring minutia, most of which has no place in most of the dojos who happen to hang a picture of Ueshiba Morihei somewhere on the wall.

...Glad I could get all that out being that my foot is in my mouth.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 07-24-2002, 11:57 AM   #87
Rev_Sully
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Dear Rachel,

Onegai Shimasu.

May I play "Devil's Advocate" and wonder what you feel about Women's Classes? Any opinion on a potential double-standard in some dojo. In cases of having Women's Classes but having Men's Classes is un-PC.

Thank you and best regards.

PS Thank you Erfat for sharing your feelings about being an Orthodox Jew and bowing to Kamiza. I feel it is just as important as the role of a female uke/nage in this argument. Same problem on a different area.

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:20 PM   #88
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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Smile

Hi Eric,

I feel if there are womens only classes, there should be mens only classes. I prefer that everyone trains together. Sometimes I would really like an over 40's class though where your body takes a bit less of a beating. I also don't like it when women wear hakama under dan ranks and men don't. I guess I'm a bit of a feminist, trying to learn how to be a bit more flexible here though. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:33 PM   #89
Kevin Wilbanks
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With regard to the fellow from NY who appears to be insinuating that I and others are full of 'Jew-hatred': get a grip. In general, we are elevating the issue of inclusiveness and equality in practice over special exceptions for individuals that disrupt or defy this principle. As I stated, the fact that the individual's purported reasons for wanting to be exempted from customs central to the spirit of the dojo are religious should gain him or her no special consideration.

On a more personal note, since that's where your insinuations are directing this, I have no hatred of any particular religious group of people. However, I do have trouble respecting anyone who subscribes to any dogma or creed without question. It leads to all kinds of trouble, and I fail to see why so many find it courageous and admirable.

As I said before, everyone is personally responsible for everything they do. Thus, I am quite unfavorably disposed to any kind of religious orthodoxy, particularly the fringe factions of the big 3 monotheisms. When it comes to mistrust and antagonism to religion, I am an equal opportunity antagonist.

In the particular instance of behavior in question, I would be unable to respect or take seriously a leader who prohibited me from touching women on the assumption that such contact would cause me to lose control. If they don't trust me, why should I trust them? If I chose not to touch women because I didn't trust myself, then I would have an even bigger problem.

In general, I personally find the extremity of this kind of sexual repression absurd and harmful to the human spirit in the first place. Touching, sexual and otherwise, is vital to human emotional health and perfectly natural. Any religion that prohibits, circumscribes, and attaches guilt and worry to touching and sex is on my s--t list and will get no quarter from me.

I think the opportunity to touch other people without all the everyday hangups and social baggage, often in a spirit of play, including rolling around on the floor like a kid is one of the most valuable aspects of Aikido.

K.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:36 PM   #90
Rev_Sully
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Jewish Issue

Quote:
Shaun Ravens (Misogi-no-Gyo) wrote:
...

Ari - There simply is no connection between touching women during practice (prohibited) and bowing to the Kamiza, or O-Sensei's picture, or another student (acceptable in the above context). When one deeply studies Shinto, and the etymology of the words found within the Kojiki - the reference manual from which O-Sensei drafted the core principles of his art - it becomes clear that "Kami" has a very different meaning than the Judeo-Christian concept of God.
Dear Shaun,

Onegai Shimasu.

I disagree. Erfat from Israel said she felt something similar to this but reconciled herself. There has been extensive discourse already about fellow students and O-Sensei and bowing but in bowing to Kamiza there is a direct and unmistakable violation of the Mosaic Covenant. Kamiza is a place where Kami "lives". Although it is far from the Judeo-Islamic-Christian concept of the God of Abraham, it is still a Deity. I do not deny nor do I dispute the definition of Kami but how can bowing to Kamiza be anything but 1.) giving worship to a Graven Image and 2.) respecting a Deity besides and before YHWH?

I wait to hear from Ari about what Rabbi says. I think Rabbi is a better source of information and advice for him than we are.

I hope that Ari is given blessing to train without hindrance.

Best regards.

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:46 PM   #91
Kat.C
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This is getting a bit weird, people are saying the kamiza is a shrine to a god but that religion should be kept out of the dojo. By that reasoning the kamiza then does not belong in the dojo. Neither would O-sensei I guess, as from what I understand he prayed in his dojo, and his religion was very much a part of his aikido. So now I am very much confused! Anyone want to enlighten me?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:50 PM   #92
Rev_Sully
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Hakama?

Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hi Eric,

I feel if there are womens only classes, there should be mens only classes. I prefer that everyone trains together. Sometimes I would really like an over 40's class though where your body takes a bit less of a beating. I also don't like it when women wear hakama under dan ranks and men don't. I guess I'm a bit of a feminist, trying to learn how to be a bit more flexible here though. Thanks for your thoughts.
Thank you for your thoughts too. I did not know about women wearing hakama under dan and men not. As a beginner I think that will confuse me for a spell until I understand more. I wholeheartedly agree with your judgement.

I espcecially like your idea of an over 40 class. Wonderful!

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:51 PM   #93
Kat.C
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Re: Jewish Issue

Quote:
Eric O&#039Sullivan (Rev_Sully) wrote:
Dear Shaun,

Onegai Shimasu.

I disagree. Erfat from Israel said she felt something similar to this but reconciled herself. There has been extensive discourse already about fellow students and O-Sensei and bowing but in bowing to Kamiza there is a direct and unmistakable violation of the Mosaic Covenant. Kamiza is a place where Kami "lives". Although it is far from the Judeo-Islamic-Christian concept of the God of Abraham, it is still a Deity. I do not deny nor do I dispute the definition of Kami but how can bowing to Kamiza be anything but 1.) giving worship to a Graven Image and 2.) respecting a Deity besides and before YHWH?

I wait to hear from Ari about what Rabbi says. I think Rabbi is a better source of information and advice for him than we are.

I hope that Ari is given blessing to train without hindrance.

Best regards.
Hi Eric, I've just got to ask you this, as you believe the Kamiza is a place where 'kami' lives are you worshipping when you bow to it?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-24-2002, 12:58 PM   #94
Steven
 
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Location: Orangevale, CA
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Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
I was attacked on this, and even to the point of me being told that I might not fit to open a club because I have feelings about what I perceive as discriminatory behavior (interesting though that the person who attacked me could have his own personal feelings, but I cannot have mine?).
Okay ... so for the record that would be me.

Rachel ... darling dearest .... I did not attack you and I apologize if you read that into my post. In fact if you re-read what I said you'll see I AGREED with you and still do.
Quote:
Steven wrote:
Then again, I can see Rachel's point too. I've seen the behavior where men did not want to train with women simply because they are women and nothing else.
As to the rest of my post, all I tried to convey is that as a teacher and soon to be chief instructor, compassion and cool headed responses go a longer way. Trust me on this. My own students called me on this when I went off on another BB some time ago. I never said you were UNFIT and in an Aikido kind of way, I played both sides of the fence.

So please accept my most sincerest apologizes and know that I did not mean to question your abilities as a teacher. I hope to visit your soon to be new school some day. This way you can whoop on me personally. Oh yes .. and for the record .. My best training partner was a woman. Because of her height and agility, she kept my techniques honest. Whenever I was feeling good about myself with other students, all I had to do was train with her to bring me back down to earth. So to that I say, anyone who refuses to train with a woman is only doing themselves a dis-service.

I would have taken this offline, but you have no e-mail available so please feel free to email me privately at aysdojo@seikeikan.com

Heiwa ...
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:07 PM   #95
Erik
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Good to see we've got a bunch of Erik/c/ck's on the list. It's appropriate to my life that there be at least 3 wherever I go.

Quote:
Rachel Massey (rachmass) wrote:
Hi Eric,

That said, I feel if there are womens only classes, there should be mens only classes. I prefer that everyone trains together. Sometimes I would really like an over 40's class though where your body takes a bit less of a beating.
You raise an interesting point. That of practicality. In some cases, you may have a group of women who have been abused by men. Throwing them in with the group (the deep end so to speak) may, or may not, be the best choice. I can certainly see an incubation group for women, or men for that matter, which is then worked into the general population. It's kind of what we do in the children's classes.

I don't think a dojo should be permanently separated but I can see a place for it.

Quote:
I also don't like it when women wear hakama under dan ranks and men don't.
The single dumbest thing I know of in our art. And, you know what, I'm convinced it stays there because no one really questions it. We are often so passive in this art that we never stop to question things. I just about guarantee that no one could provide you with a good reason why it's done, or for that matter, even who say's it should be that way. I'd just about bet that the heads of the organizations which operate this way would scratch their heads if asked about it.

Last edited by Erik : 07-24-2002 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:08 PM   #96
Paul Schweer
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What I Practice For

"Who trains at your dojo?" I was asked.

I answered, "Have you trained before?"

"Not anymore." Not since converting.

No touching, you see, between the boys and girls.

"Don't see how to get around that," I said.

Didn't understand. Half didn't believe it.

"You talk with your Rabbi?"

"Maybe I will."

And that was the end of that. I thought.

But the questions continued.
I didn't have answers.
Didn't have the heart
to say, "Give it up."

The Rabbi said training is fine -- no bowing
right? -- okay, that's fine. Long as the boys
don't touch the girls.

What in the world did he think training was?

What in the world could I tell somebody
so heart sick from missing a love abandoned?
And why should I say anything, after all?
Not my decision who trains and who doesn't.

Delegate it up the chain of command.
That's why Sensei gets the big bucks.

And Sensei said welcome. Train as you can.

Just like the rest of us, I guess.

I wonder, now, why she wanted to train.
Wonder at my attitude and hers...
at her simple sincere desire.

To train.

That's all. Just train.
Best that she could.

She knew it was a stretch.
She admitted that to me.
She didn't expect to progress in the art.
She just wanted to train.

And she did.

And loved every short improbable instant
of motion and balance and happy accident
of bumping, now and then, into one of the boys.

And then she didn't train anymore.

So what did she get out of training?
Say goodbye, maybe? One last walk
holding hands? I don't know.

But I'm glad we gave her a chance to do
whatever it was she was trying to do.
Glad we gave her a chance to play.

Grateful our art allowed for something
that seems so contrary
to the art itself. It gave
her a chance -- gave me a chance
to practice what I practice for.

Best to you and yours,

Paul Schweer

Last edited by Paul Schweer : 07-24-2002 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:16 PM   #97
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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Aikido has it´s own set of values, beliefs and traditions. They are open to healthy discussion, but they cannot be denied, rejected or ignored to accomodate for each individual need. To accept or accomodate this standards in our own lifes comes with the practice and I honestly feel there´s no way around it. Aikido is meant to be universal and inclusive, but the fact is that there will always be someone (individual or group) whose own habits, traditions and beliefs do not mix at all with those of Aikido. Unless of course somebody launches a "Holy Crusade" to try and convert the heathens! (sarcasm) That´s not gonna happen of course, so instead we must be careful that when we try to appeal to people from every walk of life, we do not dilude the essence of our art in an effort to be "all inclusive".
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:16 PM   #98
DanD
Location: US
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 38
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Smile

Fellow Aikodokas,

Now that's a one heated debate !! It seems to me that religion caught too much attention here.

Ari,

Take a look at the following it might help , and for the rest of us - just a friendly piece of info.

Just to cool down and get another perspective, take a look at the following article (written by a Rabbi who is also an Aikido practitioner), http://www.tikkun.org/magazine/index...e/010713c.html



P.S

"Tikkun" means in Hebrew "fixing" or "correcting". In Jewish mysticism it's a fundamental concept that refers to "fixing of the world"- by fixing of one's self. Or better to say- striving to make the world a better place by being a better person (by your daily behavior and intentions).

It exists in most other religions as well, but might "ease" this case...

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Old 07-24-2002, 01:44 PM   #99
Rev_Sully
Location: Somerville, MA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 58
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Re: Re: Jewish Issue

Quote:
Kathryn Cole (Kat.C) wrote:
Hi Eric, I've just got to ask you this, as you believe the Kamiza is a place where 'kami' lives are you worshipping when you bow to it?
Dear Kat,

My beliefs are my own really and my beliefs are not in conflict here. I don't follow any particular creed, dogma, or religion. I am an Ordained Minister of a Universal Faith Church.

And the argument isn't what I believe but about what others believe and how their beliefs might limit their Aikido. Also, I don't believe per se that Kami is actually living in the Kamiza. Your words were "as you believe".

Does God live in a Church, Temple or Mosque? Ask the faithful who lives there. I bet a Shinto practitioner would say "Yes, Kami lives there" in the Kamiza. I do not practice Shinto. I cannot answer that as a Shinto would.

But I also have no problems in bowing to Kamiza. My view of the Divine encompasses all so I will have respect for the Shinto and assume that Kami is there.

Am I worshipping when I bow to Kamiza is your question. In my own way yes I am. I consider it respecting the Japanese culture and the dojo culture. I am also bowing to O-Sensei's memory so it's hard to seperate the two.

I don't consider it idolarty because all avenues to the Divine are just that. But that's for me. I'm not holding myself against a set standard such as Orthodox Judaism which might or might not find bowing to the Kamiza kosher.

Cheers!

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-24-2002, 01:54 PM   #100
Jim23
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 482
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Ari, tough luck buddy. You're not welcome to train in aikido if you're not willing to change your beliefs to suit us. You have to play by our rules, because we're not flexible on this one.

I once watched an aikido class where there was a disabled guy training - amazing. His forward rolls were a bit awkward and he couldn't fall/roll on his left side. Somehow the class worked around it - I don't think he should have been there. However, I was actually surprised at how good the guy was ... then there was this old woman - better suited to mall walking if you ask me.

Sorry, I lost my train of thought. Anyway, next thing you know Ari, you'll want special dietary considerations at the dojo's annual dinner: it's tempura for you my friend.

(I hope you realize I'm not serious.)

This is so silly. The last thread that I remember being so heated was about gun control.

I'd be interested to see what the results would be if this were today's poll - then again, perhaps not.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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