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Old 09-29-2002, 04:54 PM   #151
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Deb,

Are you actually the same Deb Fisher that wrote this?

{I hate hate hate hate hate training with men who think it's okay to flirt while training. Not only does it distract from the reason I'm there (duh, training!), but it's *unbelievably manipulative* to sexualize a situation which is already, by necessity, intimate. The flirt-ee can only attempt to send a clear Not Interested message while engaging in a collaborative activity that involves touching and being at an intimate distance from a person - which the flirt-er is either free to understand... or not.

To answer your question, Mr. Fox - yes! This bothers me! This gets in the way! Flirty men have occasionally transformed my aikido practice into a social/personal liability, an opening through which someone with very few social skills can gain a captive audience for his ministrations. It totally sucks, and I can't believe that you are even positing that the dojo is an appropriate place to meet women (plural important). Is it okay to start flirting with your partner in Massage Therapy or accupuncture school? Is it okay for your doctor or dentist or a nurse to flirt with you while their fingers probe and prod all over and inside you? It would freak you out of someone started flirting with you when you were already doing a necessarily intimate activity, wouldn't it?

It's just so simple, I just don't understand why anyone would be asking if it's okay.

Deb "It's Not The Freaking Love Boat" Fisher

__________________

Deb Fisher }

With that kind of attitude I would think you would find a nice man's or woman's only dojo refreshing.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 09-29-2002, 05:51 PM   #152
paw
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Dan,

A while back in this thread, it was pointed out that according to the ASU Student Handbook

"The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba is an equal opportunity organization, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnic group, religion, age, or sexual orientation."

Your dojo is an ASU dojo, is it not? Yet, on this thread you have stated:
Quote:
I not only seperate the sexes, I keep women out of the dojo altogether.

If you do not have a Master's degree, it is difficult to get accepted here to train as well.

I also open the doors to anyone who has served our country in police, fire, or the armed services. As well as anyone who has previous Aikido training under a recognized Sensei.

Yes, before you ask, recognized by me.

Anyone who is a man.
So to summarize, you only allow men, who most likely have a Master's degree (high likelihood of a specific socio-econonmic background, and a certain age), who have trained under a Sensei you recognize.

How do you reconcile your dojo policy with ASU's policy?
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Old 09-30-2002, 08:22 AM   #153
mle
Dojo: The Dojo (www.the-dojo.com
Location: Bavaria
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Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
Ms Gordon,

I will be in Germany next year to teach a seminar in Frankfurt. I'm not sure of the dates. If you would care to, please attend the seminar as my guest. There will be other women on the mat.
Well thank you sir, I'll take you up on that if at all possible.

Much of my personal mission in budo has to do with unification and understanding across style, art and gender lines, and you just happened to trip over one of them ;-).
Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
This whole thing has been blown so far out of proportion. It is making me reconsider my decision. Perhaps I will allow women to train here again.
My big concern in your decision, made bigger by reading about your dojo on your web site, is that you concentrate on training instructors.

These poor guys are going to go out there and open dojo, and won't have experience training women. Or training WITH women.

This is like raising hothouse flowers, I fear.

Not to mention the dire shortage of female instructors even in the supposedly woman-friendly art of aikido.

If I complained to you that I cannot train with men, that they crush my wrists, that they whine when I crank their stiff joints too hard or laugh at me when I goof up and pull some big lunk on top of me and get squished, what would you tell me?

If I told you I couldn't hack it, that I was sick of their size and patronizing attitude, sick of being overinstructed and hit on and under-trained, mauled and bruised, what would you tell me?
Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
Knowing what you have read about this, do you really think that would make anyone happy? Do you really think that one, single, male dojo IN THE WHOLE WORLD really effects Aikido? I'm actually quite flattered that anyone would even consider that what I do here is so important or monumental, but I know that it isn't true. I think people like willing targets and I have made myself a large one. Its okay, I am big man, blah, blah...
It's not you, Dan, not you I'm thinking of at all (and I'm not going to pick on you about your size ;-)).

I'm thinking of the women and girls who live in fear like I used to. Fear, or ignorance.

I'm thinking of the difference budo made in my life, about how much walking into the fear can help.

There's a parable:a kid is walking on the seashore tossing sea stars back in the ocean from the dry sand.

Someone says "you can't possibly make a difference".

The kid calmly hurls another one back in, as far as he can, and says "It made a difference to that one".
Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
If the world aikido community were measured from one to ten and on one side is a school that teaches only women, does it not follow that the opposite extreme is a school for men? And that both extremes are within a base norm? If one school teaches no hard falls at all and one only break falls, don't they comprise the extremes of both possibilities and by defining the edges of 'the extreme left or right' get included in the norm? Without extremes, we are mired in the norm and we need far limits to expand the norm.
I don't know of any aikido schools strictly for women. I know of one karate school, Sun Dragon, in Austin. I had a male friend who taught there sometimes.

We barely had enough women for a women's aikido class back in Austin, Texas. We had an informal group, the Austin Budo Babes, but that was just for fun and hanging out.

Statistics, damn lies, and statistics (Mark Twain?).

One foot in boiling water, the other in freezing- numerical average says you're comfortable. Heh.

I thrive on the edges myself. Forest edges, water's edges, blade edges... if it weren't for edges there'd be nowhere for me to be.

I am about to begin teaching an all-female class. It's Girl Scouts, they don't let boys in.

While I am okay with teaching all-female classes for wounded souls and kids, I would fully expect them to progress to a "mixed" class.
Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
The issue here is whether people's opinions about what happens in a private dojo are worth the electricity to publish them. I think they are. And I have listened carefully. I hope you have, too. Ms Gordon, but I sense that you missed something in my posts. We can talk about it over bratwurst and beer, I hope.
Please define private dojo for me?

My instructor runs a private dojo, www.the-dojo.com.

Aikido is supposed to be a public art, AFAIK, though seems anyone can do anything they want with that.

Yes, it used to be by letter of recommendation only, during the aiki-budo days. When it became aikido did it not become public?

When my teacher and I first got together, I was an aikidoka and wasn't sure I was up to jujutsu. We agreed that I would try it, and found that while my body has its limitations, my spirit is up to it. So I train with him, and am happily married to him. It's pretty convenient ;-) .

I'm trying to listen, understand what you are doing. My immediate reaction is that it's not good training, not difficult enough.

Your policy makes me feel undervalued for my efforts, to know that simply because of my gender I would not be allowed to train regularly in your dojo.

I'm welcome to train in some really fine dojo around the world, and it just seems silly that merely my gender would keep me out of yours. And your reasons seem, um, kinda wierd to me. Personality disruptions are normal in any group. Grown-ups keep it off the mat and train anyway.

The real challenges of running a dojo lie in managing and motivating the people, not seeing how rigorously you can train, though there's nothing wrong with that AFAIK.

Edward Abbey: " There is a way of being wrong which is also necessarily sometimes right".

mle

(whose dad has never seen her train, and probably never will, the idea scares him to death 8-\ )

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Old 09-30-2002, 08:51 AM   #154
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Let's see, first things first.

About being an ASU school and the policy of non-descrimination. Good Question. Damn fine question. I had to think about that. Didn't find an answer so I called Saotome Sensei.

The answer is that ASU believes in the autonomy of each instructor and dojo. In other words, like the Constitution was intended, they believe in States Rights. My dojo, my choice.

Now as to not being welcome to train here, Ms Gordon, of course you could visit. I had a nice couple show up a few weeks ago and we had a fine class. I never said that women would not be welcome on occasion and for all that, Patty and Sensei have been here a number of times as welcome and honored guests. Could I do any less for you?

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 09-30-2002, 09:31 AM   #155
mle
Dojo: The Dojo (www.the-dojo.com
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Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
Let's see, first things first.

...

The answer is that ASU believes in the autonomy of each instructor and dojo. In other words, like the Constitution was intended, they believe in States Rights. My dojo, my choice.
Saotome's good like that.

And I can only respect your choice, your dojo family.

I have one myself.

Heh.. what if I chose to teach only men? Oh dear, I'd be a dirty old lady indeed! LOL!

Your invitation to the Florida greenhouse is lovely, but the Army's got us here for another couple years.

You're on for the beer date in Germany.

There just isn't better beer on the planet.

The training's pretty good, too.

You teach your boys, I'll teach my girls, and I'm sure we'll have pretty similar gripes at the end.

mle

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Old 09-30-2002, 10:24 AM   #156
Chuck Clark
 
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I'd like to add a small bit. Emily is on my relatively short list of uke I like to train with for this reason.

She is very "honest" in her feedback as uke. I don't mean verbal feedback, but the way she responds as uke is very educational. I value that a lot. There are about as many women on my list as there are men. (But then my brittany dog, Max, is on the list too. When I mess with his balance, the feedback is instant and totally honest and direct.)

My list may not mean much to some of you, but those on the list have helped me learn a lot.

Regards,

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:52 PM   #157
mle
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
I'd like to add a small bit. Emily is on my relatively short list of uke I like to train with for this reason.

She is very "honest" in her feedback as uke. I don't mean verbal feedback, but the way she responds as uke is very educational. I value that a lot. There are about as many women on my list as there are men. (But then my brittany dog, Max, is on the list too. When I mess with his balance, the feedback is instant and totally honest and direct.)
LOL! Thanks to the other Chuck in my life.. I think!

or should I say "woof"!

Dogs are good people.. I could only aspire to that level of honesty.

What I lack in physical ability I try to make up for in sensitivity.

Chuck's one of my favorite nage, for all that. He has some of the clearest physical budo "language" there is. And in his system, this is far more important than in most kata-based systems.

But that's fodder for another thread.

Right now I'd like to take this somewhere productive.

Give me a reason why you train women, if you instruct.

Alternatively, give a reason why you train WITH women.

Give a reason you Wouldn't train women.

Or a reason why you wouldn't train With them.

Only one. And 50 words or less. This is for Dan Linden and the world's edification, so be concise. I'll try to start it off.

Why train women: because I suffered so much as a young woman from horrible grabby boys-- if I can educate future girls to educate future boys, perhaps succeeding generations will not be so angry and hurt and confused.

Why not: women get their priorities scrambled around men and forget each other. Games among women are deadly. Some need to refocus and prioritize (and quit belt-hunting....) others just need the training.

Next.

mle

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Old 10-01-2002, 06:33 PM   #158
Chuck Clark
 
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Quickly...

I train women because they're human beings.

(and I found out long ago that I'm not smart enough to know who is going to learn this and take it further and teach it to other human beings)

I like to train with women because the women that have learned good skills and have also learned to be more assertive physically than our culture usually expects of them are often harder to deal with than men. Low and quick center of gravity, etc.

Why I don't like to train with women... There aren't enough of the ones I described above to go around.

You can exchange the word women for men in most of the above. Men have higher centers but also have more strength that I can practice "not pushing against".

Best wishes for safe practice to us all.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 10-02-2002, 01:00 PM   #159
MattRice
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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I train with women because they're there. I train with women because often they are much better at Aikido than I am. One of my favorite instructors is a woman, and she rocks. I'd train with an antelope if she promised to trim the antlers and could get the hakama around her antelope hips.

I got cracked right in the jib by a woman two days ago in class for attacking without getting offline. So much for weak and wimpering…
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:25 PM   #160
achilleus
Dojo: West End Aikikai
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[quote="Matt Rice (MattRice)"]"I train with women because often they are much better at Aikido than I am. One of my favorite instructors is a woman, and she rocks."

ditto.

Our sensai has been teaching all male classes for weeks now since our two ladies have been away on vacation. If not for her - our female sensai - we would have no aikido!
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:15 PM   #161
Marnen
Dojo: Vassar College Aikido Club
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Okay, I'll bite and try to answer Emily's question. I haven't started training in aikido yet (still trying to find a dojo I can conveniently get to that isn't Nihon Goshin ), so my answers may be different in a few months or years, but this is my current thinking.

While the idea of training in a men-only dojo has certain tempting aspects (I'm surprised I just wrote that), I don't think it's something I'd want to do. If women do indeed function differently on the mat than men, then I must train with both women and men or my training will be incomplete. If women and men do not function differently on the mat, then I see no earthly reason for separating the sexes -- better to look at the individual.

Note that I have no similar problem with the idea of single-sex yoga classes, since yoga is completely internal and it doesn't really matter much who else is in the class. Aikido, however, seems to me to be largely based around interactions with others (I know it's an "internal" style, but the interactions are used as a training tool for the internal work at least), so it makes sense to have those others be as diverse as possible in as many ways as possible. I don't believe in setting up quotas on gender, race, size, or anything else to achieve this diversity; I just believe in admitting anyone qualified regardless of those other aspects.

Did that make sense?

Just my two zeni,

Marnen Laibow-Koser

marnenlk@yahoo.com
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Old 10-02-2002, 06:20 PM   #162
Erik
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Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
About being an ASU school and the policy of non-descrimination. Good Question. Damn fine question. I had to think about that. Didn't find an answer so I called Saotome Sensei.

The answer is that ASU believes in the autonomy of each instructor and dojo. In other words, like the Constitution was intended, they believe in States Rights. My dojo, my choice.
Then why have the policy?
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Old 10-03-2002, 01:59 AM   #163
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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"Then why have the policy?"

So they won't be sued? I heard americans love to sue...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 10-03-2002, 08:16 AM   #164
Guest5678
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Quote:
Erik Haselhofer (Erik) wrote:
Then why have the policy?
I would venture to say it's because there are many more ASU dojos (like Shindai) that do adhere to the policy. Simple matter really....

-Mongo
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Old 10-03-2002, 11:23 AM   #165
aikigreg
Dojo: Mizu Aikido
Location: Ft. Worth Texas
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Why I train women: Becase they ask to be trained and want to learn.

Why I train with women: Because they have better centers than men sometimes and teach me interesting things about Aikido throuh their instinctual responses, which are different from men's.

Reason not to train WITH women: Some of them won't offer good attacks, act petulantly and flirty, or are so damned limp-bodied that it's like performing aikido on overcooked spaghetti.

I can't think of a reason not to train them though, if they want to be trained. Nothing wrong with helping a woman become stronger and more self assured.
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Old 10-03-2002, 02:35 PM   #166
Hanna B
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Why I train men: Becase they ask to be trained and want to learn.

Why I train with men: Of course I do. Why shouldn't I? Strange question. Oh yeah, I forgot - nobody asked it...

Reasons not to train WITH men: Can't find any. OK, Some of them confuse power with efficiency. A few of them try to teach every woman they train with, even if he is a visitor in the dojo and she has had years to figure out how her teacher wants techniques to be performed. But heck, these are problems with individuals and if I avoided training with men because of this, I think most of you would say I had a problem.

Reasons not to train men: none. A few individuals I do not overtly encourage to come to my classes. Those who have "street fighting and effective self defence" scribbled all over their minds won't stay anyway, and they will probably disturb practise by blocking techniques instead of trying to tearn. They are however welcome to have a try. These individuals tend to be male... I would make myself and my club a great disfavour (if that is a word) by shutting all men out because of this.

I've taught one class where only women showed up. I've taught two or three classes where all the students were male. These things happen when classes are small enough... It's different, but difficult to say that one is better than the other.

Regards,

Hanna
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Old 10-04-2002, 03:36 PM   #167
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Erik,

You are making the mistake of projecting your idea of what ASU is upon the reality of what it actually is.

ASU is an organization that is comprised of students who are accepted by and loyal to Mitsugi Saotome Shihan. Its purpose it to support Sensei and promote his style of Aikido. It is not a provider of, or a support facility for dojos or instructors; rather, the dojos and instructors support and by extension are, ASU.

Hence, there is no descrimination on the part of ASU towards anyone. If you are chosen to be a student of my dojo then ASU will not descriminate against you for any reason. The same for Shindai, The Aikido Dojo, Shobu or where ever you might train. It is up to the instructor to accept the student. Once accepted, ASU does not descriminate.

I hope this will clear up your misconceptions.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 10-06-2002, 06:09 AM   #168
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
the dojos and instructors support and by extension are, ASU. Hence, there is no descrimination on the part of ASU towards anyone. It is up to the instructor to accept the student. Once accepted, ASU does not descriminate.
I believe I understand the idea behind the policy you have outlined, but I don't exactly follow your logic. You say that the "dojos ... by extension are the ASU" and then go on to say that the ASU does not discriminate. But if the dojos are the ASU, and one of the dojos discriminates, then it can be said that the ASU discriminates.

On the other hand, if the dojos are not the ASU, which is what most of the rest of your post seemed to be saying, then it is at best misnamed. I don't think it's fair to fault Erik or anyone else for assuming that an organization called the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba actually refers to the schools, or dojos, themselves. In fact, you make this statement yourself in the quote above, but then spend much of the rest of the post explaining how the ASU is not actually the dojos themselves but rather an umbrella organization for students that are already members of these dojos. If that is the case, then it would be better named something like the Organization of Students of Saotome Sensei, since that's what it sounds like you are claiming that it actually is.

But even if this is the case, your claim that such an organization "does not discriminate" is, at best, unconvincing. In fact, it only accepts people who have already been accepted to organizations that can and do discriminate, the member dojos. If there is discrimination anywhere along the path to entry for an organization, then the organization effectively discriminates, regardless of attempts to manipulate the organizational structure by moving that discrimination elsewhere.

From your last post, I get the idea that selective dojo acceptance is commonplace, if not official policy, in the ASU. This is not inconsistent with my experience, as I have often heard ASU people talk about being "accepted" by a teacher or dojo. I have never heard anyone the Federation speak in those terms. As I understand it, the Federation policy of accepting all students who seek instruction comes from the vision of Aikido as an art for all of humanity. This is not necessarily the case with other arts, though, and at least one Aikido teacher in the Federation is selective about admitting iaido students, even if they are already Aikido students of his. But iaido is a fundamentally different art, and its teaching methods are based upon different assumptions than those of Aikido. Perhaps, then, the ASU vision of Aikido is more in line with those traditional arts which are at least to some degree not completely open to the public.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-06-2002 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 10-06-2002, 07:03 AM   #169
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
On the other hand, if the dojos are not the ASU, which is what most of the rest of your post seemed to be saying, then it is at best misnamed. I don't think it's fair to fault Erik or anyone else for assuming that an organization called the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba actually refers to the schools, or dojos, themselves. In fact, you make this statement yourself in the quote above, but then spend much of the rest of the post explaining how the ASU is not actually the dojos themselves but rather an umbrella organization for students that are already members of these dojos. If that is the case, then it would be better named something like the Organization of Students of Saotome Sensei, since that's what it sounds like you are claiming that it actually is.
That's basically what it is, or was, since it is gradually moving away from that. There is certainly (to my mind) something of a conflict here - ASU as an organization has stated policies that, at least in this case, conflict with what is actually occurring in its own schools. The reason why this happens is that people in ASU, especially instructors, generally have a completely free hand to run things as they see fit. Now, as it happens, that's one of the things that I really liked about the organization, but problems are bound to occur, especially as things get larger.
Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
From your last post, I get the idea that selective dojo acceptance is commonplace, if not official policy, in the ASU.
As I said, things seem to be changing as the organization grows, but when it started out (and when I was connected with them) ASU was just another name for Saotome and his students. Basically, if you were a student of Saotome then you were in ASU, and if you weren't you weren't. In that sense, it was selective. I never knew it to be selective as in choosing who could and couldn't practice, I always found it open to all comers - much more so than many USAF dojo were, although things have calmed down a lot over the years.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-06-2002, 09:00 AM   #170
JO
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Why I train with women?

Chuck's answer is about right, because they are human. Also because my wife wouldn't forgive me if I stopped training with her. One of my instructors is a woman, and I would never consider skipping her classes.

I can't think of a reason to not train with women that would apply to all women or that wouldn't also apply to many men.

Jonathan Olson
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Old 10-06-2002, 03:42 PM   #171
Chocolateuke
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Read the thread... Intresting... I'm still deppressed that I don't have a dojo. grrrrrrrr... well, if you any free girls send them to me

Last edited by Chocolateuke : 10-06-2002 at 03:48 PM.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 10-07-2002, 03:53 AM   #172
G DiPierro
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Quote:
Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
There is certainly (to my mind) something of a conflict here - ASU as an organization has stated policies that, at least in this case, conflict with what is actually occurring in its own schools.
Daniel Linden's last post notwithstanding, I just don't see any way around the fact that his dojo is not following the policy. I don't see any problem with this, though, since it has apparantly been approved by Saotome Sensei. However, they should at least admit that the de facto policy is to ignore the written policy whenever they feel like it, or else they should change one policy or the other to bring them into agreement. The argument that they are, in fact, actually adhering to that policy is not at all convincing.
Quote:
As I said, things seem to be changing as the organization grows, but when it started out (and when I was connected with them) ASU was just another name for Saotome and his students.
That certainly brings some historical perspective to the matter. Perhaps when there were only a few people teaching Aikido in the US, the ASU was limited to Saotome Sensei's direct students, but today it seems to have become more of a national organization of dojos, some of which are only loosely connected with Saotome himself. My experience of the ASU has always been that it sees itself as a competitor to the USAF as a national political organization, not as the exclusive province of the direct students of a particular shihan, like the the USAF-WR is.
Quote:
I never knew it to be selective as in choosing who could and couldn't practice, I always found it open to all comers - much more so than many USAF dojo were, although things have calmed down a lot over the years.
Could you discuss this further? In what ways was the ASU more open than the USAF?
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Old 10-07-2002, 07:03 AM   #173
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
My experience of the ASU has always been that it sees itself as a competitor to the USAF as a national political organization, not as the exclusive province of the direct students of a particular shihan, like the the USAF-WR is.
That wasn't my experience, but things may have changed - I haven't really had any contact with ASU since I left the US for Japan in the late 1980's.
Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
Could you discuss this further? In what ways was the ASU more open than the USAF?
I never had a problem with the big places in the USAF, but some of the smaller places were not so open, in my experience. Saotome accepted everybody, recognized all ranks (even Shodokan and Yoshinkan ranks) and never had a problem with people going off to train with the USAF if they felt like it. Not all USAF dojo had the same attitudes. I have to note that I never had a problem with either Yamada or Kanai (the first time I came to Japan I came with Yamada), but my experience was that some of the smaller USAF places were less welcoming. Again, this was in the 1980's.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-07-2002, 08:14 AM   #174
Bruce Baker
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Oh my goodness, to be more polite than what I really am thinking, this thread has taken on a life of its own!

The fact that men train with women should make the men afraid, rather than flirting or feeling superior, those women who seriously train will cause more pain than the big man who seems to uses strength and speed. I know, it takes every bit of my emotional control not to crank them as hard as they crank me, or retaliate for their elbow shots to the ribs which are always too hard leaving some type of mark.

I am no skinny little guy, and physical force could be used, or simply relaxing to increase the amount of force needed to move me can make it extremely difficult to practice, but isn't it obvious this give and take thread is going in circles?

ASU, as Saotome Sensei points out, has the right to refuse of take in students at the discression of the dojo's head teacher. This has always been the way of martial arts teachings even if don't believe it can be so. Believe it or not, there is a moral, as well as legal basis for this policy. Not everyone has the money or time to go through the legal process, but I know of one situation where someone did.

It wasn't a dojo, it was a marina, but the legal system did support the owner of the marina to pick and choose the customers he chose to give service to. Even after the irate customer called in favors from the state EPA, Federal taxes, state taxes, and various other examinations claiming there were mob influences, which were trumped up in a fit of anger by the customer, the law upheld the owners right to choose who he would allow to use his facilities, and who he would choose to service in his facility. Hence, "this establishment chooses to refuse service", although morally faulting was legally upheld in a court of law. Some of this was because there were numerous other Marina's that offer equal facilities at simular rates, and they had openings in their slips for boats.

So, let's put this choice of who teaches who to bed.

About the recognition of grade from other organizations, you should be humble enough to start from the beginning with the teacher's decision if you are at a grade in their style? Or has the old morality given way to whining little brats who get their way? Has this become the way of our training, to bitch and moan?

As far as women, you would have a better chance of not getting shocked by putting a screwdriver across the terminals of a car battery! Simular physiology, different polarity, man meets woman, look out for sparks. There are people who cannot grasp the concept that men and women are anything else than a means to have sex, they need to get a GRIP! They need to let it go in Aikido practice, maintain a better state of mind. It might take the physical experience of getting you butt whooped, but then that is the lesson you need for that state of mind.

As far as the comments about street defense, well, there must be a deeper meaning to Aikido than gently tossing each other about? I can't help it if most men are in Aikido to find fighting techniques, but they should also consider the aspect of finding an art that will cause the least amount of injurys though training and proper practice techniques.

If women need to put up more "red light" signals, then men should learn to do this also to keep female preditors, as well as male preditors in abeyance during Aikido practice. Enforceing the rules of flirting, sexual innuendo, and improper behavior by the entire practicing population may not be the only way to curb behavior, but it is a start.

Let the women practice if they want to, but just the same, be only as gentle as their level of practice. Statistically, women are proven tougher than men, so if they want to train, let 'em.

If you don't think women are tougher than men, try being a househusband for a year or so with two or three children, two in diapers, then tell me women aren't tough!

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 10-07-2002 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 10-07-2002, 08:25 AM   #175
G DiPierro
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Christopher Li (Chris Li) wrote:
That wasn't my experience, but things may have changed - I haven't really had any contact with ASU since I left the US for Japan in the late 1980's.
My experience with the ASU has been limited and only during the past several years, but I had been under the impression that there are dojos in the ASU which joined for political reasons rather than because the instructors were students of Saotome Sensei.
Quote:
I never had a problem with the big places in the USAF, but some of the smaller places were not so open, in my experience.
One aspect of a large organization like the USAF is that there are a wide range of styles taught in the various member dojos. The shihan and other teachers who maintain large dojos generally have had a lot of exposure to these different styles and do not have problems teaching students who have trained elsewhere. Smaller dojos may not have this kind of experience, and in some cases they isolate themselves by only rarely attending seminars. These dojos might not be as open to students outside of their own style regardless of what organization the student comes from. I have practiced at more than one small dojo nominally under the direction of Yamada Sensei where the instructors openly claim that they consider their primary influences to be teachers from outside the Federation. At one dojo, the teacher had ranking sticks for about a dozen Hombu shihan with which he had studied, including Saotome Sensei, but none for Yamada Sensei or any of the other USAF shihan! If Saotome Sensei is as open about accepting students as Yamada Sensei, then one would expect that the same sort of thing happens in the ASU.
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