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Old 05-03-2022, 03:07 PM   #1
Jeremy Bunn
Location: Puyallup, WA
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 2
PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?

I'm looking to restart practice after its interruption by the COVID-19 pandemic, but around here (the Pacific Northwest USA) every school I've looked into seems to want students to disclose personal medical information as a condition of practice, which is weird.

I remember back in the early days of AIDS there was a lot of stopping practice and scrubbing mats at the first sign of blood, but never a requirement to disclose HIV status as a condition of joining a school.

Does anybody know of an aikido school or club in the Puget Sound area that still practices the old way in openness and inclusion, rather than lending its support to the covid-shot coercion regime?
Failing that, is anyone open to creating one?

I'm in the South Sound, but will travel for aikido.

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Old 05-06-2022, 03:01 PM   #2
Matt Fisher
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 35
Re: PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?


As a biochemist, I find your comparison of dojo policies regarding HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 very problematic. The HIV virus is transmitted through exchange of body fluids and the percentage of exposures that lead to infection is very differerent than the SARS-CoV-2 virus (pathogen for COVID-19). In contrast, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted by airborne mechanisms that don't require the same sort of close contact that HIV transmission requires (the omicron variant was showing evidence of a level of contagiousness that was closer to measles than many scientists expected). Given the enormous differences in how the two viruses are transmitted, it's not weird that dojos have implemented different policies towards the two pathogens.d

I have less than zero interest in an exchange centered on how you and I view the COVID-19 vaccines and policies implemented by organizations like dojos. My comments above are simply intended to highlight the significant differences in the transmission mechanisms of the two viruses and how that easily explains different policies.

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Old 05-09-2022, 07:16 PM   #3
Jeremy Bunn
Location: Puyallup, WA
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 2
Re: PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?

Quite so, Matt.

My questions nonetheless remain:
Does anyone here know of a Puget Sound (or other) area dojo that is not enthusiastically supportive of the vaccine-apartheid regime?
Or failing that, would anyone care to start one with me?

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Old 05-14-2022, 07:39 AM   #4
Alex Megann
Dojo: Southampton Aikikai
Location: Southampton
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 401
United Kingdom
Re: PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?

Didn't Ueshiba O-Sensei say "Aikido is the spirit of loving protection for all beings"? Since I started aikido I have felt strongly that I have a duty of protection towards all those I share the dojo with, and even more so after I became dojo-cho. Three years ago I would have said this involved teaching safe ukemi and self-protection to everyone in the class and practising carefully and safely. Recently this has also included taking up whatever vaccines were offered to me, since these have been conclusively demonstrated to reduce the risk of developing serious illness from COVID, and also to reduce the risk of transmission. Along with this, we have worn masks during practice until a couple of months ago when case numbers had dropped enough to judge the chances of one of us passing on COVID to be low enough.

Whatever your own personal views on the vaccine, I really don't believe using the word "apartheid" is justified in this context - this is a serious value judgement on the integrity of whoever is making the rules for a given dojo.

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Old 06-08-2022, 08:51 PM   #5
Walter Martindale
Location: Edmonton, AB
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 802
Re: PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?

"Distrust of experts and cynicism towards 'official' sources of information doesn't make you an independent thinker. It makes you vulnerable to charlatans and disinformation, and your own biases." stolen from a meme of Facebook.
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Old 06-21-2022, 08:03 AM   #6
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 566
Re: PNW aikido, no vaccine apartheid?


I agree that the disclosure of your personal medical information is intrusive and inappropriate. That being said I ask new students to reveal such items that I or others may need to be aware of for their own safety, limitations that may affect their ability to train.

A short while ago I received an invitation to attend a seminar, however, proof of being fully vaccinated for Covid was a requirement. Whether or not I am or am not is no one's business but my own, so I chose to not attend.

I think as time progresses a great deal of this will lessen as the media loses interest in the story. Fear will subside and interactions will "normalize" to a degree. Until then, you have to "follow the rules of the village you are in." Or, create your own village and make your own rules.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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