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Old 05-12-2008, 06:23 PM   #101
Dan O'Day
 
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

I posted a message on this thread a couple days ago and then another today. Now they are both gone. I'm a new user to this board.

Do any of you folks know why posts may dissappear?

My last post of today was in reply to someone who directly referenced my initial posting. Are direct replies not permitted?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:18 PM   #102
Lauren Walsh
 
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Hi Alex,

I do not believe in or condone practices which involve segregating people in training due to gender, sexual orientation, race etc. If Aikido is about harmony and love, then how can we possibly believe in or practice these values if we discriminate against ourselves or others, or try to place ourselves into different 'catagories'.

I train at four different dojos a week which is a wonderful oppotunity as it allows me to train with people of greatly varrying ability and from all walks of life. Our club is primarily male dominated, but most of the men I train with are hardly 'macho'.

Any Aikido dojo should be place of love, nurturing and acceptance. When you are on the mat you are there to train; superficial issues such as sexual orientation should never be a cause of concerne for anyone. Anybody who does take offense to training with someone who is homosexual absolutely needs to reassess their understanding and comprehension of Aikido principles.

Alex, in my opinion an "all gay Aikido" club is not a truely wise path to take. In the same light, I would never take a womens only class or a hetrosexuals only class! Don't segregate yourself. No sense of freedom, love or harmony will come from it.

Best Wishes,
Lauren
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Old 05-13-2008, 01:19 AM   #103
dalen7
 
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Alex I suppose you focus to much on mental labels.
None of us are the labels we make about ourselves.

What is gay exactly? How does that define you.
Yes you can make a label and let it define you, or you can drop labels and just be Alex.

I would highly recommend listening to Eckhart Tolles audio books (A New Earth is a good place - ) to get a better understanding of where I coming from.

You act as though you have to defend some identity, at least it appears this way. Here is what I mean...

Someone ask you if you have a girlfriend and you feel that you are not being yourself if you do not go into an explanation that no you dont have one because you are gay.

Whats wrong with just saying you dont have a girlfriend?
Its almost like a defense over some identity.

Hope you dont mind, but I will use a little analogy that Jesus actions used...

He got along with everyone quite well - except for the religious crowd - precisely because he did not see a prostitute, a homosexual, tax collector, etc.

He saw people...point blank.
Those people he did not define by past actions - and this is what liberated them to make a choice in future actions...not some guilt trip over needing to change. They were who they were at the precise moment they were with Jesus.

It was not a prostitute or gay eating with Jesus, it was Mary or Tom, minus the egoic stories that we cary.

Once we get that part the world begins to change, I believe...
And the irony is that indeed most Christians missed Jesus teachings (by not observing his actions described in the Bible) and have become a hate group to everything they dont agree with.

(Not knocking Christians, if I carried a label I would be one...in fact I was an evangelical Christian, most my life - missionary on top of that - )

So I believe it boils down to all what I said above.

Do you feel comfortable with yourself? If so, go train.

The fact is your their to train not to chit chat and gossip, right?
Well, its easy for me as I dont speak Hungarian so I cant talk to anyone in my dojo. lol

I do realize that one key thing for people is the social aspect of it...if thats what your looking for, yes you will find that most people will identify you, not as Alex but as Alex the gay - and that may also be due to the fact that is how you present yourself when asked about questions as simple as if you have a girlfriend.

Im not say be deceiving - but I think your responses will change and adapt when you shift your view and see who you really are.

Peace

Happy aikido training

dAlen
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Old 05-13-2008, 02:02 AM   #104
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Dan O'Day wrote: View Post
I posted a message on this thread a couple days ago and then another today. Now they are both gone. I'm a new user to this board.

Do any of you folks know why posts may dissappear?

My last post of today was in reply to someone who directly referenced my initial posting. Are direct replies not permitted?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
The thread has been split and your posts put in another thread in the Open Discussions sub-forum.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:10 AM   #105
Dan O'Day
 
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Thank you Peter. I located the new thread.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:26 AM   #106
Mike Sigman
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
Someone ask you if you have a girlfriend and you feel that you are not being yourself if you do not go into an explanation that no you dont have one because you are gay.

Whats wrong with just saying you dont have a girlfriend?
Its almost like a defense over some identity.
That's a good question and the whole discussion of societal norms is a fascinating read in good books on anthropology. "Does he have a girlfriend", "does he have a job", "did he go to college", and so on are all more or less pecking-order questions that people use to sort out who stands where in human society, who is desireable as a mate, who gets what favors because they can return favors, and so on. If you're really interested in the topic, it's worth an extensive read.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 05-13-2008, 09:50 AM   #107
Takuan
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

A gay aikido dojo? What a terrible idea!

I practice aikido exactly because I find it a discipline to educate and integrate people. We are all wearing gis and have a common purpose to pursue day after day on the mat. Our sensei does not even allow us to wear any kind of jewelry or wedding rings on the mat.
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Old 05-13-2008, 10:07 AM   #108
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

I guess an interesting aside to this is if I walk into a dojo everyone knows right off the bat that I am black. If they chose to attach labels or expect patterns of behavior based on that, that's up to them, and there isn't much I can do about it. For a long time that bothered me quite a bit...but as I've gotten more comfortable with who I am, not so much, and not so often.

I've had some gay/lesbian friends in my life, and I'd say most of them just lived their lives. They went to ball room dancing classes, aikido classes, basket weaving classes...

They didn't go to "Gay" ball room dancing, aikido, basket weaving. What exactly would be the point? Baskets are woven the same way whether you are gay or straight.

Marching for AIDS awareness or civil rights or what ever would be different, as those activities are targeted toward specific goals directly related to a particular lifestyle (and I in no way mean that in any pejorative sense; I realize many people who aren't gay march for AIDS awareness, for instance).

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 05-13-2008 at 10:11 AM. Reason: clarification

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:32 PM   #109
lbb
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

The reason why a gay person might want to not train with straight people is straight people's homophobia. Who wants to train in an environment where people are freaked out at the idea of touching you or being in the same dressing room as you? Yet that's how many straight people feel about gay people. You can disclaim all you want about how aikido's not like that or your dojo's not like that, but the world is like that. Gay people aren't to blame and they're not being silly if they want to train and not be harassed or hated on. Chances are, their concerns are based on a lifetime of incidents of bigotry that most straight people don't even believe exist.
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Old 05-13-2008, 12:47 PM   #110
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Hi Mary, your statement sounds almost verbatim like an arguement I would have made 20 years ago for Black or African only environments for a host of things.

Somehow though, it just seems to miss the point. If you don't want to be hated on, get out there and let people get to know you as a human being.

They'll learn quickly enough that you don't find them in the least bit attractive!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:51 AM   #111
Lambdadragon
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Alastair Bain wrote: View Post
I am against any suggestion of having gay dojo's.
Hello Alastair,

Who is supporting a gay only dojo? Not anything I posted. My message was about the Gay Games which occur every four years, and btw heterosexuals are also welcome to participate. The Lesbian and Gay Aikido Association called Niji also has heterosexual members. The Niji Seminar will be held for two days and all of the instructors and participants belong to and regularly train in regular dojos. Even my friend who runs a dojo in the gay and lesbian center in North Carolina has heterosexual members too. So before we lynch those damn gay only dojo people, lets make certain we know who they are.

David Wilson
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:01 AM   #112
numazu
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
David Wilson wrote: View Post
Hello Alastair,

So before we lynch those damn gay only dojo people, lets make certain we know who they are.
Bit of an over reaction to my opinion there David. "Lynching dam gay dojo people" is quite an extreme way to express something I have not at all inferred.
My view is that it is simply not necessary to distinguish a club based on its sexuality. I really dont see the connection being relevant. By putting a tag on a dojo you really are not sending out an everyone welcome vibe. You could well be right that a gay dojo means that straight people are welcome but is that what people are going to think or feel?
A dojo is a place to leave everything at the door. And I mean everything. Any intolerances or bias or opinions etc. It's a place of training - that's it.
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:06 AM   #113
Lambdadragon
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
They didn't go to "Gay" ball room dancing... What exactly would be the point?
Hello Ron,

Gay ballroom and also country dancing is very popular and one reason that may not be obvious is it is a great way to meet a potential gay date. ...but not the only reason.

David Wilson
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:16 AM   #114
Lambdadragon
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Alastair Bain wrote: View Post
Bit of an over reaction to my opinion there David. "Lynching dam gay dojo people" is quite an extreme way to express something I have not at all inferred.
My apology Alastair, your comment was not in the extreme. I should not have stated it so.

Regarding the gay dojo point, another of my friends runs a taekwondo dojo in San Francisco. They do have heterosexual members. One is a family with teens. The parents like the dojo atmosphere because they feel it does not have macho climate that they experienced in other dojos they visited.

Personally, I train at a regular dojo that does have a couple other gay men as members. No one gives it a second thought. We fit in quite nicely and consider everyone there our friends. One of the men once even brought his partner to the dojo.

David Wilson
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:54 PM   #115
Elijah211Barr
 
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

It shouldnt be
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:14 PM   #116
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Ron, that just seems naive. "going out there" in our great country as openly gay can get you killed. Kids who come out to their parents wind up homeless, or horribly abused. So it might not be such a bad idea to give people who have been beaten, raped, mentally tortured, or have generally lived their lives in fear the opportunity to get educated without having to be either a target or a hero.
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Old 05-16-2008, 07:35 AM   #117
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Ok, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how having a "gay" aikido dojo has anything to do with any of the above. If they face these things in a "regular" aikido dojo, then that dojo should be closed down.

I've faced just about all of the things you've described in my life. But I don't train in a "Black" aikido dojo. I just train in an aikido dojo. Having a seperate place to train wouldn't help me in the least, and certainly wouldn't address the issues you mention.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:08 PM   #118
Basia Halliop
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Alex, I seriously doubt you can answer your question by asking on an internet board. Considering how many different countries in the world there are dojos in, and how many very different cities in each country, what answer you get will have way way more to do with the city the dojo's in and the individuals in that particular dojo than anything remotely connected to Aikido itself. The only way to find out if you're going to feel welcome in a particular dojo is to go to that dojo and feel it out and see for yourself if it's a place you want to spend more time.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:46 PM   #119
Michael Douglas
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Someone has mentioned John Bluming already right?
If they havent, then I offer this humour ;
He said (sort of) when shown some Aikdido practice ; "If I wanted to watch blokes dancing I'd have gone to a gay bar".
So ... a gay Aikidojo? Already happened.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:51 AM   #120
lbb
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ok, I'm sorry, but I just don't see how having a "gay" aikido dojo has anything to do with any of the above. If they face these things in a "regular" aikido dojo, then that dojo should be closed down.

I've faced just about all of the things you've described in my life. But I don't train in a "Black" aikido dojo. I just train in an aikido dojo. Having a seperate place to train wouldn't help me in the least, and certainly wouldn't address the issues you mention.
Ron, I respect your experiences and acknowledge that you have been in a situation that was similar in some ways -- but you haven't been in the same situation. Please respect the struggles of others and don't be dismissive if they don't choose your solution, which for them is a partial solution at best.

It's simplistic and more than a little childish to say that all bigotry is the same. It differs in its nature, its methods and its impact; for this reason, while there are always things to learn from the experiences of others who have also been discriminated against, each situation of bigotry is unique and requires its own unique solution. Even speaking in larger terms of different oppressed groups, black people and gay people face different challenges from bigotry, not just because of their differing histories but because of the differing nature of their stigma. Your stigma (using the sociological term as used by Irving Goff) is a visible one -- it is known from your birth, and shared by at least some of your family. In contrast, homosexuality is an invisible stigma, not known at birth and perhaps not shared by anyone in the gay person's family or community. A black person is not born into a family that hates and reviles blackness; the same cannot be said of gay people. A black person walks into a dojo, and everyone knows he/she is black; the same is not true of a gay person. It's a different problem, and the solution that worked for you won't necessarily cut it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #121
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
It's simplistic and more than a little childish to say that all bigotry is the same.
Ok, so my arguement is simplistic and childish? Please. No one said it is all the same, but enough characteristics are there in common to enable me to have some grasp of the condition. I combine that with the experiences I have with friends who are gay or lesbian, and make my judgement calls accordingly.

This does not make me simplistic or childish...it may mean I have a different opinion than yours though.

Quote:
It's a different problem, and the solution that worked for you won't necessarily cut it.
Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...some others say create an environment where every one is the same. That will not address the larger issue in the society (in my opinion). So which solution is simplistic and childish? Addressing the problem in an existing dojo, or saying I don't like y'all, so I'm going to my own room and play? See, any position can be mis-characterized.

I think we as humans are better off at this point in time in coming together and working together. Learning from each other where we can, and learning to tolerate difference where we cannot find common ground.

Insulting each other or even our arguements is not a part of that.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #122
lbb
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ok, so my arguement is simplistic and childish?
Did your argument say that all bigotry is the same?

FWIW, I wasn't thinking about your argument, but about the many people who haven't been on the receiving end of bigotry and who say fatuous things like, "All bigotry is bad" or "racism is racism", as if there were no difference between (for example) a black person being shadowed by store personnel because they're automatically under suspicion the second they walk in the store, and a white person who once got called "honky" by someone in junior high.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...
Which means what, exactly?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
some others say create an environment where every one is the same. That will not address the larger issue in the society (in my opinion).
Let's assume you're right about that -- I don't think you are, but the point can be argued. If so...so what? Why is it the task of an individual gay person to "address the larger issue in society"? That person's job is to live their life as best they can, to make their own spaces where they can survive and thrive and stay sane. Why is it the job of the victim of discrimination to "address the larger issue in society"?

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
So which solution is simplistic and childish? Addressing the problem in an existing dojo, or saying I don't like y'all, so I'm going to my own room and play? See, any position can be mis-characterized.
Except, Ron, that you had already done exactly that with regard to the idea of a gay dojo. So you're not in a position to get indignant over being called simplistic and childish, even if I had done so, which I didn't. Glass houses and all that.

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I think we as humans are better off at this point in time in coming together and working together. Learning from each other where we can, and learning to tolerate difference where we cannot find common ground.
I think we as human beings are in different places, and it's not for anyone to say what another individual, much less an entire group of which the speaker is not a member, should be doing in order to be "better off". I think we need to let people seek their own solutions, which will take a myriad of forms, and not be judgmental when they sometimes seem counterintuitive to our outsider perspective.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:53 AM   #123
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Did your argument say that all bigotry is the same?
No, it said there are similar componants, and that I've faced many of them.

Quote:
FWIW, I wasn't thinking about your argument
Ah, that's why I was confused...you mentioned my name and a quote from me first...

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Maybe it will and maybe it won't. I say address the problem where it exists...
Quote:
Which means what, exactly?
It means address the problem where it exists. If all the things in the original example are taking place in a dojo, that dojo needs to be closed down. If the members are simply openly disrepectful of others lifestyles, that should be dealt with by the dojo leadership. If someone is being bullied on the mat, the instructor should be informed and the issue addressed directly. What ever it takes. Doesn't seem like a mystery to me.

Quote:
Let's assume you're right about that -- I don't think you are, but the point can be argued. If so...so what? Why is it the task of an individual gay person to "address the larger issue in society"?
Why shouldn't they participate in addressing the issue? The issue affects them directly doesn't it? Or should we wait for the government to do it for us? Why shouldn't we actively participate in changing organizations and entities in our own local community (like dojo) for the better?

Quote:
That person's job is to live their life as best they can, to make their own spaces where they can survive and thrive and stay sane. Why is it the job of the victim of discrimination to "address the larger issue in society"?
Why indeed? So we should sit around and whine for 400 years, but do nothing to change the society that oppresses us? Can't buy that myself. Even if it's only in my own local sphere, I can still work for positive change. Some would say that is the ONLY place you can really make such change.

You don't have to shove your lifestyle down someone's throat. Just stand up personally for what is right.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:58 AM   #124
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Except, Ron, that you had already done exactly that with regard to the idea of a gay dojo. So you're not in a position to get indignant over being called simplistic and childish, even if I had done so, which I didn't.
Uh, where exactly did I do that? Post a quote, and if I agree, I'll appologize.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:00 PM   #125
lbb
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Re: Gay Aikido People? NORTHEN UK

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
You don't have to shove your lifestyle down someone's throat. Just stand up personally for what is right.

Best,
Ron
It's a waste of time tp engage someone who would trot out that tired and hateful canard in support of their arguments. I'm done here.
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