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Old 07-23-2002, 07:52 PM   #26
Jim23
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The man has a simple request: he doesn't want train with women. Respect it based on his religious belief, let go of predjudice.

Blend with him. I won't make you Jewish.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:52 PM   #27
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
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From what I understand of this tool of a forum, this conversation between everyone here is just exactly what is supposed to happen. People are voicing their opinions and everyone is listening and replying with theirs. I seem to have stirred up a hornets nest with my response, and I apologize if I have caused offense, as it was certainly not my intention. My intention was, and is, to say what I think in response to Ari's letter. Isn't that what he wanted?

Please accept my apologies if I've offended any of you, it was certainly not my intention.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:17 PM   #28
memyselfandi
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I do thank you for voiceing your honest opinions. It is indeed what I wanted. And I can understand where your coming from. The truth is, that in a secular world, this can indeed be seen as descrimination. Especially in a class where there isn't normally any division of any kind. If this does become a problem where I hope to study, I will try explain my issues, and if all else fails, find another dojo.

Thank you

and keep 'em coming
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:23 PM   #29
Jakusotsu
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For those of you who still disagree with me, please read my previous two posts again. I don't feel like rewriting old ideas.

............................

New Business:

Mrs. Giri:

>>My knee-jerk reaction to you religious views and similar other religious views is that it is sexist.

Knee-jerk reactions are bad for you. They should be avoided at all costs.

>>In regards, to whether avoiding pre-marital sex would be easier if I didn't touch men. When I'm on the mat, sex doesn't enter my mind. It's not even an allure while I'm on the mat. For me, training in aikido is genderless, asexual even. I've been training in aikido for three years now and have not had the temptation to have pre-marital sex as a result of touching my partner in the course of aikido training.

Do you believe that this would be the case if practice was the only time you had the opportunity to touch men?

I practice Kendo with my significant other and because of our busy schedules it is one of the few times we get to see each other. I've found her distracting a couple of times. It is the nature of the beast, given deprivation.

.............................

By Mr Clark:

>>I have personally (on several occasions) not accepted students in the Jiyushinkan (my dojo) that had similar beliefs (Orthodox Jews and Muslims). No one refuses to practice with another member of our dojo.

I agree with your having done so. You run or aid in running the Jiyushinkan, which is representative of the Jiyushinkai. Necessarily your dojo must maintain different standards. What constitutes these higher standards is your prerogative. (Please note: I do not run a major dojo representing a major system of Aikido. I may be off base. )

I maintain that any dojocho has the right to establish what sort of students are permitted to join any his or her dojo. It does however seem improper that Mr. Fuchs' sensei has given him the go-ahead to train, yet a good number of people here insist that he doesn't even belong on the mat. That seems a little presumptuous of them.

>>As far as curtailing pre-marital sex...it's simple...if you don't believe in it...Don't Do It!

Do you believe that pre-marital sex is wrong? "if you don't believe in it.... don't do it" is a heck of a lot easier said than done.

>>There are more than a few in the world that feel nothing wrong with beating women in public if a man has "improper" thoughts when they look at the woman. Of course, it's the woman's fault. I realize I have taken it to a different level than you meant, but if each one of us isn't responsible for our decisions, where does it end?

I consider this to be an entirely different kind of animal. The case of the Orthodox Jew is one of self-discipline. The one you mention disciplines the woman for the actions/thoughts of the man.

Where does it end, one asks? One is reasonable (self-discipline) the other is not. It seems to me that the former is most certainly in keeping with the idea of being responsible for one's own action, whereas the latter is contrary to this.

...................................

By Mr. Harnack:

>>2. Have you talked to your Rabbi? As an Orthodox Jew I would have thought you would have consulted with him first, since you clearly state it is a religious issue.

I heartily recommend this, Mr. Fuchs, if you've not done so already. Your Rabbi might inform you that it is alright in this regard, or he might confirm your belief. Either way, only good comes of it.

I doubt seriously that anyone with whom you might train would become particularly indignant. If you state your reasons with a bit of humility and a bit of conviction, few people would be able to become genuinely angry with you. Those who would probably would be little benefit to your training anyway.

One finds righteous indignation in much greater supply on the internet, where we can't see each other face to face. With such dettachment it becomes much easier to judge each other. If you have your future sensei's blessing, do not let the opinions voiced here impede your training.

Eric Kroier
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:23 PM   #30
rachmass
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Thanks Ari,

and Jim, how do you know I'm not??



best to all of you
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:37 PM   #31
jeda
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I have to fare on the side of tolerance. I find nothing wrong with respecting some one's religious belief. As a woman, Ari, I would not be offended if you did not train with me if I understood the reasons.

I must admit I might be a bit biased. I live in a religion dominated culture and I am used to having strange quirks in my daily life. Adapting a little won't kill you.

Ari, good luck to you.
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:02 PM   #32
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Anne Marie Giri (giriasis) wrote:
In regards, to whether avoiding pre-marital sex would be easier if I didn't touch men. When I'm on the mat, sex doesn't enter my mind. It's not even an allure while I'm on the mat. For me, training in aikido is genderless, asexual even. I've been training in aikido for three years now and have not had the temptation to have pre-marital sex as a result of touching my partner in the course of aikido training.
Seeing the sexual antics common in so many dojo - even among direct students of Morihei Ueshiba, it seems to me as if not everybody feels that way .

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 09:08 PM   #33
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Chris,

I agree, however, this is not one of the reasons that I will bend on. At what point do we draw the line...some folks don't want to practice with beginners, or old people, or skinny, fat, black, white, etc.?
Of course, there's always a line somewhere, but it's such a moving target . If folks don't want to practice with beginners, or old people, or skinny, fat, black, white, etc. then they would have to present their reasons and motivations. The judgement as to whether those reason are sufficient or not is, I suppose, left to the instructor. Personally, based on what I read in the series of postings I wouldn't have problem with making an exception in this case, but YMMV.

Best,

Chris

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Old 07-23-2002, 09:09 PM   #34
PeterR
 
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I must say it depends on attitude. If you expain your reasons in a kind and gentle manner the sensei may or may not accomodate you.

I am not sure I could in that it would disrupt the training flow of the group. Refusing to bow to the kamiza is in my mind far less of a problem since it really does not effect the flow and interpersonal relations however, even here, it depends on how one not bows.

I have heard stories (never witnessed) of certain religious people being quite disruptive in their refusal to carry out an action. Again attitude.

Shoot me for this - but it is the same reason I really don't want blind people in the dojo. It disrupts the intensity that I prefer to train to. Again it come down to flow.
Quote:
Jessica Dalton (jdalton51) wrote:
I have to fare on the side of tolerance. I find nothing wrong with respecting some one's religious belief. As a woman, Ari, I would not be offended if you did not train with me if I understood the reasons.

I must admit I might be a bit biased. I live in a religion dominated culture and I am used to having strange quirks in my daily life. Adapting a little won't kill you.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:12 PM   #35
memyselfandi
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To tell you the truth I have not yet spoken with a Rabbi on this matter (though be assured that I will). I was taking my fathers word on it as he himself has taken Judo and has had these same problems (he has also had years of rabbinical training so he does know what he's talking about). Now I disover that he is worried about wrestling being sexual. I'm not quite sure how much wrestling there is in Aikido, but fortunately I have a local rabbi who has done both (jodo and aikido). Perhaps he will be able to guide me in this matter.
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:20 PM   #36
PeterR
 
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Please let us know the advice you get from the local Rabbi.
Quote:
Ari Fuchs (memyselfandi) wrote:
To tell you the truth I have not yet spoken with a Rabbi on this matter (though be assured that I will). I was taking my fathers word on it as he himself has taken Judo and has had these same problems (he has also had years of rabbinical training so he does know what he's talking about). Now I disover that he is worried about wrestling being sexual. I'm not quite sure how much wrestling there is in Aikido, but fortunately I have a local rabbi who has done both (jodo and aikido). Perhaps he will be able to guide me in this matter.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:33 PM   #37
memyselfandi
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Will do
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:52 PM   #38
Dean H.
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Ari,

Thank you for your question and for your integrity. I am not so very experienced

in Aikido, but I have trained with a Muslim fellow, and have lived in the Middle East and have, of course, experienced cultural clashes between religion and "popular" endeavors.

The women I train with are far too self confidant to care if someone doesn't want to train with them, for whatever reason.

You should realize, though, that women are very insightfull in regards to Aikido, and, in fact, O-Sensei had women in his classes.

Hope you are fullfilled...
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:33 PM   #39
Rev_Sully
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Ask the Rabbi about bowing to the Kamiza also. I am very interested on that angle too. Very. You should be just as concerned about respecting/disrespecting O-Sensei as you are about respecting/disrespecting women. It is on the same belief. And I hold you to that.

If you cannot practice with women you should not bow to Kamiza either. But should you still be able to practice Aikido if unable to perform these things. Of course you should but the almost ritual aspect of respect transcends personal religious beliefs IMHO.

O-Sensei himself says:

"When anybody asks is my Aiki budo principles are taken from religion, I say "No." My true budo principles enlighten religions and lead them to completion."

http://www.aikiweb.com/general/memoir.html

But do remember that Kami means:

"A divinity, living force, or spirit. According to SHINTO, the natural world is full of KAMI, which are often sensitive or responsive to the actions of human beings."

and KAMIZA is derived from KAMI. Kamiza means:

"A small shrine, especially in an aikido, generally located the the front of the dojo, and often housing a picture of the founder, or some calligraphy. One generally bows in the direction of the KAMIZA when entering or leaving the dojo, or the mat."

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/vocab.html

And Ari please know for the record I did not infer anything about the touching of women in Aikido training and pre-marital relations as you mentioned in Post #20 of this thread. You said:

"Not touching members of the opposite sex can indeed be seen as a precautionary measure as Eric mentioned. Let me put it this way; how much easier do you think it would be to avoid premarital sex (a sin in many religions) if you could not touch a member of the opposite sex to begin with?"

Please refer to my previous post.

Any information I had on this subject was given by you in Post #1 in particular in this matter. You said in Post #1:

"As an Orthodox Jewish male I'm not permitted to purposefully touch a woman (not before marriage that is. And no, this is not a sexist issue)."

I do not think this is a sexist issue but if the rules of your faith do not allow you to practice with women then I would be insulted if you bowed to Kamiza and O-Sensei. To disrespect women is to disrespect O-Sensei anyway. Sorry if this sounds coarse but I do feel this way.

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:56 PM   #40
Abasan
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Its sad to see that many ppl here don't understand that religion's dictum is not a question of personal choice. If you can't find a dojo that understands that, in particular, the sensei is the one who doesn't understand then don't go there. It'll be better for your aikido anyway.

You see, they in refusing you, have elected to discriminate your religion. Because it is within their power to see through the superficiality of not being able to train with women, and into the crux of the issue, which is about you who sincerely wants to train in aikido although in a limited fashion. It is not in your power however to refuse God.

If all else fails, use a glove! :P

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-23-2002, 10:59 PM   #41
Kat.C
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Quote:
Ari Fuchs (memyselfandi) wrote:
As an Orthodox Jewish male I'm not permitted to purposefully touch a woman (not before marriage that is. And no, this is not a sexist issue). After watching a class at a local dojo, I discovered that while some of the practice is 1 on 1, a lot of it is everyone in the class lining up for Ukemi against one Nage. The former is not so much of a problem (just never pick a female partner), but the latter may cause some difficulties.
I'm a woman and I don't find this offensive at all ,I was in fact surprised at the number of people who thought it was wrong or discriminatory. Mr.Fuchs said that his religion forbade him from touching women before he is married and he wishes to stay true to his beliefs, what is offensive about that? He is not saying that he doesn't want to work with women or that they would not make good partners just that it might be forbidden. Why should he be excluded from practicing aikido because he wishes to keep faith with God?

Personally I would find it offensive if someone joined aikido so they could touch women!



Mr. Fuchs I hope that you do decide to do aikido, it is so enjoyable. And if it turns out that you must decline training with women I hope that when you explain why, they will understand and accept your reasons graciously.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:08 PM   #42
memyselfandi
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-Rev_Sully

I do understand your feelings and I'm sorry I didn't mention the bowing earlier. Upon visiting the dojo (with my parents) we did notice the bowing to the picture of 0-Sensei (along with the calligraphy). My fathers response this was that he had no problem with bowing to other students or sensei, but he did worry about the bowing on ones knees to the "shrine". I will mention this to the Rabbi when I speek with him and see what he has to say about it.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:11 PM   #43
Edward
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Well, not all dojos are women friendly, and certainly not for religious reasons.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:21 PM   #44
memyselfandi
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I thank you all for your support in this matter (and if not support than at least for the honest responses ). If all the Aikidoka I meet are like you than this will trully be a rewarding experience.

PS - Abasan - the sensei does not have a problem with it, it is the other students that I am worried about offending. But thank you anyway

Edit: well it's off to bed with me now, so until tomorow

Ari Fuchs

Last edited by memyselfandi : 07-23-2002 at 11:25 PM.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:24 PM   #45
Kat.C
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Quote:
Eric O&#039Sullivan (Rev_Sully) wrote:
Ask the Rabbi about bowing to the Kamiza also. I am very interested on that angle too. Very. You should be just as concerned about respecting/disrespecting O-Sensei as you are about respecting/disrespecting women. It is on the same belief. And I hold you to that.

If you cannot practice with women you should not bow to Kamiza either. But should you still be able to practice Aikido if unable to perform these things. Of course you should but the almost ritual aspect of respect transcends personal religious beliefs IMHO.
I know this post is meant for Mr.Fuchs but I have to ask a couple of things and comment too.

Where is the correllation between a Kamiza and women? And how is it disrespectful to not work with women because of the rules of one's religion? I mean the man is saying that he wishes to obey a rule that says that he cannot go around touching women and you think that is disrespectful?!! I've run into men who do the opposite, respectful certainly isn't the term that comes to mind describing that behaviour!
Quote:
I do not think this is a sexist issue but if the rules of your faith do not allow you to practice with women then I would be insulted if you bowed to Kamiza and O-Sensei. To disrespect women is to disrespect O-Sensei anyway. Sorry if this sounds coarse but I do feel this way.
I think it would be silly for Mr.Fuchs to not bow to the Kamiza just because he cannot train with women, if his religion forbids it fine, but otherwise the two issues are not related. If respect enters into this at all it is the respect that Mr.Fuchs is showing to God.

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:26 PM   #46
Edward
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Here in thailand, the custom is generally opposite. Women of good education and manners here do not touch men. It is considered seductive. There are no handshakes, let alone friendly hugs and kisses, which I am accustomed to in my french influenced culture (it's ok to shake hands with men though). Honestly I do not avoid practicing with women at our dojo, but I do feel uneasy for the fact that my partners will be taking too many precautions to reduce the physical contact to the strictest minimum (which in the countrary keeps the sexual awareness quite present), and also by the accusative looks of the feminine members who will be scrutinizing for any inappropriate behaviour to feed their gossip.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:35 PM   #47
Kat.C
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
Here in thailand, the custom is generally opposite. Women of good education and manners here do not touch men. It is considered seductive. There are no handshakes, let alone friendly hugs and kisses, which I am accustomed to in my french influenced culture (it's ok to shake hands with men though).
And all these rules are around simply because men are to weak to resist temtation!
Quote:
Honestly I do not avoid practicing with women at our dojo, but I do feel uneasy for the fact that my partners will be taking too many precautions to reduce the physical contact to the strictest minimum (which in the countrary keeps the sexual awareness quite present), and also by the accusative looks of the feminine members who will be scrutinizing for any inappropriate behaviour to feed their gossip.
Do the women really report on each other?

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:39 PM   #48
Edward
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Quote:
Kathryn Cole (Kat.C) wrote:
And all these rules are around simply because men are to weak to resist temtation!



Do the women really report on each other?
You'd be suprised how fast the news spread around here
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:45 PM   #49
Kat.C
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Quote:
Edward Karaa (Edward) wrote:
You'd be suprised how fast the news spread around here
Well women are supposed much better at communicating than men

Kat

I find the aquisition of knowledge to be relatively easy, it is the application that is so difficult.
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Old 07-23-2002, 11:49 PM   #50
Kevin Wilbanks
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I think it's silly the way everyone bends over backwards to accomodate people who insist on violating a community standard just because the justification given is that their 'religion' requires it...

"Its sad to see that many ppl here don't understand that religion's dictum is not a question of personal choice. "

This is simply false. Everyone is responsible for their own behavior. Either they make each choice for themselves on a case by case basis, or they choose a religion, which is in essence making a choice to accept a ready-made group of choices. Even then, they are faced with the choice of whether or not to follow the religious rules in every particular case. The religious person could choose to violate the rules of his chosen religion, or leave the religion althogether at any time. He has just as much choice as I do as a religionless person.

What I don't understand is why so many are ready to renege on a valuable principle (everyone trains with everyone), just because the source of an individual's refusal is purported to be religious. I say the prior principle takes precedence over the principle of respecting someone's beliefs, religious or otherwise. I'll bet most of you do too...

What if I refuse to train with blacks because I have a deep belief that they are inferior to me and not worthy of my interaction? And, I present this belief, along with elaborate reasons and historical data, calmly and without anger or uttering any personal insults? Most here would say "Not OK". What if we take it further and I claim that I am a member of an Aryan Nation Church denomination that expressly prohibits me from touching anyone of African descent? Still not OK? How do you decide whether the religion is valid?

Even worse, in my view: in actuality, I subscribe to no religion, yet my beliefs and wants are just as important to me as anyone else's are to them. Are such exemptions available to me? If not, why am I second class? Because I think for myself instead of doing what some creed or authority figure tells me to do without question?

If one member can refuse to train with another based on religion, it is only fair that any other member can similarly refuse based upon any reason they choose. If it were my dojo, I would not accept such refusals from anyone for any reason other than demonstrable physical danger (e.g., contagion, disease, etc...). It is up to the student to choose between the dojo rules and their own.

K.
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