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Old 03-01-2005, 07:20 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Equitable?

I just checked out the list of instuctors for the Aiki Expo. There were 35 and only 2 of them were women. 2!!!!!!!.

Just had to get that off my chest.
Thanks.
Mary
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:44 AM   #2
rob_liberti
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Re: Equitable?

What are your suggestions regarding how to recruit and retain women in aikido?

Rob
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:51 AM   #3
MikeE
 
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Re: Equitable?

Once again, no one from Koichi Tohei Sensei's lineage either. A shame.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:51 AM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
What are your suggestions regarding how to recruit and retain women in aikido?

Rob
Well, how about inviting more women to teach at big seminars such as the Aiki Expo?

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:17 AM   #5
akiy
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Michael Ellefson wrote:
Once again, no one from Koichi Tohei Sensei's lineage either. A shame.
Shizuo Imaizumi sensei taught at last year's Aiki Expo. Although he is not connected with Ki Society, he trained for many years under Koichi Tohei sensei.

I think organizing an event such as the Aiki Expo is difficult to begin with, even without actively trying to meet all sorts of demands of organization, style, gender, and such. Having helped organized "cross-style" seminars such as the Aikido-L Seminars and the AikiWeb Workshop, I can only imagine the sensitive politics of who Stanley is able to invite and so forth. There are, I'm sure, limitations to his reach.

Nonetheless, I'm impressed (perhaps overwhelmed) by the number of instructors this year. I'm looking forward to seeing friends and training with the likes of Ushiro sensei, Kondo sensei, Tissier sensei, and others. It should once again be an interesting weekend...

In any case, you might want to post on the Aikido Journal website with your thoughts. I'm sure Stanley would be interested in hearing them; he's a very reasonable and approachable fellow from my experiences. I'm sure he'd welcome your thoughts.

-- Jun

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Old 03-01-2005, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: Equitable?

Hafta second Jun's advice. Please feel free to post suggestions at Aikido Jounral. I too have found Pranin Sensei very open to ideas. IMHO, he, like Jun here on Aiki Web, is trying to overcome politics and unite Aikido. Two people I bow to with great appreciation and respect for their efforts.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 03-01-2005, 08:43 AM   #7
batemanb
 
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Re: Equitable?

There's an old thread on AJ where Stan says that not everyone invited is able to attend, this may be for any number of reasons.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...ghlight=invite

Although this was written when he was arranging the first Expo, it's probably safe to assume that some of it still applies now.

rgds

Bryan

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Old 03-01-2005, 10:06 AM   #8
Chris Li
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Well, how about inviting more women to teach at big seminars such as the Aiki Expo?

kvaak
Pauliina
So you would advocate inviting instructors based upon their gender?

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-01-2005, 10:14 AM   #9
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Well, how about inviting more women to teach at big seminars such as the Aiki Expo?
How about simply inviting the best available teachers, regardless of gender? What does gender have to do with good Aikido?



Mike
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:15 AM   #10
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
How about simply inviting the best available teachers, regardless of gender? What does gender have to do with good Aikido?



Mike
I think there are a lot of great women Aikido teachers. And who is best is up to the individual asked. However, Aikido is a martial art practiced by thousands of women. I wish that an effort could be made for more women to teach at big seminars.

And, yes I know that there are a thousand arguments and reasons why they have not been. But how will Aikido ever really become the art it is supposed to be if the "system" does not recognize what is lacking and work to fix it?

Without men helping to make women be more equal in Aikido it is going to take hundreds of years.

It isn't a cute, winking matter to me.

Mary
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:16 AM   #11
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: Equitable?

Why does everything have to be prejudice?...What ever happened to the "harmony" through which aikido is a means to gain, and that we (as a human race) could cast off our sense of superiority of class, race, gender, religion, etc?...Just wondering...

Bryce
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:19 AM   #12
mj
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
...Without men helping to make women be more equal in Aikido it is going to take hundreds of years.

Mary
Indeed..and 2 out of 35 is far from equitable. Very far.

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Old 03-01-2005, 11:52 AM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
I think there are a lot of great women Aikido teachers. And who is best is up to the individual asked. However, Aikido is a martial art practiced by thousands of women. I wish that an effort could be made for more women to teach at big seminars.

And, yes I know that there are a thousand arguments and reasons why they have not been. But how will Aikido ever really become the art it is supposed to be if the "system" does not recognize what is lacking and work to fix it?

Without men helping to make women be more equal in Aikido it is going to take hundreds of years.

It isn't a cute, winking matter to me.

Mary
That didn't really answer the question..."What does gender have to do with good Aikido?" And your question "how will Aikido ever really become the art it is supposed to be..." doesn't make any sense, if we're talking about "martial art". A martial art does not need a gender component to fulfill its definition.

Again.... what does gender have to do with good Aikido??????

This better? I only meant to be friendly, not get my ass chewed because of your personal mine-field of beliefs.

Mike
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Old 03-01-2005, 11:52 AM   #14
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
How about simply inviting the best available teachers, regardless of gender? What does gender have to do with good Aikido?
Now that makes real sense in my opinion. Quality, not attempts to be overly PC as far as I'm concerned should be the requirement.

I think one of the primary things for a premier Aikido gathering like Aiki Expo should be quality of instruction and demonstration over anything else, as the event can easily become a benchmark for many who visit, of what "Aikido" is supposed to be all about, some of whom may not be aware of all the variances and peculiarities of the different methods of Aikido training.

If the majority of exceptional instructors were women I'd advocate there be more women than men there to maintain the level of quality to be honest. But again it comes down to the focus of one's program and aims when doing these sorts of expositions. I mean, this is the first year that someone from the Tomiki system is doing anything at the Expo as well, so I guess they are growing and learning as time goes along.

On the point of women in Aikido though, does anyone know what the actual ratio of male to female instructors is across all Aikido or in their own systems/organisations even? From how I see it the sheer ratio of all instructors of Aikido may have something to do with the pool that Stan Pranin can draw from to get to invite to Aiki Expo. And even then, it depends on who can make it to the event. There are a few variables imo. I'm not so sure if the ratio of male to female instructors in the world is not represented by the numbers represented at the Aiki Expo this year.

Then again, where does the lobbying stop? Similar to what Bryce said - when we have enough female instructors, will we then start asking why there are not enough african, hispanic, indian, christian, moslem, buddhist, hindu or [insert category here] instructors at the expo? To echo Mike above, what bearing does this actually have on our personal quality of training in good Aikido?

Personally I believe we must be the change we wish to see in the world.

Just some thoughts.
LC

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Old 03-01-2005, 12:00 PM   #15
BC
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Re: Equitable?

I also noticed that there are no instructors from the USAF. Just an observation...

Robert Cronin
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Old 03-01-2005, 12:05 PM   #16
akiy
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
On the point of women in Aikido though, does anyone know what the actual ratio of male to female instructors is across all Aikido or in their own systems/organisations even?
Here's a poll I just took a few weeks ago:

"What gender is your chief instructor at your aikido dojo?"
http://www.aikiweb.com/polls/results.html?poll_id=256

Not meant to be scientific nor representational, but at least, it's one statistic...

-- Jun

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Old 03-01-2005, 12:09 PM   #17
malsmith
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Re: Equitable?

someone earlier said something along the lines of "what happend to the harmony" but to me harmony is balance and there is no balance in a room that has 33 male instructors and only 2 female.

but i do also agree that instructors should never be chosen because of gender... they should be chosen by their skills

but maybe women would be recognized for their skills in aikido if EVERYONE had the mentality that women could be as equally skilled as men.... then we would start to shine through and be noticed.

i think we can all admit that when someone says "an aikido master" we naturally picture a man in a hakama. but if these thoughts were changed to say that anywhere a man could be, a woman is just as likely to be there with him; then women would truly start to be equals--when we are equal in peoples brains not just saying that we are allowed to do anything a man can.
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Old 03-01-2005, 12:12 PM   #18
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Equitable?

Thanks for the poll info Jun.

Even there the ratio is like 9 to 1 male to female (as far as votes go). I agree it's not scientific or anything, but at least it may give some idea as regards the gap we are dealing with in numbers and by extension, availability of female instructors.

LC

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Old 03-01-2005, 12:16 PM   #19
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
So you would advocate inviting instructors based upon their gender?

Best,

Chris
Let's make a little thought experiment: Let's pretend there actually are excellent female instructors in the world, who go unrecognized, because they're female. Just humor me for a moment. In this case, since they aren't recognized as the excellent aikidoka they are, they wouldn't get invited based on their skills. Right?

Now whether or not one chooses to believe this is the case at this moment in the aikido world, is really the question I think. Apparently most people responding to this thread so far believe this not to be the case - there are only a couple female instructors invited, because there are so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 03-01-2005, 12:37 PM   #20
Mike Sigman
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Let's make a little thought experiment: Let's pretend there actually are excellent female instructors in the world, who go unrecognized, because they're female. Just humor me for a moment. In this case, since they aren't recognized as the excellent aikidoka they are, they wouldn't get invited based on their skills. Right?

Now whether or not one chooses to believe this is the case at this moment in the aikido world, is really the question I think. Apparently most people responding to this thread so far believe this not to be the case - there are only a couple female instructors invited, because there are so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place.
If you look at the numbers of men in Aikido, there are fewer of them, percentage wise, being chosen as high-level instructors. It is hard to become a high-level instructor because usually it takes skill to get a certain amount of rank (but not always, as most of us with years of experience know). Is it more important for a paying student to get the best possible instruction in Aikido, or should the excellence in training be diverted for social issues?

Frankly, most serious martial artists I know tend to avoid training facilities that are into social issues, no matter how important that issue may seem to someone not truly interested in the essence of martial arts. That's often a factor in why some schools put out good practitioners and why some schools develop a poor reputation for skills, BTW. Generally speaking, every female and every male I've seen with notable skills gets promoted. Seminar hosts invite people with known skills in order to draw seminar participants. I'm sure Stan Pranin would invite any Aikido instructor that is good, with whom people want to study, and who would come. Gender has nothing to do with good Aikido.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-01-2005, 02:16 PM   #21
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
...there are only a couple female instructors invited, because there are so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place.
Actually we have no idea how many female instructors were invited, only that two agreed to attend.

Perhaps Stan Pranin should make available the list of all people invited to teach along with the list of those who accepted.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:03 PM   #22
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Equitable?

Stan Pranin said he invited others and they declined to come.

Mary
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Old 03-01-2005, 03:07 PM   #23
Janet Rosen
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Perhaps Stan Pranin should make available the list of all people invited to teach along with the list of those who accepted.
I don't really think that's anybody's business but his and the invitees who declined. Politics, health, family issues, etc are and should be private matters in this situation.
I worked with Jun on several aikido-l seminars including working up lists of instructors to invite.
The pool of high ranking instructors is numerically tilted towards men. From this pool, there may be many people representing one style of aikido. And in fact, many of the high ranking women I know of are within mainstream Aikikai Hombu--this may reflect my area of strongest knowledge or it may reflect an actual numerical concentration. Clearly in events such as aikido-l seminar, AikiExpo, etc, the primary focus is on presenting a variety of styles.
So its priorities.

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-01-2005, 04:06 PM   #24
Chris Li
 
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Re: Equitable?

Quote:
Pauliina Lievonen wrote:
Let's make a little thought experiment: Let's pretend there actually are excellent female instructors in the world, who go unrecognized, because they're female. Just humor me for a moment. In this case, since they aren't recognized as the excellent aikidoka they are, they wouldn't get invited based on their skills. Right?

Now whether or not one chooses to believe this is the case at this moment in the aikido world, is really the question I think. Apparently most people responding to this thread so far believe this not to be the case - there are only a couple female instructors invited, because there are so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place.

kvaak
Pauliina
Well, no one said that there were so few that are good enough to choose from in the first place until you brought it up. There may be instructors out there who go unrecognized because they are female - that's really not Stan Pranin's problem, he has to choose instructors who will draw people to his event. In any case, there are plenty of unrecognized instructors who will never be invited to such an event - I bet that I could name twenty 6th and 7th dans that you have never heard of and are very fine instructors.

So once again - do you really think that the solution to gender-based discrimination is to choose instructors based upon their gender?

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-01-2005, 04:24 PM   #25
rob_liberti
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Re: Equitable?

Look at the aikiwiki "people" section, and notice the ranks of the senior men versus the senior women.

How about:
- Build up everyone in your dojo regardless of race or gender.
- Invite the best aikido instructors you can regardless of race or gender.
- If female students get inspired and eventually become inspirational themselves then invite them to teach seminars commensurate with their level of inspiration.
- Figure out what the best practices are to recruit and retain women given the current numbers of available female role models.

OR heck, I'll play along: How many minorities? What is their representation? Any native Americans? (Give me a break. How does this help?)

Rob
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