"I Refuse To Learn From Someone Whose Political Affiliation Differs From Mine"

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Always a student before a teacher.


This is becoming an all too common theme in so many disciplines across so many industries. We have become so polarized that even those activities and communities we belong to, specifically designed to create a bridge between those with differing ideologies, are reduced to reasons why "not" to be a part of that community.


I should begin by stressing that our dojo has experienced some of this to small degree, but there are those who are on the brink of closing their doors because of this polarization. If this post helps to show even a handful of those people that they should increase their commitment to their training, it will have been a success.


History of Disagreement.

Debate between people has always been a reality, it is inherent to our species to compete. To deny this, our nature, is to deny one of the very things that allowed us, as humans, to achieve so much in science, art, culture, and almost every other facet of the human experience. But you may be thinking: "how do I reconcile this with Aikido's principle of non-aggression and absolutely zero competition?". This is a critical point that for me, almost made me quit Aikido after my first day on the mat.


Through my training, both as a student, deshi, and now teacher, I have come to realize