Saturday, 6 December 2008


Today I took the kids to the local education centre which runs a karate class. They're quite eager to learn, and I personally feel it is important for them to be able to defend themselves if they were ever in an awkward situation, we seek refuge with Allaah from that happening. Also masha'Allaah it instills confidence in them, and self discipline insha Allaah. Even myself I would love to learn insha Allaah, as a self defense and a way to keep fit.

I was going there to speak with the instructor and ask about the issue of the bowing, as I know this is common tradition in martial arts, as a form of mutual respect. But as muslims we don't bow to anyone or anything other than Allaah. I managed to speak with the instructor and he basically told me, in a nice way, that bowing is something which they have to do, they use it as respect, and it's not up to them to change it, it is the ones in Japan who have the authority. I mentioned that there is a friend of mine in Cardiff who takes her boys to Karate classes, and the instructors there allow them to replace the bow with some kind of arm gesture, I think they kind of put it to their chest or something like that, and that's 2 places now that they've been allowed to leave out the bowing. So I was really dissapointed, and so were the kids, but Qadr Allaah.

I have emailed a few other places, and asked the same question, so will wait to hear back from them.

But as I was doing my search earlier, I came across this website , masha'Allaah I was so excited when I started reading about a kung fu class for women and girls not far from me, with a female black belt instructor. I'm not sure if it's still running, but will try and get more info tomorrow insha Allaah. The website is run by a sister and her husband, and they set it up with the aim of providing sports activities just for women, whilst maintaining our islamic values. So insha Allaah the issue of not bowing I would think would not be a problem. Will update when i have more info.


Umm Travis said...

ma shaa Allah sister, that is great you are continuing to look for a centre that suits your needs. My son was in karate when he was smaller, and they never did bowing, I dont know, I didnt really think they all did that, subhanAllah. I mean what is the big deal? Sheesh

Jamilah said...

He told you they had to do it? What a bunch of bleep! Inshallah you can find a new place to take them

Naimah Umm Khadijah said...

Umm Travis- I know subhanAllaah, I think maybe the instructor was being awkward, or just really abiding by the culture, as one sister suggested. I found out earlier today, that a sister I know, her husband masha'Allaah is a black belt, and has competed in competions in Japan etc.. and does not do the bowing thing, and has not had any problems alhamdulillaah. He does classes masha'Allaah, but unfortunately they're too far away from us.

Naimah Umm Khadijah said...

Jamilah- Yeah insha Allaah sis, I'm hoping something positive comes from that website I mentioned, the place is not too far from here, but it's only for women and girls, and don't know yet how old the girls have to be, but insha Allaah something will come up.