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12-11-2001, 08:03 PM
Hey everyone, I'm fairly new to this board. My name is Jason Palmer and I started training in Aikido a few months ago in CT. I am currently studying with Laura Pavlick. I have a really stupid question that I have been too embarassed to ask my sensei. About a week ago I got a tatoo of the Japenese Aikido symbol on my arm. I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo? Thanks everyone.

12-11-2001, 09:47 PM
man...I have plans to do the same thing....
I hope not.

12-11-2001, 10:23 PM
Just to be on the safe side, make sure that the tatoo is in area that can be easily hidden, in case your Sensei does not appreciate this from of art. I myself don't like people with tatoos, but if you really want one, why do you want to involve Aikido in it? You might quit after a few months, so why not use something more general?

12-11-2001, 10:59 PM
If i was to get tattoo it would be an Aikido one. Either that or a barcode on the back of my neck (cool). Anyway i think the California age limit for a tattoo it 16 (sigh three more years to go).


12-11-2001, 11:19 PM
Our Sensei gets a kick out of harping on us about our haircuts and stuff (he is very traditional). "Steve, did your barber die?" "Did you hair change colors?". I remember him one day lamenting how Steven Seagal's films had led to a rash of pony-tail wearing fellows coming to the dojo...

... I imagine Sensei would sigh sadly if anyone got a tattoo about aikido. I know I've thought of having 'tao/do' tattooed before, but that was from my study of the Tao te Ching, not Aikido.


12-12-2001, 12:02 AM

12-12-2001, 04:21 AM
Shihonage, is that your Tattoo??? :eek:

Thinking about all that advertisement you would be carrying around on your skin, it would also be quite a laugh if you actually tattood your belt colour along your waist. But then of course, going through blue, brown and black would be quite painful i would expect.

Still, thats what you get for appreciating skin. :p

12-12-2001, 04:51 AM
hehe. No it isn't his tatto :)
I hope!


Brian Vickery
12-12-2001, 06:54 AM
Originally posted by Jason483
About a week ago I got a tatoo of the Japenese Aikido symbol on my arm. I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo?

Hi Jason,

I've been to seminars where our Japanese Shihan has asked students with tattoos to cover them up! He said something about tattos making the student look like 'Yakuza' (gangsters!)


Peter Goldsbury
12-12-2001, 08:01 AM
I think that aikido 'senseis' have no right to pontificate about such things as tattoos and hair length/colour. I think this is an invasion of privacy.

I discourage my own students from wearing rings, necklaces etc. during practice because of the risk of injury. And long hair, whether worn by men or women, is best tied up because of techniques such as irimi-nage. Keikogi etc should fit properly and should be properly tied (so clothes do not fall down during practice).

Otherwise, it is up to the individual. So, if you want to put an aikido tattoo on your arm, leg, or anywhere else, go ahead. Do it. (All I ask is that if it was Japanese kanji, it is properly written.) And as for tattoos being a mark of the yakuza, times have changed here. But Edward's comment is relevant here, if you quit aikido and take up something else...

Best regards,

12-12-2001, 08:41 AM
I am amazed...I can't treat any one under 18 without their sponsor's permission in clinic, but a 16 year old can make a decision that should be considered permanent in marking his body.

A few (perhaps not so important to you) things to consider: we old foggies are still the ones who interview and hire, and despite the growing popularity of 'body art' the message it sends (perhaps just subconsciously) to many in the old foggie category is not a positive reflection on you. It might make getting into more conservative professions more difficult than it should be if it is somewhere it can be easily seen. This said, there is a sensei I've seen with a multitude of tattoos who I am told is a successful lawyer. He is, however, the only lawyer I've seen like that.

In the USAF, tattoos must be covered by the uniform. A lot of flight line workers, used to taking off their shirts in hot weather to work in T-shirt, now can't. The dermatologists are REALLY busy these days removing things.

Finally, it is only a matter of time before we trace disease spread to this. I don't care how clean it looks to you. Does your Mom think it looks clean?:D Seriously, even clean doesn't mean sterile. Opening a new package doesn't mean sterile: a) it costs less to rewrap than to sterilize and rewrap, all you know is it is a new package. b)it is not easy to sterilize things, and these are not brain surgeons doing your tattoo. I think there are probably a lot of reputable body artisits out there, but I think a lot who are not as well, and I wouldn't bet my health on who I was picking.:eek:

12-12-2001, 09:08 AM
Of course a tatoo will prevent you from attending certain Japanese hotbaths.

12-12-2001, 10:09 AM
Originally posted by PeterR
Of course a tatoo will prevent you from attending certain Japanese hotbaths.

Really? For health reasons, or because they imply a certain lifestyle?

12-12-2001, 10:24 AM
Originally posted by ca

Really? For health reasons, or because they imply a certain lifestyle?

I think lifestyle implications - of course I have been seated next to a man with a whole yakusa tattoo at the Shirahama public hot spring. So either the rule is not universily applied (it isn't) or no one was going to enforce it.

Gee he got in but they made such a fuss over the teddy bear on my butt.

12-12-2001, 10:58 AM
Originally posted by PeterR

Gee he got in but they made such a fuss over the teddy bear on my butt.

Oh NO!!!:eek:
Not the dreaded Teddy Bear clan!!!:eek:

Obviously too rough a group, must exclude them...;)

12-12-2001, 11:37 AM
I know they are not as fun as the real thing, but there's always this option:


Chris Guzik

12-12-2001, 11:43 AM
If you really want to make a statement about Aikido, why don't you buy a few Aikido T-shirt? They come in different colors and designs, you can change them every day (or less depends on your hygienic habits but anyhow they are less permanent than tatoos ;) ) and no one will have any objections about them. :)

12-13-2001, 01:11 AM
Originally posted by Edward
If you really want to make a statement about Aikido, why don't you buy a few Aikido T-shirt?

Somebody point me in the direction of an appropriate store... or let me know the website so that I can gently encourage my relatives to visit it with credit cards in hand. :D

12-13-2001, 06:28 PM
Hello All,

I have something I want to say about almost every post in this thread, so please bear with me as I ramble on. :rolleyes:

To Jason:
Congratulations on getting your tattoo. I'm going to assume that you thought about it in advance and didn't just go out and get tattooed on a whim.

My advice is, dont hide it, but dont flaunt it either. Hopefully people who disapprove will be too polite to mention it, and people who do aprove wont be too polite to admire it aloud in the changing room. Unless you had it tattooed on your forehead, its going to be hidden by your gi anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue on the mat.

It isn't a design I'd chose for myself, but good luck to you.

To Edward:
You wrote:
"I myself dont like people with tattoos"
Does that mean you dont like me, Edward? I'm hurt. :p

To Ben:
The barcode on the back of the neck thing would be cooler if so many people hadn't already gone for it. Your tattoo is a personal thing, sometimes you dont want a design a whole bunch of people already have.
(And Colleen has a point about the career option thing, a tattoo high on your neck is really tough to cover up.

More to the point though, you have only so much skin, a tattoo is permanent and tastes change. Do you see what I mean if you think back to a band you thought were really cool a few years ago? How about if you were stuck with their name written on you for ever?

Maybe you could choose a design now, keep it safe and see if you still want that exact same design in three years time. Chances are you won't. (Its a cliche, sorry if you're sick of hearing it, but you're probably going to change more in the next 5 or 6 years than you will in the rest of your life after that.)

You could look into Henna 'tattoos', where you stain your skin with henna paste. The design lasts for about a month or so before it fades, and it looks pretty good with bold 'tribal' style designs. (I bet you could even get a barcode on the back of your neck in black henna, horrify your parents, impress your pals and let it fade away before the job interviews start happening. ;))

To Colleen
It really doesn't make any more sense for a tattooist to risk spreading hepatitis, HIV or whatever by reusing needles than it does for a doctor to do so. Needles are pretty cheap, lawsuits are not.

To Peter Goldsbury
You wrote:
"I think that aikido 'senseis' have no right to pontificate about such things as tattoos and hair length/colour. I think this is an invasion of privacy"
I find it very reassuring to read that point of view in this otherwise quite authoritarian thread, especially from one who brings such gravitas to the discussion.

To Peter Rehse
Any chance of a JPEG of the teddy bear on your butt? :D


12-13-2001, 06:40 PM
Excellent suggestions on both the henna and the 'thinking about it' for awhile. I guess I am too used to the tattoo artists I see around military bases, rarely the same one (or even same shop location) for very long, hard to sue when someone is long gone...one basic trainee I treated many years ago for piercing-caused hepatitis (when the in rebellion was a pierced ear in males) could only identify the guy who did his ear as 'Dusty' passing through Texas from Tennesse. Pretty hard for us to report him...and has been pointed out in other threads, hard to get a lawyer to take a case if the defendant can't pay...docs carry hefty malpractice insurance, not probably a requirement for a tattoo parlor.

12-14-2001, 03:34 AM
Hey sean... nice tat! design it yourself?

there are some guys I train with in the dojo who have huge aikido tatoos covering huge portions of their body, some are amazing designs.... come to think of it... these guys with the aiki tats are 3rd dans, and very impressive...

ponders a possible link... rushes out to get his own lol

kidding :P

but anyway, nice tattoo.

12-14-2001, 04:35 PM
Originally posted by Jason483
I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo?

If you think of Aikido as a Way of Life, then it's fine.
If you think having a Japanese AND Martial Art tattoo is kewl, then it's disrespectful to the discipline.
Either way, it's best to have a discrete tattoo, i.e. small kanji on the back of the shoulder. (That's where my Sensei and some of the students from his 'advanced' class have it).

Just my opinion.


12-18-2001, 09:02 AM
Well, I got the tatoo! I just got the kanji written on my right arm. It is not visible if I have a short sleeve shirt on. I actually took the picture of the kanji that is on the main page of this web site and I gave that to the tatoo parlor. It looks exactly how I wanted it to look.
A few posts back, someone said that it was ok to get the tatoo if I wanted it to represent the Art of Peace instead of a cool japenese martial art. Well, truthfully, when I first started Aikido, I started it because I wanted to learn how to fight, as many of us probobly did. As I started to learn more about the techniques and the philosophy, I came to the conclusion that nobody needs to fight. I completely believe in Aikido as being the Art of Peace, even though I'm not that experienced yet.

12-18-2001, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by Jason483
I actually took the picture of the kanji that is on the main page of this web site and I gave that to the tatoo parlor.
Heh! Now, all I need is someone to go out and get the AikiWeb logo tattooed:


... along with the URL of the site! Hmm -- advertising...

I heard that one person who used to work for Bu Jin Design (http://www.bujindesign.com) on his last day working there took the metal brand they use to burn on the "Bu Jin" character logo and branded himself! Ouch...

-- Jun

12-18-2001, 10:46 AM
As an aside, your story made me remember something Jun..... One of the guys at where I used to work at Earthlink had the Earthlink logo tatooed on his arm.... he was what we called a 'lifer' about 2 months later he was fired. Talk about misplaced love. Heh.

12-18-2001, 12:05 PM
um I am going to be giving blood at a school blood drive by the red cross. you have to be 17 or older ( I am 17) and I have a few question esp for CA. does it hurt? how long does it take? what should I do before going ( ie be clean, eat alot or what?), why do you have to be at least 17? and any other helpfull things

Im going to get thoes fake tatoos from Aikidojournal.com!

Jon Hicks
12-19-2001, 02:17 AM

I have a buddy of mine in Japan. He`s is an American. He has 5 tatoos in various places. When we go to the Onsen "hot springs", there is always a sign written in Kanji saying "No Tatoos". We always pretend we can`t understand it, and go in anyway. He wears a towel around his shoulders and tries to stay under the water. No one seems to mind. The Yakuza thing seems only to apply to Japanese.
I always think it`s a problem for him, but he has never expressed regret.

My advice; Be yourself, but think before you act.



12-24-2001, 10:09 PM
Hi Dallas,

By now you probably have already made it through your first donation! Thank you for saving a life. I kind of lose track of different threads (you will also get forgetful when you get old;) .

I am again amazed you can do this under 18 w/o parental permission. That's just for the legal issues. For a medical reason, we use a rough estimate in terms of size and age and gender to try to make sure a) we don't take too much of your blood and b) we have a fairly uniform amount of blood in each unit.

It involves inserting a needle into your arm, so there is a momentary 'pin prick' feeling, like when you have a blood test done. Until my military travels put an end to it, I was a very frequent donor since my college days, and it never hurt me, nor did it seem to bother anyone that I saw donate. I doesn't take very long at all to fill the bag, especially a young healthy athlete like you, you will be out of there in no time, even allowing for all the juice and cookies the red cross ladies will push at you.

Nothing special you have to do to get ready, they will ask you some questions, check your blood pressure, do a test to be sure you have enough iron in your blood, and you are ready. The Red Cross personnel will clean the area that they will be using (bend of your elbow, either arm). You should just eat as you normally do, but afterwards drink plenty of fluids and take it easy that day. Your body will quickly repenish the red blood cells you lost. One word of advice, however: I have found this past year that frequent donors (five+ times/year) that some of our young troops are, some are developing anemia. I think this is in part due to a not-quite-what-your-Mom-would-feed-you diet they follow. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods for the month after you donate. If you are going to donate regularly, you may want to discuss how often with your physician, or the need for a vitamin with iron.

Again, thank you for being a hero. Blood donations save lives; for all the brave talk that goes on around here, giving blood is a truely brave and selfless thing to do.
I hope Santa rewards you!

01-02-2002, 02:06 AM
I thought Aikido was about being natural?