View Full Version : Cussin in the dojo

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05-07-2002, 11:47 PM
I did something stupid i mean really stupid. so it goes a teen will do stupid things eh? but, this was beyond stupid it was just well not even worth doin. It was after class and I was on my way to the dressin room. One of the students for the Adult classes ( dang school)
put both of his hands on my shoulders to pass me. I said ( for those easly offended might wanna skip this line but then the post wouldnt make sence at all.) " Get your bloody paws off me." I said it with a chuckle and we both laughed and he went to dress, on of the other grownups said, " your swearing in the dojo, even if it is from another country." I was kinda shocked for 2 reasons. 1. Im not in the Uk so it didnt really cross my path as it being a swear word. 2. I was joking to the guy and we a small laugh. So, what was the problem? I mean no kids were around and i have heard plenty of adults swear right when they leave the dojo ( hence leave the door and bam!) and even in the dojo and not get chewed on. well so it goes thats my little stupid story of the day and I wont ever swear on the Mat again. Sorry O-sensi!

BTW what is your look on swearing on the Mat? I mean for me i wasnt really thinking it in context to a bad word at all i was thinking it as i said it bloody hands, hence blood on hands. But well, so it goes. happy sleepy time!

05-08-2002, 12:30 AM
I'd a gone for

"take your paws off me you damn dirty ape!"

05-08-2002, 12:49 AM
Well, cursing, chatting, laughing while on the mats is not such a good idea. But while you're off the mats, I think you can do and say anything you want, as long as no women or children are around ;)

05-08-2002, 01:14 AM
H-hey Biff...

G-get your d-damn h-hands off-f of her !

05-08-2002, 02:16 AM
Well cursing is not nice anyway I guess... However I think the other guy was just mean - it's not his bussiness what you speak off the mat...

I have let go a f-word once after taking a bad breakfall and not being able to breath normally for some time... everybody seemed to understand:)

Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

05-08-2002, 03:14 AM
I'm with Jorgen on this - did the first adult chew you out? Didn't seem to bother him any.

Treat it like any critism. Think about it, does it have relevance? Yes- change behaviour. No - forget about it.

Been known to involuntarily swear on the mat, don't make a habit of it. Have been annoyed with one gaijin who kept on peppering his comments with swear words. English wasn't his first language so no idea how offensive he was.

Once long ago in the wilds of Labrador I used bloody in front of a Brit and he lectured me - I was all of 15. Bothered me too at the time.

Originally posted by Jorx
Well cursing is not nice anyway I guess... However I think the other guy was just mean - it's not his bussiness what you speak off the mat...

I have let go a f-word once after taking a bad breakfall and not being able to breath normally for some time... everybody seemed to understand:)

Estonian Aikikai
Riveta Sportsclub

Jim ashby
05-08-2002, 03:55 AM
Don't know why the Brit took objection, bloody is just a contraction of "by our lady". I have always believed that there is no such thing as bad language, just language that some people find offensive, if you think that what you are about to say may offend, don't say it unless you want to offend/shock/annoy/promote a response etc..
Have fun.

05-08-2002, 04:16 AM
Just a little thought:

Maybe your swearing can interfer with somebody elses feeling of peace and safety in the dojo.

05-08-2002, 08:50 AM
Quick delurk as I take a brain break from the preparations to move (6 days and a wakeup call to flight time!) and closing out final projects at work.

About swearing in the dojo ...

I don't treat the mat like a church, I treat it like a dojo.

In the dojo and on the mat, I curse a little (about as much as I do in real life), I also laugh, crack wise, occasionally take a pratfall, and speak irreverently of the art and some of the old masters.

And I'm the teacher.

I can hear the shocked gasps now ... I know that's not very 'aiki' of me, but ya know, the dojo is NOT a church, not a temple.

It IS a place wherein things spiritual can be examined and wherein the spirit can be tested, polished, broken and rebuilt.

It's also a place of learning and training. It was originally a bunch of warriors getting together to exchange tips and tricks that kept them alive.

I suspect conversations in those old training halls got pretty salty.

My take on the issue: Swearing in the dojo (even on the mat) won't get you sent to aiki-hell ... OK, maybe it will, but you'll be in good company.

I'm not sure why, but I know of several folks who involuntarily eject some quite interesting expletives when I get my hands on them. Ask folks who attended the '98 Aikido-L seminar about Wendy Gunther's flight in George Simcox' class.

And one of the teachers whom I most respect tends to use (albeit fairly mild) invective pretty freely whilst instructing Shinto Muso Ryu jo ...

And I've heard him use worse.

I approach my art with a sense of joy, vibrancy, love and enthusiasm. Sometimes that brings out a naughty word. Sorry.

I don't approach it with a sense of religious awe or sycophantic supplication.

I don't treat the dojo as a shrine, and refuse to treat teachers as priests. Unless, of course, they ARE, as is the case with a few folks -- even then, I'm not gonna lie to them. I curse in my daily life, and when I chat with a friend who is a priest, I don't change my demeanor. If the gods know me at all, they'd know I was lying when I said 'Shoot' instead of 'Shit' ...

But that's just me.

Ya'll play nice, #$%^ it, have lots of %^&*%$# fun and %$#& it, don't you @#$%^& talk about anything really interesting until after I get moved and back &^%$# online!!!


05-08-2002, 11:37 AM
I'm with Chuck on the "dojo isn't a church" thing. I, however, make a point of discouraging foul language during training. Yes, occasionally a curse escapes the lips of a student - I don't get upset about that - but I dislike cursing and know that others do too, so I try to keep a lid on that sort of thing in the dojo out of a simple desire to be respectful toward fellow trainees. Laughing, though, is completely welcome during practice.

Sharon Seymour
05-08-2002, 12:07 PM
I don't think this is about cussing. I think it's about touching. Setting physical boundaries can be challenging, and a startle response like cussing tells me there's a boundary violation going on, however unconscious, and however innocuous the intention.

A few thoughts from Sharon.

Jorge Garcia
05-08-2002, 05:00 PM
I don't think you were cursing but for anyone who does real cursing, I will say this. Cursing is like smoking. Curse all you want if you are the only one that has to listen to it but don't force those around you to listen to it. Its like when the people with the cars that are playing music so loud, that your house vibrates as they pass by. I say, if the music shakes your car, that's fine but if it shakes my car, that's not ok. It's rude.
I personally have left a dojo because of the language. I had both my son and my daughter in the dojo and I didn't want them to have to listen to that and I didn't want to hear it either. My current sensei and I have talked about it and what used to happen in our dojo has changed when my kids are around. It's just that some peopel don't know where to draw the line. They aren't TV's that you can turn off. Anyway, those are my thoughts.

05-09-2002, 01:18 AM
Hi Dallas,

I would suggest not beating yourself up over this, but looking at it as a learning experience. First, you didn't know that that could be considered a swear word (and the point may still be debated), but if you did, would you want to use it? Anywhere, including the dojo? Now, I am the last one to talk here, having first used such words during a surgical residency and perfecting through years in the fighter community, but this is my take on swearing:

Men swear, women cry (or, if they want to be taken seriously in surgical residencies and as one of the first females in fighters, they swear) for pretty much the same reasons: lack of control over self. They swear (or cry) because they are angry, frustrated, hurt (emotionally or physically), scared. It looks different, but it is the same thing, emotions and bad habits overcoming the self. Once I got into the habit of swearing (rather than tearing up) when frustrated, it became an unattractive habit (and I believe unattractive in both sexes). When I realized it showed a lack of self-control on my part (what did this? I spent a weekend interviewing in a Catholic hospital, in the company of nuns the whole time, and realized I had managed to go without a four letter word the entire time) I decided to work on changing my behavior.

Even before that, I'd (like any 'gentleman') refrained from swearing around women, children, and any man I hadn't heard swear first. Which just supported my theory that such behavior can be controlled if you so desire. And, by the way, I think a court case was lost by a man who let loose with a string of four letter words in the presence of some families on a rafting trip.

Did you do anything wrong? Well, not if you didn't know some could find offense in the word you used (don't know that I'd call it swearing, although I would guess it is from a reference to Mary 'by Our Lady', much the same as calling upon God in many names is felt to be swearing). Do I think swearing is OK in the dojo? No, because it is verbal pollution of the space others share, and it indicates a lack of self control/lack of awareness that I think we should be working on especially in a dojo. If something can upset your equilibrium so easily that words are 'forced' from your mouth, what does that say for your focus and composure? Just my very long winded 2 cents.

05-09-2002, 02:14 AM
Ah, to hell with it. Enjoy!


05-13-2002, 04:23 PM
I believe swearing in the dojo is something that should be discouraged from doing. People will usually swear when they are frustrated, and this should not be the mindset of any aikido practitioner while they are training. Instead of becoming frustrated, one should try harder and focus more appropriately on the task that is trying to be accomplished. I think a joke or two is fine while learning techniques or in the process of training since it can make the atmosphere more enjoyable and help ease frustration (these jokes may require swear words). One should try harder to focus on the task at hand when a mistake is made instead of becoming frustrated. One way of doing this is by eliminating those habits that we almost instinctively reveal every time we become frustrated (i.e. swearing). Your training will deffinetly improve when these somewhat innate consistencies are illiminated by focusing on what you need to do to change them. => Focus on trying harder to obtain your goal!