View Full Version : Traveling with Aiki clothing
05-24-2002, 08:28 AM
Lately, I have been traveling, doing ancestor research and such, and I have been wearing my two Ai-ki-do script hats with the japanese script from Okimura Sensei from Delaware (AFOD) ... I get some strange looks from older guys, probably vets of Korea, but for the most part very few people ask what my hat says.
The comical answer is it says "Eat #$%$ and Die!" if you read it sideways, which, in fact, a buddy of mine actually has on a hat that says this if you read it sideways.
In most curious inquirys, I tell them it says Aikido and give them the short version of Aikido's defensive, passive idea to protection and benfiting the self/ community in it's philosophy.
How do people react when you explain what Aikido is, or means to you, and how often do people ask when they see
:ai: :ki: :do: on your clothing, or gear?
What is the reaction of the different age groups? I know I got some dirty looks from over sixty five/over group who had experienced in the WWII and Korean war period.
Could it be we have become the new generation to overcome hatred of what was classified as a race of people to opt for educated hatred of groups or individuals of specific acts?
Do you ever wear clothing that identifies you in public as a practitioner of Aikido?
(Maybe this is slightly a field from centralizing upon general forums of Aikido, but how you carry it into your life should be just as important and practice with your class or group of friends. To clarify, I think it is like wearing your wedding ring ... if you can't be married with your ring off, how can you be married with your ring on? Moral dillemma, or moral fortitude, you carry the morals within so ...)
Could we be a different generation of symbols and identification?
05-24-2002, 08:57 AM
I never had any problem with my practice or promotion of Aikido with my late father who had fought agaist the Japanese in Burma, and later had been in Japan during the occupation. It think it all depends upon the ingrained attitude of the observer. Hopefully the generations after them/us will see the world as one. I have had some bad experiences with people who dismiss anything not WASP/ European/American, some will learn, some will not. All we can do is try.
05-24-2002, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
I tell them it says Aikido and give them the short version of Aikido's defensive, passive idea to protection and benfiting the self/ community in it's philosophy.
What? You give a short version? I don't buy it Bruce. :D
Personally, I don't like to advertise my interests, hobbies, work, politics, religion, etc. Other people just don't care. You're not that special - they are (to themselves, that is).
I'm not big on bumper stickers either: "honk if you love aikido".
05-24-2002, 05:58 PM
I've worn my keikogi (indigo, for Kendo), hakama and zori to the mall before. I made a couple of friends and got a few curious glances.
On the other hand I'd never wear my Aikido keikogi anywhere (no hakama, I don't get to wear one yet) in public.
When ruffians and hoodlums see martial art belts, they will occasionally take it as on opportunity to cause trouble. It looks to some of them like a challenge, and our local gangstas just love to take up challenges.
Apart from that, I don't advertise my martial art practice. First of all, a good number of people who do advertise are just flaky, and secondly, like Jim said, most people don't care.
05-28-2002, 05:23 PM
I don't wear/display anything that signifies I am a practioner of Aikido. First, Aikido is very sacred to me, I consider it my spiritual path, and sacred things should not be talked about or openly displaye. Aikido is meant to be experienced. Second, I leave in Bed-Stuy, NY, and it would just attract unwanted attention.
:triangle: :circle: :square:
Peace and Blessings.
05-28-2002, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by Jakusotsu
I've worn my keikogi (indigo, for Kendo), hakama and zori to the mall before.
I always wanted a heavy black leather hakama for outside. I just thought it would be cool.:cool:
Maybe one day when I have the money.:rolleyes:
:triangle: :circle: :square:
05-28-2002, 10:17 PM
Well..I don't have any aikido stuff...but I do have a couple karate tournament shirts (those get looks) and my karate club in in college had team jackets (I wore that one all the time).
Most people just thought that the kanji was cool. Other than that, I'd get the occasional idiot "doing the crane" (especially at some of the bars in town).
05-30-2002, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by Bruce Baker
Lately, I have been traveling, doing ancestor research and such...
Keep us, or at least me, informed about your adventure and discoveries. I went through the same thing relating Japanese warrior culture to my own family history. Wonderful how that can put both into perspective. In my case it was gratifying to know that not all my relatives were sheep thieves ;).
Keep the posts reasonably short, couched in personal experience and understanding, and you will have an avid reader.
You might like to know that you are no longer the primary target of derision. Your complete belief in pressure points is nothing compared to the current boggy man.
06-07-2002, 03:40 PM
Well, the fact that I am large enough to make most small minded people to think twice about being ornry without a large caliber gun, this does act as a deterent to most people with violence on their mind, but wearing insignia's of Ai-Ki-Do on my hat, or on any piece of clothing is no more disrespectful than denying how much Aikido practice has integrated itself into my life.
I don't think of Aikido as a religion, but as another source to clear my mind to understand the connection we all try have as we pursue our chosen religion, whatever that might be.
So for Ghost Fox and Jim Haliday, I don't say you should go dance in the Airport like the old days of Hari-Krishna, but if someone should ask you what Aikido is ... you should not be ashamed to answer with the good things it has taught you and what it has to teach.
As for Peter ... I am betwixt and between the English ancestry of my GGGgrandfather, and the rumors and hidden ancestry of Iroquois(known as Haudenosaunee) of New York State. On one hand, there is not actual proof of belonging to tribal affilliations, but on the other hand there are many aunts, uncles, and cousin's who say there are ... but they won't talk about it?
Paper trails will tell the tale.
The neat thing about studying the history of the five tribes that make up this nation, is the simularity it has to many of the natural concerns found in nature by both the Japanese culture, and the Iroquois. The approach of the Native American would seem to reach into the far distant history to explain many legends and tales of western culture with stories of the long-house, yet they have a specific belief as to who their genetic cousins are in the world over the last one hundred thousand years, which is far longer than any written text or gravedigger has found in archeology digs?
The Asian and Japanese are not considered cousins to the longhouse, even though they are considered visitors by the Inuits of Alaska. (There are too many physical simularities, and offshoots of legends from Japanese culture that are simular to legends of Inuits ... even though they have changed slightly over the centuries.)
I know a lot of the younger guys/gals who do Aikido still have a fashion sense to follow that shames them into not being who they are, but once my kids were old enough to go on dates, and then drive, I decided to be the crusty old fart I always was ... if they don't like my Aikido hat, too bad.
My daughter doesn't allow me to shake hands or meet her boyfriends any more either ... too many have told their friends how I like to impress upon them one or two techniques so I don't have to hunt them down and do horrible things to them later ... father stuff and all that.
(Back to the hat thing ...)
Anyway. The point being ... I went on a Cruise the end of May to Alaska, and not one Japanese asked me about Aikido, nor did one English speaking person even inquire about the language on my hat, when I did wear it? Only the Indonesian crew working the ship even inquired? One Fellow, named Mohammed Ali, asked about a hook punch to some other fellow, and I just had to correct the angle and direction of the punch to make it usefull for a pressure point. I don't know if he used it, but the next night he gave me the high sign with a hook punch as I went into the elevator.
Maybe he did actually try it out? But except for the Indonesian's, not one person asked or even wondered?
Funny, I usually get a better response in the Eastern United States for "what does your hat say?"
Did you know that when you totally relax your face it appears angry, not smiling?
It takes more muscles to smile than it does to frown, and a frown is the most comfortable facial position. Maybe they thought I was mad at something?
Nope. Just relaxed.
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