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sceptoor
04-25-2004, 12:33 AM
Forgive me if this has been brought up before. If not, I think this could strike up a good discussion.

If this has already been discussed, perhaps someone can direct me to that thread or threads.

Does anyone have any tattoos relating to aikido or other martial arts? If so, are there reasons for placing their tattoos where you did, or more interestingly, where you didn't?

The reason I am asking is because I have a local tattoo artist working on a design and I am having a tough time deciding where I should place it. Now, I am not asking for a suggestion on where to place it, but rather a little bit of insight that might aid me in choosing an appropriate spot out of consideration for any "martial art tattoo etiquette" that may exist.

Thanks for any help in this matter. ;)

dion
04-25-2004, 01:07 AM
maybe not a direct awnser but really what it comes down to IMO is it's your body and it should go where you feel it's best placed.

I don't think there's a right or wrong place for a tattoo, martial related or not for any martial artist and I don't see how it would matter to your traing partner.

I myself have full sleeves, full back piece and others. I will say that Chiba Sensei did give me a few funny looks years ago but he or anybody else at our Dojo doesn't even notice them anymore. many people at our Dojo have tatttoos including women.

It's yours and it's very personal and I think it's great.

robbsims
04-25-2004, 02:29 AM
I agree with Dion,

There are no rules about what it should be, or where it should go. A Tattoo is for your self.

That said, I have 2 tattoos. One is the kanji for aiki on my right calf. The other is a square circle triangle on my left shoulder.

Chad Sloman
04-25-2004, 08:07 AM
All my tattoos, I can cover up. I haven't been brave enough to go below the elbow yet because I work in a pretty conservative industry. My next tattoo, I've already decided, is going to be the seven virtues of bushido on my right arm below the shoulder. Whatever it is, it should be personal. When I decide to get a new tattoo, I design it and think about it and look at it for a long time. My last one, I waited 18 months before doing it just to make sure. Some Japanese people may give you funny looks because if I am not mistaken, tattoos in previous centuries in Japan were reserved for criminals, yakuza and firemen. If I am not wrong, older, more conservative Japanese people still view tattoos in this regard, but the younger generation (wanting to be more American than American) is getting away from this mindset. They say in Japan, all the young Japanese people are getting tattoos of chevys and Elvis Presley instead of traditional Japanese tattoos that we think of.

Arianah
04-25-2004, 09:55 AM
A couple previous threads:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3837

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1351

Sarah

sceptoor
04-25-2004, 12:00 PM
A couple previous threads:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3837

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1351

Sarah

Thank you for posting those links Sarah, that was very helpful to me. :)

Some very cool ideas mentioned in there, like the AIKI tattoo on someone's calve, taken from Saotome's book - very cool!
I have that book right here and it took me 5 seconds to find the one I think he refers to. It is calligraphy done by Kisshomaru.

My personal take on tattoos in general: I am of the firm belief that tattoos are a personal decision and should first and foremost bear the individual's preferences and should always be carefully planned over time. I believe they should mean something to the individual so as to avoid any regret later in life, as they are indeed permanent. I am certain that Aikido will always be in my life, so therefore I am certain I will always be proud of it, in fact, it will likely become more important to me over the years as I train and grow. However, since I don't have any yet, and I have chosen a AIKIDO related tattoo as my first, I felt it best to ask those with many more years of training than I about how they came to the decision regarding 'where' on their body they are placed.

My initial idea was to place the design on my inside forearm amidst some traditional japanese crashing waves, maybe eventually a full sleeve with some koi in there. This is the design my artist is working on and so far looks good. Now, I am NOT one to worry about what 'others' think, if that were true then I wouldn't have made many of the major decisions that I have in my life. However, if having this on my forearm will inevitably lead to problems with any shihan I may train with in the future then I am unsure. If most people here feel that won't be an issue then I'll go ahead with it, otherwise, I may just place it on my leg where it will be generally hidden.
I don't mind strange looks or even shooting daggers from people or whatever, I just don't want to step on any shihan toes by placing tattoos in certain places that are considered 'disrespectful' if I can avoid it. :)

GrazZ
04-25-2004, 01:39 PM
i've always wanted a tattoo but for one reason or another it hasnt happened. In this span of time however ppl kept telling me "dont just get a design for the sake of it looking good, get it cuz it means something" so i said, alright you all win hehe. After i started aikido and realized that it would take a miracle for me to stop training i told myself i'd get one if i ever reached black belt. So i think i'll either get one of 3 things: 1) i may go for the Yoshinkan crest myself, 2) a picture of a tsunami with aikido somewhere in there or 3) just the aikido kanji itself. All would on my shoulder if i were to get it anywhere, but whatever it is I still have like 4 years to decide :)

gasman
04-25-2004, 10:47 PM
traditional tattoo restrictions say that they should be covered by normal dress. In the west, this means that a long sleeve shirt must cover it. The yakuza had rules that said the tattoos should be covered by underwear (aka the gi!)

According to muslim tradition, all tattoos are "haram" (forbidden) because permanently changing the surface of your body is an insult to creation.

I am still tempted to get one though.

akiy
04-25-2004, 11:01 PM
People could always pick up a few of the temporary tattoos (http://www.aikiweb.com/store/tattoo.html) that I offer on this site and try it out for a while...

-- Jun

gasman
04-25-2004, 11:03 PM
do you ship outside the US?

Janet Rosen
04-26-2004, 01:19 AM
According to muslim tradition, all tattoos are "haram" (forbidden) because permanently changing the surface of your body is an insult to creation..
This is also true of Orthodox Judaism. IIRC, prevented Lenny Bruce being buried with rest of his family.

batemanb
04-26-2004, 02:32 AM
I was told many years back that having a tattoo will block the energy meridians under the tattoo. I don't know how true this is, and depending on what you believe about energy meridians, may not even bring this into contention, but thought I'd drop it in the pot.

Regards

Bryan

cuguacuarana
04-26-2004, 02:47 AM
I think tattoos are great. As soon as I can afford it, I'm going to get one on my left shoulder of a cougar. I love cougars, and have come to think of the cougar as a spirit animal of sorts. Anyway, I have read brief things here and there about left and right having different meanings in various philosophies and I believe O-sensei had his own lessons about left and right. I think John Stevens' book The Essence of Aikido talks about this a little. I'll see if I can find it.

PeterR
04-26-2004, 02:57 AM
Of course here if you want a tattoo you better resign yourself to being barred from public baths.

Or at least wearing bandages while you bathe.

mantis
04-26-2004, 09:19 AM
Of course here if you want a tattoo you better resign yourself to being barred from public baths.

Or at least wearing bandages while you bathe.

Is this for anyone with a tattoo?
I heard Japan is more accepting of tattoos now.
I saw this on a National Geographics show on Japanese tattoo artists.

akiy
04-26-2004, 09:49 AM
Hi Sigurd,
do you ship outside the US?
I'm guessing you're referring to the temporary tattoos that I offer... Yes, I have and do ship out of the United States. You'll see shipping information and such on the temporary tattoo (http://www.aikiweb.com/store/tattoo.html) page.

-- Jun

AsimHanif
04-26-2004, 09:57 AM
Hi Sigurd. I too am Muslim and reflected on this for years. I finally got a tatoo with the AI KI DO characters after resolving this internally. I work in a conservative industry so it's on my shoulder but now that I'm 40 I am more comfortable with where I'm at (in life) so I'm sure the next one will be more conspicuous.

PeterR
04-26-2004, 07:20 PM
Is this for anyone with a tattoo?
I heard Japan is more accepting of tattoos now.
I saw this on a National Geographics show on Japanese tattoo artists.
Some public baths are stricter than others - but most have prominant signs banning them.

sceptoor
04-26-2004, 11:24 PM
Ok everyone, thank you for taking the time to post in this thread. It really helped me make a decision as I am a very indecisive person as it is, so your help was terribly needed and it is also very appreciated. I went with my heart and chose my left forearm. Thank you again to everyone that contributed to this thread. :D

Largo
04-27-2004, 12:48 AM
Some public baths are stricter than others - but most have prominant signs banning them.

Peter- just be glad you can get into the baths. The few times I've tried here in Toyama I've been turned down. :grr:

PeterR
04-27-2004, 01:19 AM
Peter- just be glad you can get into the baths. The few times I've tried here in Toyama I've been turned down. :grr:
Wow - I've never been turned down.

Largo
04-27-2004, 01:27 AM
Well, Toyama is inaka (not that it makes it better). By the way, did you hear about that guy in Hokkaido who sued over it? (he won, but the final ruling was that if the owner didn't feel sorry and change the policy, then there was nothing they could do)

Nick Simpson
04-27-2004, 07:04 AM
Cool tattoos! By the way, arent you the singer from Coldplay Chris Martin? :p

sceptoor
04-27-2004, 08:22 AM
Cool tattoos! By the way, arent you the singer from Coldplay Chris Martin? :p

NO, LOL. but it wouldn't hurt to be Gwyneth Paltrow's other half.........

However, I AM the bassist of GNAW. I'm not on their latest recording though - as I just joined 3 weeks ago.
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/gnawmusic.htm

For the latest news on GNAW, visit http://gnawthis.20m.com

Nick Simpson
04-27-2004, 08:55 AM
She doesnt do anything for me ;) Cool about the band, I thought your tattoo looked like a kind of sleeve tattoo someone in a metal or hardcore band might get. Ive been considering something similar for a while now, both the head of my organisation and my sensei have japanese style tattoos, full sleeve and shoulders. I was thinking about getting "the shape of punk to come" incorporated into a tattoo as a homage to Refused but im still mulling it over...

PeaceHeather
04-27-2004, 12:48 PM
One of my sensei's has an ankh over his heart. The other sensei has naturally dark hair, overlaid with bright yellow (and I don't mean blond), with a blue forelock. I joke sometimes about my punk senseis. :D

Heather

Nick Simpson
04-27-2004, 01:36 PM
A tattoo over your heart? Methinks that would hurt lots?

PeaceHeather
04-27-2004, 01:47 PM
I didn't say "on" his heart... :p

The pectoral muscle, left side, a little low. Almost where shirt logos are printed on polo shirts. About where most people pin nametags.

Heather

Nick Simpson
04-27-2004, 01:51 PM
Ok, I still imagine it would HURT.

PeaceHeather
04-27-2004, 02:14 PM
Wouldn't know -- my most extreme "modification", other than getting my ears pierced when I was seven, is henna. :D

Heather

sceptoor
04-27-2004, 06:09 PM
She doesnt do anything for me ;) Cool about the band, I thought your tattoo looked like a kind of sleeve tattoo someone in a metal or hardcore band might get. Ive been considering something similar for a while now, both the head of my organisation and my sensei have japanese style tattoos, full sleeve and shoulders. I was thinking about getting "the shape of punk to come" incorporated into a tattoo as a homage to Refused but im still mulling it over...

Gwyneth does nothing for you?

Yeah, it's a start of a sleeve. Somewhere some koi or samurai will likely find it's way into it over time. Still working on it. Maybe even a dragon with fire and smoke too. :) Anyways, I see you managed to view the attachments but for the life of me I can't figure out how to view them myself, LOL.

roninja
04-27-2004, 09:57 PM
I got a tattoo, the same one a lot of people have (Yin-Yang) and I got it on my left forearm right below my elbow cause that's where it feels the most powerful. don't know, I just don't feel it would be of any good use at any other point on my body. Amitabha

Nick Simpson
04-28-2004, 06:31 AM
Nah, she always looks too miserable, maybe if she smiled a bit more I might consider it...

Guilty Spark
07-04-2006, 02:00 PM
Forgive the resurrection- I wasn't sure which tattoo thread to bring back to life and I didn't want to start a new one.

So here we are :)

I have a few tattoos and as per normal I want more. I know where on my body I want my next one but I wasn't sure what.

My sensei traveled to japan and mentioned how tattoos have some strings attached to them (like mentioned in tattoo threads here). Some places won't even let you inside apparently if you have visible tattoos.

One idea I had was to get my school name tattooed on me (somewhere I could cover up naturally) when I came across something from this very web page.

http://www.aikiweb.com/store/tattoo.html

The second one "Masakatsu Agatsu"
True Victory is Victory over Yourself

Now my question is, is that the actual translation of the writing in the picture? Masakatsu Agatsu? And that means True Victory is Victory over yourself? I
'm obviously concerned about getting tattooed with something that means something totally different than I assume. I think it's a great concept that not only applies to aikido but life in general.

Anyhow, can someone give me a little back round/verification on that picture?

Thanks

aikidodragon
07-04-2006, 06:33 PM
well as for tattoos. before i went to l.a i and my mother got matching tatts. it is a rose overlaying a treble cleff. It is on my upper left arm. in the next few months i will be gitting a winged panther put on my back between my shoulders. When i pass my showdan test i will have aikido congi put underneath it. I also do judo and am in triles for the paralympic team. when i make the team i will have the olympic rings put on my rite arm.

Guilty Spark
07-04-2006, 07:12 PM
Have a picture of the aikido congi?

aikidodragon
07-04-2006, 07:26 PM
i don't but should be able to find it in the temperrary tatts that jun has here.

diesel
07-04-2006, 08:09 PM
Have a picture of the aikido congi?


Here is the kanji, hopefully you can read it.

合気道  = aikidou
正勝吾勝 = masakatsu agatsu

Getting the kanji done by someone who doesn't know the stroke order or how to stylize the kanji will be difficult in america.

John Boswell
07-05-2006, 04:00 PM
Jun has numerous Kanji styles to chose from if you want other selections:

http://www.aikiweb.com/gallery/showgallery.php?ppuser=1&cat=500

just FYI.

Hardware
07-06-2006, 05:57 AM
...if I am not mistaken, tattoos in previous centuries in Japan were reserved for criminals, yakuza...

Not only in previous centuries. I've been told that people with tats are not allowed in onsen (hot springs) in Japan because of the yakuza connotation.

Guilty Spark
07-06-2006, 08:32 AM
I've been told the same thing, a few restraunts as well.

I plan on visiting Japan years down the road which is why I'm making sure everything I get can be covered with a T-shirt.

(thanks for the links John and Daniel)

Lyle Bogin
07-12-2006, 09:43 AM
Nice ink. The forearm is for "hard" tatoos.

I think my next tatoo will be on my leg.

Mato-san
07-12-2006, 10:37 AM
I am printed with a few tatts also, I have not yet been kicked out of any hotspring or been denied service ,anyplace in Japan. Japanese tatto artist are some of the best and the public has become more alternate in their thinking. Yes signs are at the onsen prohibit body art but most of them are looking at your johnson, not the tatts and that is uncomfortable in itself. Just a word from lil ol me.

Faith Hansen
07-15-2006, 05:27 PM
I have the kanji for "ki" tattooed on my belly a couple inches below my belly button. A "perfect circle" surrounds it.

My new one is the seven tenents of budo spread across my upper back and shoulders. I also have Cherry blossoms, whole and single petals mixed in. I still need to get the wind effect put in. That will be in gray shades. The flowers are pink shades and they look like watercolor. Very nice.

I definitely plan on getting more. I do always get tattooed in places that I can easily cover because I teach kids and feel I should at least look normal. :D

-Faith

Guilty Spark
07-16-2006, 11:25 AM
Your seven tenents of budo tattoo sounds pretty awesome, would love to see a picture of it. (Or anyone elses tattoo)

I'll throw mine up when I get it, it;s going from under my arm pit to my hip, one of the most painful spots you can get done I'm told. Not looking forward to that part :)

Faith Hansen
07-16-2006, 06:43 PM
I will put a pic up when it is all done. :) Still in process.

-Faith

Mike Hamer
07-18-2006, 11:11 AM
I plan on getting the Aikido caligraphy on my upper mid back with the paintbrush circle around it sometime in the near future.

Guilty Spark
07-18-2006, 02:14 PM
I've seen someone with that tattooed on the palm of their hand, the aikido circle, only their was a dot in the center of it. never understood what the dot represented.

Mato-san
07-19-2006, 11:18 AM
Grant as for the armpit job, I did it ,and I do recommend some pain relief in the form of beer or some thing. It is ok if you are overweight but me I am underweight and the needle bounces of those ribs like nothing else, when I did mine it was a spectical for everyone in the place included tattooists and potential clients (big crowd) but it was not so bad after 4 pints and a bigshot tattoo artist I managed a brave face and a very detailed tattoo, they refered to me as a soldier. As the tattoo charge is applied in hours if there is a lot of flinch the tatt will be expensive, if not it will be reasonable. Anyhow I recommend pain relief.

Guilty Spark
07-19-2006, 02:01 PM
Would a liberal amount of alcohol thin out my blood and cause me to bleed easier? I am thinking it might make the tattoo more difficult for the artist doing it if I'm bleeding all over. I'll deffinatly take your advice though and figure something out.

Jeremy Hulley
07-19-2006, 02:24 PM
Drinking before being tatooed is pretty bad form. It can make you bleed lots depending on how much...
Suck it up and practice breathing...
Relax and keep one point..
REallly...

ChrisMoses
07-19-2006, 03:28 PM
D
Relax and keep one point..
REallly...
Hey, shouldn't this be in that other thread? :p

Faith Hansen
07-19-2006, 04:07 PM
Yes the alcohol can thin out your blood and tend to make you bleed more. Generally tattoo artists will not tattoo you if you are intoxicated. I like to have something in my hands to squeeze when I am being tattooed. Yeah, and breathing does help alot!

-Faith

Guilty Spark
07-19-2006, 04:15 PM
Both my other tattoos took around 6 hours, thats a long time to hold my breath ;)

Mato-san
07-20-2006, 08:01 AM
yeah the blood gets thin after drinking and I know that the contract you sign before being stuck states no drinking, but in my case and I am no tattoo artist I believe it is my best and most detailed tatt ,also it holds its tone nicely compared to others, it has not been exposed to sun but has been burnt with naked flame and still holds up nice. I will take my hat off to the man who "holds one point" throughout this kind of tatt. Bad form and all I like my tatt and have no shame in saying I needed beer to do it right.

Guilty Spark
07-21-2006, 01:48 AM
I'm not sure if I'm allowed posting pictures in threads? If not then I'll remove it.
Took painkillers an hour before going but had to come back a few hours later so they wore off. You can really feel it on the ribs too :)


http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/4546/3avy5.jpg

Lee Mulgrew
07-21-2006, 06:31 AM
I have "masagtsu a gatatsu" (fairly sure that the spelling is wrong there :o ) down the entire length of my right thigh (i kow the kanji is right as was from a buddhist text). No one can see it unless I wear shorts and it helps to remind me of what is important to me. I think these things are important if you get a personal tattoo..... you either want it to look cool for other people (nothing wrong with that) or you want something that means something personal to you. In my case, not many people with my tattoo but I got it as a constant reminder of how to live my life. I have plans for many other tattoos that will be purely decrotive but you i think that you have to be very carefull about where you place them ;)

Xamien
07-21-2006, 07:07 PM
I've got only one tattoo on my left shoulder. It's fairly high up so it only gets seen if I'm shirtless or wearing a tank top. It's just the word "Clarity" written in my language.

Faith Hansen
07-21-2006, 08:30 PM
Pic of my yet uncompleted back piece, but here is what I have so far. The symbol in the middle is a version of my name. The seven virtues are around it, the 7th one on my right shoulder is hard to see in this photo. The flowers are Sakura (cherry blossoms). What is missing is the wind/shading effect that will tie it all together.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l86/faemorpheus/th_faithtat003.jpg (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l86/faemorpheus/faithtat003.jpg)

And my other one on my belly. Ki. Calligraphy by O'Sensei.

http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l86/faemorpheus/th_faithtat005.jpg (http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l86/faemorpheus/faithtat005.jpg)

-Faith

Guilty Spark
07-21-2006, 09:37 PM
Thats an amazing tattoo. Hope we get to see it when it's done.

Mato-san
07-22-2006, 07:05 AM
Looks good grant! Looks tender too. You know what I said when then needle bounces off the ribs huh! Wecome to the family! Like your work too faith. I would put up my tatts but they are not aikido related and it may be bounced. I will say that I am looking into some horimono/irezumi artists here in Japan to get my next Job, but it is not going to be cheap and the art will be something else (and of course budo related).

koz
07-24-2006, 02:23 AM
Indirectly related....

If you're getting kanji tattoos, make sure the tattoo artist gets them the right way around. Some time ago I saw a young man proudly wearing visible kanji for heaven, earth, fire and water except that they were reversed (as in a mirror image).

Clearly neither the wearer, nor the artist, had any idea.

Sojourner
04-28-2014, 12:05 AM
I've seen someone with that tattooed on the palm of their hand, the aikido circle, only their was a dot in the center of it. never understood what the dot represented.

Its also a Masonic symbol, it means the fourth part of the circle, the point from which a master mason cannot err. It has a direct parallel with Aikido because of the same philisophy of remaining centred within the circle and pretty much for the same reasons!

Michael Hackett
04-28-2014, 11:15 AM
I had a small dragon tattoo done while I was on R&R in Okinawa from Vietnam. Over the years it faded and lost it's definition. Many years later a tattoo artist who was a friend of a friend told me he could refresh it and make it look new. The tattoo was on my right calf and was seldom seen, but I still valued it because of the good fortune it implied (and apparently worked too, since I didn't end up with any extra holes in my body). When he was done, the darned thing looked like a green pug dog and was horrible. I decided to have it removed and learned that it was going to take months and months of many sessions and would be horribly expensive and horribly painful. I decided to just live with it.

Then the various tattoo shows began showing on TV and I saw how old tattoos could be covered with new ink. After a great deal of searching I found a local artist who could do the job. I gave him a copy of one of my wife's pastel paintings of a samurai warrior. He was able to convert it into a more tattoo friendly design and eleven and a half hours later, the dragon was completely concealed.

A couple of months later I returned to the same artist with our dojo stamp and had him place it on the inside of the calf and it looks exactly like a stamping on formal documents from our dojo. Unless I'm wearing shorts, the tattoos aren't visible, so they don't present any problem, but I haven't tried visiting any Japanese baths either. No regrets and my dragon is still there, hidden away but still protective.