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Jorx
05-26-2004, 01:38 PM
What do you think about practicing Aikido with minimum tradition. No Kamiza, no proper shomen... no picture of O'sensei. No bowing to eachother if you don't want to... no constant bowing to sensei? No bowing when you enter the room. Just pure practice of techniques...

Does one think less of O'Sensei if he/she doesn't bow regularily to his picture?

Does one honor less his/hers training partner if there's no bowing?

DarkShodan
05-26-2004, 02:05 PM
Aikido is a culteral art. It is about respect, yin/yang, about being part of a group, a culture, a comunity, something bigger than the self. If you take away the traditions that helped create Aikido, you are missing out. Is is bad or wrong? I suppose not, but you're cheating yourself out of a greater experience.

MaryKaye
05-26-2004, 02:43 PM
When I visted a dojo that occasionally omitted bowing in and out and bowing to partner, I found it personally difficult. I use the opening ceremony as a place to put aside outside concerns and focus for the practice of aikido. Without it, I found myself distracted. I recall spending most of one class fretting about some household issue, and only realizing at the end of class that it was because I'd never made a proper transition to "training mindset."

You could substitute something else for the opening ceremony, but I think that having a clear boundary marker between training and non-training helps lead to safer, more focused training. It seems to reduce the temptation to "fool around" rather than training with full attention.

I also found that bowing to partner helps make it 100% clear which person you're offering to train with; again, you could use another mechanism (shaking hands?) but it's helpful to have something.

There need be nothing particularly "ceremonial" about these ceremonies. In some ways they're analogous to the opening credits of a movie. The credits aren't very important, but if you leave them off people aren't yet settled for the movie when it begins, and don't appreciate it as well--at least I don't. Same with closing credits--they say clearly "This is done" so that people know when it's appropriate to leave, and allow viewers to make a gentler transition back to non-movie-viewing mode.

Mary Kaye

Sue Trinidad
05-27-2004, 12:20 AM
I appreciate the bowing b/c it allows me to express my gratitude to the people who are teaching me and training with me. Even independent of the cultural tradition piece of it, which has value too (imo), I like having an easily understood and performed means of acknowledging our debt to each other.

Sue

Tharis
05-27-2004, 12:36 AM
I think the "traditional" aspects aren't absolutely necessary for training, but in my opinion they help a lot. Reading into the initial post a bit (and correct me if I'm wrong), there seems to be a sense that there is something about the tradition that is extraneous or unnecessary to training, kind of like what the appendix is to the human body.

In my experience, the tradition is very much a part of the training. You bow to the shomen because you respect OSensei (note that respect does not equate worship). You bow to your partner to communicate your appreciation of their willingness to take ukemi. Even the seemingly pointless act of folding or tying a hakama helps prepare the mind for training and makes the practice more deliberate. It's an expression of your dedication to the art. Yes, sometimes these can degenerate to the equivalent to empty ritual, but I don't think that's the point of tradition (for more on this, read Confucius).

Anecdotally, I've been to "open mat" classes where people just showed up and worked on whatever they wanted. Sometimes we bowed in, and sometimes we didn't. When we did, I noticed that the practice seemed more focused, and more intentional than it did when people just showed up, stretched, and started messing around with whatever technique they felt like working on.

So, with regard to "tradition:"

Is it absolutely necessary?
No.

Does it affect the dedication one has to training, or add to the "purity" of the practice?
In my opinion: Yes.

Yours in ukemi,

Thomas

Tadhg Bird
05-27-2004, 01:08 AM
I would feel wrong not bowing to my partner. Even when casually practicing before and after class, I still bow.

When I teach younger folk, one of the emphasis on bowing etiquette is actually safety. As nage, by bowing, you are saying, "I'm ready to do my technique". If uke were to attack before nage was ready, someone could get hurt.

happysod
05-27-2004, 03:36 AM
What do you think about practicing Aikido with minimum tradition. . we do

No Kamiza, no proper shomen... no picture of Osensei. No bowing to each other if you don't want to... no constant bowing to sensei? we don't

No bowing when you enter the room. Just pure practice of techniques... not quite - bow at the start, bow at the finish + normally one bow to your final practice partner. - unless it's a grading then there's a few more.

The techniques and how you perform them are the main expression of the philosophy aikido. The rest is based on the culture that gave birth to aikido and is relatively meaningless to many, including myself, it's just not my culture or particularly interesting to me.

I take Mary's point regarding dojo/non-dojo distinctions, but the initial bow + warm-up seems to serve the purpose.

tiyler_durden
05-27-2004, 06:21 AM
Hey all,

I know I don't post too much here so I hope this is read and taken seriously as I read almost every post that is laid here and ask questions when applicable on my part.

I think some people do not truly understand the truth and meaning behind Dojo etiquette!

The dojo etiquette has a two-fold meaning in my opinion.

1) - The dojo customs we observe before, during and after training are there for a kind o control within the Dojo. When doing any technique in the dojo it must be done with control as not to kill, maim or injure your uke, right!

2) - Dojo etiquette can also be used outside of the Dojo as well. As when we are polite towards other members of the public, friends and or relatives we make few enemies, right!

This is my 2 cents,

Tiyler durden

happysod
05-27-2004, 07:12 AM
think some people do not truly understand the truth and meaning - Two words which I'd personally never use in the same sentence... :D

Etiquette and tradition are separable and I think you'll find that even the most diligent "traditional" dojos outside of Japan will have a slightly different take on what is traditional practice as it will have been modified by the perceptions from their own culture.

What I saw as the thrust of the original question is, can you practice aikido without the traditional trappings of a Japanese dojo. My answer is yes. However, I did not say that that would necessitate zero etiquette in the dojo, discipline and good manners span all cultures and most ma.

Robert Rumpf
05-27-2004, 09:06 AM
Does one think less of O'Sensei if he/she doesn't bow regularily to his picture?
Does one honor less his/hers training partner if there's no bowing?

It seems as though what you're really asking is whether or not it is necessary for someone to observe the physical ettiquette of respect if they are respectful otherwise. You might as well ask if the dog has Buddha nature.. :)

SeiserL
05-27-2004, 09:53 AM
IMHO, tradition brings with it the practice of respect, disciplines, and honoring our heritage. While it may not be necessary, I would miss it if it wasn't there.

I might as well be studying folk-dancing. But, even there is tradition.

Even by ignoring it, you imply that its there.

But like a plant without roots, it would soon die.

He bows, honoring tradition, and leaves for the Dojo.

happysod
05-27-2004, 10:57 AM
While it may not be necessary, I would miss it if it wasn't there
...

But like a plant without roots, it would soon die

In your opening sentence, you're not sure

In your free verse you're definitely sure :confused:

He bows, honoring tradition, and leaves for the Dojo
makes traditional English gesture and wanders off into the distance.

George S. Ledyard
05-27-2004, 11:23 AM
Just pure practice of techniques...

Just pure exercise.

Largo
05-27-2004, 08:32 PM
Not necessary. When I first learned goju-ryu karate, I learned from my best friend's father. We trained outside or in the garage. No uniforms, no dojo, no nothing. That was probably the best and hardest training I ever had.

domidude
05-28-2004, 05:51 AM
tradition is fine, there should not be much fuss about it... i mean you say hello when you get home to your family and give some kisses. so it is just natural that you bow entering a dojo, bowing your partner. you can have a "style of bowing" though, as long as you show respect. often i arrive early and alone to the dojo and still bow entering and bow to sensei's picture...it just feels good to "say hi" to the place.. it's like when you sit in your favorite armchair: you have a slight moment of welcoming the comfort before you open a bok or switch on the tv...

ruthmc
05-28-2004, 07:53 AM
2) - Dojo etiquette can also be used outside of the Dojo as well. As when we are polite towards other members of the public, friends and or relatives we make few enemies, right!


I agree with Tiyler - it's just a way of being polite. Perhaps it feels pretty strange to a non-Japanese person at first, but it soon becomes as familiar as "please" "thank you" or a handshake.

Things run smoother and happier when folks are being genuinely polite to one another, or we wouldn't bother doing it. It certainly isn't a bad thing!

Ruth

Reg Robinson
04-03-2005, 11:25 PM
Hi Jorgen,
I feel that the practice of Tradition/Etiquette, in the Dojo is what I make of it. If it is an act which I perform upon entering or leaving just because it is expected of me, then the answer is yes, you can train with out observing these practices. However, I believe that the atmosphere in the Dojo changes, particularly that immediate area around me. That change is not a positive one.

Outside of the Dojo my practice of Tradition/Etiquette is much the same. I was taught by my father to remove my hat when in the presence of ladies, & when entering someones home or even entering a restraunt. I was also taught when meeting a male friend or being introduced to another man to shake hands, if it was a lady you whould shake hands when & only if the lady extended her hand.
It has being my experience that whenever I have extended these courtesy it has resulted with the recipitent feeling good about the encounter. If I can possibly help someone feel good with such simple gestures then I believe that I am practicing Aiki Do.
Please do not let simple gestures in showing respect disapper from the Dojo.
Thanks Reg.

Lan Powers
04-04-2005, 12:15 AM
>I would miss it if it wasn't there. <
That is the distilled truth for me. I like the discipline of the formality used in the dojo. The rest of the world is raucous, and discordant....respect and focus should prevail in the dojo. ( They can without the forms of etiquette that are "traditional",I know, but it dilutes the sense of carried forward practices from the previous generations to me.)
I find the "ritual" for want of a better word is calming and focusing..
Lan

Aiki.Ronin
04-14-2005, 01:00 PM
It would seem to me to depend on the nature of the "Aiki-Family" as a whole. Tradition, or lack thereof, revolves around the dynamic of the group. I've trained one-on-one and we were very formal, and now I train with a group and we are very informal. Both are fine, but I do believe that one should at least know (even if you don't practice it at your home dojo) the elements of common dojo etiquette. Showing proper respect when traveling to train elsewhere is essential to opening new doors.

kironin
04-14-2005, 02:03 PM
What do you think about practicing Aikido with minimum tradition. No Kamiza, no proper shomen... no picture of O'sensei. No bowing to eachother if you don't want to... no constant bowing to sensei? No bowing when you enter the room. Just pure practice of techniques...

Does one think less of O'Sensei if he/she doesn't bow regularily to his picture?

Does one honor less his/hers training partner if there's no bowing?


You are missing the whole point.
That is part of practicing techniques.
focus, awareness, mindfulness.

Chuck.Gordon
04-15-2005, 02:55 AM
Budo practice without the traditions associated?

What would be the point?

Chuck

Ron Tisdale
04-15-2005, 08:48 AM
http://www.collegiatetimes.com/index.php?ID=5694

Because of the changing methods of waging war, Ueshiba understood that all martial arts would be forgotten and/or replaced with technology and modern hand-to-hand systems, were it not for the interest of ordinary individuals. So essentially, every practitioner has the potential to be a curator of history simply by learning more about the people who created these systems and the culture that surrounded them.

This is from the article that Jun posted a link to in another recent thread. I was pleased to see someone write this. It sums up for me the reason why I'm not as interested in training sans ettiquite. Even Japanese ettiquite. I know others often look for something different, and that's ok, but I am gratefull to my teachers who provide the experience mentioned above.

Ron

darin
04-15-2005, 09:39 AM
I agree with Largo. I only keep the bowing etc purely for advertising purposes. I live in Australia so its not necessary to act Japanese...

stuartjvnorton
04-16-2005, 01:16 AM
Seems that there can't be much real respect there in the first place if not bowing would somehow change it.


As for needing a bow-in type ceremony to clear your mind for the class to come, you use it that way because you've conditioned yourself to do so. If it weren't there, you'd find another cue.

Chuck.Gordon
04-16-2005, 08:23 AM
So ... you start stripping away the traditions and forms of respect. At what point does the art cease to be budo? What does it become?

Chuck

darin
04-16-2005, 09:56 AM
Why do we have to act like Japanese to have respect? I don't think martial arts should be boxed into one kind of style, tradition, culture etc. I can understand doing the bowing etc if your training in Japan but outside of Japan there is really no point unless your teaching or training with Japanese people.

Anders Bjonback
04-16-2005, 05:33 PM
In my view, tradition connects us with the founding priciples of the art, and maintaining it along with its organizations (and politics, sadly enough) should also maintain the quality of instruction. We "know what we're getting," so to speak, and we're doing things in a similar way to how it was done at earlier times. It also connects us with the wider community that also practices the art--if you go to another dojo, you may not know everyone, but at least you know to say "onegaishimasu" and bow to your partner, and how to do some variation of ikkyo.
I think that without the etiquitte and tradition (such as wearing a hakama), we could lose many of those things that make aikido different from going to the gym for a work-out, going to a dance, or practicing a sport.

Chuck.Gordon
04-17-2005, 02:53 AM
It's not just a matter of respect. I ask again:

If we strip away the culutral trappings from aikido, what is left? Is it budo?

And I clarify: Budo (at least IMHO) isn't an umbrella term coverin all aspects of martial practice. Wrestling and boxing, for instance, are fine martial sports, but they aren't budo. Classical judo is, for instance, defintely budo; but modern, competition-oriented judo is edging away from being budo (some would say has been out of that fold a long time).

So, IMNSHO, if you want to do aikido without the tradition and cultural context, by all means, go for it, and have fun. You wouldn't be the first.

Dress in sweats and call your art 'Fred' if you want, but it won't be aikido and won't be budo.

But why then, continue calling it 'aikido' and why maintain any association with the root art?

Chuck

stuartjvnorton
04-17-2005, 06:48 AM
Why do you have to mouth Japanese words and use Japanese etiquette for it to be budo?
Surely budo is in your heart and mind and spirit, not the words you say or the gestures you make?

Not that I'm advocating it. I'm used to the Japanese mouthings and geatures.
But if that's all that makes it budo, then could tae-bo with a bow-in ceremony and "ich-no-san-shi and tsuki!" be called budo?

Kevin Leavitt
04-17-2005, 08:15 AM
I think it is possible to go both ways. It depends on the dynamic of the people you are studying with. I appreciate and like tradition, but don't find it to be absolutely necessary.

The guys I am studying with now (soldiers) are every bit as much as "budo" as you can get, but try and get them to do japanese traditions and see how far it gets you!

I studied with Bob Galeone in wash dc, a long time student of Saotome sensei, we opened and closed the class with a bow, but never wore hakama even though ASU pretty much always wears them. When Jimmy Sorentino took over, we went back to more traditional dojo things such as wearing hakama. Both guys are good martial artist and aikidoka in their own right, both had a different dynamic and approach. Neither was wrong IMHO.

Kevin Leavitt
04-17-2005, 08:25 AM
I think you have to be careful when approaching the concept of BUDO.

One one hand it is easy to adopt some pseduo japanese ritualisic practices and call yourself Budoka. There are plenty of wannabees outthere for sure. These people go around conducting tea cermonies, spouting off quotations from rumi, o'sensei, musashi and what not. They may wear hakama, robes, and can sit in seiza with that calm smile on there face. Oh yea they may even know all the japanese words for all the various techniques and be able to perform them. That does not make them budoka in and of it's self.

On the other end you have the various non-gi wearing mixed martial artist type that have a disdain for anything resembling ritual, respectful, or of order. These guys can be very effective martial artist, but do not necessarily follow any sort of code or order. You might call these guys "mercenaries". They are not budoka.

There is a good thread somewhere on here that George Leydard I believe gave a good layout on budo and budoka and what it means and who really can consider themselves budoka.

No you don't have to adopt japanese rituals to be budoka, but show me an example of a organized class of warriors that don't follow a code of conduct or rituals of some sort.

dan guthrie
04-17-2005, 09:31 AM
Just a few weeks ago there was a History Channel program about the Spartans. One of their early philosophers traveled the Greek world to find out what made the best society. When he came back the Spartans ruthlessly practiced his ideas for hundreds of years.
Spartan homes were almost identical. Look up "Helot" in the dictionary. Soldiers, including the Kings (there were two) owned little more than the clothes on their backs. Training in childhood included theft from Spartan farmers ( gotta' have an army that lives off the land).
Any group of Spartans ( all of the men in the upper class were soldiers ) were the best of their day and may have been the best of all time. They had almost no poets or artists - no room or appreciation of them in a brutal, militaristic society.
Most of what we know of them comes from through the writings of their enemies and other cultures' historians. When they were finally defeated their culture essentially disappeared forever.

Pauliina Lievonen
04-17-2005, 09:42 AM
Why do you have to mouth Japanese words and use Japanese etiquette for it to be budo?


Why would anyone who doesn't want to use Japanese words want to call what they do "budo" ? ;)

kvaak
Pauliina

stuartjvnorton
04-17-2005, 10:02 AM
Why would anyone who doesn't want to use Japanese words want to call what they do "budo" ? ;)

kvaak
Pauliina

Not being obsessed with mouthing the words, they probably wouldn't care what it was called.

Chuck.Gordon
04-18-2005, 02:55 AM
Why do you have to mouth Japanese words and use Japanese etiquette for it to be budo?

It's not just mouthing ... it's learning the cultural construct and historical context within which budo became budo.

Surely budo is in your heart and mind and spirit, not the words you say or the gestures you make?

I think that's putting too much stock in Budo as a thought-system and not keeping it in context as a cultural practice of historical combat methodolgies and the modern congates that are based on those older systems.

Can you do budo without doing the technicues of your chosen method? I don't think so.

Without the physical framework of technique, kata, etiquette, there is no budo. Likewise, without the inner workings of philosophy and theory, there is no budo.

And the cultural trappings, appurtenance and practices are just as important to budo being budo.

But if that's all that makes it budo, then could tae-bo with a bow-in ceremony and "ich-no-san-shi and tsuki!" be called budo?

Nope. Tae-bo has a (very loose) basis in Korean arts, mixed with western boxing, aerobics, exercise theory and a very heavy dose of marketing.

For it to be budo, it would have to be spawned from a Japanese martial root, and nurtured with the cultural, physical and philosophical trappings thereof.

Ikebana, for instance, has more connection to budo than tae-bo ...

Chuck

stuartjvnorton
04-18-2005, 03:04 AM
Wow, that's one way to keep the clubhouse membership small...

Ron Tisdale
04-18-2005, 09:11 AM
There is an interesting thread on the meaning of keiko here somewhere...I think in the language forum. To reflect deeply upon the past. Personally, I prefer keiko to just training, even though I have done and do both. I guess its just a matter of different strokes. But I also have to wonder 'why call it budo if you don't think you need the other japanese terms?"

Ron

Chuck Clark
04-18-2005, 09:36 AM
Cousin Chuck,

That was a really good post. Thanks.

What he said, folks... take it to the bank. Budo and the tag "martial arts" are not interchangeable.

Chris Li
04-18-2005, 11:35 AM
Cousin Chuck,

That was a really good post. Thanks.

What he said, folks... take it to the bank. Budo and the tag "martial arts" are not interchangeable.

In common Japanese usage, I'm not sure that's correct. I've often heard (and seen) fighting systems from outside of Japan referred to as "budo" in Japanese by Japanese native speakers. The phrase "nihon budo" ("Japanese budo") is also quite common in Japanese, which would not, I think, be so if "budo" were by definition a Japanese art.

As far as I can tell, "martial arts" is a fairly close representation of the way that "budo" is used in common speech by Japanese native speakers.

Best,

Chris

Chuck Clark
04-18-2005, 01:51 PM
Hi Chis,

Are these native speakers that are serious long time practitioners of Japanese budo or laymen? The people that I have been around use the term in very specific way very similar to Chuck Gordon's post above. I guess it's no biggy, as I can tell what someone means in conversation.

Regards,

Chuck.Gordon
04-18-2005, 02:38 PM
Heya Chris,

Yep. For the most part, similar experience here. But it's a personal twitch. I find 'nihon budo' clumsy. To me (and I try to stress that frequently), budo IS Nihon Budo.

Mix into that the sad fact that very few Japanese really have a clue about their own martial culture that wasn't spawned by the movies ... sigh.

Chuck

Kevin Leavitt
04-18-2005, 03:20 PM
I went back and read a post from 05-10-2004 by George Ledyard that does a pretty good job of defining bushido and budo. Here is the link:

click here (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5444&page=2&highlight=budo)

Budo as I understand it from his post and others is a set of values. So, it that respect I would agree with Chuck that you cannot have aikido without budo.

That said, I do think it is possible to embrace the values of budo without ANY of the japanese traditions. Not sure why you'd want ot do it...but think it is possible.

Chris Li
04-18-2005, 04:40 PM
Hi Chis,

Are these native speakers that are serious long time practitioners of Japanese budo or laymen? The people that I have been around use the term in very specific way very similar to Chuck Gordon's post above. I guess it's no biggy, as I can tell what someone means in conversation.

Regards,

I'm sure that they do - my point was that in common conversational Japanese the term "budo" is not really Japan specific.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li
04-18-2005, 04:41 PM
Mix into that the sad fact that very few Japanese really have a clue about their own martial culture that wasn't spawned by the movies ... sigh.

Chuck

Hey, I've run into young Japanese who have no idea what the word "Shinto" means...

Best,

Chris

Lan Powers
04-18-2005, 10:07 PM
> Budo as I understand it from his post and others is a set of values. So, it that respect I would agree with Chuck that you cannot have aikido without budo.

That said, I do think it is possible to embrace the values of budo without ANY of the Japanese traditions. Not sure why you'd want to do it...but think it is possible. <

I would have to agree...the values are the same (it appears) in the Russian art Systema.
I may be, (and probably am) wrong, but it seems to be the same values on blending, controlling, and minimal damage in the demos I have seen....But they don't follow Japanese traditions and certainly don't embrace the name "Budo".
To repeat/paraphrase what Pauliina said Why call it Aikido if you don't do it like Aikido has been done in the established traditions. (Albeit short lived as "Aikido" but ancient as "Ju-Jutsu")

Nothing WRONG with it, but just martial arts..........
Lan

Steven Gubkin
04-21-2005, 07:08 PM
Two comments.
#1 is about the concept of using bowing and other ceremonies to distinguish practise time from "normal time". To me, this defeats the purpose of doing Aikido at all. I train to have an Aiki mindset at all times. When I bow, I am showing respect. Im not trying to set up a distinction between the world and my dojo. The world is your dojo.

#2.I do not understand how anyone could think that Aikido without the japanese cultural trappings would not be Aikido anymore. When people ask me what Aikido is, I don't tell them its about wearing a skirt, or bowing to a picture, or speaking in Japanese. I talk to them about my take on the philosophy of Aikido, and show them how this philosophy is contained in the physical techniques. I have used my Aikido in a number of verbal confrontations. I was not wearing a Gi at the time, nor did I bow to my "uke". Was this not Aikido?

Amassus
04-21-2005, 10:23 PM
I have used my Aikido in a number of verbal confrontations. I was not wearing a Gi at the time, nor did I bow to my "uke". Was this not Aikido?

Using aikido principles in verbal confrontations is one aspect of aikido, just as the wearing of a gi and training in the dojo is another aspect. Take either of them away and you are no longer practicing aikido as budo IMHO.

I back Chuck's comments.

PeterR
04-21-2005, 11:28 PM
Using aikido principles in verbal confrontations is one aspect of aikido, just as the wearing of a gi and training in the dojo is another aspect. Take either of them away and you are no longer practicing aikido as budo IMHO.
Hmmm - I have to disagree here.

What you wear and where you practice have no relationship to either Aikido or Budo. Early Aikido (wasn't called Aikido back then) was practiced in street cloths and a pool room. The common thread that makes something Budo or not is rei. Aikido is defined but what techniques that are practiced as Budo and to a lesser extent the philosophical underpinnings.

Joe Bowen
04-22-2005, 01:44 AM
I think we've run into a very interesting semantic argument here. I've recently been reading Don Draeger's "Classical Budo". He explains that the Budo evolved from the Bujutsu when the practical use of the Bujutsu was no longer necessary in everyday life. The Samurai and laymen classes were looking for something more in their mundane existence. Those that adapted the Bujutsu into Budo took things that were by necessity a part of motion of Bujutsu and codified them into the etiquette of the Budo. A classic example Mr. Draeger cites is the manner in which one kneels and stands in order to keep the sword readily accessible. However, spiritual purification and enlightenment is not unheard of through physical discipline in the west either. It was just never codified or expanded upon to the ritualized point that the Japanese had. So, the question could be something like, "Can you attain the same degree of self-mastery or discipline as that attained through the Japanese systems of Budo, without having to actually study a Japanese system?"
I remember hearing a story of an Australian or New Zealand Aikido instructor who after visiting Japan and learning about the behavior of the Japanese during WWII came back to his dojo and took down all things that linked his art to Japan in disgust. Is this guy still teaching "Aikido", if he is only teaching the physical technique along with his understanding of the Aikido philosophy? We as outside observers might see what he and his students are doing and say, "That's Aikido", based on how we see them move or interact, sans the proper etiquette. Or, we might say, they are doing something similar to Aikido, but not Aikido.
What I'm trying to say (and not doing to well at it) is there are many ways to obtain the same goal. The Japanese Budo paths, amongst all the martial disciplines in the world, codified their goals and paths to such an extent that we all assume that the only "Budo" is Japanese Budo. I'm as guilty as the next one in this context. However, in limiting our own definition of Budo to those arts practiced in Japan, we are ignoring a wealth of information from other sources.
Can you strip the Japanese trappings from a Japanese art, and still preserve the essence of the art? Yes, I think you can. But, can you strip the discipline and etiquette from an art and maintain the essence of the art? I don't think you can.

Sonja2012
04-22-2005, 02:50 AM
IMHO etiquette displays my inner attitude to what I am doing on the mat. It displays respect towards my teacher and fellow aikidoka, concentration, focus, compassion, etc. Of course it is possible to carry all that within myself without etiquette, but etiquette reminds me of all of these things again and again.

Also, etiquette is the best way of conveying exactly that inner attitude to beginners. I donīt have to talk to them for ages about how they should approach the art etc, they simply have to watch what is going on on and off the mat and they will learn very quickly what their attitude should be like.

For me etiquette is not about Japan or being/pretending to be Japanese, it is a reminder and it helps me to stay focused.

happysod
04-22-2005, 04:01 AM
I find myself thinking this thread sounds increasingly like an argument between proponents of low and high church worship, with those championing the "trappings" of etiquette as necessary to true fulfillment while those of the low finding them often a barrier rather than an aid.

I'll happily put myself in the low church group as for me ritualised manners and behaviour often mask what I see as important, does your technique match your aims, both in effectiveness and harmony with the attack.

While I respect those who do follow tradition and use their aikido practice to provide a link with the past and the history from which aikido originated, I find the concept of no tradition = not aikido frankly insulting. For those who feel that way I do have one question. If, as we are reminded, O sensei wanted aikido to be available to everyone, do you really think imposing barriers of both language and behaviour beyond those need for safe practice really a good starting point?