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Old 07-22-2001, 12:36 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 915
I would disagree with that article for these reasons: I spent a month while TDY studying in a Nihon Goshin dojo. I loved what I learned, and the very nice students and sensei who let me visit for that month. But to me, every technique was 'something something arm-bar' or 'arm-bar something'---really no easier for me to learn. I wondered then if the same English names were used from dojo to dojo---and in full gratitude I will say this was the first place I actually got the hang of ushiro kubishime koshinage, or as it was known to me then 'mugger's throw'. I think, as Nick said, there are some things that take several English words to describe the same thing as one Japanese (it was, after all, developed in Japan, maybe if it started here the concepts and theories would have grown up around one word English terms). Also, just as when the Mass was in Latin, or even now when the language of the skies is English, one common language to mean certain commands helps. You may not get much of the finer points of correction while visiting in say, an Italian or French dojo, but 'dozo' or 'dome' at least give you a heads-up about what is happening (like the 'agnus dei' in the Mass example).
I changed at one point from a style that might write a technique say 'kata-tori kokyunage' to one that instead would say 'kata-tori kokyunage hantai tenkan' or 'kata-tori kokyunage tenshun michibiki kaeshi'. At first you might say the second group was elitist, or showing off. But on a test there is no struggle as sensei is trying to get the student to figure out which kokyunage he is wanting to see (my first dojo got around this by referring to them as 'third kyu kokyunage, fourth kyu kokyunage, etc. meaning at which test level he introduced that particular version).How much easier to just describe it by its name (although named in Japanese). But I think we do this in sports all the time: strike, ball, birdie, safety, etc---it's just easier.
And to get back to the original point, I don't think anyone looks down on schools that use only English; what i got from the article was the author was criticising schools that use Japanese. Once again, I think there is room in the world of Aikido for both--i just find the Japanese easier.

Last edited by guest1234 : 07-23-2001 at 04:34 PM.
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