Originally posted by aikilouis
Religion must be the worst excuse for not practicing aikido. It doesn't bother too many people to see boxers beat each other senseless, or (american) footballers thank the Lord for allowing them to break necks week in and week out. Why could prevent you from practicing a non-violent art ? Is your faith shaky enough to be in contradiction with it ?
Louis R Joseph
Many dojos start their classes with a series of bows and claps, explained usually just as a 'traditional, respectful' beginning. I believe them when they say that, but I am also aware that is the start to a prayer in another religion. How we got the 'traditional, respectful' explanation I'm not sure, probably the American observing it didn't understand it, didn't ask, and just continued the process in their own dojo. Since I believe them when they say it is not 'religious' I'm fine with it, but others who recognise the bow and claps for what it was (in it's root) might not be... but they are also not likely to be big boxing fans, either, just folks looking for a way to practice Aikido that is comfortable for them. Since my personal views allow me to attend religious ceremonies and services not in the faith of my childhood, it wouldn't be a big deal to me no matter how a lot of the 'traditional' parts of a class were meant, but I know there are many for whom this is a valid obstacle, and like I said, there are dojos out there that are probably not going to bother them, but there are some that will.