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Old 07-30-2005, 04:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 106
Re: Does Budo require a sense of shame?

If the shame that drives you to advance comes from within it seems to work best. Shame from the outside doesn't necessarily work so well. There comes a point where you have heard so many speeches and lectures from coaches/parents/bosses/gurus that you've figured out their game and it becomes hollow and lacks efficacy. If however you are credulous enough to fall for it over and over then you'll just be a puppet and it may become difficult to escape the cycle of emotional blackmail coming from others. The shame that originates from within is hardest to ignore and will probably be the motivation that will last long after that other stuff has dried up and blown away.

I remember standing after practice and listening to a very high level weapons teacher give his pre-test shaming speech before the all-national examination. Somewhat moving but one of the older students turned around and gave a weak smile and explained how the Sensei always gave that sort of speech every year. There were also many students from other dojo that were decidedly less strict and no matter how many times they were shown the correct form or how loud they were yelled at they kept doing the same mistakes. I then realized that at some point with most students the beatings and cajoling weren't going to propel them any more. The head teacher could then play the tactic of being indifferent to them and just walking by them and telling them they were doing well but that would only work if there was real shame from within the students. It's probably one of the reasons why there are only a few people who genuinely practice that type of art for fifty or sixty years straight.

Joyful training sounds nice but I think joy is another one of those words like love that confuses aikido people more than it helps. Maybe it would be better to replace it with the word positive. I felt no joy when one of the visiting Sensei hit me square in the balls with his jo but it was a positive thing because he showed me where my distancing was off.
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