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Old 08-01-2005, 12:40 PM   #25
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Does Budo require a sense of shame?

Ron, I think I can clear some of this up.

When Saotome sensei finishes yelling at us, not many people know how to interpret that. The cultural translation of this is that he wants us to focus on letting go of our habits and really try to see more of what's going on with his technique (application of principles). I'm certain that would happen in Japan.

In the States, that doesn't work too often. How many people in the States get shamed by a big Japanese sensei and the only thing they take away from that expereince is 'well when I have more power and authority, I'll have kohai that I can yell at too'? Probably more people than those who say 'I'd better pay close attention to the difference between my current habits and what sensei is doing'.

As I see it, the majority of the folks training aikido in the States are typically the kids who grew up after the 50s where you were supposed to be a good little boys and girls. The students of today are the generation of people who rebelled against being shamed - of course typically they will shame everyone else but demand respect for themselves. (Read Alice Miller if you dare.)

We have to be careful to treat our kohai with all the same respect and tolerance for mistakes as we treat our sempai. In my opinion, when someone in class hurts someone else due to thoughtlessness or carelessness then they need to be made aware of it; but "shame" is up to them, not up to you to dish out to them. If they are continually not safe, they should be kicked out and again without shame.

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