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Old 08-01-2005, 02:50 PM   #35
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Does Budo require a sense of shame?

Rob Liberti wrote:
"budo" probably does require shame. But, our version of it, might not "require" it. The problem, as I see it is that we inappropriately shame children so much that that's the hammer and everything looks like a nail. Maybe if we tried "respect"?! - Rob

Chuck Clark wrote:
Why do you immediately think that shame and respect are in opposition to each other? Having respect for someone else or yourself can happen at the same time as feeling shameful. Try reaching out and finding out what aspect of shame might be valuable in budo practice instead of immediately going to the far end.

Okay, fine, but I elaborated since before your reply. I'm not saying that it is disrespectful to feel shame yourself (maybe it's disrespectful to yourself, but I wasn't saying that!). The intent of my message was not that shame and respect were opposites but rather that shaming someone else was not respectful. Of course I would rather be saved by criticism than ruined by praise. I feel that is plenty respectful and compassionate. It just seems like being a leader, you should go for charismatic power and offer constructive criticism. Our culture can be very direct with people, so we can say things like 'I see a lot of patterns of movement which are just bad habits and have nothing to do with what I'm showing you today. If you think this doesn't mean you, assume otherwise!'.

Here are two quick stories, the second one is funny (to me at least), and this one is just a good anecdote about when I first started thinking about all of this stuff. I remember Saotome sensei giving us a berating, and after it, I got up and practiced in my typical fierce-joy way with someone who immediately matched my feeling (as opposed to the general feeling of the room - most everyone else practiced in a very low-trodden energetic way - like abused children or something). I was way in the back of the room and he made a bee-line over to me in seconds flat. He actually took ukemi for me to shut me down and make the point a different way. I got the second attempt at the lesson, but I still refused to give in to what he was trying to get the entire room to feel. He punched, I got out of the way, and sure I didn't take his balance (I was going a bit too far to the side and not making enough connection to that punch) but I was out of the way and as safe as I could get - which was probably level appropriate at the time. I knew I wasn't doing what he wanted (and no one else was either just in a different way) and that must of frustrated him, but my feeling is my feeling and no one else is in charge of it. I practice that too.

The funny story is that another time Saotome sensei berated us for not paying attention to what we were doing. He yelled for a very long time and then told us to practice in Japanese - but I think the translation was something like "same, please". So I got up and started yelling at my partner! I said "You know Paul, I'm sick of you!" while most people were standing up asking what the technique was to each other. Hey I know I'm a stinker, but I got a lot of satisfaction from that and I got away with it in the confusion! I actually started valuing his teaching later, so I wouldn't do something like that now, but at the time, he was just another yeller (and I had no chance of seeing anything he was doing at that level).

Great topic David!- Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-01-2005 at 02:53 PM.
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