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Old 08-05-2005, 08:06 AM   #60
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Does Budo require a sense of shame?

I suppose we just need to avoid the extremes. I actually couldn't care less what technique is being practices at this point, because I'm practicing how I open my body up and unify as nage and uke.

I think we just need to be cautious about extremes. I agree that happiness is not more important than self-honesty. However, I've seen many people who have training like 30+ years and haven't smiled or laughed one time in that entire span of their training because they are "serious students". This is just another delusion. They have practiced being emotionally constipated for 30+, congratulations. Emotional content is quite powerful when expressed through touch. It should not be stifled in an attempt to convince people how serious you are. Give me a break. I just want to slap these people on the back of their tight shoulders and say "lighten up!". (I take these people just as seriously as I take the mall security guard shaking their keys at the 13 year olds.) These "serious" students tend to be the people most guilty of shaming others.

I like the idea of hard training, but I like the idea of hard training that is fun even more. If it just can't be fun, then so be it - there is always next time. Some times it's much more hard to train a combination of movements that is subtle and counter-intuitive to what we typically do. There is not much physical sweating going on, but it almost looks like people in physical therapy. Letting the tension go by laughing a little (a little!) can be a good thing because it actually helps give people time/space to process (which is typically a goal of a teacher - "optimal learning").

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