Thread: Seiza
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Old 03-27-2002, 12:58 PM   #22
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Originally posted by Edward

Sorry to ask a silly question here, but it is Martial Arts that we're doing, right?
So basically these are military arts, old-fashioned military arts.
No silly questions. Only occasionally some silly answers. Yes, I'm guilty of that ...

However ... in all seriousness:

Yep. The critical part of that phrase being 'old style' ... koryu. Budo was originally a tool of the warrior (military) class. The military/martial refers to THAT and not to the pre-war hysteria (psychopathy?) of Imperial Japan and the Co-Prosperity Sphere. Where did the Japanese, BTW, learn the kind of rigid military structure they imposed in the buildup years of the 20s and 30s? From the WEST! Yep. After Meiji, most of Japanese culture fought tooth and nail to get more like the west, including the military.

So, when we talk about 'old style' budo, we're really talking about the pre-westernization of Japan, wherein the warrior class knew their discipline, were born to it and raised in it. They didn't need boot camp tactics, they didn't need rigid rank heirarchies. They KNEW where everyone fit and how to behave.

Originally posted by Edward

I myself don't find anything wrong about being military-like. I respect very much the military and feel that we really lack a lot of their discipline and sacrifice.
Good for you! I'm an old soldier and I am now a pacifist. I've tasted the other way and prefer the way of peace. However, that doesn't mean I don't believe in fighting for what's right, or in defense of the innocent and helpless. Just that I prefer peace over war ...

Originally posted by Edward
I'm not saying that we should have military discipline at the dojos but at least it should be stricter atmosphere than say regular sports training.
Hmm. I can't, without some qualification, agree here. In SOME cases, yes, there needs to be a strict hand at the helm. When I've taught youth/teen classes, for instance. I implemented a more rigid system of discipline. Now, I have chosen not to teach kids and only deal with adults. As I interview and get to know prospective students, I let them know what I expect and what the standards are. They know how to behave -- maybe not the intricacies of our reishiki, but they know to shut up, listen and watch and learn. I don't need to make them jump up and down every time I have something to say, don't need them to treat me like they're my servants. They're my students, most become my friends and a few become part of my family. I don't want fawning sycophants. I want eager, alert, bright individuals.


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