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Old 08-19-2009, 05:57 AM   #53
Ryan Seznee
Dojo: Does it matter?
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 102
Re: Sempai/Kohai Relationship in Aikido

Robert David wrote: View Post

As to the idea that, because Ron doesn't want to use terms such as Senpai/kouhai because he doesn't care for the (frankly) intrinsic social implications of those words, he's picking and choosing how "Japanese" he wants his art to be, I'm sorry, but that doesn't make sense. It may be Ryan's opinion (or maybe not) that the relationship is present at the heart of aikido in some form or fashion, but if we shouldn't pick and choose, then why isn't every single person practicing aikido fluent in Japanese? As supposedly intrinsic as the senpai/kouhai thing is to aikido, the Japanese language is certainly more so. Not just for techniques, either. If we are trying to transmit aikido exactly as it was and is taught in Japan, then we should all be speaking fluent Japanese. Not to do so would seem to be choosing to ignore the entire language based communication system developed for aikido, in Japan, by the founder and those who came before and after him.
My only point is that in French cooking one uses French terms to refer to the manner in which one cooks the food, regardless of the chef's ability to speak French or not. It is an accepted standard by which one "talks shop" to distinguish the art from others. In this manner the original context of the language is not what is important so much as what it means within the sub culture that uses the term (Beef meant the cow, cow meat, a live bull at one time, but changed to mean only the meat of a cow over the years because the people using the term Beef were the ones eating the cows in Saxon/Norman society). This is the manner in which languages evolve.
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