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Old 09-26-2010, 09:40 AM   #32
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 371
Re: To bow or not to bow

Hello Abrams Sensei,

May I say that I enjoy and appreciate your thoughts on the human perspectives people bring to their discussions and to actual training in Aikido. Your frank, and at times passionate perspectives on the expressed attitudes and positions of others are both informative and interesting. Thank you for responding to my thoughts.

You are correct in that we should not compel or otherwise coerce others to comply or to adopt any of the tenets of traditions we happen to hold dear and inviolate. As Americans, we remain free to choose, and to vote with our feet.

Nevertheless, I have found that students with significant martial arts experience other than Aikido, are quite often challenged to readily adopt or otherwise adjust to the different environment and guidelines for training in new dojos. It should be expected that they need time to let go of deeply held beliefs and habits that they may not know that they still have, even as they sincerely attempt to understand and incorporate the nuances of a new culture and style of behavior.

As long as these people remain sincere and diligent in their efforts to conform, isn’t it worth our time, patience and a wee bit of tolerance, to afford them a chance to assimilate this new culture? I have found this to be worthwhile, and while not always successful, the overall results verify applying Aiki compassion to and acceptance of people’s natural foibles and resistance to change.

Yes, Aikido is not a religion, yet we are able to judiciously apply Aiki Principles to broaden our own perspectives, and to perhaps help others to think beyond and outside of whatever box they find themselves in.

Even hermit crabs accept that they will need to change their “homes” to survive and to grow
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