Re: To bow or not to bow
...which brings up a good point Maggie. Some look at etiquette in the martial arts as self-serving and borderline deification. I look at it as awareness training. "Fitting in" to certain formalities, paying attention to the why, when, and how helps in my awareness training. While not everyone has the same etiquette as Japanese culture and/or Japanese budoka, it helps me to identify other forms of etiquette and appropriate behavior in other cultures...or at least to look out for it and use my knowledge of reishiki as a base from which to be sensitive and recognize other culture's intricacies. I may not like it or I may think its a waste of time and meaningless gestures, but the ability to put that aside and be proper in a seminar with Chiba or Yamada (as was Maggie's example), then that shows an ability to put aside one's self, and Way of Doing Things, for another person/group/idea. Doing this correctly, and with sincerity, to me, this signifies inner strength, awareness, and a step toward personal growth...growth being the purpose of budo (vice bujutsu).