Thread: Japanezsing
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:30 AM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Japanezsing

Hello Annoyed,

Your complaint makes me feel quite fortunate to be practising and teaching a Japanese martial art in Japan, to 'ordinary' Japanese. Of course, they are not 'ordinary', but we are a general dojo, offering aikido to anyone who wants to make the commitment. By this I mean that we are not a specialist enterprise for students, police or the military.

At present there are no non-Japanese members of our dojo, apart from myself and my two fellow instructors. So it is just not possible to 'Japaneze' things. Everything is 100% 'Japaneze' already--and completely without effort. So, no happi coats or ninja pants. Tabi are accepted, because we think it is good for the knees. No sempai or kohai and 'Sensei' is heard in a completely natural context. No sprinkling of Japanese terms in our explanations, for they are all in Japanese to begin with. So no intellectual contortions about whether 'kuzushi' is preferable to 'unbalancing', or whether 'ukemi' fully captures the sense of 'breakfall'. If our students do not understand these terms, then we have to explain.

I tend to agree with Marc Abrams. What is the aikido training like? Are you learning anything?

Is the instructor Japanese? Has he / she spent serious time training in Japan at a reputable dojo? If not has he / she visited or lived in Japan? I have seen some students of an intense Japanese instructor (in the UK) trying to 'go native' and imitate everything he does, from the 'spiritual smile' to the 'samurai walk'. But they tend to be in the minority.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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