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Old 06-02-2013, 03:15 PM   #7
Ellis Amdur
Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 815
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Re: Rei and Controlled Violence

Martial arts in Japan were created, in large part, as means of social control and control of social interaction. They were created, in large part, to occupy warriors so that they wouldn't kill each other.
The Araki-ryu techniques referred, descending from an older period, were created as means of survival. There, social rules were manipulated in the service of survival of the group that enacts them (whether the cause is good-or-bad is not in question at this point).
Reigi, in the larger sense, was a means by which potential enemies - or at least "unknowns" - would know how to behave to get along. And reigi has been in existence as long as there are humans.
This was quite naturally transmitted into bugei, the original purpose of which was to train a social class - the warriors - how to lead (using older methodologies on how to fight and to kill). The first purpose of reigi within the dojo was so that people could get along as training partners while potentially - and sometimes actually - hurting, even injuring each other. Reigi functions as a ritual "container." This training was transmitted - implicitly and explicitly - outside the dojo into the larger society.
The rules of engagement in modern military are reigi. If warfighters are not well trained - and if the rules of engagement are not rational and support survival - then chaos ensues.
Reigi lets people know where they stand, so to speak.

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