Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, bowing is a cultural means of showing respect.
It can be, or it can (in Japan or in other cultures) be a means of showing worship. It depends on where you are and how you interpret things.
In my experience the usual response to a religious concern about bowing in the dojo is to dismiss the problem by stating that the bow is just a means of showing respect. Respectfully (
), because you believe
it to be so doesn't meant that other people also believe the same way, or that they ought to believe the same way. In many dojo the bow and the bowing ritual are clearly connected to religious symbols and ritual. If that doesn't cause a problem for you then that's great, but for some people it's a serious religious question.
In any case, I think that in most instances a simple talk to with whoever's in charge ought to resolve things without making a mountain out of a molehill.