View Single Post
Old 08-23-2016, 01:59 PM   #37
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 810
Re: Reconcile the world

John Hillson wrote: View Post
First off, your dojo sounds like a great place to train!
Thank you.

John Hillson wrote: View Post
In terms of bowing, I had it taught to me that the depth of the bow was lower for the junior student, how quickly the left hand left the hip to join the right on the floor or if it went down at the same time was a motion of deference (how quickly can the sword be drawn, and the senior was given deference in the timing, junior bowed first and held the bow longer, etc. Lining up, the most senior by the door to protect the kohei and Sensei and everyone else in descending order both by rank and time in rank. There's about nine different ways to say thank you apparently, and some are very deferential, some are very informal for among friends or a dismissive insult used wrongly. It got a little complicated some days.
Wow, that's pretty formal. I see your point though about how that kind of formality can be viewed as a method of defining a hierarchy within a dojo; creating the impression that levels of power and skill are a consequence of rank and time on the mat. It's been my experience that this "ain't necessarily so". Every student learns at a different pace and with an unique depth of understanding. I have seen relative beginners who quickly obtained a level of mind/body coordination that exceeded some of their seniors.

In your blog you wrote "I want the world reconciled. I want our one family, I want peace, I want this to stop. I want to do something. I want to play a role. I want to believe in Ueshiba's call for warriors for peace." Well, you have a role, we all do; but not, I think, as a collective. My Aikido path has led me to a point where I'm living a healthier, more peaceful and productive life than I might be otherwise. I, in turn, pass along the opportunity to others by providing a space where they can come to listen to my story and through their own practice see where their paths lead to. As an instructor you have the chance to transmit what you have discovered to your students. That is your role. Once you impart what you know the rest is up to them.


  Reply With Quote