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Old 12-28-2005, 08:35 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
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Have you been here?

~~After some time away from my dojo, I went to a class tonight. I believe the distance allowed me to see something clearly: One of my training partners was so discourteous--bowing in, training and bowing later. I realized then that I'd made allowances for this person's attitude, even tried to work with it as I believe that's a large part of understanding Aikido. Now it struck me as simple rudeness and arrogance that I'd walk away from in people 'off the mat'; I have no interest in ever training with this person again. I just feel that enough is enough. Still, a part of me is saddened by it. Have you ever been here?~~

Sincerely


~~Paula~~
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:56 PM   #2
ikkitosennomusha
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 241
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Re: Have you been here?

I'm not really understanding what you mean. Can you explain in more detail?
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Old 12-28-2005, 09:16 PM   #3
Rupert Atkinson
Dojo: Wherever I am
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 736
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Re: Have you been here?

I went to a seminar in the 1980s hosted by a local school -- we were all lined up as usual and prepared to bow to the visiting teacher. Nothing unusual there. When I bow it is my habit that I always look at the person I am bowing towards. Well, someone shouted "Rei" and everyone bowed instantly, except for the teacher, and me. I was just waiting for him to bow so I could match it, but none was forthcoming. We looked at each other and nothing was ever said. As I remember, it was a good seminar. I have never had that experience -- where you bow to someone who does not bow back -- anywhere else, which is why I remember it.

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Old 12-28-2005, 09:54 PM   #4
crbateman
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Re: Have you been here?

Paula, sometimes you have to step back from the forest to look at the trees. Perhaps you have indeed been making allowances for this person's less-than-ideal demeanor, but isn't that part of the conciliatory nature of Aikido? It's probably also the only way you will ever be able to help this person. Throwing him/her under the bus certainly won't do it. I recommend that you worry less about the other person, and more about your own reaction, since this is the easier thing for you to affect positively. Don't let your frustration get the best of you. You are better than all that, and your classmates are worthy of your level-headed best. Osu.

Rupert, I have experienced that same awkward moment at bowing time, and I have never regretted my eventual decision to just bow when the time comes, and get it over with, and let the other guy worry about the semantics. I can't see how I could offend by bowing early and often. YMMV, but it works for me.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:52 PM   #5
George S. Ledyard
 
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Re: Have you been here?

Quote:
Paula Lydon wrote:
~~After some time away from my dojo, I went to a class tonight. I believe the distance allowed me to see something clearly: One of my training partners was so discourteous--bowing in, training and bowing later. I realized then that I'd made allowances for this person's attitude, even tried to work with it as I believe that's a large part of understanding Aikido. Now it struck me as simple rudeness and arrogance that I'd walk away from in people 'off the mat'; I have no interest in ever training with this person again. I just feel that enough is enough. Still, a part of me is saddened by it. Have you ever been here?~~

Sincerely

Hi Paula,
Why be sad? This isn't your problem... it's this other person's. If one lets oneself get depressed by other folks acting badly, one is apt to be depressed much of the time. All you can do is model what's right. Others will pick up on it, or they won't. In either case you have acted well and can feel fine about yourself. There's little point in being sad, or angry, for that matter. When people act badly like that, they are simply beneath your notice...If the Sensei notes it and acts on it, well that's his affair but it shouldn't effect you.

See you at Camp I hope...
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 12-29-2005, 08:23 AM   #6
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
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Re: Have you been here?

I have to say that much depends on the culture of the dojo. Is it expected that everyone bow before each and every interaction or is it sufficient to bow in unity once at the beginning of class and once at the end? Then we can single out those we feel a necessity to bow to individually. I have been in dojo where folks go around bobbing up and down like chickens pecking in a barnyard (total overkill of the humble thing) and I have been in dojo where bowing was just not done. If we don't like or accept the custom of the dojo then it is our problem.

Also in an Aikido dojo as in someone's home whose hospitality I have accepted I will not look them in the eye when bowing. I show my trust by not doing that and exposing myself as humbly as possible. If I don't feel safe in doing this I won't go there in the first place. My job is to bow first and lowest but damn if I can beat my teachers who always seem to get there faster and lower than me. I am continually humbled more by their actions and manners than I am by mine. And I am sure they are more humble than I but I'm working on it.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
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Old 12-29-2005, 01:00 PM   #7
odudog
Dojo: Dale City Aikikai
Location: VA
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 374
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Re: Have you been here?

Like was stated before by individuals much senior than me, it all depends on the dojo and don't get upset for it is that person's fault if he is being discourteous.

Rupert: I was taught by my first sensei from Japan {DNBK - and very martial / old school attitude}that you always look at the person you are bowing to for this is still budo. However, you don't look at sensei for you are giving him/her the utmost respect/trust. I don't know if sensei bowed back or not but if he did, I better make sure that I bow lower than him.
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