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Old 09-25-2010, 11:10 PM   #26
aikishihan
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Etiquette is a most useful tool to assist people of independent thinking, different cultural and ethnic origins, and for life tested individuals to suspend for the moment, their particular biases, beliefs and boundaries, for the good of harmonious and respectful social interaction with one another. The human species is the only one I am aware of that finds this to be useful and important.

Nonetheless, such standards of etiquette are at best, arbitrarily determined, culturally specific, and never intended to be an all inclusive invitation for anyone to join without condition or consequence. In other words, they are primarily designed to discriminate amongst potential participants in a specified social function or activity. You either comply with such standards, willingly or not, or be potentially ostracized and banished from further involvement with the specific privileges and activities defined by such arbitrary and inherently unfair boundaries of applied etiquette.

From what I know or think of the Founder of Aikido, he would probably dismiss the entire conversation of “bowing” as a silly distraction to the goal of his Aikido, which is to create and maintain an environment where anyone who is honest and willing to work through differences of style, experience, preferences and misunderstandings, can find common ground in the generous capacity for tolerance and compassion expressly to be found in his Aikido.

When we make such a “big deal” over a singular point of required etiquette, we face the real risk of ignoring and perhaps losing the very essence of why we gather together to train. It is not for the reason of reinforcing mandatory standards of behavior, as much as allowing ourselves to remain open to new and sometimes challenging points of reference different from ours. We are in effect taking our eyes off the goal of growing together in Aiki through the medium of respectful, and open hearted as well as open minded training. It is perhaps in this way of reaching out to one another through such training that we are open to finding common ground on matters not necessarily tied to training, but to the essence of how we agree to go along to get along.

I have had several instances of earnest and well meaning people share with me their reservations of bowing to the shomen, who in every other way, were respectful, considerate of each other, and committed to training in good faith with the rest of the group. If I had capriciously terminated their membership, it would be my dojo, myself and my sense of the Founder’s Aikido that would have suffered an irreparable loss. The fact that I did not yield to such an arbitrary and short sided reaction has resulted in excellent students of Aikido, and the maintenance of mutual respect and harmony in my dojo.

Perhaps a frank and quiet discussion of the reasons for the traditional trappings of common dojo etiquette would be the first order of business with such a troubled member, and agree on some alternative means acceptable to all, that would take the place of bowing to a shomen or kamiza, which never has guaranteed the true heart and intention of the individual anyway.

The late Shoji Nishio Sensei wrote of “Yurusu Budo”, which I take to be “acceptance” of a temporarily unsatisfactory situation, while a universally fair and acceptable solution is being honestly and compassionately worked out through genuine Aikido training and synergistic interaction.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:23 AM   #27
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Right! So, let's all insist that the other person yield and show respect and humility first, and if they don't, we'll screech that they're not showing the spirit of aikido!
I don't understand...are you under the impression that I have conveyed it to be the case that my opinion is that I should show respect and humility anterior to somebody else?

If you are: you are completely wrong.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:55 AM   #28
WilliB
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I lived and trained in Japan for a number of years (more than 10), and nowhere that I trained Aikido would have any particular problem with someone not bowing.
Really? So did you actually meet people here who refuse to bow?
I have been living here longer than that, and I have never seen the issue come up, simply because I have never met a foreigner who refused to follow the etiquette.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:55 AM   #29
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Etiquette is a most useful tool to assist people of independent thinking, different cultural and ethnic origins, and for life tested individuals to suspend for the moment, their particular biases, beliefs and boundaries, for the good of harmonious and respectful social interaction with one another. The human species is the only one I am aware of that finds this to be useful and important.

Nonetheless, such standards of etiquette are at best, arbitrarily determined, culturally specific, and never intended to be an all inclusive invitation for anyone to join without condition or consequence. In other words, they are primarily designed to discriminate amongst potential participants in a specified social function or activity. You either comply with such standards, willingly or not, or be potentially ostracized and banished from further involvement with the specific privileges and activities defined by such arbitrary and inherently unfair boundaries of applied etiquette.

From what I know or think of the Founder of Aikido, he would probably dismiss the entire conversation of "bowing" as a silly distraction to the goal of his Aikido, which is to create and maintain an environment where anyone who is honest and willing to work through differences of style, experience, preferences and misunderstandings, can find common ground in the generous capacity for tolerance and compassion expressly to be found in his Aikido.

When we make such a "big deal" over a singular point of required etiquette, we face the real risk of ignoring and perhaps losing the very essence of why we gather together to train. It is not for the reason of reinforcing mandatory standards of behavior, as much as allowing ourselves to remain open to new and sometimes challenging points of reference different from ours. We are in effect taking our eyes off the goal of growing together in Aiki through the medium of respectful, and open hearted as well as open minded training. It is perhaps in this way of reaching out to one another through such training that we are open to finding common ground on matters not necessarily tied to training, but to the essence of how we agree to go along to get along.

I have had several instances of earnest and well meaning people share with me their reservations of bowing to the shomen, who in every other way, were respectful, considerate of each other, and committed to training in good faith with the rest of the group. If I had capriciously terminated their membership, it would be my dojo, myself and my sense of the Founder's Aikido that would have suffered an irreparable loss. The fact that I did not yield to such an arbitrary and short sided reaction has resulted in excellent students of Aikido, and the maintenance of mutual respect and harmony in my dojo.

Perhaps a frank and quiet discussion of the reasons for the traditional trappings of common dojo etiquette would be the first order of business with such a troubled member, and agree on some alternative means acceptable to all, that would take the place of bowing to a shomen or kamiza, which never has guaranteed the true heart and intention of the individual anyway.

The late Shoji Nishio Sensei wrote of "Yurusu Budo", which I take to be "acceptance" of a temporarily unsatisfactory situation, while a universally fair and acceptable solution is being honestly and compassionately worked out through genuine Aikido training and synergistic interaction.
Takahashi Sensei:

I agree with the overall context of your message, but disagree to the point to which our openness is not matched by the openness of others to experience and take part in the traditions of another culture. This refusal is based upon their unwillingness to consider that an action within the context and milieu of another culture/tradition is not the same and does not have the same meaning, obligation..... as the one from which they are viewing it from.

If religion is suppose to be about enlightenment, why does it so often times get interpreted as the narrowing of perspective and inability to think beyond how people are told to think?

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #30
WilliB
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
If religion is suppose to be about enlightenment, why does it so often times get interpreted as the narrowing of perspective and inability to think beyond how people are told to think?
Religion is not "about enlightenment". Religion is about faith in unprovable dogmas.

The age of enlightenment is something that happened in the West, liberating the people from religious thought suppression. However, there are other religions which have never been faced with an age of enlightenment.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #31
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Religion is not "about enlightenment". Religion is about faith in unprovable dogmas.

The age of enlightenment is something that happened in the West, liberating the people from religious thought suppression. However, there are other religions which have never been faced with an age of enlightenment.
Hear hear.

When you have a god's command about what is right (backed by the threat of an eternal bath in sulphur), there is no question of contemplating other viewpoints: they're simply wrong, and hellworthy - hence the whole 'unending religious violence' thing.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:40 AM   #32
aikishihan
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Hello Abrams Sensei,

May I say that I enjoy and appreciate your thoughts on the human perspectives people bring to their discussions and to actual training in Aikido. Your frank, and at times passionate perspectives on the expressed attitudes and positions of others are both informative and interesting. Thank you for responding to my thoughts.

You are correct in that we should not compel or otherwise coerce others to comply or to adopt any of the tenets of traditions we happen to hold dear and inviolate. As Americans, we remain free to choose, and to vote with our feet.

Nevertheless, I have found that students with significant martial arts experience other than Aikido, are quite often challenged to readily adopt or otherwise adjust to the different environment and guidelines for training in new dojos. It should be expected that they need time to let go of deeply held beliefs and habits that they may not know that they still have, even as they sincerely attempt to understand and incorporate the nuances of a new culture and style of behavior.

As long as these people remain sincere and diligent in their efforts to conform, isn’t it worth our time, patience and a wee bit of tolerance, to afford them a chance to assimilate this new culture? I have found this to be worthwhile, and while not always successful, the overall results verify applying Aiki compassion to and acceptance of people’s natural foibles and resistance to change.

Yes, Aikido is not a religion, yet we are able to judiciously apply Aiki Principles to broaden our own perspectives, and to perhaps help others to think beyond and outside of whatever box they find themselves in.

Even hermit crabs accept that they will need to change their “homes” to survive and to grow
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:51 AM   #33
Russ Q
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I don't get the issue here....if the student is sincere, respectful and committed (which in the OP's case, the student may be too new to tell...) then why not have him show respect via another gesture? That would speak to the spirit of the bow. Maybe a big smile would suffice in the meantime. This fellow may end up getting it and allow the practice of aikido (all of it) to transform him....or, he may not and decide to leave. Either way, as Takahashi sensei says, as dojocho it is worth a bit of patience and tolerance to give a sincere person the chance to adapt in some fashion and be transformed by this art.
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:01 PM   #34
WilliB
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
I don't get the issue here....if the student is sincere, respectful and committed (which in the OP's case, the student may be too new to tell...) then why not have him show respect via another gesture? That would speak to the spirit of the bow. Maybe a big smile would suffice in the meantime.
A big smile?? You have to be kidding.

I don´t understand the issue either -- if he doesnt want to follow Japanese etiquette, why doesnt he go to kickboxing or something.

And no, it is not only a personal issue. If the teacher allows this, he has changed the dynamic from "this is what we do" to "this is optional". Not the same at all.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:20 PM   #35
lbb
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I don't understand...are you under the impression that I have conveyed it to be the case that my opinion is that I should show respect and humility anterior to somebody else?

If you are: you are completely wrong.
I'm not sure how to parse that first sentence. "are you under the impression that I have conveyed it to be the case that my opinion is that"...wow. Can we just reduce all that to, "Do you think that my opinion is that..."? Yes?

So, do I think that your opinion is that you should show respect and humility anterior to somebody else...again, I'm lost. Call it the fault of biology classes, but "anterior" to me refers to something towards an animal's head end. If "anterior" is the word you meant to use, then I may or may not be "completely wrong", as you say, but I'm definitely completely confused.
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:45 PM   #36
Marc Abrams
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Hello Abrams Sensei,

May I say that I enjoy and appreciate your thoughts on the human perspectives people bring to their discussions and to actual training in Aikido. Your frank, and at times passionate perspectives on the expressed attitudes and positions of others are both informative and interesting. Thank you for responding to my thoughts.

You are correct in that we should not compel or otherwise coerce others to comply or to adopt any of the tenets of traditions we happen to hold dear and inviolate. As Americans, we remain free to choose, and to vote with our feet.

Nevertheless, I have found that students with significant martial arts experience other than Aikido, are quite often challenged to readily adopt or otherwise adjust to the different environment and guidelines for training in new dojos. It should be expected that they need time to let go of deeply held beliefs and habits that they may not know that they still have, even as they sincerely attempt to understand and incorporate the nuances of a new culture and style of behavior.

As long as these people remain sincere and diligent in their efforts to conform, isn't it worth our time, patience and a wee bit of tolerance, to afford them a chance to assimilate this new culture? I have found this to be worthwhile, and while not always successful, the overall results verify applying Aiki compassion to and acceptance of people's natural foibles and resistance to change.

Yes, Aikido is not a religion, yet we are able to judiciously apply Aiki Principles to broaden our own perspectives, and to perhaps help others to think beyond and outside of whatever box they find themselves in.

Even hermit crabs accept that they will need to change their "homes" to survive and to grow
Takahashi Sensei:

I absolutely agree with you about giving people time to assimilate. I have been, am and am always willing to work with people to assimilate to a new perspective (as I have done, am doing, and hope to do in the future). My experience has also been that most very religious people are not willing to assimilate. They simply cannot "wrap their heads" around the idea that a bow in an Aikido dojo has nothing to do with subservience to another deity/higher authority...... So if the person is not open to assimilate to the new environment of the dojo, then what? I have trained harmoniously with people from most walks of life. I have found deeply spiritual and religious people who have opened themselves up to new experiences and in engaging in behaviors in a different milieu with them recognizing that the same behavior within their culture is not appropriate for them to engage in. Ultimately, it ends up as an individual decision. I respect their decision to give something new a try. I also respect their decision to not do so. I simply ask that they respect my decisions as well as to what constitutes appropriate and respectful behavior while training in my dojo.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-26-2010, 03:51 PM   #37
Flintstone
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I thought that yielding, showing respect for others, and humility, had something to do with aikido.
So yield, show respect for the man, learn some of your own humility and let him train with no bowing. Just a nod will cut it for all japanese I know. But we want to know better, isn't it.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:05 PM   #38
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I'm not sure how to parse that first sentence. "are you under the impression that I have conveyed it to be the case that my opinion is that"...wow. Can we just reduce all that to, "Do you think that my opinion is that..."? Yes?

So, do I think that your opinion is that you should show respect and humility anterior to somebody else...again, I'm lost. Call it the fault of biology classes, but "anterior" to me refers to something towards an animal's head end. If "anterior" is the word you meant to use, then I may or may not be "completely wrong", as you say, but I'm definitely completely confused.
You can parse sentences in whatever way helps you to understand them - it is fine by me; indeed, I encourage understanding wherever it is not at the expense of the rights of another - if we can all understand each other, I think we can get along a lot better.
Parse away!

If you are in doubt about the meaning of a word, there is always recourse to a dictionary, Ms Malmros.
But just this one time I will take on the role of teacher and apprise you of the definition:

'Anterior - coming before in time'.
I hope that helps.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:16 PM   #39
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
So yield, show respect for the man, learn some of your own humility and let him train with no bowing. Just a nod will cut it for all japanese I know. But we want to know better, isn't it.
This is certainly a very interesting question...
I'm all for being humble, and understanding of others - they are among the key features of aikido, for me; the question for me is whether a disparity between two people can - or should be - tolerated: you accommodate them, they do not accommodate you - the relationship is thus asymmetrical.
I regard bowing to one another - regardless of rank - as an act which symbolises equality (as well as gratitude): if one person refuses to bow to another, therefore, there is the implication that they are superior to them.

I think we've become quite abstract in this discussino, because we do not know what the individual's views are: does he object to bowing because he will only bow to his divine being? Does he just need to be told of the cultural significance of bowing in Japan - i.e., it is to show respect, rather than supernatural reverence...? etc.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:26 PM   #40
lbb
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
You can parse sentences in whatever way helps you to understand them - it is fine by me; indeed, I encourage understanding wherever it is not at the expense of the rights of another - if we can all understand each other, I think we can get along a lot better.
Parse away!

If you are in doubt about the meaning of a word, there is always recourse to a dictionary, Ms Malmros.
But just this one time I will take on the role of teacher and apprise you of the definition:

'Anterior - coming before in time'.
I hope that helps.
Well, that's news to me, but apparently it is indeed a secondary meaning of the term. I would have said "before", but as you like it. So. Do I think that you believe that you should show respect and humility before someone else should do so? Is that the question? If so, this sounds rather like saying "I'm not going to give in unless HE gives in first." That's not my personal view about how politeness or etiquette or reigi should work. YMMV.
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:29 PM   #41
Marc Abrams
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Religion is not "about enlightenment". Religion is about faith in unprovable dogmas.

The age of enlightenment is something that happened in the West, liberating the people from religious thought suppression. However, there are other religions which have never been faced with an age of enlightenment.
Willi:

I do not think that it is fair to say that religion is not about enlightenment. Religions truly believe that they provide enlightenment to others. I cannot say that I have never derived enlightenment from religion because I have. It has not always been from my own previous practice of my religion (I am a non-practicing Jew). How you define enlightenment is an important component in this discussion.

We were in Jamaica over the Christmas/New Years 09/10 and were invited to attend a combined evangelical Christian & ancient Congo religion ceremony. This took place in a part of Kingston that no tourist would ever think to go (they are warned to stay away). Drum circles, trance states, goat sacrifice were all aspects of their observations. It was a powerful and enlightening experience for my wife and I. I learned a lot and would never have been as enlightened as I was about the people, the cultures and belief systems if I had not been part of that experience.

Sometimes faith is important. Sometimes dogmas that others profess are not as closed as we believe them to be. I think that we need to keep an open mind even when we believe others minds may be closed. I believe that we need to hold firm to what we believe is right and to acknowledge that we may be wrong and change our opinions at a later date. If I can try and hold myself to those standards, then those who train in my dojo are asked to do the same. Religious faith has been a blessing in some instances for societies and a curse at other times. If we simply write them off as faith in an unprovable dogma, then we can easily imitate that closed-minds that we seek to criticize. My criticism of the person in question was in the inability to move beyond a particular way of viewing a situation that was directly related to how that person interpreted living a religious life. I noted that this is not uncommon among very religious people. I do not believe that it is a universal truth of very religious people.

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #42
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well, that's news to me, but apparently it is indeed a secondary meaning of the term. I would have said "before", but as you like it. So. Do I think that you believe that you should show respect and humility before someone else should do so? Is that the question? If so, this sounds rather like saying "I'm not going to give in unless HE gives in first." That's not my personal view about how politeness or etiquette or reigi should work. YMMV.
It might not be a word in common usage nowadays, but I read a lot of classics, and where posible, I like to show deference to great men such as Aristotle; the particular work/s of his in which he uses that term frequently eludes me right now.
Plus: it's Shakespeare's language, and all that...

I was asking whether you were under the impression that I have a strongly held belief: namely, that other people should yield before I do so - because you responded to something I said with a very forcefully worded castigation: chiding me with a sarcastic manner - which I think is wrong, because I am not of the opinion that others should show respect to me before I will show any to them, and I never said otherwise.

All the best

- Graham
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:38 PM   #43
David Partington
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I emailed the Muslim Council of Britain, which is a national representative Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools, to provide some guidance on this issue. Their reply was:-

Thank you for visiting our website and contacting us for the said issue. Islam values and respects different faiths as well as customs of various civilisations. It is important to know the difference between bowing and prostration. There are different schools of thoughts in such matters but a large number of Islamic scholars wouldn’t consider bowing in front of a person during a specific situation similar to prostration to Allah (swt).

Our acts as well as intentions are known to Almighty and you may ask the gentleman to contact me to discuss and clarify it further.
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:58 PM   #44
lbb
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
It might not be a word in common usage nowadays, but I read a lot of classics, and where posible, I like to show deference to great men such as Aristotle; the particular work/s of his in which he uses that term frequently eludes me right now.
Plus: it's Shakespeare's language, and all that...

I was asking whether you were under the impression that I have a strongly held belief: namely, that other people should yield before I do so - because you responded to something I said with a very forcefully worded castigation: chiding me with a sarcastic manner - which I think is wrong, because I am not of the opinion that others should show respect to me before I will show any to them, and I never said otherwise.

All the best

- Graham
I'd say that was hardly "a very forcefully worded castigation", but have it as you will. My point was different from what you suppose. One of the things I dislike about aikido is the tendency of some practitioners to use aikido's tenets (or the tenets as they interpret them) as a selectively applied bully club. You had said, "I thought that yielding, showing respect for others, and humility, had something to do with aikido." in response to Christopher's remarks about aikido being more accepting of differences among people. That's all well and good, but you need to be careful how you use terms like that. Yielding, showing respect and humility are meaningless if they are a coerced response, and unfortunately, sometimes in aikido they are just that.
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:59 PM   #45
grant.traynor
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
It is important to know the difference between bowing and prostration.
That's a fantastically clear deliniation. Thanks for following up and posting the results.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:03 PM   #46
Chris Li
 
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
David Partington wrote: View Post
I emailed the Muslim Council of Britain, which is a national representative Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools, to provide some guidance on this issue. Their reply was:-

Thank you for visiting our website and contacting us for the said issue. Islam values and respects different faiths as well as customs of various civilisations. It is important to know the difference between bowing and prostration. There are different schools of thoughts in such matters but a large number of Islamic scholars wouldnft consider bowing in front of a person during a specific situation similar to prostration to Allah (swt).

Our acts as well as intentions are known to Almighty and you may ask the gentleman to contact me to discuss and clarify it further.
As in most things, it depends upon who you ask. See this example of Islamic reasoning for prohibitions against bowing, even for a simple greeting:

http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/20198

or

http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.a...=3484&CATE=142

Of course, there are Islamic opinions to the contrary floating around the net as well.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #47
Russ Q
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
I absolutely agree with you about giving people time to assimilate. I have been, am and am always willing to work with people to assimilate to a new perspective (as I have done, am doing, and hope to do in the future).
Hi Marc, so I am reading into this that you will give someone who has issues with bowing a chance to assimilate into your dojo environment. If you were faced, or if you have been faced, with the issue the OP brings up what would be / has been your solution? How did things work out?

Cheers,

Russ
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:15 PM   #48
Gorgeous George
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
David Partington wrote: View Post
a large number of Islamic scholars wouldn't consider bowing in front of a person during a specific situation similar to prostration to Allah.
That's what I meant.
So that's what the bowing in islam is: 'prostration'; it makes sense now - you probably get a death sentence for prostrating to someone other than muhammad or whatever, so the dude's reluctance probably makes sense.
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:24 PM   #49
WilliB
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Willi:

I do not think that it is fair to say that religion is not about enlightenment. Religions truly believe that they provide enlightenment to others.
I was referring to "enlightenment" in the sense of the term in the historical description "age of enlightenment". Which happened in Europe and which meant enlightenment away from religious practises (such as burning witches, buying indulgences, Spanish inquisition etc.).
As I pointed out, not all religions have gone through such a modernization.

You seem to use the term as a personal experience. That is different. But here too, the same applies: Not all religions believe in individuals experiening "enlightenment". In case of your non-bowing gentlemen, you can read islamic scriptures to the gazoo, but you won´t find anything about enlightenment -- his religion is about *submitting* under a god (islam means submission), following the ancient rules, and hoping for a lenient judgement after death.

So please do not make simplistic assumptions like that. Just because A and B both call themselves religions, that does not make A = B.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:35 AM   #50
torbjornsaw
 
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I will ask my new student if he will be willing to extend the same courtesy to Aikido etiquette as he would expect from someone joining and embracing his faith and practice.

It is to me a spiritual/human element in this understanding as it calls into question ones values as they come into contact with real life. Are they just a set of beliefs held above human interaction or are they applicable in our day to day activity? When the rubber hits the road, so to speak.

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