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Old 10-02-2010, 04:53 AM   #101
Flintstone
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Willi Brix wrote: View Post
Likewise, if you open a gay bar, you should not call it a "mosque". I am use the problem customer of the OP agrees.
Tasteles and disrespectful comparation.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:06 AM   #102
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
And which are exactly the rules of Aikido? Now that's a mouthful!
I don´t think it is "pick and chose" situation. Please stick to Flintstone Ryu and use an existing name for something that you made up. That is disrespectful.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:38 AM   #103
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Did I say that?

So ok, you do need to bow to do Aikido. Count me out from now on. Let me call what I do Flintstone Ryu, ok. Won't change a thing, only remove accesory mechanical movements from the art. Because... that's what they are.

After all, not being able to bow is not a handicap.
It is mandatory in some dojo. Higher level Japanese instruction might be offended if you refuse to bow. I've never neglected to bow to my shihan, but I've heard stories of people who refused to bow to some of O'sensei's Deshi... it is an awkward situation for all. It is a cultural issue. I do not bow in my every day life...but I will bow to O'Sensei's deshi, it is a privilege to be in training with that 1st generation.(what is left of them.....Plug: everyone should please seek their instruction while their knowledge is still with us.)

LOL you wouldn't be the first person to create his own non-affiliate art because they couldn't get along with O'Sensie's Deshi

I'm just saying it can become a tenuous situation, especially if one intends to progress in Aikido beyond the hobbyist/weekend Samurai.

Last edited by RED : 10-02-2010 at 07:41 AM.

MM
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:43 AM   #104
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Willi Brix wrote: View Post
I don´t think it is "pick and chose" situation. Please stick to Flintstone Ryu and use an existing name for something that you made up. That is disrespectful.
What the hell are you talking about? You claim to know better than nobody what are those "rules of aikido" and imply that bowing is one of them. Who are you anyway? The one and only secrets keeper of the art?
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:50 AM   #105
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Maggie, I didn't realize Bjorn was one of O Sensei's first generation Japanese student. If it's so, forgive my ignorance.

But even if that was the case, what exactly does bowing have to do with a gendai martial art; maybe your effectivenes applying techniques will improve, or will it be that your inner self will get closer to enlightment.

Of course, your O Sensei's deshi, his rules. You won't see me training with them, there are many many fishes in the water.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:31 AM   #106
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Maggie, I didn't realize Bjorn was one of O Sensei's first generation Japanese student. If it's so, forgive my ignorance.

But even if that was the case, what exactly does bowing have to do with a gendai martial art; maybe your effectivenes applying techniques will improve, or will it be that your inner self will get closer to enlightment.

Of course, your O Sensei's deshi, his rules. You won't see me training with them, there are many many fishes in the water.
I'm not talking about Bjorn. I'm talking about advancing in Aikido beyond the weekend hobbyist. Anyone who is serious in Aikido, will at one point seek out O'Sensei Deshi, whenever they can. When it comes to that point, bowing might be in order for the sake of social politeness.
If you are just a weekend Aikidoka, and being half way decent for your local dojo is good enough for you, then it doesn't matter. Bow or don't bow. But don't show up for Chiba's, or Yamada's, or what have you's class and be disrespectful.

MM
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:13 AM   #107
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Re: To bow or not to bow

...which brings up a good point Maggie. Some look at etiquette in the martial arts as self-serving and borderline deification. I look at it as awareness training. "Fitting in" to certain formalities, paying attention to the why, when, and how helps in my awareness training. While not everyone has the same etiquette as Japanese culture and/or Japanese budoka, it helps me to identify other forms of etiquette and appropriate behavior in other cultures...or at least to look out for it and use my knowledge of reishiki as a base from which to be sensitive and recognize other culture's intricacies. I may not like it or I may think its a waste of time and meaningless gestures, but the ability to put that aside and be proper in a seminar with Chiba or Yamada (as was Maggie's example), then that shows an ability to put aside one's self, and Way of Doing Things, for another person/group/idea. Doing this correctly, and with sincerity, to me, this signifies inner strength, awareness, and a step toward personal growth...growth being the purpose of budo (vice bujutsu).

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:17 PM   #108
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Re: To bow or not to bow

"My problem is with intolerance. That Muslim guy won't force you not to bow; why should you force him to. Just because you're using a foreign tradition (foreign to both you and him) and forcing it into him. If I was that guy, I just would leave, that's all. No fuss. No arguments. But you would be discriminating against religion. It's your house, ok. You have the "civil" right to do, ok. But "morally" reprehensible."

--Wow, so I'm discriminating against religion because I require bowing at the dojo? Interesting; I had no idea I was such an asshole.

Your post here seems to stretch the definition of "intolerance" and "discrimination" pretty thin. You say I'm forcing the theoretical Muslim in question to bow. Did I enter his house and make him do aikido? No, in this hypothetical situation he sought out training at my dojo. How is my requiring all students to bow discriminating against him? I always thought discrimination had something to do with treating people differently. If I'm treating every one of my students the same regarding bowing, how is that discriminatory?
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:51 PM   #109
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I bow when I enter my dojo, but I couldn't care less about it. I just do it because that's whats done, not out of respect. I don't feel like a charlatan or cheat, I attach nothing to the bow, it means nothing to me, I just play the game.

It's more important to me that you train with good spirit and respect and care for your fellow people.

Why don't you meditate on it and ask yourself what Ueshiba would do in this position?

Or better still, what do you feel deep down about it regardless of dogma? I find that deep down we can find the right answers when we cut away the traffic of everyday life and get in touch with our higher self, these things resonate with us, just like you instinctively know when you've done right or wrong.

I guess it's a matter of spirituality too. I would never want anybody to bow to me, what's the point! We are all equal.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:49 PM   #110
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Re: To bow or not to bow

The bow forces a moment of pause which I personally like. It forces me to pause when I thank some one, it forces me to pause as I accept instruction, forces me to pause as I enter and leave. I like the pauses. Pausing forces you to be active, contemplative and aware in the things you do. I like the bow for my own personal reasons. It forces me to do things with a sense of presence and mindfulness.
I couldn't care less if anyone else bows...though I stand by my statement that we must be respectful in the presence of our shihan if we wish to make Aikido more than a weekend hobby.

MM
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:28 PM   #111
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I couldn't care less if anyone else bows...though I stand by my statement that we must be respectful in the presence of our shihan if we wish to make Aikido more than a weekend hobby.
But does being respectful require a bow? If I meet Yamada in the United States and he bows instead of shaking hands should I be offended? After all this is the United States, not Japan.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:35 PM   #112
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
But does being respectful require a bow? If I meet Yamada in the United States and he bows instead of shaking hands should I be offended? After all this is the United States, not Japan.
To point out the obvious, "in the States" is not the same as "in his dojo".
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:05 AM   #113
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Willi Brix wrote: View Post
To point out the obvious, "in the States" is not the same as "in his dojo".
And what if he is in my dojo? Anyway, we were talking about showing respect, in it's many forms.

For that matter, "respect" will vary from dojo to dojo, even within the Aikikai. The reiho at Iwama isn't the same as the reiho at Shingu, and neither is the same as the reiho at hombu. So much for the chaos that results from changing the "rules", I guess...

Chris

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Old 10-03-2010, 12:35 AM   #114
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Re: To bow or not to bow

In the introduction to Rumi - bridge to the soul (transl. Coleman Barks); a collection of Sufi poetry from the 13th century, it mentions Shams (Rumi's friend and teacher) saying:

"If the Kaaba (the cube-shaped building in Mecca) were suddenly lifted up out of the world, we would see that each person is really bowing (five times a day) to every other person".

Respect!

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Old 10-03-2010, 02:53 AM   #115
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
--Wow, so I'm discriminating against religion because I require bowing at the dojo? Interesting; I had no idea I was such an asshole.
Sorry it took you so many years to notice.

Quote:
Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
Your post here seems to stretch the definition of "intolerance" and "discrimination" pretty thin. You say I'm forcing the theoretical Muslim in question to bow. Did I enter his house and make him do aikido?
Again, what does Aikido have to do with bowing? Maybe that's Charvat Ryu instead of Aikido or what?

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Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
No, in this hypothetical situation he sought out training at my dojo. How is my requiring all students to bow discriminating against him?
No. Most probably he shought out training Aikido, not training at you dojo specifically. Big difference. Aikido, not bowing. Bowing is not Aikido and Aikido is not bowing. They do not come together in a pack, you know.

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Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
I always thought discrimination had something to do with treating people differently. If I'm treating every one of my students the same regarding bowing, how is that discriminatory?
That's flawed. Discrimination is saying strict Muslims cannot practice Aikido because they won't bow. You're counting them out and that's discrimination. Do you require elders with bad knees to do suwariwaza too? Or won't they allowed in the dojo?
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:04 AM   #116
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
In the introduction to Rumi - bridge to the soul (transl. Coleman Barks); a collection of Sufi poetry from the 13th century, it mentions Shams (Rumi's friend and teacher) saying:

"If the Kaaba (the cube-shaped building in Mecca) were suddenly lifted up out of the world, we would see that each person is really bowing (five times a day) to every other person".

Respect!
Yes, Bjorn. But we are not discussing the different interpretations different imans do of the Al Quran. If that guy was taught by his iman not to bow to no one, that that's the law for him, and neither you or I would change that fact .
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:17 AM   #117
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Re: To bow or not to bow

So if I follow you correctly, you chose to take into account the strictest (most extreme) interpretation possible of a religion's scriptures, and you tell us that an aikido teacher who would not accomodate such a behaviour would commit discrimination against that religion. Did I understand right ?

Another argument of yours is that the changes would only affect minor or insignificant elements of aikido practise. You contend for example that bowing is not part of aikido (even though most of the aikido manuals I consulted include a part on proper bowing and its significance). A few months ago you already used that argument trying to defend the acceptance of someone who would not touch anyone of the opposite sex. Now I am asking you : what are the core elements of aikido whose modification would make a practise NOT aikido ?

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Old 10-03-2010, 05:18 AM   #118
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Willi Brix wrote: View Post
I don´t think it is "pick and chose" situation.
If it isn't a "pick and choose" situation, you should be able to answer the question and state the rules. What rules does one have to follow in order to be practicing "aikido" and not "Flintstone ryu"?
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:31 AM   #119
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
...
Bowing is not Aikido and Aikido is not bowing. They do not come together in a pack, you know.
They do.

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
What rules does one have to follow in order to be practicing "aikido" ...?
rei.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:18 AM   #120
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
They do.
Not in my book.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
rei.
How do you define "rei" as "bowing"? Uh? Do you mean Muslims do not know "rei" as "courtesy"?
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:20 AM   #121
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Now I am asking you : what are the core elements of aikido whose modification would make a practise NOT aikido ?
It's core principals, of course. None of them being "bowing". But let Willi Brix define them, as he surely knows better.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:07 AM   #122
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Not in my book.
May I ask you, who is your shihan?

Quote:
How do you define "rei" as "bowing"?
Isn't it - besides other meanings - just the Japanese word for bowing?
Isn't it the Japanese word for etiquette? (Which again means bowing a lot?)

Quote:
Do you mean Muslims do not know "rei" as "courtesy"?
The muslims I know do so.

But in a dojo rei is not defined by muslim or christian interpretations, but by the Japanese (= aikido) meanings of words.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:42 AM   #123
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
May I ask you, who is your shihan?
My shihan? Funny question. Like who's my brother. If you meant who's the Shihan we follow, it is (was) Mochizuki Minoru Shihan.

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Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Isn't it - besides other meanings - just the Japanese word for bowing?
Yes. Among many other meanings, like salute, courtesy, ceremony, thanks and remuneration...

Other terms for "bowing":

頷く 【うなずく】 (v5k) (uk) to nod, to bow one's head in assent, (P)
靡く 【なびく】 (v5k,vi) to bend, to flutter, to wave, to bow to, to yield to, to obey, to be swayed by, (P)
お辞儀 【おじぎ】 (n,vs) bow, (P)
会釈 【えしゃく】 (n,vs) nod, salutation, greeting, recognition, bow, (P)
一礼 【いちれい】 (n) bow (salute, greeting)
破魔弓 【はまゆみ】 (n) (ceremonial) bow used to drive off evil, toy bow and arrow
叩頭 【こうとう】 (n) bow deeply, kowtow
臥す 【がす】 (v5s) to bend down, to bow down, to lie prostrate
俯す 【ふす】 (v5s) to bend down, to bow down, to prostrate oneself
伏す 【ふす】 (v5s) to bend down, to bow down, to prostrate oneself
弓師 【ゆみし】 (n) bow maker
肯く 【うなずく】 (v5k) (uk) to nod, to bow one's head in assent
首肯く 【うなずく】 (v5k) (uk) to nod, to bow one's head in assent
頭を下げる 【あたまをさげる】 (exp) to bow one's head
ぴょこん (adv) quickly, in a bouncing way (e.g. for a bow), action of quickly bowing or lowering one's head
ぴょこんと (adv) quickly, in a bouncing way (e.g. for a bow), action of quickly bowing or lowering one's head
弓取り式 【ゆみとりしき】 (n) bow-twirling ceremony at the end of a day of sumo wrestling
弓取式 【ゆみとりしき】 (n) bow-twirling ceremony at the end of a day of sumo wrestling
額突く 【ぬかずく】 (v5k) to make a deep bow
御辞儀 【おじぎ】 (n,vs) bow
最敬礼 【さいけいれい】 (n) a respectful bow
黙礼 【もくれい】 (n) silent bow

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Isn't it the Japanese word for etiquette? (Which again means bowing a lot?)
I always thought it to be "reigi", not "rei":

礼儀 【れいぎ】 (n) manners, courtesy, etiquette, (P)

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
The muslims I know do so.
Great.

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
But in a dojo rei is not defined by muslim or christian interpretations, but by the Japanese (= aikido) meanings of words.
And the meaning of the word is salute, courtesy, ceremony, thanks... And yes, also bow. I believe the common term is "salute / courtesy".

Listen, I don't see the same the shinto reigi in Iwama and the most common reigi in the rest of the Aikikai world.

How does a Catholic feel about clapping hands to invoke the gods to come and watch our practice? Or do you mean Christians should not attend Iwama or Shingu classes because they won't worship the Shinto deities? Or practice a Budo whose creator was a strong Shinto guy (or Omoto if that makes a difference). Isn't Japan de Land of the thousand gods? Should we practice the art whose creator stays on the bridge between heaven and earth and all of that about Amaterasu and its family matters?

Because you surelly don't need all of that to become proficent or serious (besides weekend samurai level) in Aikido, do you.

Last edited by Flintstone : 10-03-2010 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #124
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
How does a Catholic feel about clapping hands to invoke the gods to come and watch our practice?
We catholics have exorcists in case something goes wrong with the kami.

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Old 10-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #125
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I couldn't care less if anyone else bows...though I stand by my statement that we must be respectful in the presence of our shihan if we wish to make Aikido more than a weekend hobby.
I like the bow myself, but a slavish keeping of form is not real respect. I've seen plenty of bows that were empty or even insulting.

Respect has everything to do with intent, not the outward form of it.

My own personal experiences with shihan is that they are MUCH more flexible than a lot of people posting here are about requiring a bow to show respect. That is, a part of who they are includes a great deal of respect for other peoples limitations.

As an aside, I believe most people's experience of or with their shihan is primarily on weekends, so I fail to see how that helps them become something more than "weekend hobbyists".

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
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