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Old 10-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #226
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
What am I doing entering my living room where there's a picture of my mother?
Entering in your living room, where there's a picture of your mother. As simple as that.
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #227
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Yes; And when someone claps, and tells you they're invoking one or more spirits from the unseen spiritual realm, to watch and empower the session? What then?
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:52 AM   #228
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Grab a bottle of holy water. We papists are not afraid of pagan gods.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #229
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
Yes; And when someone claps, and tells you they're invoking one or more spirits from the unseen spiritual realm, to watch and empower the session? What then?
Well, then the spirits are present and we can finally start training, after all that debate
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:30 PM   #230
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Well, then the spirits are present and we can finally start training, after all that debate
Very wise spoken
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #231
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I don't know why we should get held up on the small differences. I sometimes feel like people make these differences out to be mountains, when they are mole-hills. Especially in light of the fact that everyone present has one very specific mountain size similarity.

MM
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:33 PM   #232
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
Idon' t know Mary
...and that's exactly the point.

I don't have a problem bowing to a picture of O Sensei, but then, I was raised in a tradition that holds the concept of graven images rather lightly, not granting them undue significance either way. What offends you more: someone who bows because bowing to a picture of O Sensei is meaningless to them, or someone who doesn't want to bow because bowing to a picture of O Sensei is idolatry to them?
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:35 PM   #233
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I don't know why we should get held up on the small differences. I sometimes feel like people make these differences out to be mountains, when they are mole-hills.
To you they are molehills. They are not molehills to everyone.

Ten pages now and we still don't understand this.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:25 PM   #234
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
...and that's exactly the point.

I don't have a problem bowing to a picture of O Sensei, but then, I was raised in a tradition that holds the concept of graven images rather lightly, not granting them undue significance either way. What offends you more: someone who bows because bowing to a picture of O Sensei is meaningless to them, or someone who doesn't want to bow because bowing to a picture of O Sensei is idolatry to them?
I'm not ofended, I'm open to everything, I think most of the newbies bows but don't know who is this old man on the picture and I do understand that there are guys who doen't bow for the reason you wrote, not in our dojo and I never met one, but I know they exist and perhaps would not understand the meaning O'Sensei has for Us? better for me and the people I'm training with, we are like a family, the question is, I will ask if my sensei would accept anybody who doens't want to bow..
I' could'nt train today, cause my car stroke on the highway
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:24 PM   #235
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I never thought I was bowing to a picture. I bow to our shomen out of respect to those who have gone before. We have a picture of O'Sensei, and Saito Sensei. Our teacher studied with Saito Sensei for over 9 years in Japan. I bow to the linage, in respect to the fact that I study with a teacher who's teacher studied with O'Sensei.

I bow to my training partners for the gift that they give each time we train together. I bow to my friends at the dojo in respect for the friendship we share.

To bow or not to bow is not enforced by rules, in the same way that you can not force uke to engage you when he grabs or attacks you. This develops over time or it does not.

What we can do is our own practice and when we are asked why we bow to the picture of the old man, we tell them.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:13 PM   #236
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Ikeda Sensei of the ASU has bad knees and cannot sit in seiza at all. He opens the class at the kamiza with the standing rei. It seems to me (though I am no expert) that having this student do the standing rei would allow him to keep some aikido tradition without comprimising his beliefs.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:22 PM   #237
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
To you they are molehills. They are not molehills to everyone.

Ten pages now and we still don't understand this.
I don't know, it just seems like with so much argument on how to get on the mat...how does anyone ever get to the most important part...training? or, do they?

MM
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:55 AM   #238
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Jeff Black wrote: View Post
I never thought I was bowing to a picture.

I bow to my training partners for the gift that they give each time we train together. I bow to my friends at the dojo in respect for the friendship we share.

What we can do is our own practice and when we are asked why we bow to the picture of the old man, we tell them.
Well said
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:56 AM   #239
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I don't know, it just seems like with so much argument on how to get on the mat...how does anyone ever get to the most important part...training? or, do they?
Lets go to the training but in another thread
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:49 AM   #240
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Claping and bow to O'Sensei picture, and respect doshu (aikikai is big but not the only aikido organization or style of aikido) not improve aikido training in any way.

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Old 10-27-2010, 04:34 AM   #241
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I would post a reply to Maggie, but since Jun will ban me again for that, I won't address her comments. Carina, you don't want to understand that for 2.000.000.000 people in the world (a rough estimation) bowing in not acceptable. At all. And you are banning them to train in Aikido because "bowing equals Aikido equals bowing". For some this is a molehill. For said two thousand million people, it's a big, huge mountain.

But of course, your traditions show no respect for half the people in the world. And your traditions also equals Aikido equals your traditions.

I've being training with the Aikikai delegate in Indonesia for some time. Never bowed while in there. He was appointed by Kisshomaru Doshu. Guess both Doshu and Delegate were wrong. And all his students. And you (and some people I cannot mention under Jun's rule) are right. End of the story.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:35 AM   #242
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I don't know, it just seems like with so much argument on how to get on the mat...how does anyone ever get to the most important part...training? or, do they?
Well, see, you've just defined the terms of the argument and thus constrained the only possible answer to being the one you want. If training is indeed "the most important part" for someone, by definition, bowing or not bowing is a secondary consideration. But for someone who is considering training, who does not currently train, it is probably not "the most important part". If religion doesn't make sense to you, think about family obligations: someone wants to train but is responsible for the care of two young children. It would be a bit odd to expect training to be "the most important part" for this person, certainly not as they're just approaching aikido for the first time. Very few people have the luxury of setting all other considerations, obligations and principles aside in order to train; by far the majority of us who do train, still are accountable to these other considerations. Restrictions caused by matters of principle are surely as real as those caused by practical life obligations, don't you think?
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:39 AM   #243
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Re: To bow or not to bow

From an interview with Kyoichi Inoue Sensei in Aikido Journal.

Some times it is better not to bow. True respect is always correct.

"When Shioda Sensei was still a student at Takushoku University he had a friend who was a very good fighter and he once said to Sensei: "You're always telling me how strong Ueshiba Sensei is but I could easily hit the old man in the head. Why don't you introduce him to me?" So one day Shioda Sensei took him to the dojo. They both sat in front of Ueshiba Sensei and Shioda Sensei introduced his friend as the person he had spoken about. Then his friend bowed deeply and said, "How do you do?" However, even though Ueshiba Sensei said "You are most welcome", he didn't bow his head. O-Sensei always insisted that his students be polite to everyone but in this case he didn't bow at all. On the other hand, Shioda Sensei's friend remained with his head bowed. Shioda Sensei wondered what the two were doing. Then the moment his friend raised his head Ueshiba Sensei bowed saying, "You are most welcome." (Laughter) Finally the young man bowed again and said: "You have beaten me!" Then they talked about various things. When Shioda Sensei ushered him out, he said to his friend: "You didn't even touch his head." His friend's reply was, "If you are greeted by someone you are meeting for the first time you bow, don't you? I thought I might at least be able to touch his head even if I could not strike him. But he didn't bow at all. I thought this wouldn't work and raised my head but he, on the contrary, bowed his head then and I missed my chance to strike him. That old man is no ordinary person." When Shioda Sensei went back to the dojo and asked Ueshiba Sensei why he didn't bow to his friend even though he was just a student, his reply was, "Your friend had an evil heart in the beginning and didn't greet me sincerely. But he seems to have changed his attitude and so I bowed to him. He freely admitted that he had been beaten." (Laughter) Concerning that incident Shioda Sensei later told us the following: "If this young man had hit or touched Sensei's head, O-Sensei would have thrown or pinned him. But it wouldn't not have been budo then. The secret of budo is to become friends with your opponent the moment you face him. It is the lowest level imaginable to still be involved with hitting or pinning your opponent. aikido is much deeper than that." He really convinced me."
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:55 AM   #244
David Board
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Re: To bow or not to bow

If a dojo only had testing on Saturday and an Jew who is shomer Shabbat joined the dojo and could not test. If the Sensei (dojocho?) deemed it important that testing occur on Saturday in his dojo because of tradition, submission of personal will to the customs of the community or just because he could not reschedule or make accommodations. Would you view the issue the same?

Other activities face this issue often. I coach soccer and I lost my star player on Rosh Hashanah. I did not kick him off my team (although this has happened at higher levels.) Another coach constantly finds himself in trouble at tournaments. His team blasts through the tournament typically qualifying for the finals but on Sunday when the finals are held he finds himself without 4 of his star players. They are LDS and can not for religious reasons play on Sunday. He loses almost every final. Should he kick these boys off his team or accept that religion trumps soccer. Does religion trump Aikido?

Once again it is a conflict with religious beliefs and dojo custom. Should dojo custom be placed before religious belief? Also at issue is how important bowing is in Aikido. Some believe that without the bowing you can not practice Aikido. This belief places bowing into a totally different category than dojo custom. It is one of the things that defines Aikido for them.

Why do I bow?

When I first came to Aikido it was because everyone else did. Now I when I bow (with a double clap) I use it to help bring my mind fully onto the training. To an outsider they may even see me as bowing to O'Sensei as I often begin class focused on the picture of O'Sensei. I do this because the pictures shows a smiling benevolent gentleman. It reminds me to practice with "joy". When I began Aikido it also reminded me of Rule One from the Discworld books, which made me grin like the fool I am.

When I bow to my partner, I do so primarily to indicate that I want to train with them as opposed to the person on the other side of me or behind them. I also use it as reminder to myself that I am training with a friend. Someone that I do not wish to harm and who I will provide an honest effort with.

For me, none of the reason I bow can not be achieved in another manner, using a different custom. For me, Aikido is not defined by bowing. I do use the bow to remind myself of some of the principles and philosophy of Aikido as I see them. I do not believe that the bow must be performed to achieve these principle and philosophical understanding. I also do not have any beliefs or customs outside of the dojo to lend extra meaning to a bow. For me, a bow is something that only occurs in the dojo. For me a bow is only part of Aikido.

If I was asked to make the sign of the cross or the same gesture with different meaning before every practice I would feel conflicted. I'm not sure I could do it. While making the sign of the cross is not part of my religious practice it is close enough to disturb me. I am not sure I could participate at a dojo that included this gesture in their customs and that would not make an exception for me . Thus I could see how a Muslim may have difficulties participating in the custom of bowing in.

Last edited by David Board : 10-27-2010 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #245
Marc Abrams
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Re: To bow or not to bow

I am frankly amazed that this discussion is still going on. We have one person talking as though he was a representative for 2 billion people, we have other people talk about how things look through their particular religious prisms.

The bow (standing or sitting) takes place within the context of the Japanese culture. What a surprise to notice that a bow is viewed differently from another culture. If a person is simply incapable and/or unwilling to look at a bow from the Japanese perspective, then that pretty clearly points out that person's degree of rigidity, intolerance,.....

Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art. The bow in the dojo takes place within that cultural milieu. If the teacher believes that this particular aspect is an important part of the practice within that cultural milieu than that is the rule for that dojo. A student can simply follow the rules or find another place to study.

Once again, I would like to point out that when dealing with religious and political issues, emotions tend to rule out over common sense, to the point where the very religious and very political tend to insist upon people being open to their points of view while being generally intolerant to the points of view of others.

Marc Abrams
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:03 PM   #246
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
I would post a reply to Maggie, but since Jun will ban me again for that, I won't address her comments. Carina, you don't want to understand that for 2.000.000.000 people in the world (a rough estimation) bowing in not acceptable. At all. And you are banning them to train in Aikido because "bowing equals Aikido equals bowing". For some this is a molehill. For said two thousand million people, it's a big, huge mountain.

But of course, your traditions show no respect for half the people in the world. And your traditions also equals Aikido equals your traditions.

I've being training with the Aikikai delegate in Indonesia for some time. Never bowed while in there. He was appointed by Kisshomaru Doshu. Guess both Doshu and Delegate were wrong. And all his students. And you (and some people I cannot mention under Jun's rule) are right. End of the story.
Alejandro I'm sorry that you do not read my posts
In answered yesterday Mary "I'm not ofended, I'm open to everything, I think most of the newbies bows but don't know who is this old man on the picture and I do understand that there are guys who doen't bow for the reason you wrote,"
If it is not enough for you OK Alejandro I understand that for 2.000.000.000 people in the world (a rough estimation) bowing is not acceptable. ... I repeat I never met one...
It is now ok and can we start training
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:34 AM   #247
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I am frankly amazed that this discussion is still going on. We have one person talking as though he was a representative for 2 billion people, we have other people talk about how things look through their particular religious prisms.
Actually it is two thousand million people. But I agree it is your custom to say "billion" instead of "thousand million", while a billion is a million millions. Oh, cultural differences...

Anyway, please, feel free to post or quote or cite where did I say I am the representative of said "two billion people".

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
The bow (standing or sitting) takes place within the context of the Japanese culture. What a surprise to notice that a bow is viewed differently from another culture. If a person is simply incapable and/or unwilling to look at a bow from the Japanese perspective, then that pretty clearly points out that person's degree of rigidity, intolerance,.....
Same for you, Marc. If you are incapable and/or unwilling to look at a bow from the orthodox (Jew, Muslim, what likes to) perspective then that pretty clearly points out your degree of rigidity, intolerance and capacity of yielding, awase, musubi and whatever.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Aikido is a Japanese Martial Art.
Is that what the Founder meant it to be? A Japanese Martial Art? Or a Budo for the world? Or... oh, maybe your own interpretation?

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
The bow in the dojo takes place within that cultural milieu.
The bow, in the dojo, at home or wherever, takes place in your own cultural milieu. I won't become an Omotokyo devote to practice Aikido. Will you?

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
If the teacher believes that this particular aspect is an important part of the practice within that cultural milieu than that is the rule for that dojo. A student can simply follow the rules or find another place to study.
Never said no. We are pointing out said dojocho rigidity and incapacity to yield. In anycase he is the maker of rules. Unwise rules under my POW.

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Once again, I would like to point out that when dealing with religious and political issues, emotions tend to rule out over common sense, to the point where the very religious and very political tend to insist upon people being open to their points of view while being generally intolerant to the points of view of others.
And then this is exactly what you just did in your post. You are calling "common sense" to your common sense. And that's not "common", but "individual". Again, common sense for a strict orthodox Jew would say "don't bow to no man". But that's not common enough for you, it seems.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:36 AM   #248
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
Alejandro I'm sorry that you do not read my posts
I read your post well enough, thanks.

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Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
If it is not enough for you OK Alejandro I understand that for 2.000.000.000 people in the world (a rough estimation) bowing is not acceptable. ... I repeat I never met one...
That's a clear indication that you need to begin travelling and knowing other peoples and cultures ASAP. That's the way "common sense" will make sense.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:52 AM   #249
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Re: To bow or not to bow

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Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
I read your post well enough, thanks.

That's a clear indication that you need to begin travelling and knowing other peoples and cultures ASAP. That's the way "common sense" will make sense.
No money Alejandro....., but I travelled very much before I had a family:north, south America and Europe, Asia only in 2005 Tokio and Africa just Maroco and Gambia and even did'nt met one..
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:38 AM   #250
Marc Abrams
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Re: To bow or not to bow

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Actually it is two thousand million people. But I agree it is your custom to say "billion" instead of "thousand million", while a billion is a million millions. Oh, cultural differences...

Anyway, please, feel free to post or quote or cite where did I say I am the representative of said "two billion people".

Same for you, Marc. If you are incapable and/or unwilling to look at a bow from the orthodox (Jew, Muslim, what likes to) perspective then that pretty clearly points out your degree of rigidity, intolerance and capacity of yielding, awase, musubi and whatever.

Is that what the Founder meant it to be? A Japanese Martial Art? Or a Budo for the world? Or... oh, maybe your own interpretation?

The bow, in the dojo, at home or wherever, takes place in your own cultural milieu. I won't become an Omotokyo devote to practice Aikido. Will you?

Never said no. We are pointing out said dojocho rigidity and incapacity to yield. In anycase he is the maker of rules. Unwise rules under my POW.

And then this is exactly what you just did in your post. You are calling "common sense" to your common sense. And that's not "common", but "individual". Again, common sense for a strict orthodox Jew would say "don't bow to no man". But that's not common enough for you, it seems.
Alejandro:

You said "Carina, you don't want to understand that for 2.000.000.000 people in the world (a rough estimation) bowing in not acceptable." Funny how some Muslims seem to have no problem bowing in an Aikido dojo. I guess that they do not fit within your calculations.

I am more than willing to look at bowing from a myriad of perspectives. I have been in churches, synagogues, mosques... and have had no problem functioning appropriately within those social milieus and seeing to it that my behaviors, demeanor,... have been appropriate within those contexts. My analysis includes that explicit understanding that a behavior within the context of one particular milieu may not be appropriate within another cultural milieu. I am not closed-minded in my thinking so that I try and inappropriately force the cultural understanding of one behavior to apply with all cultural milieus. Your assertion that I am rigid, inflexible.... is flat-out wrong.

If you would like to contend that Aikido is not a modern Japanese martial art, then by all means think in that manner. I think that your interpretation of "budo for the world" is somewhat skewed, but then again, that is my interpretation.

When I am in Japan, am with Japanese individuals, in a Japanese dojo.... the bow is a greeting, sign of respect,... depending upon the context and/or circumstance. I do not have to be a follower of any particular religion in order to be flexible enough to respect and display common customary behaviors.

Last time I checked, a dojo is not a democratic environment. The head of the dojo is responsible for running a dojo according to a set of rules of conduct. The head of the dojo has the final say as to whether or not something is allowed or not allowed. If you would like to view that as rigidity and inflexibility then by all means do so. What I would then suggest is that you do not allow your Sensei to ever be able to say 'No" and to never be allowed to diligently follow any set of rules. I would love to see how that dojo functions after a period of time.

If "common sense" were so common, the world would not be as screwed up as it is today. Funny, I have seen Strict Orthodox Jews bow to a Japanese person in the context of doing business. I guess that this Jew was a bad Jew.....

I seem to have no problem adapting my behaviors to fit within a wide array of cultural milieu, so I guess that your theory that I am inflexible.... has been shot to hell in a hand-bucket.

Marc Abrams
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