Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-13-2003, 07:17 PM   #1
Elb
Location: miami
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Offline
Aikido ettiquette?

Hey all,

Just watched an aikido class for the first time, as I was considering taking classes there. Everyone was super nice, friendly, and helpful to each other.

I really enjoy the principles of aikido and the style itself.

However, I was kindof taken aback with all of the formality and extreme deference for the sensei. Im curious as to whether this is standard for all aikido or was this dojo 'out of the ordinary'?

For example:

The sensei would show a technique, then the students would all practice it. As the sensei walked around he would occasionally stop and correct a students technique. At these times, the entire dojo would stop, and all the students would rush to sit down in a specific way. One student was not kneeling quite right and a senior student corrected him.

I can understand wanting to watch the instruction, but the fervor with which everyone clamored to sit was kindof strange to me. Then the student he was correcting would yell out 'thank you sensei' in japanese.

Another example was when the sensei clapped his hands twice to signal the end of a technique practice, all the students ran in an all out sprint back to kneel at the edge of the mat. I mean it was like there was a whip at their backs, it seemed almost paniced. And this happened at the end of every technique.

Also all the students would say what I imagine was 'thank you' in japanese pretty much every 2 minutes or so at each other and at the sensei.

I was just wondering if this was typical for aikido dojos? I truly like the style but I dont think that type of fervor and extreme deference is for me.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2003, 07:50 PM   #2
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
United_States
Offline
Yes it is typical.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2003, 07:52 PM   #3
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,318
Japan
Offline
Trying to be more Japanese than the Japanese?

It's not typical for the dojos I train in but not completely out of line either. In the dojos I've run and learnt in students normally sit in seiza to recieve instruction, bow and thank the instructor on completion. When they change partners they bow and thank their old partner, change, and bow and greet their new. Usually if the instructor wanders over to give a personal touch the practicing pair remain standing but thank and bow to the instructor when he's finished. The bowing and thanking is pretty relaxed - just a natural extention - not militeristic at all.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2003, 08:05 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,197
Japan
Online
I think the practice varies somewhat from dojo to dojo, or country to country. In the Aikikai Hombu Dojo, here in Japan, it is not the practice for everyone to rush across the dojo whenever the instructor changes a technique. Nor do people stop when the instructor corrects or teaches an individual pair. In fact I know that the present Doshu dislikes this practice. But in the Hombu, it is common to have the same partner for the entire 60 minutes of training. I myself do not allow this in my own dojo, but require people to change partners for every technique. My instructor colleagues like everyone to line up when they teach a new technique, but I do not mind people making a circle, so long as there is enough space for ukemi.

However, it is good training to follow the customs of the dojo, wherever you are. I have done this ever since I started.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2003, 08:31 PM   #5
mattholmes
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 40
Offline
I think, from your description, that the dojo you visited was likely a bit on the ritualistic side. I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing, but don't think that this is somehow necessary to pass along the knowlage. It's a personal taste.

In regards to the running, I run to sit down (we do this in my dojo when the instructor demonstrates a technique) because I'm there to train and I don't want to waste my time. Just something to keep in mind.

Personally, I find that dojos like this usually turn me off. For instance, I don't mind naming techniques in Japanese, but it bothers me when non-Japanese speaking people go around pretending that they're in Japan and speaking the language (I'm sure quite badly). But this has just been my experience; I think that any dojo has something to offer if you like the instructor.

Trust your gut. If you don't like the style of teaching, please keep looking for another school that you do like. You will know when you do see it.

Matt
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2003, 10:30 PM   #6
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
United_States
Offline
In my dojo, it sounds more like what Peter was saying. We do sit in seiza when a technique is shown, and we do tend to line up quickly. We don't stop the whole class when our instructor corrects a couple unless the correcting is something that everyone needs or a good point is brought up. We bow to our partners, and the teacher when he corrects, but it's honestly not a forced, rigid thing; it's very natural and seems like it just reflects respect. I don't think I'd be put off by any of the practices you described; it would be a good idea to know all those things in case a high-ranking instructor comes to your class or something. Besides, some people like that "martial" feel. I would think that if the insruction was solid, the people were friendly and you like the art that you should go despite the off-putting style. I'm sure that the humility you experience at first was something that all the other students worked through, so it can't be too bad for you.

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 05:02 AM   #7
happysod
Dojo: Kiburn, London, UK
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 899
United Kingdom
Offline
Dear Jesse,

Yes they exist, no they're not the entire story out there. Don't worry, there should be non-pod dojos out there near you.

Mr Tibbets, I have to totally disagree. I go to a dojo to learn aikido, not humility. Happy to follow codes of conduct in the dojo that ensure safety. This can sometimes mean exaggerating methods of showing mutual respect in order to mitigate the testosterone which can happily flow within the dojo, but the practices described were excessive to my mind.

Still, our different views should emphasise the point that there should be a dojo out there for Jesse.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 05:46 AM   #8
JJF
 
JJF's Avatar
Dojo: Vestfyn Aikikai Denmark
Location: Vissenbjerg
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 794
Denmark
Offline
I've been to Kendo-dojo's and karate-dojo's where the bowing and running seemed a bit 'forced'. In my aikido-dojo we do the same things, but with a different mindset. I bow because it seems the proper way to show respect for the art, and your partner (being the sensei or anyone else), and because I like that 'Japanese' air to it It just feels right. When I run back to the line, it's because I like to be ready for the next technique asap, so I don't waste anybodys time.

- Jřrgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 06:58 AM   #9
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 237
Offline
We don't scream "thank you, sensei", but we do bow when we recieved an instruction. If sensei corrects another persons technique, the person being corrected bows. The other people continues to train as normal. If sensei thinks the issue is relevant for many of the students, he simply tells us to sit down for a moment to watch him do the technique.

If we've done wrong or our technique is poor, sensei does not say that we've insulted his ancestors or family.

Regards,

Patrik
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 08:39 AM   #10
JimAde
Location: Boston
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 39
Offline
My $0.02: We do things in much the same way as described. As some other people have said, we hurry to line up between techniques because it just seems polite not to waste anyone's time. If you have 20 or 30 people in a class it can take a while if everyone just strolls. When Sensei corrects a student, some people (especially newbies like me) will stop to watch just to get a chance to see the correct technique again. It's not required.

We never scream...unless we take bad ukemi

Remember: No matter where you go...There you are.
-Buckaroo Banzai
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 03:14 PM   #11
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
Location: Mexico City
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 188
Offline
We do things pretty much how you describe it, we just don´t yell, we keep our voices down. I find it appealing and useful in keeping our focus on where we are and what we are doing.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 03:20 PM   #12
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
I like students to move with purpose.

Also, I think the use of Japanese - badly or not - is of help, especially in an interationally mixed group. I have trained and taught in Poland and Germany, as well as the UK, plus trained in Asia, and with other nationalities. The fact that everyone undestood the limited amount of Japanese used in Aikido is a good common factor.

Osu!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 03:24 PM   #13
Elb
Location: miami
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5
Offline
The yelling was more the exception than the rule, of a few overzelous ppl.

I've done some soul searching and I think i'll give this place a try. The instruction is solid and everyone is super nice. I may have some issues with authority, and some humility might do me some good

Thanks all for the input.

Oh one other question, after interactions, people seem to say something sounding like:

shuh-mas or shmas

or something like that. I checked the language section of this site but couldnt come up with anything. I'll ask next time I go but it wont be for a couple weeks. Was curious in the meantime.

Again thanks everyone for the insight and advice
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2003, 03:54 PM   #14
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,988
Offline
Quote:
jesse singer (Elb) wrote:
Oh one other question, after interactions, people seem to say something sounding like:

shuh-mas or shmas

or something like that. I checked the language section of this site but couldnt come up with anything.
http://www.aikiweb.com/language/onegai.html

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/audio.html

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 07:37 AM   #15
Kelly Allen
Dojo: Friends Dojo
Location: Winnipeg
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 190
Offline
Jesse! It was probably onagi shimas (pronounced "on a guy she mas"). Thank you in Japanese.

Last edited by Kelly Allen : 02-15-2003 at 07:39 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 08:37 AM   #16
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
Domo is thank you. Domo arigato is thank you very much. Onegai shimasu means something more along the lines of 'please help me'. In practical Aikido terms, it usually means 'please train with me' to another student or 'please critique/assist/answer a question' to a teacher.


Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 02-15-2003 at 08:39 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 08:48 AM   #17
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Offline
I think it can get annoying when everyone drops to seiza every time a teacher starts to correct a student, even at seminars. If the teacher is very active and circulating, it gets to the point where you can barely practice. I wouldn't like it at all if it became a habit of day-to-day practice at a dojo where I trained.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2003, 01:04 PM   #18
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
common sense

As far as I know, there are several reasons that students sit down and watch the teacher when he corrects someone.

In the dojo, it may be that some students don't understand the waza and they want to see once again how the teacher does it. (I often did this when the clase was taught by a shihan, even after being a black belt for many years.)

In addition, if students are in close proximity to the teacher, especially in a small dojo, they may want to give him some space. Also, if a guest instructor is in the dojo, the students may want to pay special attention to the new things he may have to teach. Sitting and watching is a way of showing interest and respect. (I can't stand the people who always continue practicing and talking in such situations. It's as if they're saying, "I already know how to do it —I have nothing to learn from you.")

At demonstrations, the same as above may apply, especially if the person is a shihan or doshu. Everybody knows irimi-naga, for example. There's not really a need for black belts to practice it at a seminar — but they may want a chance to see doshu do irimi-nage as often as possible, as well as witness how he teaches it, and then try to repeat his movements.

Last edited by mike lee : 02-15-2003 at 01:08 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2003, 01:11 AM   #19
Kelly Allen
Dojo: Friends Dojo
Location: Winnipeg
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 190
Offline
Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Domo is thank you. Domo arigato is thank you very much. Onegai shimasu means something more along the lines of 'please help me'. In practical Aikido terms, it usually means 'please train with me' to another student or 'please critique/assist/answer a question' to a teacher.
Yes of course! I got it backwards as usual. It means I make a request. I remember now! Sorry for the miss information.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2003, 03:07 AM   #20
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
literacy test

Quote:
Sorry for the miss information.
So do we have a Mr. information in the house?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2003, 07:46 AM   #21
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
I've been at dojos where students stand to receive instruction (Seidokan dojos tend to be like this) and others where they sit (ASU / AiKiKai). I have to admit that the sitting version seems much more reasonable to me. I'm with Kevin that feeling like you HAVE to sit just because the sensei is demonstrating near you can get to be very trying. I've even seen senseis (Ikeda, for instance) who seem to shy away from demonstrating because they don't want to interrupt everyone's practice. On the other hand, students having the choice to sit if they WANT to watch a demonstration always seems like a better way for students to try to figure things out than talking amongs themselves.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 01:33 PM   #22
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 96
Offline
Quote:
jesse singer (Elb) wrote:
I've done some soul searching and I think i'll give this place a try. The instruction is solid and everyone is super nice. I may have some issues with authority, and some humility might do me some good
For the authority, you must simply know that any dojo, no matter the martial art, has a more a less strong hierarchical structure. With the sensei at the top of the pyramid followed, usually, by the most experienced students.

The sensei has the last word on anything that's related to its dojo... It means that students have two choices if they don't like the rules or decisions: just respect what has been decided or train somewhere else...
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2003, 07:35 PM   #23
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,318
Japan
Offline
Quote:
Carl Simard wrote:
The sensei has the last word on anything that's related to its dojo... It means that students have two choices if they don't like the rules or decisions: just respect what has been decided or train somewhere else...
Geez Carl that's easy for you to say. Your teacher is far from the extreme example sited. Still you are right - if you don't like it leave. If what you are learning means so much to you - adapt.

Cheers

Peter R.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Instructor got mad because I didnt fall actoman Training 192 05-02-2012 03:55 AM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 09:31 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 08:27 PM
Dilution of aikido eugene_lo General 40 02-07-2006 12:22 PM
Omoto-kyo Theology senshincenter Spiritual 77 12-04-2005 10:50 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:36 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2017 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2017 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate