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Old 08-15-2001, 12:14 PM   #26
Location: Bay Area
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,200
Originally posted by ca
Hmmm, Erik, obviously not raised in Catholicism...
White, born in the USA, it isn't like I'm going to grow up a Muslim or Buddhist is it? Anyways, I roll out the Great Pumpkin to remind myself not to take this religion thing too seriously.

Last edited by Erik : 08-15-2001 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 08-17-2001, 09:02 AM   #27
mariko nakamura
Dojo: Dobunkan Japan
Location: Toyama Japan
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 25
Last New Years we had a special class that started at 10:00 P.M. and lasted until 1:00 A.M. The first two hours we sat in seiza while sensei chanted his kotodama. And every so often, he would just start clapping and it was always 8 times. I'm sorry, I have absolutely no idea why. I guess I'm going to have to ask him tomorrow.
We always clap at the beginning and end of class. The reason I have learned is this; the first clap is awakening, realizing that we are all equal parts of the universe connected by Ki. The 2nd clap is to connect more strongly to the universe by vibrating our energy outwards. I guess if you want it to sound religous you can say Gods instead of universe. Its a little rough I think because there really is no good english translation for the words sensei said but I think its o.k.

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Old 08-17-2001, 09:55 AM   #28
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166
Originally posted by Jorge Garcia
When I have been in Seminars with Akira Tohei Sensei of the Midwest Aikido federation, he never clapped. Just a simple bow to the front and a simple bow to the students. Hiroshi Kato sensei, my current shihan claps 4 times with 2 bows, both at the beginning at the end of class. I once asked him why he does it and if it had any religious significance. He said that his teacher did it (O'Sensei) so he does it.

If I remember correctly, when Kato Sensei bows in with four claps and two bows, the first of the two bows is to the Kamiza and the second is to O'Sensei's picture. Then, I think he turns and bows to the class.

For me the greatest benefit of the claps is to feel musubi with the rest of the class. It brings awareness of synchronizing timing and blending with the others around me.

I have the feeling that there are many things O'Sensei did that many of his students never quite knew for sure why he did them. But as we continue to practice we might find reasons we they are beneficial. Perhaps the further we delve into the art the closer we will get to finding out why the Founder did them. At least, that is my hope.

Chris Guzik
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Old 08-17-2001, 03:43 PM   #29
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 52
Normally, we don't clap in class. But today, the sensei's friend whom he trained with in the U.S., taught class with him. And I can assure you, as soon as we sat for moksu, the sensei's friend clapped kinda brutally right before the opening ceremony. You should have seen the guys' faces! hehe..
well, thanks to this thread at least, it wasn't much of a shock to me. The guest sensei also clapped between each exercise and in other occasions.
So, from this i could conclude that clapping could be done:
a) to get the students' attention if the sensei has a general remark
b) to mark the beginning and/or end of each exercise
c) as a ceremonial tool before and after each class

That said, I'd rather a class without clapping. It was kinda noisy today!
Besides, my sensei doesn't need to clap to get our attention. All he has to do is stand straight and look at us intensely.
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Old 08-26-2001, 02:28 PM   #30
Dojo: Kododan Aikido USA
Location: Radford Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 201

In our dojo, Kodokan Aikido, we clap at the beginning and end of class. Each time is one bow, four claps and one bow.
The original Kodokan dojo in Okasaki was opened by O'sensei (in the late 50's ??), and run by Tanaka Sensei, a shinto priest, as is his son who is now the Kodokan Shihan.

Our clapping tradition, as I understand it, comes directly from Tanaka's role as a shinto priest, though I do not know all of the specifics.

Notably, though, after the first bow, we come upright with our hands together, and the right slides slightly down the left in an opening motion..... opening ourselves to the universal kami, then sliding back up and closing after the fourth clap.

Someone once told me they had seen the same clap in a shinto shrine somewhere in the US.


jon harris

Life is a journey...
Now, who took my @#$%! map?!
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