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Old 04-16-2007, 08:14 PM   #51
MikeLogan
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
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The train is always nicer than the bus, but if we really want, we really do. 6:30 can be hard to make with the work rush. I would suggest finding out their mat fees. It's too bad they have no saturday classes, but there's a sunday class at least. If I want the kind of workout I prefer, I need to schedule my day to let me leave at 5 sharp. It's then just a simple 40 mile trip in rush hour to make the mat by 6pm. The closer dojo is just 5 miles from work, only 2 from my apt, and class starts at 7pm. While it would be nicer to simply join the farther dojo, I find that making about 3 classes a month, more if I'm lucky, on top of the local dojo's schedule is still plenty enriching. Anyhow.

While shinto no doubt had an influence on O'Sensei's perceptions of the principles of what we know as aikido, many of those principles are at least in part formed from budo as a whole, not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of years of refinement of actual/factual technique.

We all have to come up with our own ways of seeing and understanding what we encounter. Shinto concepts allowed O Sensei to internalize what he discovered through training on his own. While your mileage may vary on this point, we are essentially trying to encounter the same thing, except someone else has told us that it is there, and we happen to know how they found it for themself. This must be where the phrase "your aikido" comes from.

I think it may have been the insistence that everyone train just like you that set everyone's tone. Haha, we all harmonized, just on the wrong note.

Good Luck.

Last edited by MikeLogan : 04-16-2007 at 08:21 PM.

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Old 04-16-2007, 08:57 PM   #52
gnlj
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Re: "We don't do that here"

I unfortunately never met Nocquet sensei. This interview with him from Aikido Journal has a particularly relevant section on O-Sensei and religion.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=405
With kind regards,
Guy.
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Old 04-16-2007, 09:32 PM   #53
mjhacker
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
there is a difference, and there always will be. the relationship is spiritual, because it's based on faith. i will learn from you, and will not question you. if that's not religion, what is?
My relationship with my teacher has never been based on faith. He dumps me on my ass every time I touch him. No faith, no religion. Just proof. (Plus a lot of skill, experience, and physics.)

Quote:
the common denominator of *anyone's* Aikido is Shinto. the numerator can be whatever you want it to be.
Are you serious? Who have you studied under? For how long?

Michael Hacker
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Old 04-17-2007, 08:31 AM   #54
ChrisMoses
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
there is a difference, and there always will be. the relationship is spiritual, because it's based on faith. i will learn from you, and will not question you. if that's not religion, what is?

the common denominator of *anyone's* Aikido is Shinto. the numerator can be whatever you want it to be.
Dude, you sound like an acolyte looking for a cult. You really need to take a few steps back and just chill. I don't know if you will find what you're looking for otherwise.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:19 AM   #55
L. Camejo
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
hopefully i will one day. allow me to ask you: what is the difference between a Sensei and a student?

authority? a deed? technical skill? where is the line drawn? there are no words to describe the answer, and there is no line. yet i capitalize the word "Sensei, " even when used in an improper form.
Sensei means "one who has gone before" from my understanding. If you decide to practice with a particular sensei, he will instruct you in the path that he has walked before you. He is your sensei because he is further along than you are in that particular path, in this case Aikido. Regarding capitalisation, there is no such thing in the Japanese language, this happens only when we use romanised Japanese words in written english.

In arts that indicate development of certain skillsets over time as a result of practice (like Budo and the attached Kyu/Dan recognition system) a sensei's skill is of great importance since he also undertakes the role of leader or teacher of these skillsets as his knowledge allows. A leader is not followed by blind faith unless his followers are in fact cultish in their relationship with him. In studying something like Budo blind faith can be quite dangerous on many levels.

Imho there is a clear line that defines the authority of the sensei. On an organisational level it is defined by a parent association or group who supports and provides official recognition of the sensei's particular skillset and ability to teach and lead. On a more personal level as far as martial arts are concerned at least, a sensei should also theoretically possess the technical knowledge and skillset to protect and defend any challenge to his authority, whether direct or indirect.

So there is a definite line of authority between you and your sensei. You as the student have the choice to adapt to the new situation, challenge his authority or find somewhere else that is more in line with your thinking.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
there is a difference, and there always will be. the relationship is spiritual, because it's based on faith. i will learn from you, and will not question you. if that's not religion, what is?
The relationship is only spiritual if you consider your sensei a God. Even in religion people question and should have the right to do so.
Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
the common denominator of *anyone's* Aikido is Shinto. the numerator can be whatever you want it to be.
This is totally ridiculous and incorrect. If Shinto was a common denominator for all Aikido then we would all be required to become confirmed Shinto believers when we start studying Aikido. Aikido would in this case be an expression of the Shinto religion and not an entity unto itself as it has always been. If what you say were true Ueshiba M. would be sure to convert all of his students to Shintoism before teaching them. He would also not teach Christian, non-Shinto foreigners like Andre Nocquet for example.

I don't know what you have been reading or who you have been listening to regarding the norms and general philosophy and history of Aikido but I suggest you do some research to verify much of what you believe about Aikido.

Imho.
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 04-17-2007 at 10:22 AM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:39 AM   #56
Edward
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Re: "We don't do that here"

I like your logic. Tomorrow I will challenge my 71 years old sensei, and if I win I will take over his dojo, kick him out and be the next sensei.

I think you are confusing jungle laws and master/student relationships. Your theory works well on lions and wolves but not on humans I'm afraid.

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post

On a more personal level as far as martial arts are concerned at least, a sensei should also theoretically possess the technical knowledge and skillset to protect and defend any challenge to his authority, whether direct or indirect.

So there is a definite line of authority between you and your sensei. You as the student have the choice to adapt to the new situation, challenge his authority or find somewhere else that is more in line with your thinking.

Imho.
LC
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Old 04-17-2007, 10:42 AM   #57
L. Camejo
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

You misunderstood my post Edward.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:10 AM   #58
mriehle
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
I, too, get a kick out of how far is "too far" to some people. Hell, I used to drive 3 hours (one way) to get to the Iwama dojo on weekends.
Put me on the list as well. I used to walk for an hour each way to my dojo. Twice a day. I now commute nearly fiften miles to train, 40 miles to teach.

Eight miles is mice - never mind.

Quote:
Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
Of course, the initial commute to my current dojo was a bit further than that... (~10,000 miles?)
Wow, I only had to fly to Hawaii to visit my dad (and his wife, who was the one who initially dragged me to the dojo because she was offended by a fourteen year old sitting around the house and reading during a Hawaiian summer).

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Old 04-17-2007, 11:27 AM   #59
L. Camejo
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
I like your logic. Tomorrow I will challenge my 71 years old sensei, and if I win I will take over his dojo, kick him out and be the next sensei.
You sound like a young male member of a Lion pack who senses that his pack leader is aging and becoming a soft target so you want to challenge him for authority. Have you kept these thoughts hidden all this time or is your sensei aware that you want to take him out? I thought Aikidoka were supposed to be walking on a path of peace and conflict resolution? I should contact him and warn him.

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
I think you are confusing jungle laws and master/student relationships. Your theory works well on lions and wolves but not on humans I'm afraid.
To clarify, there is no confusion. The teacher/student relationship is an agreement of sorts between two entities for one to teach what he knows of a particular topic and the other to apply himself towards learning. This is different from the leader/follower relationship which is an agreement where the follower believes the leader can take him somewhere or do something that is desired by both leader and follower. A sensei often takes on both roles.

Regardless of how you want to slice it, Luc's need for clapping and Shintoist elements in his current training is indirectly challenging his instructor's status quo at the dojo. The fact that he voiced his disapproval here shows that the situation is bothering him somewhat and he seeks clarification or advice. The need for clarification comes from a sense of doubt about something.

When some people hear challenge they automatically assume physical conflict, fight and war. Hence the animal kingdom allusion. To edify those who may be unsure, the definition of challenge includes:

Quote:
"to take exception to; call in question: to challenge the wisdom of a procedure"
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/challenge

In Martial arts, physical challenges sometimes happen (direct), but most challenges come in the form of verbal questions that are designed to clarify a situation or seek to change the status quo for something perceived to be better (indirect). This is pretty much what Luc's question poses to his sensei.

Regarding the animal kingdom however, please remember that even in the 21st century humankind regularly allows this side of himself to come to the fore (any homicide proves this). I would think as Aikidoka who aim to understand peace and reduce conflict in the world, to deny, trivialize or minimalize the animal tendencies of the human is to invite failure in one's goal of becoming an exemplar of peace.The pursuit of peace brings one face to face with the animal nature of mankind and seeks to address relationships without resorting to violence and killing imho. I believe Ueshiba M. referred to it as Kon and Haku or the higher self and lower self.

Just some thoughts.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:59 AM   #60
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Mike Logan wrote: View Post
The train is always nicer than the bus, but if we really want, we really do. 6:30 can be hard to make with the work rush. I would suggest finding out their mat fees. It's too bad they have no saturday classes, but there's a sunday class at least. If I want the kind of workout I prefer, I need to schedule my day to let me leave at 5 sharp. It's then just a simple 40 mile trip in rush hour to make the mat by 6pm. The closer dojo is just 5 miles from work, only 2 from my apt, and class starts at 7pm. While it would be nicer to simply join the farther dojo, I find that making about 3 classes a month, more if I'm lucky, on top of the local dojo's schedule is still plenty enriching. Anyhow.
my friend, i understand and i am aware of everything you've mentioned. i understand you're trying to help.

Quote:
Mike Logan wrote: View Post
While shinto no doubt had an influence on O'Sensei's perceptions of the principles of what we know as aikido, many of those principles are at least in part formed from budo as a whole, not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of years of refinement of actual/factual technique.

We all have to come up with our own ways of seeing and understanding what we encounter. Shinto concepts allowed O Sensei to internalize what he discovered through training on his own. While your mileage may vary on this point, we are essentially trying to encounter the same thing, except someone else has told us that it is there, and we happen to know how they found it for themself. This must be where the phrase "your aikido" comes from.
thank you for the polite response, you brought up some good points.

Quote:
Mike Logan wrote: View Post
I think it may have been the insistence that everyone train just like you that set everyone's tone.
that seems to be the case. i will know better from now on.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:05 PM   #61
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Dude, you sound like an acolyte looking for a cult. You really need to take a few steps back and just chill.
that was not my intention, although i am guilty of that mistake.

for all the people that gave me polite responses that were on topic, i would like to thank you. i will be less preachy when expressing my views next time, and i have certainly learned a lot.
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Old 04-17-2007, 12:21 PM   #62
BC
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Re: "We don't do that here"

If you really want to practice and live the belief system of Morihei Ueshiba, you should join and practice the Omoto-kyo religion. It si still around, although with significantly less members than in the early to mid 1900s.

The dojo I practice at was founded by a Japanese man who was a direct student of O Sensei, and we never clap hands at the beginning or end of class.

Robert Cronin
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:37 PM   #63
Edward
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
You misunderstood my post Edward.
Hi Larry,

I actually agree with you on the points raised in your post, except the ones I commented on in a failed attempt on humour. Maybe I should have added a few smilies.

And please don't warn my sensei, you will spoil the effect of surprise (not that he couldn't kick my a** anytime he wants)
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:43 PM   #64
L. Camejo
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

I figured you were being sarcastic, but to be safe I explained.

Happy training.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 04-17-2007, 04:24 PM   #65
cserrit
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
there's no way i can make it to class on time, because no train goes there. i need to go to a dojo with train access. i've done all the necessary dojo searches and visited the ones i was interested in.
Carpool. Many dojos have people who do this. You also get to know your fellow classmates.

-C
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Old 04-20-2007, 07:45 AM   #66
Dan Reynolds
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Re: "We don't do that here"

When I first started to study Aikido, there where a lot of Shinto traditions observed in the Dojo I started with, I have even trained for a while in a Shinto shrine in Washington state. I am not a follower of the Shinto traditions but I do respect and understand that clapping or bell ringing sets the "vibration" for the class. At current time I am with Dojo that does do not much or any of the Shinto traditions. I do wish that we did spend a bit more time in setting the "vibration" of the class.

I think that O'Sensi answered our questions about this subject when he discusses the Art of Peace:

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it prefects and completes all religions"

He also states that Aikido and the Art of Peace is for the whole world not for one group or nation.

With all of this in mind. INMO, it would be more offensive to O'Sensi to say that Shinto traditions need to be followed and that they are the only way. Shinto did add a lot to the development of Aikido so did his time with other "cults". Shinto was O'Sensi religion not the religion of Aikido itself. I also think that O'Sensi got a lot of his traditions from Onisaburo and the Omoto-Kyo religious organization . When O'Sensi and Onisaburo entered Mongolia, Onisaburo created Omoto-Buddisam and declared himself the living Buda. So it would seem that O'Sensi was open minded to other traditions and ideas.
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Old 04-20-2007, 02:32 PM   #67
Cyrijl
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Luc,
Don't worry Gleason does not teach alot of classes. I think he does alot of seminars and outside events which keeps him busy. At any rate they don't clap either.

Are you at New England Aikikai?

melior est canis vivus leone mortuo
Bog svsami!!!
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:04 PM   #68
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: "We don't do that here"

The answer to this whole shonto dilema is easy. Regardless, one must observe and obey the rules of the dojo. If he wishes to continue training there, he must learn to do without the clapping. If it becomes something too great to bear, the he must leave.

I recommend clapping in your mind. The symbolic nature of clapping appears to be metaphysical anyway so who needs to perform an external function of reality such as clapping? Do it in your mind and if you believe the spirits will awaken, they will.

Personally, I don't practice that nor find it beneficial to training.
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Old 04-21-2007, 03:30 AM   #69
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: "We don't do that here"

There are as many flavors of reiho/reigi in budo as there are organizations and dojo. If you're uncomfortable with the methodology of respect and tradition in the dojo you attend, then maybe it's time to start looking elsewhere.

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Old 04-21-2007, 06:25 AM   #70
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Hello Mr Saroufim,

I have read your post, and the thread it generated, and think I need to give some responses here, if only to diminish the possibility of misunderstandings of aikido, based on misunderstandings of aikido's parent culture. My responses are signaled PAG.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
i recently moved back to Boston, and after observing a class at my new dojo, i noticed they didn't clap at the beginning or end.
PAG. One question for me, here, is whether you began aikido in Boston. You state that you originally lived in Boston and returned there after a prolonged absence and found that in your 'new' dojo they did not clap. I spent some time in Boston in the early 1970s as a student of Mitsunari Kanai Sensei at the New England Aikikai. We never clapped in the NE Aikikai dojo, but there may well be other dojo in Boston at the time where students did clap. So I am curious about your early aikido history in Boston.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
i understand the rule about having to be around a Shinto shrine, and i'm guessing it came from the West, although feel free to prove me wrong; but Shinto is also something you carry in your heart and with your spirit, especially if you train in Aikido. so in my opinion, the shrine is always there.
PAG I am not out to prove anything, least of all to prove you wrong. However, I am curious about your mention of a 'rule' about having to be around a Shinto shrine. As far as I know, the only Aikikai dojo that is also a shrine is in Iwama. Of course, the shrine is a physical entity, occupying a special, sacred, space, and this is true with every other Shinto shrine in Japan. Festivals are held in Japan and the focus is the local shrine and the deities associated wiht the shrine.

With Christianity things are different. Are you a Christian? Or, I should more appropriately ask in these PC times, in what broad religious culture have you been brought up? If it is Christian, have you read the writings of Thomas a Kempis or St Margaret Mary? I mention these two because they are the clearest example in Christianity of a sacred 'thing' which you carry within you. The Christian belief in the 'Sacred Heart' is long established, but I think there are no actual places that embody this belief. The Sacre Coeur in Paris is a large building that embodies an immensely popular belief, but is not itself theplace or 'locus' of the belief. So the sacred 'place' is not the physical organ, but the 'soul', which in Christianity is a metaphor for a whole relationship with God.

So, for me, as a resident of Hiroshima, Japan, for nearly 30 years, Shinto means the local shrines and festivals right here in Ushita, the suburb where I live. There are loads of small shrines dedicated to local deities and they all have their groups of 'believers', who hold festivals during the year. I have put 'believers' in quotes because in Shinto I do not think one 'believes' a body of 'doctrine', such as one might do with a specific religion like Christianity.

Have you lived in Japan and taken part in a Shinto shrine festival? For foreigners, the most interesting festivals are the 'hadaka matsuri' and the fertility festivals. In hadaka matsuri, young men strip to fundoshi and fight to gain possession of a sacred object that is thought to bring with it blessings of the deity to whom the festival is dedicated. Only young men can participate because (a) they have the strength to fight, and (b) they 'look' good in fundoshi and are therefore thought to be pleasing to the extremely fickle and partisan kami. Matthew Bourne's production of Swan Lake, wirh Adam Cooper as the Swan, sets out the issues here, but in a western way. Because of western PC issues, young women have gradually been able to take part in certain Shinto festivals, but not the raw festivals that go back to the roots of folk religion, which are highly sexist in orientation, with much macho strutting and drinking.

The fertility festivals usually consist of a parade of replicas of enormous genitalia and youngsters are encouraged to ride on the said items, in order to promote their own reproductive powers.

So, I think that the concept of an internal 'shrine', as something 'within' you as a person, is completely alien both to Shinto and aikido.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
Gleason Sensei's book, "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido" highlights the importance of understanding Shinto to better understand Aikido.
PAG. I was a long-time student of Mr Gleason's aikido teacher. His name is Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei and I began training with him after Mr Gleason left Japan. Yamaguchi Sensei never clapped at the beginning and end of class. So, if Mr Gleason claps at the beginning and end of his classes, I think that this is something of his own. Of course, Mr Gleason has written a fine book on a certain style of Shinto as a way of understanding aikido, but you need to understand that it is a style, rather than an established doctrine. My own aikido teacher is woud not claim to be a follower or believe in Shinto.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
in my opinion, if you don't clap, you're simply bowing to O'Sensei as a sign of respect, but you're not getting in touch with Aikido's Shinto roots.
PAG. Well, I do not think there is any abstract concept about getting in touch with roots. What do you actually mean by 'getting in tough with Aikido's Shinto roots'? Do I have to participate in Shinto ferstivals? Or do I have to 'believe', as a Christian might believe in a body of doctrine that can be recited as a creed? Furthermore, having got in touch with the 'Shinto roots', as you understand these, what difference will this make to the practise of aikido waza in the dojo?

In Japan, you might believe that if you do not clap, you are not summoning the particular Shinto kami (according to the Kojiki, there are at least 8,000,000 kami, as westerners would reckon the number) who will guide your own aikido training.

This is fine and a good reason for clapping, but you need to know to whom you are clapping, in order to summon attention. O Sensei, in Iwama, had no doubt whatever of the kami whose attention he was attracting during his pre-practice rituals.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
i insisted on speaking Japanese on the mat, something else they don't do. he said that was fine. but i'm not happy about having to sneak in before class in order to do something i have every right to do.
PAG. Why would you want to speak Japanese in a place like France? If it is because the Shinto kami themselves speak only Japanese, I am sure that you can see the problem here. I do not think the kami have a vested interest in lingustic proficiency. So I think the reasons why Japanese terms are used in aikido dojo around the world have nothing to do with Japanese kami. There is a vocabulary that has grown in importance by being used and this also includes the greetings before and after training.

Quote:
Luc Saroufim wrote: View Post
what does clapping mean to you? should it be required for every dojo? i think so. feel free to disagree and flame away.
PAG. Well, for what it is worth, I run a local dojo in a very rural area of Japan and all my students are ordinary Japanese people, who have grown accustomed to the idea of a foreigner teaching them a Japanese martial art in Japan. We do not clap at the beginning and end of training and none of these students, all Japanese devotes of the local religious cults, have ever objected. If I had been here 50 years earlier, during the war, and, by some miracle, had been allowed to run the dojo in wartime, of course we would have followed the local religious customs and clapped, as loudly as possible.

But after the war, the trappings of STATE Shinto, the practices enforced by the Japanese military as a way of maintaining war morale, as distinct from the local cults I have described above, were abandoned.

So I hope you accept that the choice of clapping or not clapping is not such a simple matter and is of no importance in determining whether we are practising 'true' aikido.

Best regards, and feel free to correspond with me further, some if some points made here seem unsatisfactory.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-21-2007 at 06:37 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #71
Gernot Hassenpflug
Dojo: Aunkai, Tokyo
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Re: "We don't do that here"

I'd like to thank Professor Goldsbury for the enlightening comments. And also to note, with respect to the side issue of "sensei" that came up, that Prof. Goldsbury has written about the difference between Western "teachers" and Japanese "sensei". At the moment I recollect definitively only an article in the Japanese edition of Aiki News, but perhaps a translation appeared elsewhere (in Aiki Journal, perhaps, or on this site).

Best regards,
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Old 04-21-2007, 04:13 PM   #72
Avery Jenkins
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
I used to run five miles to the YMCA, lift weights for 2 hours, then run five miles back!!

Ron
Yeah, well, when I was in my 20s, I used to do the same thing, only I ran the return trip BACKWARDS!. And, I didn't bother to wear shoes.
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Old 04-21-2007, 05:59 PM   #73
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Sometimes I think that even if I don't bother to "summon the gods", they show up anyway!

Can't really control those wacky kami...
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Old 04-23-2007, 06:51 AM   #74
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Hi Avery,

Yeah, but was it backwards, up hill, and in the snow?!?!?

B,
R

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 04-23-2007, 07:45 PM   #75
Luc X Saroufim
 
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Re: "We don't do that here"

Hi Mr. Goldsbury,

Thanks for a very well informed response to my thread. not only was this the type of information i was looking for, but it helped me realize more about why clapping is important to me.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I am curious about your early aikido history in Boston.
until recently, i have no Aikido history in Boston. i am from Boston, which may explain the "up front" attitude! please forgive me if i don't mention my dojo; i have stepped on a lot of toes and don't want to negatively represent my fellow classmates; it's a great place to train and i'm glad i chose it.

my first Sensei in NJ clapped; once i understood why we did it, i felt like something was missing when i attended seminars and other dojo's. it struck a chord with me and i began to value its meaning.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I am not out to prove anything, least of all to prove you wrong. However, I am curious about your mention of a 'rule' about having to be around a Shinto shrine.
i heard this from word of mouth from two other people at a seminar. i was still brand new to Aikido, and i thought everyone always clapped. when i saw that we didn't, i asked why.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
With Christianity things are different. Are you a Christian? If it is Christian, have you read the writings of Thomas a Kempis or St Margaret Mary? I mention these two because they are the clearest example in Christianity of a sacred 'thing' which you carry within you. The Christian belief in the 'Sacred Heart' is long established
you are spot on about everything here. not only am i Christian, but the Sacre Coeur is very popular with Lebanese Christians, since France has had a huge influence on our country.

"the shrine being in your heart" comes from this same belief, as you have predicted. however, to substantiate my claim as best i can, i would also like to add that my previous Sensei said the same thing.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
So, I think that the concept of an internal 'shrine', as something 'within' you as a person, is completely alien both to Shinto and aikido.
i guess my interpretation was thrown off course. i am a practicing Christian, so that would explain why i interpreted it as such.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Of course, Mr Gleason has written a fine book on a certain style of Shinto as a way of understanding aikido, but you need to understand that it is a style, rather than an established doctrine.
i can believe that. just one thing: I was convinced of Shinto's bind with Aikido before i read the book. the book just sealed my thoughts for me. O'Sensei's clapping, his poetry about Kami, the spiritual revelations, all the preaching about love and respect, not to mention he was greatly influenced by religion and its practitioners; i was convinced about Shinto's influence on Aikido before i read the book. this is what i'm still confused about: in my mind it was crystal clear, which is why i posted with such confidence, but i had no idea that opinions would vary this much.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
What do you actually mean by 'getting in tough with Aikido's Shinto roots'?
going all the way back to when i said that, i was operating under the assumption that clapping was a Shinto ritual that O'Sensei did, and that it was important for us to do the same. i do not believe we have to participate in any festivals, etc.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Why would you want to speak Japanese in a place like France?
this is something i acknowledged as personal preference from the beginning, and don't take it as seriously as clapping. i spent my childhood outside the US, and i'm not a big fan about how some things can get diluted sometimes.

for example, i'm Lebanese: what passes for Lebanese food here is not quite the same. it tastes similar, but is missing that X factor, the originality. i am nervous that this will happen to Aikido, so speaking Japanese helps me remember where it came from, and that it's a gift from the Japanese that should be respected.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. Well, for what it is worth, I run a local dojo in a very rural area of Japan and all my students are ordinary Japanese people, who have grown accustomed to the idea of a foreigner teaching them a Japanese martial art in Japan.
and this negates my previous paragraph!

i have a fear of things getting diluted, but as it turns out, if Japanese don't care being taught by a gaijin, i probably have nothing to worry about.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Best regards, and feel free to correspond with me further, some if some points made here seem unsatisfactory.
thanks for the excellent post.

Last edited by Luc X Saroufim : 04-23-2007 at 07:49 PM.
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