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Old 12-11-2001, 07:03 PM   #1
Jason483
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
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Smile A stupid question

Hey everyone, I'm fairly new to this board. My name is Jason Palmer and I started training in Aikido a few months ago in CT. I am currently studying with Laura Pavlick. I have a really stupid question that I have been too embarassed to ask my sensei. About a week ago I got a tatoo of the Japenese Aikido symbol on my arm. I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo? Thanks everyone.
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Old 12-11-2001, 08:47 PM   #2
otto
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Unhappy uh oh

man...I have plans to do the same thing....
I hope not.

"Perfection is a Process"
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Old 12-11-2001, 09:23 PM   #3
Edward
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Just to be on the safe side, make sure that the tatoo is in area that can be easily hidden, in case your Sensei does not appreciate this from of art. I myself don't like people with tatoos, but if you really want one, why do you want to involve Aikido in it? You might quit after a few months, so why not use something more general?
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Old 12-11-2001, 09:59 PM   #4
Lenocinari
 
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tattoo

If i was to get tattoo it would be an Aikido one. Either that or a barcode on the back of my neck (cool). Anyway i think the California age limit for a tattoo it 16 (sigh three more years to go).

Cheers-
Ben

In order to see the stars, you first have to turn off the lights.
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Old 12-11-2001, 10:19 PM   #5
michaelkvance
Dojo: Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Our Sensei gets a kick out of harping on us about our haircuts and stuff (he is very traditional). "Steve, did your barber die?" "Did you hair change colors?". I remember him one day lamenting how Steven Seagal's films had led to a rash of pony-tail wearing fellows coming to the dojo...

... I imagine Sensei would sigh sadly if anyone got a tattoo about aikido. I know I've thought of having 'tao/do' tattooed before, but that was from my study of the Tao te Ching, not Aikido.

m.
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Old 12-11-2001, 11:02 PM   #6
shihonage
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Mmm...tattoos...
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Old 12-12-2001, 03:21 AM   #7
Abasan
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Shihonage, is that your Tattoo???

Thinking about all that advertisement you would be carrying around on your skin, it would also be quite a laugh if you actually tattood your belt colour along your waist. But then of course, going through blue, brown and black would be quite painful i would expect.

Still, thats what you get for appreciating skin.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 12-12-2001, 03:51 AM   #8
mj
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hehe. No it isn't his tatto
I hope!

http://otnemem.com/

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Old 12-12-2001, 05:54 AM   #9
Brian Vickery
Dojo: Aiki-Buken Aikido
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Thumbs up Re: A stupid question

Quote:
Originally posted by Jason483
About a week ago I got a tatoo of the Japenese Aikido symbol on my arm. I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo?
Hi Jason,

I've been to seminars where our Japanese Shihan has asked students with tattoos to cover them up! He said something about tattos making the student look like 'Yakuza' (gangsters!)

Regards,

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 12-12-2001, 07:01 AM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
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I think that aikido 'senseis' have no right to pontificate about such things as tattoos and hair length/colour. I think this is an invasion of privacy.

I discourage my own students from wearing rings, necklaces etc. during practice because of the risk of injury. And long hair, whether worn by men or women, is best tied up because of techniques such as irimi-nage. Keikogi etc should fit properly and should be properly tied (so clothes do not fall down during practice).

Otherwise, it is up to the individual. So, if you want to put an aikido tattoo on your arm, leg, or anywhere else, go ahead. Do it. (All I ask is that if it was Japanese kanji, it is properly written.) And as for tattoos being a mark of the yakuza, times have changed here. But Edward's comment is relevant here, if you quit aikido and take up something else...

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-12-2001, 07:41 AM   #11
guest1234
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I am amazed...I can't treat any one under 18 without their sponsor's permission in clinic, but a 16 year old can make a decision that should be considered permanent in marking his body.

A few (perhaps not so important to you) things to consider: we old foggies are still the ones who interview and hire, and despite the growing popularity of 'body art' the message it sends (perhaps just subconsciously) to many in the old foggie category is not a positive reflection on you. It might make getting into more conservative professions more difficult than it should be if it is somewhere it can be easily seen. This said, there is a sensei I've seen with a multitude of tattoos who I am told is a successful lawyer. He is, however, the only lawyer I've seen like that.

In the USAF, tattoos must be covered by the uniform. A lot of flight line workers, used to taking off their shirts in hot weather to work in T-shirt, now can't. The dermatologists are REALLY busy these days removing things.

Finally, it is only a matter of time before we trace disease spread to this. I don't care how clean it looks to you. Does your Mom think it looks clean? Seriously, even clean doesn't mean sterile. Opening a new package doesn't mean sterile: a) it costs less to rewrap than to sterilize and rewrap, all you know is it is a new package. b)it is not easy to sterilize things, and these are not brain surgeons doing your tattoo. I think there are probably a lot of reputable body artisits out there, but I think a lot who are not as well, and I wouldn't bet my health on who I was picking.
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Old 12-12-2001, 08:08 AM   #12
PeterR
 
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Of course a tatoo will prevent you from attending certain Japanese hotbaths.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-12-2001, 09:09 AM   #13
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR
Of course a tatoo will prevent you from attending certain Japanese hotbaths.
Really? For health reasons, or because they imply a certain lifestyle?
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Old 12-12-2001, 09:24 AM   #14
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ca


Really? For health reasons, or because they imply a certain lifestyle?
I think lifestyle implications - of course I have been seated next to a man with a whole yakusa tattoo at the Shirahama public hot spring. So either the rule is not universily applied (it isn't) or no one was going to enforce it.

Gee he got in but they made such a fuss over the teddy bear on my butt.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-12-2001, 09:58 AM   #15
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeterR


Gee he got in but they made such a fuss over the teddy bear on my butt.
Oh NO!!!
Not the dreaded Teddy Bear clan!!!

Obviously too rough a group, must exclude them...
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Old 12-12-2001, 10:37 AM   #16
cguzik
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I know they are not as fun as the real thing, but there's always this option:

http://www.aikidoonline.com/christma...istmas_01.html

Chris Guzik
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Old 12-12-2001, 10:43 AM   #17
Edward
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If you really want to make a statement about Aikido, why don't you buy a few Aikido T-shirt? They come in different colors and designs, you can change them every day (or less depends on your hygienic habits but anyhow they are less permanent than tatoos ) and no one will have any objections about them.
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Old 12-13-2001, 12:11 AM   #18
abarnhar
Location: U.S.A.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
If you really want to make a statement about Aikido, why don't you buy a few Aikido T-shirt?
Somebody point me in the direction of an appropriate store... or let me know the website so that I can gently encourage my relatives to visit it with credit cards in hand.
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Old 12-13-2001, 05:28 PM   #19
deepsoup
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
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Hello All,

I have something I want to say about almost every post in this thread, so please bear with me as I ramble on.

To Jason:
Congratulations on getting your tattoo. I'm going to assume that you thought about it in advance and didn't just go out and get tattooed on a whim.

My advice is, dont hide it, but dont flaunt it either. Hopefully people who disapprove will be too polite to mention it, and people who do aprove wont be too polite to admire it aloud in the changing room. Unless you had it tattooed on your forehead, its going to be hidden by your gi anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue on the mat.

It isn't a design I'd chose for myself, but good luck to you.

To Edward:
You wrote:
"I myself dont like people with tattoos"

Does that mean you dont like me, Edward? I'm hurt.

To Ben:
The barcode on the back of the neck thing would be cooler if so many people hadn't already gone for it. Your tattoo is a personal thing, sometimes you dont want a design a whole bunch of people already have.
(And Colleen has a point about the career option thing, a tattoo high on your neck is really tough to cover up.

More to the point though, you have only so much skin, a tattoo is permanent and tastes change. Do you see what I mean if you think back to a band you thought were really cool a few years ago? How about if you were stuck with their name written on you for ever?

Maybe you could choose a design now, keep it safe and see if you still want that exact same design in three years time. Chances are you won't. (Its a cliche, sorry if you're sick of hearing it, but you're probably going to change more in the next 5 or 6 years than you will in the rest of your life after that.)

You could look into Henna 'tattoos', where you stain your skin with henna paste. The design lasts for about a month or so before it fades, and it looks pretty good with bold 'tribal' style designs. (I bet you could even get a barcode on the back of your neck in black henna, horrify your parents, impress your pals and let it fade away before the job interviews start happening. )

To Colleen
It really doesn't make any more sense for a tattooist to risk spreading hepatitis, HIV or whatever by reusing needles than it does for a doctor to do so. Needles are pretty cheap, lawsuits are not.

To Peter Goldsbury
You wrote:
"I think that aikido 'senseis' have no right to pontificate about such things as tattoos and hair length/colour. I think this is an invasion of privacy"
I find it very reassuring to read that point of view in this otherwise quite authoritarian thread, especially from one who brings such gravitas to the discussion.

To Peter Rehse
Any chance of a JPEG of the teddy bear on your butt?

Sean
x
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Old 12-13-2001, 05:40 PM   #20
guest1234
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Sean,
Excellent suggestions on both the henna and the 'thinking about it' for awhile. I guess I am too used to the tattoo artists I see around military bases, rarely the same one (or even same shop location) for very long, hard to sue when someone is long gone...one basic trainee I treated many years ago for piercing-caused hepatitis (when the in rebellion was a pierced ear in males) could only identify the guy who did his ear as 'Dusty' passing through Texas from Tennesse. Pretty hard for us to report him...and has been pointed out in other threads, hard to get a lawyer to take a case if the defendant can't pay...docs carry hefty malpractice insurance, not probably a requirement for a tattoo parlor.
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Old 12-14-2001, 02:34 AM   #21
Creature_of_the_id
 
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Smile

Hey sean... nice tat! design it yourself?

there are some guys I train with in the dojo who have huge aikido tatoos covering huge portions of their body, some are amazing designs.... come to think of it... these guys with the aiki tats are 3rd dans, and very impressive...

ponders a possible link... rushes out to get his own lol

kidding :P

but anyway, nice tattoo.

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Old 12-14-2001, 03:35 PM   #22
Mona
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Re: A stupid question

Quote:
Originally posted by Jason483
I was just wondering if that is looked down upon in a traditional Aikido dojo?
If you think of Aikido as a Way of Life, then it's fine.
If you think having a Japanese AND Martial Art tattoo is kewl, then it's disrespectful to the discipline.
Either way, it's best to have a discrete tattoo, i.e. small kanji on the back of the shoulder. (That's where my Sensei and some of the students from his 'advanced' class have it).

Just my opinion.


Mona
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Old 12-18-2001, 08:02 AM   #23
Jason483
Dojo: Litchfield Hills Aikikai
Location: Connecticut
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Smile Conclusion

Well, I got the tatoo! I just got the kanji written on my right arm. It is not visible if I have a short sleeve shirt on. I actually took the picture of the kanji that is on the main page of this web site and I gave that to the tatoo parlor. It looks exactly how I wanted it to look.
A few posts back, someone said that it was ok to get the tatoo if I wanted it to represent the Art of Peace instead of a cool japenese martial art. Well, truthfully, when I first started Aikido, I started it because I wanted to learn how to fight, as many of us probobly did. As I started to learn more about the techniques and the philosophy, I came to the conclusion that nobody needs to fight. I completely believe in Aikido as being the Art of Peace, even though I'm not that experienced yet.
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Old 12-18-2001, 08:53 AM   #24
akiy
 
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Re: Conclusion

Quote:
Originally posted by Jason483
I actually took the picture of the kanji that is on the main page of this web site and I gave that to the tatoo parlor.
Heh! Now, all I need is someone to go out and get the AikiWeb logo tattooed:



... along with the URL of the site! Hmm -- advertising...

I heard that one person who used to work for Bu Jin Design on his last day working there took the metal brand they use to burn on the "Bu Jin" character logo and branded himself! Ouch...

-- Jun

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Old 12-18-2001, 09:46 AM   #25
davem
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As an aside, your story made me remember something Jun..... One of the guys at where I used to work at Earthlink had the Earthlink logo tatooed on his arm.... he was what we called a 'lifer' about 2 months later he was fired. Talk about misplaced love. Heh.

Dave Mata
http://www.convextion.com
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