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Old 10-05-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
rnrobles
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Ki Symbol Bowing in question - Clapping?

I am new to Aikido and have a question about bowing before and after class with clapping.

I train in a USAF dojo. We do not clap when we formally bow in and out. I've visited other dojos in the area, that are not USAF and some do clap as part of their formal bow.

I noticed that at Doshu's recent seminar in Montreal that he didn't clap.

I've never been to Japan, yet.
Do they clap in Hombu dojo Japan?

Thanks.
Rey

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
Gorgeous George
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Rey Robles wrote: View Post
I am new to Aikido and have a question about bowing before and after class with clapping.

I train in a USAF dojo. We do not clap when we formally bow in and out. I've visited other dojos in the area, that are not USAF and some do clap as part of their formal bow.

I noticed that at Doshu's recent seminar in Montreal that he didn't clap.

I've never been to Japan, yet.
Do they clap in Hombu dojo Japan?

Thanks.
Rey

I don't think they do; and in all the Aikikai dojos i've been to, there is no clapping.

Some people don't even bow:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18723
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Old 10-05-2010, 07:12 PM   #3
raul rodrigo
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

No, they don't clap at Hombu Dojo.
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:19 AM   #4
WilliB
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Rey Robles wrote: View Post
I've never been to Japan, yet.
Do they clap in Hombu dojo Japan?
Nope they donīt. (Not in the regular class, anyway. I donīt go there often, so I donīt know what happens at special event.)

I can see how religionists can have a problem with clapping though -- more legitimately that with bowing. Calling on Shinto gods is certainly a more religious act than showing respect to other people.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:23 AM   #5
Hellis
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

I have never been in a Aikido dojo where they don't bow.

I have though wondered about the clapping ritual. I never saw this with the early teachers such as Kenshiro Abbe and Nakazono Sensei, it is something we have never done.
Is this a recent introduction, say in the last 10 / 15 years ??

Henry Ellis
http://kenshiroabbe.blogspot.com/
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:46 AM   #6
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
I have though wondered about the clapping ritual. I never saw this with the early teachers such as Kenshiro Abbe and Nakazono Sensei, it is something we have never done.
Is this a recent introduction, say in the last 10 / 15 years ??
Not so recent:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzuH43NwIxI

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:40 AM   #7
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

We do it !

Its a fairly recent introduction for us No idea why we started though.

Trained for about 15 years without it quite happily...been doing it for about 3 or 4 years equally happily.

I really like it as it seems to focus students and get any wandering minds on the job in hand...and where there are others in the dojo its a great reminder that there is a class in progress...so please shut up.

This is of particular benefit in kids / teenagers classes where a lot of parents sit on the side.

Other than that I really have no strong feelings either way.

I'll ask my instructor why he started it...perhaps its on a Steven Segal film and he though it looked cool

Cheers

D
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:36 AM   #8
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
I'll ask my instructor why he started it...perhaps its on a Steven Segal film and he though it looked cool
Kashiwade surely has been introduced in aikido by Seagal sensei films...

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:51 AM   #9
Flintstone
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Willi Brix wrote: View Post
I can see how religionists can have a problem with clapping though -- more legitimately that with bowing. Calling on Shinto gods is certainly a more religious act than showing respect to other people.
And here we go again. Why is that not clapping is more legitimate than not bowing? Is that that white people religion is more legitimate than other people's? And... why is this allowed in aikiweb now and then?

Also, you seem to imply (again) that some faiths don't know about "respect to other people" just because they show it differently. Oh, prejudices... so nice!

Last edited by Flintstone : 10-06-2010 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:56 AM   #10
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
And here we go again. Why is that not clapping is more legitimate than nor bowing? Is that that white people religion is more legitimate than other people? And... why is this allowed in aikiweb now and then?

Also, you seem to imply (again) that some faiths don't know about "respect to other people" just because they show it differently. Oh, prejudices... so nice!
mountain.....molehill.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:03 AM   #11
lbb
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
mountain.....molehill.
So who's making a mountain out of a molehill, exactly?
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:03 AM   #12
Flintstone
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
mountain.....molehill.
Sorry, Daren. English is not my first language and thus I'm lost at your post. Dare to put it in simple words so I can make sense of it? Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:17 AM   #13
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Sorry, Daren. English is not my first language and thus I'm lost at your post. Dare to put it in simple words so I can make sense of it? Thanks.
Not particularly...based upon everything you've managed to read into Willi's post I'm tempted to let you fill in the gaps yourself.

However despite my growing reluctance to bother posting on forums since inevitably whatever is posted gets chewed up and interpreted in whatever way the reader choses anyway here goes.

I think that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

As your not a native english speaker this simply means you seem to be reading a lot more into what Willi has said than it actually there.

Up to Willi if he wants to expand on his post but to me I read that bowing is almost universal whereas clapping in this manner is more specifically linked to calling of shinto gods. In the context provided of course.

I can see Willi's point that this might be more of a problem than bowing for some.

I don't see it as some claim that 'white peoples religion is more legitimate' than anything else.

Hope that clarifies.

D
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:22 AM   #14
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
So who's making a mountain out of a molehill, exactly?
At the time of my reply the person quoted within it.

If your suggesting that by replying I've committed the same offence then to a degree you are correct...and have joined me in fuelling the fire.

Perhaps no one should ever post anything to avoid this...but I suspect that would make the forum very boring indeed.

Regards

D
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:34 AM   #15
Flintstone
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
As your not a native english speaker this simply means you seem to be reading a lot more into what Willi has said than it actually there.
Thanks for the clarification, Daren. But if you read Willi's posts in the thread about bowing, then you'll know why I read more than what he's writing in that one particular post, as well as my reference to "white people's religion".

I believe that Mary read the same as I did in his words.

Best.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:17 AM   #16
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Thanks for the clarification, Daren. But if you read Willi's posts in the thread about bowing, then you'll know why I read more than what he's writing in that one particular post, as well as my reference to "white people's religion".

I believe that Mary read the same as I did in his words.

Best.
No worries.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:41 AM   #17
MM
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

From an old 2002 thread here at Aikiweb:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2886

The first post has a bit of info on bowing and clapping. Below is an excerpt.

Quote:
Jay Gerard wrote: View Post
I have seen a great many posting about Aikido as it pertains to Christianity, some about how Aikido is related to Zen or Buddhism, but I haven't really seen anything on Shinto practices. There are some questions posed at the end, but first I'll give a tad bit of personal experience/background info.

Recently, I've begun to train at Tsubaki Kannagara Jinjya, a shinto shrine in Washington state, under the shinto priest Koichi Barrish. (It's the U.S. branch of the Tsubaki O' Kami Yashiro in Japan, which enshrined master Ueshiba after is death. See www.kannagara.org/Quotes.htm.)

Many of the "traditions" performed in Aikido dojo are actually shinto practices. As an example, I've read a couple of times on these boards about doing the 2-bows, 2-claps, 1-bow tradition, which is a part of many shinto ceremonies. When entering the shrine (after purifying our hands and mouth outside), we perform this (the bowing is to show respect for the enshrined kami, and clapping purifies the air - a remedial explanation, I'll admit...I'm no shinto expert.)
In case you're wondering about the actual Shinto practice, short video examples here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqTu1bSLUnI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC7heZNCRn4

I'm sure there is quite a bit more information out there.

Mark
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:48 AM   #18
MM
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
And here we go again. Why is that not clapping is more legitimate than not bowing? Is that that white people religion is more legitimate than other people's? And... why is this allowed in aikiweb now and then?

Also, you seem to imply (again) that some faiths don't know about "respect to other people" just because they show it differently. Oh, prejudices... so nice!
I don't have near the education or experience in this area, so take my opinion as such:

I think in this instance, there is a separation of religious overtones/undertones/etc. Bowing in dojos outside Japan, *can* have the meaning of "respect" for all people training rather than prostration or other religious meanings.

The bowing and the clapping, however, come from Shinto. While that doesn't necessarily have to be "religious" (that's a whole different thread), it does overlap into what most people think of as a religion. That's why bowing is more legitimate than clapping, in a broad sense. The former can be non-religious while the latter tends to be religious.

Mark
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:10 AM   #19
Flintstone
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Well, Mark, I do appreciate your comments and your opinion. But while it's true that bowing does not have to do with religion in the broad sense, in the particular case of Islam (or of some imans interpretations) bowing has to do with it. So, in general, yes you're right. Let this be the exception to the rule (although I'm pretty sure there are other faiths that share this point with Islam).
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #20
WilliB
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Thanks for the clarification, Daren. But if you read Willi's posts in the thread about bowing, then you'll know why I read more than what he's writing in that one particular post, as well as my reference to "white people's religion".

I believe that Mary read the same as I did in his words.
I never said anything about a "white people`s religion", and I find it pretty cheap that you feel you have to play the race card.

I simply said that bowing is a gesture that shows respect, while the clapping has a religious context. Myself, I have no problem clapping, but I also have no problem brinbing my local shinto god with 10 yen at years end, although I am atheist.

What exactly is a "white people`s religion", anyway?
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #21
David Orange
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
And here we go again. Why is that not clapping is more legitimate than not bowing? Is that that white people religion is more legitimate than other people's?
Alejandro, it's really a matter of whether there's a Shinto shrine in the room. The clapping is done toward the shrine, where there would be a mirror and other Shinto implements. And in serious Shinto, the person who maintains the shrine would maintain it for a kami--a Shinto deity that would bless, protect and inspire the place and all the people in it. That's why it's called a "kamiza," meaning "seat of the god."

For a person who had put a kamiza in his dojo, it would be unthinkable to practice in front of the shrine and not invite the kami to bless and protect the practice and practitioners. The purpose of the clapping is to call the kami and invite him/her/it to attend the practice.

Of course, if there is no kamiza, there is no reason to clap. And many Japanese dojos don't have kamiza. In fact, Shinto is not appreciated to the same degree by all Japanese. Most of them will go to a big shrine at New Year or the birth of a child, but at its most extreme, it gets into hard right politics in which militarists and yakuza are eager participants. So it has a lot of political implications besides the religious ones.

Mochizuki Sensei was a way-back man and he had a kamiza in the dojo, containing a driftwood "dragon's head" in memory of Moirhei Ueshiba. As uchi-deshi, we sometimes changed out the green branches and dusted the kamiza. Our classes always began as Saito Sensei's class in the earlier-linked video clip, bowing toward the kamiza and clapping. Mochizuki Sensei also always led us in recitation of a Meiji essay called "Seikun". It was sort of political, but mostly centered on creating and maintaining a regular and harmonious personal and family life.

I always participated fully in the rituals and recited the Seikun, but I always prayed to the God of Israel and gave thanks in the name of Jesus. And I would love to sit again on that tatami and hear Mochizuki Sensei reciting Seikun.

Best to all.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:13 AM   #22
lbb
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
At the time of my reply the person quoted within it.

If your suggesting that by replying I've committed the same offence then to a degree you are correct...and have joined me in fuelling the fire.
Come on. You used cryptic language to make an accusation of someone; I asked you to clarify who you were talking about. How are these two equivalent?
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #23
MM
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
Well, Mark, I do appreciate your comments and your opinion. But while it's true that bowing does not have to do with religion in the broad sense, in the particular case of Islam (or of some imans interpretations) bowing has to do with it. So, in general, yes you're right. Let this be the exception to the rule (although I'm pretty sure there are other faiths that share this point with Islam).
Yes, I agree.

When it starts getting into religious territory, things become complicated. For example, in the Baptist area, there are Baptist who don't want to dance and then there are Baptists who don't want women wearing jeans. All under one religion, broken into different sects/areas/groups.

Religion becomes too personal to categorize. As noted by other people here, some of the Islamic faith don't have a problem with bowing while some do. IMO, it's a little like what David Orange described in his post. While he went through the Shinto ritual, he was praying to the God of Israel. Some people wouldn't do the Shinto ritual because they wouldn't believe that they could substitute the kami with their God. Some of the Islamic faith view bowing as prostration which goes against their beliefs.

I really don't think (at times) that it's a matter of having an "open mind", but a matter of how much importance that person puts on their religious beliefs. As all of us, we build our house of religion, sometimes it has a lot of windows and doors and sometimes it's a narrow hallway full of personal adornment. Both examples beautiful in their splendor and full of hard work.

How do you deal with that? On an individual, case-by-case basis, trying to avoid lumping the fringe elements into decisions about the group as a whole. IMO, anyway.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:28 AM   #24
Flintstone
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Mark, David, I agree with both of you. I personally like the way David puts it about bowing to the God of Israel (or Allah, who is the same, or the God of the Christians, btw). And I agree with Mark on the case-by-case basis. Me? I bow. If at Iwama Ryu's class, I clap. Whatever that means to me is only know by me. But I know some people won't and I respect that.

But I don't see the point in enforcing bowing and/or clapping that some guy defend arguing that these practices are one with Aikido.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:32 AM   #25
Dazzler
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Re: Bowing in question - Clapping?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Come on. You used cryptic language to make an accusation of someone; I asked you to clarify who you were talking about. How are these two equivalent?
Done. Dusted.

The extrapolation by Alejandro was clearly OTT as a response to the single post by Willi.

He's now explained that this was a carry on from another thread.

You asked me to clarify who I was talking to when I'd quoted him. I'd have though it was blatantly obvious who I was talking to so had to query your response for deeper meaning.

Obviously there wasn't anything deeper - you seem to have just missed my direct reply.

As for cryptic....well - Making a mountain out of a molehill is a pretty common expression over here.

Maybe not so common for Alejandro ...but we have now cleared that up and moved on.

Care to do the same?
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