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 > Spiritual

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 06-30-2004, 06:03 AM   #26
Roger C. Marks
Dojo: Tetsushinkan London
Location: London
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 25
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Having taught 'orthodox' Jews and Muslims as well as followers of a wide variety of Christian denominations (I hesitate to use the term sect which some may consider pejorative) I have come across all sorts of responses to what some of them perceive as a pagan ritual and an affront to their perception of their Deity.

In Judo, it is a requirement that you bow to your opponent before starting to practice with them and for a contest this is pretty much obligatory. A very high grade Japanese sensei refused to allow a (Muslim) prospective contestant to take part in a competition when they would not bow as he considered that this was an essential part of Judo. However, this same sensei objects to us referring to the 'high seat' as the kamiza because of the religious connotations but prefers the term joza which is an alternative reading and apparently does not have the same ritualistic implications.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2004, 04:49 AM   #27
ticchi
Dojo: Field Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1
Australia
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

I heard that you bow to the front, like you are bowing to God, this can be easily changed to the one you believe in, or not.

Anyway, i heard O Sensei wasn't of a particular religion, but was open open to all religions, why would he create a martial art with a procedure that would discriminate against people.


(sorry to repeat anything above, i didn't read the other posts)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-23-2004, 12:02 PM   #28
Troy
 
Troy's Avatar
Dojo: Yellow Springs Aikido
Location: Fairborn, Oh
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 50
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

I feel that it is showing respect to O-Sensei, the art and the traditions of Japan.

"The Art of Peace is the religion that is not a religion; it perfects and completes all religions."
-Morihei Ueshiba
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-24-2004, 03:59 AM   #29
bogglefreak20
Dojo: Ki dojo
Location: Novo mesto & Ljubljana
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 101
Slovenia
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

I bow out of respect.

And I don't mean only in the dojo. If I walk down the street and meet someone I know and have respect for I bow slightly (more of a nod with the head, maybe a slight forward motion of the upper part of my torso). That accompanied with a kind word is my personal way of greeting people (I should perhaps mention that bowing, even as slightly as I do it, is no longer a part of greeting patterns in my country - as it is not in most of Europe). For me it says: "Respect." Nothing more.

A proverb comes to mind, I think it's chinese, says: "If you bow at all, bow lowly."

Beatus Qui Venit In Nomine Domini!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2004, 05:06 PM   #30
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

I think it is helpful to keep this discussion from drifting into any particular one direction of religion or dogma. That is, I don't think it helps to answer this question in terms of christianity specifically, or judaism, or luciferianism, or paganism, or buddhism, etc. If we are looking for wisdom in the answer, we should look at the system for finding the answer itself. That is why I very heartily agree with James Chye's post above.

Regardless of the faith, the physical action is separate from whatever embodiment of meaning and ritual is brought to the movement. I think it just important to realize that this baggage was brought by the student, and not necessarily intended or present there in the ritual from the beginning.

YMMV

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2004, 06:21 PM   #31
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,038
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Tim Rohr wrote:
Regardless of the faith, the physical action is separate from whatever embodiment of meaning and ritual is brought to the movement.
I'm glad that you believe so - just realize that not everybody does.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2004, 04:49 AM   #32
JoHo
Dojo: Shobukan Wien
Location: Wien
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 16
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Worship
Is the activity of worshiping
.. of ancestors (very common in Japan, Korea and so on)
.. of yourself
.. of planets or stars
and so on
bowing - bending
the head
the body
the knee
as a sign of reverence or submission or shame
in Aikido it is the respect to O´Sensei
personally i´m a strong believer but i does not have any problem to bow down and show my respect to O´Sensei and my Sensei at the beginning and on the end of each Aikido class.

regards
Horst
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2004, 05:07 AM   #33
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Miha Sinkovec said:
Quote:
... If I walk down the street and meet someone I know and have respect for I bow slightly (more of a nod with the head, maybe a slight forward motion of the upper part of my torso).
Living in a fairly conservative part of rural Bavaria, I have seen gentlemen who are being very polite, or are in formal situations, or who are simply being courtly, bow, often accompanying a handshake, but not necessarily.

When first introduced to my current landlord, he all but clicked his heels, bowed, then stepped forward to shake my hand. This despite the fact that he was covered in paint and dirt, wearing coveralls and workshoes, as he prepared the house for us to move in.

Walter's my age, mid-40s, but was raised by very traditional parents. It was entirely instinctive. I think it reflected well upon me, during that initial meeting, that I automatically returned the bow ...

I've seen similar behavior more than once, often in military and govt circles, but on the street, too.

A fine older gentleman I've seen out and about will often bow to an attractive woman passing by and say "Habe d'ire" (Bayerish for "I have the honor!" or "Honored!"). Very suave. Very classy. The women seem universally tickled by the act, too.

I cannot think that there's any argument that, to these folks, the bow is anything more than a courtly, polite gesture.

And yes, I still occasionally find myself suppressing a deep desire to bow whilst entering any given room; and did bow upon entering the local chapel for a memorial ceremony not long ago. Nobody thought much of it, though I was a bit amused at myself.

As for me, having no religious beliefs whatsoever, bowing in the dojo holds the simple meaning of polite interaction within the cultural framework of the art I practice.

I've had a couple of folks over the years seek to study with me, but who professed some angst about reiho. My answer is simple: "This is what we do. If it bothers you in any way, you don't have to do it. However, if you train with us, you should comply with the cultural imperative of the dojo, which in this case, means we bow to open and close class and bow to each other."

I do emphasize that to ME, there is no religious connotation.

One of those applicants thought it over, came to class anyway and bowed happily. Another left and sought another dojo wherein he could train under his own terms.

And again, to ME, that's what the question of bowing or not comes down to: Shall I train in XYZ dojo that requires me to adhere to the internal culture, or go to ABC dojo where they'll let me tailor my training experience as I see fit.

I believe that if we seperate the cultural experience from the training, we are decreasing the value of the art. Others disagree, but that's their perogative.

Chuck

Last edited by Chuck.Gordon : 08-04-2004 at 05:13 AM. Reason: to correct dyslexisms ...

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2004, 07:54 AM   #34
David Brannigan
Dojo: Hagakure Houghton-le-Spring
Location: Houghton-le-Spring
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

I think it's pretty clear the bow is a mark of respect and shouldn't be omitted. If one doesn't like the traditions or rules-start your own club dude!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2004, 03:24 AM   #35
Geoff Flather
Dojo: Life Centre, Exeter, Devon
Location: Devon England, UK.
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 26
Offline
Smile Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Principles, beliefs, are what most people base their lives upon. Such principles that we may have before entering Aikido are enhanced, providing we give those with them a chance to do so. Those without them, will surely develop their knowledge and ability around Aikido concepts and technical knowledge.

Aikido is based on philosophic considerations and technical ability, it is not simply physical exercise, surely !
Or possibly I have been around Aikido too long.


The mortar between the bricks of conceptual Aikido belief and technical ability is -

" Tolerance and Understanding "

If you are unable to show this strength of character, first it may have to be pointed out to you, before you can gain that strength or impowerment. Normally, through the opportunity to build that ability, you may be dependant on others to do so . We need to gain strength in all manner of ways. Similar to Ueshiba Morihei Osensei. In this you may wish to show your respect. How you do so, does it matter ? A bow in the Far east, a traditional response in showing respectfulness, and is also a martial technical self defensive responce . A bow is also utilised in the Middle east and all over the World. As far as I can tell.

A " dude " ( the term used by another writer on this thread ) who has a restricted ability in any way, needs to be taught by the strong, and patient, with the wisdom of Aikido, not pushed out, by the inconsiderate student or Instructor. Who has in that action shown their inept and lack of Aikido ability. One day you may need even the weakest person in your life to enable you. This is a very old concept and one that is still true.

Thank you for reading my reply.

Last edited by Geoff Flather : 08-05-2004 at 03:32 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2004, 01:31 PM   #36
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Tim Rohr:
Regardless of the faith, the physical action is separate from whatever embodiment of meaning and ritual is brought to the movement.

Christopher Li:
I'm glad that you believe so - just realize that not everybody does.


My statement was not directed at those of a particular mind and simultaneously against any critical thought or information that might change their belief. Those sorts of people aren't interested in discussion, anyway; they're far more likely to make speeches or sermons - one sided conversations. I more address those people who are searching for an answer to this who might be ready to consider that, for example, there is a muscle-stretch position very similar to the seated bow. Should that stretch also not be performed because of the physical position the student gets into? Hardly. The difference is the mindset of the student. Does the physical position make the worship, or does the intention of the student make the worship?

Of course, there are other opinions, as you point out. I am guessing you did not understand the 'YMMV' at the end of my post, else I don't think you would have posted with such pithiness.

YMMV = 'your mileage may vary' ...a nod to the fact that others may hold other ideas.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2004, 02:10 PM   #37
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,038
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Tim Rohr wrote:
Of course, there are other opinions, as you point out. I am guessing you did not understand the 'YMMV' at the end of my post, else I don't think you would have posted with such pithiness.

YMMV = 'your mileage may vary' ...a nod to the fact that others may hold other ideas.
Oh, I understood it. Does that mean that I can't comment on the other parts?

My point was that your statement is typical of a commonly held view in these cases - that because I believe a certain point of view to be reasonable that other people also ought to hold that view to be reasonable. In real life, however, what happens is that other people have their own reasonably held beliefs.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2004, 09:21 PM   #38
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
I believe that if we seperate the cultural experience from the training, we are decreasing the value of the art.
Hi Chuck,

I agree with you on this but am wondering why you think this is?

Charles Hill
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 02:19 AM   #39
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Charles Hill said:
Quote:
Hi Chuck,
I agree with you on this but am wondering why you think this is?
To me, the study of budo is more than the study of physical combatives. In fact, if you read much of the stuff that falls out of my head and fingers online here, you'll note that I espouse the idea that budo, per se, is not about fighting, not about the physical combatives, at all. The physical activity is a tool through which we learn certain principles, rather than specific actions to respond to physical violence. The principles are learnt throught he actions, and the principles are what is important ... the activities are the method of transmission. They cannot be separated and one cannot be fully learnt without the integration of the other.

If you study budo, then I believe you should be examining the root and trunk as well as the branches and leaves.

There are usually fairly specific philosophical, historical, practical and esoteric underpinnings to all the budo (in some of the syncretic or synthesized gendai arts, such as kendo, judo and iaido for example, this might muddy a bit, but not so much as it cannot be identified with some exploration -- they are still Japanese-based arts, built upon the foundations of earlier sword or jujutsu systems, in those examples) ...

If we take budo as a set of nominally combative systems derived from historic Japanese sources, then to know the budo, you must, I think, know the origins, the history, the secular and spiritual attachments (not that you have to BELIEVE them, but should aspire to understand and know how they affected development of the art and how they affect its structure and theory).

If you're practicing a budo, any budo, and not examining those things, you might be happy as a clam never knowing those things, and that is, I guess, OK for some folks.

However, I beleive that by exploring all those facets of the art you choose, that you will only enrich your expeience, and further, I beleive that only by delving into those aspect of your chosen art can you truly integrate the art and understand it at the deepest levels.

If Joe Snuffy is perfectly happy dressing up in dogi and playing adult romper room a couple hours a week, and is happy about it, without rooting around in the cellar to find out WHY he does ABC when uke does XYZ, or why you stand THIS way and not THAT way in THIS situation, or why you EI! when you thrust and HO! when you cut, fine.

I just think he's missing a lot.

And truly, at the lower levels, it's not essential to know these things ... but as we advance, if we don't explore more deeply, then we're cheating ourselves of the richness of experience that the budo offers.

In terms of what constitutes a budo, I think if you teach the physical aspects without the underpinnings and esoterica, that is becomes not-budo.

Call it wrestling, call it personal combatives, call it adult romper room. But 'budo' to me, infers a connection with and exploration of the whole of the thing and not just the external.

And therein lies the path taken when we discard bowing, trade dogi for sweats and t-shirts, ignore Japanese terminology, start mixing in things from other traditions without fully having a grasp of the original art or the add-ins.

Chuck

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 01:25 PM   #40
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Chris Li -

"Oh, I understood [YMMV]. Does that mean that I can't comment on the other parts?"

I quoted your entire post, save for the closing, wherein you only quoted one line of mine. What more did you wish to comment on?

Which part of my original post did you think was not covered by the YMMV comment I tagged on to the end? Which of it would you consider blatant opinion that I had not acknowledged with the YMMV? If you intended to comment on another part of my post, perhaps you should have, though I assure you it was all covered under the YMMV tag.

The point of posting here is to share these reasonable held opinions and to read other reasonably held opinions... to share knowledge and discover knowledge. To that end, I post, hoping to cause someone of a different perspective to raise questions in why they do what they do. Why, for instance, must a bow before the shomen wall be any different than respect? Be any different to bowing before working with a partner? Be any different than bowing before working with a weapon? Or, at the very least, be any different than a stretch (if the participant wished it to be so empty)?

If they still have a different opinion after I raise these questions with them, that's their prerogative.

However, not all stances are equal in all things. There is an objective truth to the question of if a person does worship by kneeling and bending over. The trick is that this is determined in the person's mind before the question is even formed. If they believe that they do, then they do. If they can get past that and believe that they do not, then they do not.

Or should we say to someone that they are indeed worshipping when they do not believe they are? Should we say to someone that they are worshipping when they type on a keyboard? When they sing? When they dance? When they close their eyes and rest? Absurd. The person answers for themselves if they are worshipping.

After all, that's their opinion.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2004, 02:38 PM   #41
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,038
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Tim Rohr wrote:
Absurd. The person answers for themselves if they are worshipping.
Which is exactly what I said, isn't it?

But it's not what you wrote - even allowing for the "disclaimer".


Quote:
Tim Rohr wrote:
If they believe that they do, then they do. If they can get past that and believe that they do not, then they do not.
Are you saying that people ought to "get past" their religious beliefs?

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2004, 02:52 PM   #42
Magma
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 168
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Sometimes, Chris, it seems the argument degenerates from the subject to being just about winning the argument itself.... about not being wrong.

"Which is exactly what I said, isn't it?

But it's not what you wrote - even allowing for the "disclaimer"."

Well, you're entitled to your opinion. You're also entitled to be wrong. It is silly that we are arguing not over the subject itself, but about whether or not we agree with the subject. I'm sorry, but finding or proving myself in agreement with you is far less important to me than the subject itself, so I will leave this discussion with you alone and not respond further.

...except for answering brazen close-mindedness or brilliant stupidity. --Not that I expect these from you, I just want to leave that door open in the off-chance that such arise.

******

"Are you saying that people ought to "get past" their religious beliefs?"

Actually, it's a far simpler explanation than whatever ill-politic connotation you want to contrive. "Get past" refers to the fact that someone without a great deal of religious belief - or, at least, religious angst over the worship question - does not normally suddenly develop a case of worry over the question of if they are worshipping by bowing. The question simply does not occur to them. Thus, the person who *does* encounter the question is the person who already has a good deal of belief (or angst), and only reconciles it be moving past the question/belief/angst. This is not a qualitative judgment or statement on my part, as you seem to take it. It is, rather, a chronological statement... that the person once had a question, but now does not.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2004, 03:37 PM   #43
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
And therein lies the path taken when we discard bowing, trade dogi for sweats and t-shirts, ignore Japanese terminology, start mixing in things from other traditions without fully having a grasp of the original art or the add-ins.
Chuck,

Thanks for answering. Again, I agree with everything you wrote. However, if you don't mind, I'd like to play the Devil's advocate.

Morihei Ueshiba undoubtably mixed things in from other traditions. His religious beliefs were unusual in the martial arts world of his time and are even more so now. They caused him a lot of trouble. And I think that if he were alive now and walked into a room talking the way he did, most Japanese, including most Aikido practioners, would start sniffing for the sarin gas on their way out of the room.

Would it be wrong for an Native American Aikido teacher (just for example) to ask his students to use Lakota (or whatever) equivilents that accurately conveyed what the Japanese words intended? What if he/she expressed his/her understanding of Amenomurakumo-kukisamuhara-ryuu-ookami in terms of The Great Spirit?

I pose these questions because I really don't know (although I have some ideas) and I'm interested in your or other's opinions.

Charles Hill
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2004, 10:36 AM   #44
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

If you have access to the current edition of Aikido Today Magazine containing their interview with me I talk quite a bit about this subject which is near and dear to my heart. I can not repeat it here so I hope you can find an issue if you are interested in my experience and opinion on this matter of religion and Aikido.

Dennis Hooker
www.shindai.com



Quote:
Brendan Basone wrote:
When you bow at the close of an aikido lesson do you worship or just show honour to a person or philosophy which improves self esteem?

I feel it meant to much when I bowed and had to pray later because of it concerning it.

There are Biblical examples of this such as when Namaan the Syrian who asked a prophet for permission to bow with the others to a false God. And there were many examples with Jesus. Early christians chose death instead of calling the Emperor lord...

What's it to you fellows? How do you deal with it according to your conscience and faith?

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

www.shindai.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2004, 12:06 PM   #45
Chuck.Gordon
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Charles Hill said:
Quote:
Would it be wrong for an Native American Aikido teacher (just for example) to ask his students to use Lakota (or whatever) equivilents
Heck no, IF teacher and students all understand Lakota ... and as long as he or she's not overlaying a veneer of Lakota philosophy along with the language.

We use English in the dojo for most things, my friend Gri and his collegues use Greek (it's where they live and their language), Andy (despite being a Yorkshireman) and his students use German and French (they're i Freiburg). We have to inject SOME of our language and ideas, but as long as the core is intact and we're not supplanting, but rather supplementing ... then I think it's OK.

I think it's important to know the Japanese reigi, terms, etc.

Saying 'four direction throw' sounds odd, is unwieldy and misses some nuances of 'shiho nage' to me. Kote gaeshi expreses the concept tightly and succicntly, in a way that 'wrist-return' misses.

Quote:
that accurately conveyed what the Japanese words
Well, there's the question, isn't it? NObody today, I'll wager, can really interpret what Ueshiba babbled about (they might re-interpret what tey hear din their own terms, but he was a very, very odd man and, at least in private, many of his closest students and family members admit to being baffled.

I believe the message is in the movement. This is not atypical of Japanese budo. Tere's an enormous aount of information encoded in the basics, it take years to decode it.

And quite often, I beleive, talk just gets in the way (says the guy who reminds himself to shut up on the mat frequently).

Quote:
intended? What if he/she expressed his/her understanding of Amenomurakumo-kukisamuhara-ryuu-ookami in terms of The Great Spirit?
CAN it be expressed in lakota, or Danish or Czech? Dunno. Maybe to some degree, but unless we have some small understanding of the culture and language of the original referent, we lose some of it ...

Quote:
I pose these questions because I really don't know (although I have some ideas) and I'm interested in your or other's opinions.
So, what DO yo think?

Chuck

  Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2004, 06:51 PM   #46
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Quote:
Chuck Gordon wrote:
as long as he or she's not overlaying a veneer of Lakota philosophy along with the language.
This was my question/point. I do think (at least for now) that if a person has a correct understanding of Aikido (meaning the philosophy and not just technique) and brings it to a student of another culture, it is possible to translate it into that second culture.

Any decisions made by the teacher as to how a class is to be run are necessarily going to cause problems as well as solve some. I think the positive points to following Japanese tradition while not in Japan are that they prepare the students' minds that something different is supposed to happen, they are to leave preconceptions behind. Also, doing things in a Japanese way might encourage students to check out the history and ideas of Aikido directly.

However, negatives exist as well. I disagree that the Japanese terms (generally) have nuances that are missing in the English. There seems to be a tendency to make what we do seem exotic which I believe detracts from the practice. And if there are nuances, I think that your average non-Japanese would not pick them up without a thorough grounding in the culture, meaning a long (years) stay in Japan.

I have also often noticed mistakes in usage. For example, I was at a seminar where an American student asked the American teacher a question. I think that this, which would never happen in Japan, was quite positive. However, the student first said "onegaeshimasu" probably thinking that it was proper in the situation. It wasn't and the reason was more than just a linguistic mistake. A Japanese would never have asked a question in the first place. It was a case of taking the Japanese thing both too far and not far enough.

It is my opinion that Japanese terms should be used mainly when an equivilent doesn't exist. "Arigato gozaimashita" doesn't convey anything that "thank you very much" misses, and is more likely to be insincere coming from a native English speaker. I'm not sure about etiquette. I've seen Chiba Sensei shake the hands of his uke after a demonstration has finished and it seemed appropriate to me.

Thanks,
Charles Hill
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-18-2004, 04:08 PM   #47
Huker
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 63
Canada
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Don't worship, just respect and honor the traditions of the dojo.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2004, 12:35 AM   #48
Ron Pyle
 
Ron Pyle's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 11
United_States
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

In an effort to help the original poster of this thread.

Perhaps you might consider yourself an ambassador for Christ. If so, you should never ever offend anyone by walking on their cultural traditions. That is the attitude Missionaries have.

Also, bowing is just part of their cultural tradition. I think it helps me as a Christian to practice the humility, and no ego, in bowing. Showing respect where respect is due. I rather like it. Kinda wish it was part of western culture.

Also, God wants worship out of love. He's had his fill of empty respectfull patronization. Worship God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. Love God so much that you worship him. That is the kind of worship God wants. And yes, he wants it all to himself.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2004, 04:17 PM   #49
nmrmak
Dojo: Shin Ken (Aikikai)
Location: Belgrade
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 49
Yugoslavia
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

Hello everyone!

I just recieved my diplomma (actually a sort of certificate) for my 6. kyu about two hours ago, and i still have that feeling. I bowed out of true respect and thankfulness to my sensei. I thanked him mentally for teaching him, and it manifested itself as a bow. It's really a great feeling when someone helps you, or teaches you, and by the smile on their face, you can see that it was a pleasure for them too. In that moment, my ego was gone.

I know that some people at my dojo 'fake' bows, and that they bow just out of habit. Maybe i am wrong, but that's just my opinion. You can't see they are giving respect, but all you see is some bow-like movement of the upper part of the body. They are bowing with their bodies, and not with their minds. Sure, that has happened to me many times, when i am thinking of something else than aikido when i am entering the dojo But upon leaving the tatami, i am really glad that it is there, as i know how it is to practice without it (especially for a beginner). I bow to the dojo, because it is giving us a place to train, it's warm inside, and we are protected from the elements. I also bow to my sensei when i feel appropriate during training. It is a sort of tradition to bow every time when sensei shows you something in your technique, but there are times when i really feel thankful for that. That's when i truly bow.

For example, we were doing uchi kaiten sankyo. There was a minor mistake in the way i took grip of uke's hand, and that rendered the whole technique useless. Uke would fall, but it would be fake, and i could feel it. I asked my sensei about the issue, and he was uke for me. He felt what i did wrong and corrected me. It was just a small misalignment of my thumb. But i was very thankful for helping me, because it removed a huge obstacle out of my way. Without it, i would be stuck at sankyo for a long time. But he took the effort, and solved my problem in just a few seconds.

I see bowing as showing respect to anything you can think of. I bowed when going to a friend's dojo as an observer. Well, if they had trainings in the open, and it was raining, i would have to watch the training soaking wet... It makes sense. Of course, i did not bow to the tatami. I have respect for it, but it would be faking, because i can't be truly thankful for it's exsitance.

Now this was my longest post ever... I hope i wasn't confusing, and please forgive me if i was, since english is not my native language. Our common language is that of Aikido. Let us train it to proficiency.

Nebojsa Mrmak
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2004, 05:00 PM   #50
Qatana
 
Qatana's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Petaluma, Petaluma,CA
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 834
Offline
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

That was quite beautiful and I think it really captures the essence of Why we bow.
Congratulations on your 6th kyu!

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
  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
Culture of Martial Mediocrity? L. Camejo Training 160 02-03-2006 01:25 AM
Aikido as a Religion akiy General 36 06-10-2005 09:37 PM
idol worship, or spiritual enlightenment? Bruce Baker Spiritual 20 10-10-2002 12:38 PM
Christianity and Akido *** Spiritual 56 08-26-2002 12:00 PM
Hakama worship mj General 27 06-09-2001 02:10 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:02 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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