Bowing in the Dojo

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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby Lori » Sat Feb 20, 1999 9:04 pm

Tony-san,

Surprise!
I'm not surprised...
I actually don't think you are too hung up on the old handshake eiter - or a salute - or a few other ritualistic or customary gestures of "society at large"...

But you do bow very well when necessary - you're right - no one would guess you don't care for it...

With a curtsy,
Lori
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sat Feb 20, 1999 9:13 pm

Anthony San:

I certainly can recall situations where I didn't wish to "bow". I actually don't care for doing so too much on just entering or leaving the dojo or kwoon. I hope in this way I say I understand what you mean.

However, at the 1983 or 1984 camp one of the seniors started to do his form with the most abbreviated of bows possible.

I am taking care not to mention names. The Kata, nonetheless was done beautifully with power and fluidity far surpassing any I might hope to acheive. Still, whenever I see the clip, even after 15 years, I still wonder
"was this a slight".

Just a thought.

Cross cultural acclimitization?


JOHNT

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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sat Feb 20, 1999 9:23 pm

JD SAN:

(that seems to be the "polite" form of adress commonly used on the forum and its fun even if it exhausts about 1/2 of my working knowledge of japanese)

Yes, I believe I recall that my theology prof at H.C. picked out at least three different "imagery threads" in the first part of Genesis probably due to the effect you have mentioned.

I'll have to restudy this.

JOHNT

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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby moulton » Sun Feb 21, 1999 6:45 am

So Anthony, are you telling us that you are practicing christianity by 'religiously' sacrificing of yourself at the dojo?
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Postby moulton » Sun Feb 21, 1999 7:08 am

Seeing it is the Lord's day.... May the fire-breathing dragon of karate 'flame' you into dust for your pagan ways.

Religion is a way of life for many people. Some of the great wars in history have been fought over religion. Even today...

So it is in the dojo we can also have out strong beliefs which may even help fuel war between dojo.

P.S. Yes, Anthony, it is a good thing for editors. My hands shake too much sometimes to hit the right lrud on the keyboard.

[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 02-21-99).]
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Postby moulton » Sun Feb 21, 1999 2:27 pm

Ok, ok, doctor X.

I have my vision of what the Lord's Day represents; it is neither monthly nor Jewish.

Tony,

If you survive the <font color=red>Dragon's Flame,</font> pass him a bottle of <font color=green>Scope.</font>
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Sun Feb 21, 1999 8:16 pm

JD san:

Very poetically ended. There is some element of tradition connected with almost everything we do and say.

In America it's a bit muddled sometimes because of the tremendous diversity of ethnic backgrounds and the propensity for the English language to assimilate new words fairly regularly.

I can't think of much more to add.

JOHNT

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Postby RickLiebespach » Mon Feb 22, 1999 3:50 am

I want to thank the participants of this and the other threads for dealing lucidly (for the most part), with what can be a murky and sticky issue. I suspect that the issue of bowing (specifically to photos in what appears to be a shrine), may be something that is characteristic of people who have strong, heartfelt convictions in formal monotheistic (Judeo/Christian/Islamic), belief systems in general. I suspect that polytheises (sp?) and those whose belief system is not a core of their being, would have less trouble in this area. This is not intended as a put down...merely speculation in an attempt to understand, not divide, others.

Overall I've benefited and been encouraged by these posts. I am disappointed that some may view myself, and others who have questions and alternate oppinions on bowing (specifically to photos in what appears to be a shrine), as being closed/narrow minded and immature. Having convictions worth standing for sometimes means being on the other side. Hopefully, with time, understanding and acceptance will grow. Please don't hold it against me, or take it as an attack against you, when for the sake of others and the sake of friendship, I don't conform in all things. I will always grant respect...but I have no desire to do things that would cause others to stumble, or to offend to my friend...especially when that friend is God.

For my tastes, portions of this discussion has gotten further from my intent than I care. My issue for worship, and appearance of worship, has been addressed. Hopefully, Jessica's has been addressed as well. If anyone has any questions of me, or advice for me, please feel free to continue this via private email (RickLiebespach@BigFoot.com). At this point I'd rather learn than to stir up.

Thank you,
Rick Liebespach
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Feb 22, 1999 5:09 am

Anthony:

No flames required.

J.D. is quite correct, in fact "The Suffering Servant" and "Lamb of God" (Agnus Dei)(sacrificial) are two ---what---alternative Christian references to Christ.

However, my biblical studies were extremely limited.

JOHNT

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Postby JOHN THURSTON » Mon Feb 22, 1999 11:11 pm

Rick:

I think that if the bowing or other ceremony was being sold to us as part of a religion, I would certainly object.

The 'form' of the formality appears as though it might be based on "Shinto" or in chinese system a very watered down ritual perhaps based on "spirit" (Kami in Japanese I guess) "reverence" or "worship".

But it is not generally "sold" that way in the U.S.. No one is asking us to actually worship a graven image etc., etc..

If theoretically it was demanded of us to do more that just "follow the formality" to the point where it went beyond respect and discipline in the Dojo, I think there would be a serious problem.

I make note that the Ottomans "whitewashed" or destroyed the murals and icons in the Hagia Sophia (Now Mosque of Omar (??? J.D. help me out here) in Constantinople in the 15th century. This was being true to their beliefs regarding "images" of God. It would certainly not be inconsistent for one of fundamentalist views in this regard to question bowing to shrines. But the questioner would have to accept the non religious intent of the ritual or make appropriate personal decisions.

JOHN T.


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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby Jessica » Tue Feb 23, 1999 5:31 am

Hi Everyone,

I appreciate the input on the bowing issue. I believe that some interesting points were and good solutions suggested. I will bring this information to my sensei, and if there are any further questions, I'll post them.

Thanks Again!

Jessica
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby miked » Sun Feb 28, 1999 7:06 pm

Anthony wrote:

When we begin our workout, we kneel, bow, clap twice, bow again and start our workout ... Inbetween all of these exercises and drills are the proper bows and courtesies and such...I bow in all of my katas (when he is present) and even ensure it is done properly.

-------------------------------------------

A couple of times a year JD hops on a plane and comes down to LA-LA land to share holidays (even Christian ones!) and work out with me. I live in a condo. complex which has a large concrete patio which is great for workouts and tough on feet. Whenever we practice, we never perform formal and ending bows for our sessions. We very rarely even wear a gi or belt, just sweats. We will bow in all katas and there is good reason to do so.

The concept of mushin (loosely translated as "no mind") is very important in the practice of kata. The bow is meant as a ritual to prepare your mind to enter into the state of mushin. At the end of the form you mind should be in a state of "zazen" which I understand is a state of total alertness and yet complete calmness. The ending bow marks a demarcation in the state of mind for the practitioner. (And lets face it, how would all those tournament judges know when to score you if you don't end the form with a bow?)

Now when practicing informally, in public, with JD, I am very reluctant to go through all of the other ritual formalities (ncluding wearing gis & belts). He and I have been around enough to know what is expected in the dojo but with no shomen to bow to and no "instructor" present, what would be the point? I feel that the rituals have their place in formal settings but should never become more important than the content of the practice.

Mike
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Postby Drew Doolin » Sun Feb 28, 1999 11:41 pm

HUMOROUS BOWING STORY: Last night I "bowed in" to my Senior's- Senior (JD's term) dojo in Yomitan. (a very traditional, small Okinawan dojo). As Anthony stated, you bow and clap twice (respect for the dead), then turn and bow to the Master. Well, when I turned to Sensei I clapped twice again. I heard a shocked voice (my Senior) say "He's NOT DEAD?!" OOPS. We all had a quick laugh as I tried to pull myself up and awkwardley apoligize to the Master. Oh, well. We're all learning, and my intent was pure.
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby Bill Glasheen » Mon Mar 01, 1999 10:05 pm

MikeD

You stated the following with regard to the private workouts that you and J.D. do: "We very rarely even wear a gi or belt, just sweats."

I'm shocked, Mike. Do you mean to tell me that J.D. doesn't practice in formal white underwear with you? Blasphemy!! What WOULD the ancients say?

Bill


[This message has been edited by Bill Glasheen (edited 03-01-99).]
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Bowing in the Dojo

Postby miked » Tue Mar 02, 1999 7:05 am

Bill,

Actually JD prefers to a wear tutu when he is working out in public. Personally I don't care what he wears just so long as he leaves the pasties at home.

Anthony,

I am going to start another thread because you bring up some intersting points which should be discussed separately

Mike
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