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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2001 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Has anyone ever heard of this very ancient and declining art before? With the exception of Gary Khoury, everyone is probably looking up in their "Martial Arts for Dummies" book right now trying to find it. Guess what? It's not there. It's not anywhere. It's the "art" of apologizing.

I placed this thread on Lenny's forum because this is just about as verbal as we get in self-defense. Why has this art been lost? Have we gained so much pride and ego that we cannot see when we are wrong and face the music? I don't know myself, but I am just as baffled.

An avid martial artist and reader of the forums, I see many stories and threads about NHB fighting, competition fighting, street defense, jujitsu, guns, weapons of various types, and modern warfare, but I never see my first line of defense in some instances....the apology. This is a weapon that can stop fights, even wars sometimes and it doesn't cost anything to say. It may take some swallowing of pride sometimes, but that is something most of us can get over.

With that said, do we teach it to our students or do we rely on their upbringing to determine whether or not they have the ability? Tough call. Fortunately, I was brought up in a family of 7 to say I'm sorry when I was wrong, and have done so many times in my life. Other people find it very difficult to see the error or their ways and are more apt to throw blame where it doesn't belong both at work and in their personal life. These people will never take repsonsibility for their actions and we'll continue to run away from the ultimate confrontation with another....when you have to eat crow.

Now this is not a demeaning things at all. You are not considered weak or unworthy because you acknowledge your error(s) and make the appropriate atonement. In fact, to me, you are more of a man (sorry gals) if you do apologize. Only cowards run away from a situation that can be rectified easily.

We all know who we are, but does that mean we can't change? Try making that apology to someone who deserves it and see if you feel better. I know I do regardless of how they take the action. To me, if I have the chance, the apology is always the first line of defense, especially when I'm wrong.

mike


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2001 5:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 1051
Location: Brockton, MA, USA
Mike:

Great Idea to post this thread in this forum.

Teaching martial artists to apologize as a defense is a very good idea. Providing that some offense was given in the first place.

Many people will escallate a situation if they feel that they were justified in their deeds or actions that warrant an intruder to argue with them. No one will apologize unless they know that they were wrong. Many will not, if they perceive that they may be slightly right.

If you bump into someone, most of us will apologize. It is an act of uncaring individual who will not utter a mere "sorry" under their breath. I have seen many confrontations in bars and night clubs because of this.

Think of it this way as a deduction of logic.
Macho men do not apologize.
Men who study karate are considered macho.
Therefore men who study karate do not apologize.

This is only hypothetical of course as there are many polite, considerate, and humble men who study the martial arts.

It is also a good idea to accept ones aplology.


------------------
Len


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2001 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Lee,

I don't know if I'm going to "teach" manners at my dojo, or for that matter, whether it is a good idea or not. I do, however, believe that we should teach by example. Whether I am in front of my students at public school or in the dojo, I am not afraid to apologize for something that I may have done wrong. I hope that my students would show me the common curtesy. This is tough, however, when older students join the dojo and are already set in their ways. You hope that they catch on, but the chance of you or me changing their manners are slim and none in my book. This is a lesson I have recently learned.

Some people will never learn nor even realize that they are complete jerks (nice way of putting it).


mike


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2001 5:56 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 986
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Testa-Sensei, Mike-sama,

"Manners are the lubrication which allows society to function." paraphrase of Robert Heinlein.

Manners, respect and politeness all seem to be in decline these days. It is unfortunate and probably one of the roots of all the violence in our society these days.

How many times have we heard gang-bangers say, "I did it for the respect!"?

A truely macho man doesn't give a flying attempt at procreation with a perambulating pastry whether he's thought less of for apologizing or not. To be macho - originally to be "very much a man," was to be exactly that. Secure in the knowledge that one is who he is and that nothing can take that away. Only later did the machistes change it into the cult of challenge it later became.

Should we teach manners and personal responsibility in Dojo? IMNSHO, YES! If society is not doing the job, if the parents are not doing the job, if the schools are not doing the job, then it falls to us - as role models, as Sensei, as teachers to impart the manners and morality that is inherent to our various arts.

One of the toughest lessons I have had to learn is that there are other valid opinions out there at odds with my own. Some will disagree with my statement above and that is well and good. They may be right and I may be dead wrong. If I am, I will admit it. If not, we can discuss it and either come to a consensus or agree to disagree and go on being friends.

Please forgive me the mini-rant, but teaching manners and the ability to apologize, to take responsibility for one's own actions, is something that I feel very strongly about.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LenTesta:
Mike:

Great Idea to post this thread in this forum.

Teaching martial artists to apologize as a defense is a very good idea. Providing that some offense was given in the first place.

Many people will escallate a situation if they feel that they were justified in their deeds or actions that warrant an intruder to argue with them. No one will apologize unless they know that they were wrong. Many will not, if they perceive that they may be slightly right.

If you bump into someone, most of us will apologize. It is an act of uncaring individual who will not utter a mere "sorry" under their breath. I have seen many confrontations in bars and night clubs because of this.

Think of it this way as a deduction of logic.
Macho men do not apologize.
Men who study karate are considered macho.
Therefore men who study karate do not apologize.

This is only hypothetical of course as there are many polite, considerate, and humble men who study the martial arts.

It is also a good idea to accept ones aplology.


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2001 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2000 6:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Washington, DC
I think all Sensei should feel very comfortable teaching manners -- we already do under the guise of "respect".

Respect to me is the super-emotion, the big umbrella. From respect comes courtesy.

Teaching by example is a wonderful method.

If you practice good manners you practice good morality. I think that for all the diverse reasons we train we all share a common thread of wanting to improve ourselves and become better people.

Apologizing is not saying that you are wrong. Sometimes it is only acknowledging that an unfortunate situation has arisen.

That acknowledgement is what most people are seeking anyway. That want to know that somebody else knows that they've been put off by something. Once they know that -- they relax.


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 5:37 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 986
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Mike-sama,

Thanks for the considered reply. While I understand the idea that teaching manners formally in dojo is probably a difficult task, at the dojo I trained in as a young man, there were certain rules which were to be followed. One of those rules was to behave in a courteous manner, to say Please and Thank You and bow with extended hand as you passed in front of another student in seiza. To bow when entering and leaving the dojo and the tatami. To thank a sempai for their assistance and to say you're welcome to a kohai when you have assisted them.

Perhaps teaching isn't the right word. Placing an onus on the student for correctness of behavior might be a better way of doing it.

I recall one student in our class - big guy, great fighter, but with an attitude as big as Michigan''s front four. We were going to a tournament and he barged ahead of line. Sensei was very quiet. When he did it again, Sensei looked at him with that "I don't approve" expression that usually brought any of us back into propriety. When he did it again, Sensei went to the student's locker, handed the guy his stuff and said, "Please come back when you are prepared to deal in polite society."

The guy's face went through all sorts of contortions - anger, disbelief, outrage, and finally, understanding.

He formally apologized to the entire class, on his knees with forehead to the floor, tears in his eyes.

From that day on, he was an exemplary human being. He became a chaplain in the Army and was killed at a foreward firebase while trying to minister to the wounded.

If he could learn, from Sensei's little rules and his example of what a person should be, then anyone can.

This is not to say there are people out there who do not want to learn or that all of us can do what Sensei did - he was an exceptional man - but it does give one pause.

"Many paths lead to the same mountaintop. And who says that there's only one mountain?" - Lee Darrow

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mikemurphy:
Lee,

I don't know if I'm going to "teach" manners at my dojo, or for that matter, whether it is a good idea or not. I do, however, believe that we should teach by example. Whether I am in front of my students at public school or in the dojo, I am not afraid to apologize for something that I may have done wrong. I hope that my students would show me the common curtesy. This is tough, however, when older students join the dojo and are already set in their ways. You hope that they catch on, but the chance of you or me changing their manners are slim and none in my book. This is a lesson I have recently learned.

Some people will never learn nor even realize that they are complete jerks (nice way of putting it).


mike
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 11:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 2075
Location: Boston, MA
Mike,

Excellent topic and right on. Many a "senseless" fight have been or could have been avoided with an apology.

Seems a lot of folks are put out, stressed out, feel unheard and unrespected. Anger builds up and the trigger can be any perceived slight. In many cases, an apology gets the finger off the trigger.

I deal with folks all the time as part of my job. Some are unreasonable in their expectations and demands. Still I find if I start of with a "I'm sorry, but..." I am able to take the edge off the interaction. They may still not be happy with the outcome but they feel they have been addressed as human beings with some level of respect and consideration.

The biggest inhibitor, of course, to taking this path is our own ego. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way that being "right" isn't always the best course. There is "right" and "RIGHT." Know which one to defend and which to let go of.

david

[This message has been edited by david (edited August 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2001 11:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 05, 1998 6:01 am
Posts: 989
Location: Randolph, MA USA 781-963-8891
Lee, David, and Dana,

Manners aside, one of the things that I try to espouse is good Budo. Long ago, when I joined the group that sanctions my Jujitsu ranking (Kokusai Budoin), they taught me about the "other" side of budo. Not just the perfection of technique in your particular style (i.e. the opposite of bujutsu), but the perfection of character. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a long way away from that, but I still try to achieve that lofty goal. I also try to instill this in my students as much as possible. Believe me, I don't try changing the course of the tides, but sometimes a word here or an action there goes a long way.

Most importantly, it all starts with a little humbleness. That's where the apology comes in, even if it is not needed. It's a shame that ego or pride get in the way so that some people never see the clear picture. Worse yet, because of loyalties, other people back that person(s) up. Is it so hard to step back and look at the whole picture? An old principal of mine when I started teaching taught me an very important practice when dealing with parents of kids I have in school. He taught me to never make the judgement right then and there. Yes them, and do a lot of nodding, then sleep on the matter so that you can look at the situation with a clear head and make the best possible decision. Well, that didn't sit well with the type A personality at first, but I'm getting better at it as time goes on.

Maybe this guy ought to do seminars, huh?

mike


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 Post subject: ayamaru-do
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2001 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 6:01 am
Posts: 986
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Mike-sama,

Gee, I always thought good manners were a PART of good Budo! Image

As to the guy and the seminars - sign me up! I'm a long way from perfect and will take all the help I can get!

You make an excellent point on ego tripping, too. My Sensei used to tell us, "When you enter the dojo, check your ego at the door."

His sense of humor and his ability to gently deflate overblown egos was a joy to behold, even on the receiving end (which I was, on more than one occasion).

Sometimes, ego is our worst enemy. More dangerous than any street thug, mugger, burglar or murderer, because ego robs us of fear - fear which should tell us when to keep silent, not to aggravate a situation, not to be aggressive when it would be to our detriment.

Mike-sama, you have got it nailed down. I'm still working on it.

Respectfully,

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mikemurphy:
Lee, David, and Dana,

Manners aside, one of the things that I try to espouse is good Budo. Long ago, when I joined the group that sanctions my Jujitsu ranking (Kokusai Budoin), they taught me about the "other" side of budo. Not just the perfection of technique in your particular style (i.e. the opposite of bujutsu), but the perfection of character. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a long way away from that, but I still try to achieve that lofty goal. I also try to instill this in my students as much as possible. Believe me, I don't try changing the course of the tides, but sometimes a word here or an action there goes a long way.

Most importantly, it all starts with a little humbleness. That's where the apology comes in, even if it is not needed. It's a shame that ego or pride get in the way so that some people never see the clear picture. Worse yet, because of loyalties, other people back that person(s) up. Is it so hard to step back and look at the whole picture? An old principal of mine when I started teaching taught me an very important practice when dealing with parents of kids I have in school. He taught me to never make the judgement right then and there. Yes them, and do a lot of nodding, then sleep on the matter so that you can look at the situation with a clear head and make the best possible decision. Well, that didn't sit well with the type A personality at first, but I'm getting better at it as time goes on.

Maybe this guy ought to do seminars, huh?

mike
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


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