Monday, 29 October 2007

Bow - Part 1

If you come to England from abroad and you read the word 'bow', first you will probably think about Robin Hood :D. If you come closer to London you will see that Bow is a part of East London (and name of a station). But if you come to a dojo, bow takes on a completely different meaning again.

A bow is a fundamental part of aikido training. It shows respect towards the place you train in, towards O'Sensei (Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of aikido), your sensei (the instructor of the aikido class) and your fellow students. It is part of the training that you always show respect.

You must have seen films, movies with Japanese people bowing all the time. This is part of their culture, they show the appreciation for whatever they think you deserved it. It is very similar to the English culture though, just the manifestation of showing respect is different a bit. In England, you are always 'brilliant','fantastic' but at least 'nice' (ask foreigners how unusual this can be for them/us :)). Even if you don't like someone you don't tell this to them in their faces. I think this has a very nice ( :)) side as, even if you don't think so, you show some respect and don't allow the situation to become aggressive. After a while, you get used to forcing yourself to be positive and at the end you may as well end up becoming more positive (you can as well call it self-programming). So in an aikido training, bow whenever you think the situation allows a bow, this way you learn to respect others (even more ;)).

More on when to bow is to follow this post but you can send me comments before that if you like.

1 comment:

Charlie san said...

A magnificant article! :)