Cults in Asia

Contributors offers insight into the non-physical side of the Martial Arts, often ignored when discussing self-defense.

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Postby HALFORD E. JONES » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:03 pm

:D Conformity as I mentioned is not a way of humility but a certain humility is required to conform,otherwise, going against the social grain in most Asian countries brings sometimes dire consequences or humiliation or hostility,etc. Americans,those who are actually born here in the US, tend to be more confrontational at times and want to 'do their own thing",etc. This is not the whole story, by any means. You seem interested in rituals of various kinds, as expressed in the topic,'NINJA RITUALS" which are, when all is said and done, merely another means of conformity,which may, or may not, confer some 'spirituality' but I doubt if anyone from the West undergoing such rituals will really recognize the 'spirituality' if and when it comes? :wink:
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Postby KerryM » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:31 pm


Why would someone from the west have a problem with that? :)

And yes I'm extremely interested in all rituals- from the mudane to the arcane- I find it facinating as well as restricitive in some cases- :) Same time- I'd be the first one out there saying tradition- (as a type of ritual) should be respected where it's needed-

or demanded for- as in the case of across the world-

I'd be quite "un-impressed" with an American going over to Asia without getting to know said area and said customs before actualy going to be able to avoid seeming arrogant and less than respectful you know?


kerry :)
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Postby Guest » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:28 am

Has any teacher found that when they try to maintain a strict teacher/student relationship with their students, avoiding a cultist type atmosphere in the dojo, that some of their more impressionable students will quit and will join other organizations that have the cultist environment they need?
George, It’s been my experience that training partners will find what they seek. They will find the aerobics dojo if that’s what they want. They will join the full contact school if that’s what they want. If they want a bunch of mumbo jumbo religion, they will create it. I have a student who is so hung up on the entire eastern bow and grovel stuff that I tripped over him entering the dojo. Why anyone would want to paste their forehead into that filthy floor is beyond me. mere hours before the room operates as a preschool playroom. I don't want to know what's on the floor :roll: . Hey we don't even have pictures of dead folks to bow to and the guy's still keen to go their. I told the guy it's okay if he want's to but don't do it in the door way or we will walk on him entering the training space. :wink:

The guy prostrates on the floor and puts the forehead into the triangle. Hey I remember doing that stuff too. I think its part of Shinto, bow to the ancestors and clap the hands. Certainly doesn’t add to his martial skills…but he feels good doing it. Helll if someone wants to bow to the east a few times in class that’s okay too. Won’t add to their application of skills but if they feel good it’s okay with me. I’m not there to expunge religious doctrine or to deny religious freedom, I’m just happy with folks who want to train. I do however have a huge issue with folks tying religion and training into the same regime in my house. In my house I show them the door if they are insistent.

Unfortunately if they are looking for a personal guide they will attempt to turn you into some high swami guru muckie muck. One must be clear and firm with this type.

Jim Maloney did it very well! I remember the lecture. “This is Jim Maloney’s Karate Do, we do “way chee roo” karate here, it ain’t religion! If you want religion they teach it down the street every Sunday..…in here we learn to fight!

There is a definite group among the martial arts community who seeks some kind of spiritual mentor. They show up at the kung fu school all the time. I've made a very conscious effort to make it clear that our job is to teach kung fu...not religion.
Jake it’s something we must be vigilant about, many students are looking for someone to worship not learn from. I’m not a spiritual leader I’m a coach.

and no- I personaly do not believe that people NEED a RELIGION in order to be spiritual-
I agree Kerry, but as GEM points out many are looking to their Sensei to fill that role…it’s not our job!

I just dies-agree that participating in a religion here at least- because I haven't been over seas- is the only way to demonstrate humility and or social comradery (sp? sorry bad speller here) There are lots of good people out there who don't practice a religion that are extremely talented Teachers-
religion is either here nor there, the point is religion has nothing to do with Uechi-Ryu.

I'd be quite "un-impressed" with an American going over to Asia without getting to know said area and said customs before actualy going to be able to avoid seeming arrogant and less than respectful you know?
I’m unimpressed with martial artists emulating Japanese or Okinawan culture in their home country. Make believe, attempting to portray oneself as another culture. It adds nothing to ones martial ability and only makes one look foolish.

I live in a very diverse cultural community tons of oriental folks, the odd one looks like a clown by trying to be a cowboy or a mountain man, but most have the common sense to just be Japanese Korean or Chinese which is okay!

I think martial artists who play at being eastern look like clowns.

If one wants to respect a different culture that is done by accepting it not emulating it. Bottom line one can train martial skills without owning silk robe’s and banzai trees.

I spent 4 years in Europe, accepted the culture but remained Canadian. I’ve dabbled in the martial arts for a few decades on and off. I’ve also remained true to my culture, I have not become Okinawan, but I like to think that has not held me back skill wise.

My student’s call me Laird, because that’s my name, some call me coach, that’s okay too. But I prefer Laird. I hate Sensei and will not allow it. I’m not Japanese so I don’t need a Japanese handle, Heck I think I’m teaching Chinese art at any rate. Mr. Elliott, is not acceptable either, that’s my fathers name, when folks call me that I start looking around to see where my dad is, no one told me he was going to visit us. I’m pretty informal in the dojo because that’s how I am in real life.

I consider all members of the club to be training partners not students. I don’t accept sempai….sensei etc pecking order, it adds nothing to training.

Different strokes I guess.

Postby KerryM » Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:36 am


I don't think I'd be too impressed to see an american trying to be a japanese person either, or trying to emulate their culture- I liked your respect/accept thing-

and ya never know- if bowing to the east helps that person who wants to do that- be a better martial artist who are you to say it doesn't work?

generaly speaking of coarse :)


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Postby Guest » Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:36 am

coarse of course :wink:


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