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Journyman74
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:42 am    Post subject: Bowing in martial arts. Reply with quote

Bowing in martial arts - (mutual respect vs idolatry)

1.Any thoughts in the purpose of bowing?

2.can anyone reference common arts that are more associated with bowing to idols vs bowing in mutual respect?
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bowing is not a form of worship. Its a gesture of respect, much like the shaking of hands in the Western culture. I don't know of any idolatry that takes place in any Eastern art.
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with with Brian, wholeheartedly.

MA related, the bowing is part of what practitioners do often; this is a sign of respect towards a many reason. Respect for the instructor...respect for the school...respect for other MA practitioners.

Worship?? Idolatry?? Not to my knowledge, but of course, I've not been in every single MA school on Earth. For those MA schools and the like that I've been to, there's no worship, as we might understand what worship is, just mutual respect.

We Westerners don't bow to one another in a commonality as it's demonstrated in the Eastern parts of the world, for example, Japan and China, so on and so forth.

Seeing that bowing is part of the Eastern culture, as Brian mentioned in his post here, and the majority of much of the MA came from that part of the globe, us Westerners started bowing to each other in schools of the MA because that's what the instructor instructed us to do, so we bowed then, and continue to do so because, after all, as our instructors explained to us, it's a sign of respect.

Now, I don't and will not bow to the Kamiza and/or towards Kamidana, even though both of our Soke and Dai-Soke do so daily and often; that's their believe, and pleasantly surprising, they never forced that action upon us, their students. I've seen this being done many times in dojo's, and whenever it was expected, I'd politely explain my reasons as to why I will not...yes, I've been asked to leave their dojo immediately...but I was cool with that too.

More the dojo than the style that I've seen the bowing in the reference to bowing to each other or bowing as one come on/off the floor or bowing to the CI/Instructors and/or important visitors. So I can't say here that it's Shotokan or Judo or TKD or what have you, but it's more of a personal preference of the CI. Dojo Kun speaks the expected level of respect, and students and visitors are expected to follow it without hesitation. I will not be forced nor will I force believe, tradition or not, on another individual.

That's the beauty of the front door...it opens both ways...enter and exit; choose one and be loyal to whomever one decides willingly!!

We Westerners have gladly accepted and welcomed the act of bowing in MA schools because...when in Rome...and we decided that that simple act was quite harmless to perform. We were shown the hows and the whys of bowing by our CI, and we followed suit whenever it should be done.



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Journyman74
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, it should be viewed as a sign of mutual respect. Depending on the individuals belief, some may think bowing to a picture of instructor can be viewed as some type of idolatry. I was curious because ive researched this and seen different responses from certain religious viewpoints
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sensei8
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose that it can be viewed as idolatry when someone bows to a picture of someone of importance in their life. Often times once a mind has been made up, there's not much of a chance of it changing no matter what education is supplied.

Now, I've only one picture hanging in my dojo, and it's of Jesus, and I don't bow to it, nor will I and not because it might be thought of as idolatry, but because of a much deeper meaning for me.

When I witness others bowing to a picture of someone of importance to them, I think it only as a sign of respect. No, I do not bow to any said picture, not that I believe it's an act of idolatry, but because I wasn't raised to do so.

Do I feel awkward to not bow to a picture or out of place or scorned?? No, I don't!! There's other ways to show respect without bowing to a picture. For example, I walk up to the pictures of our Soke and Dai-Soke that are hanging in the Hombu, whenever I'm there, and I've not been there in awhile, and I'll place my hand on those pictures...pause for a quick second or two...and then move on, and I don't do that every time that I'm there, but when I am there, I might do that, but only just when it's upon my heart to do so.



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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Journyman74 wrote:
Agreed, it should be viewed as a sign of mutual respect. Depending on the individuals belief, some may think bowing to a picture of instructor can be viewed as some type of idolatry. I was curious because ive researched this and seen different responses from certain religious viewpoints


Even showing reverence to a photo of a passed founder isn't necessarily idolatry. Its ok to show reverence to someone who has passed on that has some meaning to you. There is a difference between showing reverence and worship.
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Journyman74
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you
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