Thread: The Bow?
01-17-2006, 15:20 #1
Okay I know a few of these are very general questions, but why bow? If bowing to your uke, how low are you supposed to bow? When bowing onto the mats, how low? Does one hand touch the mat before the other? this and any other information would be much appreciated,
FanciYour are only a true martial artist when you see the martial arts as a way of life.
01-17-2006, 16:24 #2
- Dennis P. McGeehan
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What I was taught in judo:
Standing bow, about 30 degrees or so. Never take your eyes off your opponent.
Kneeling bow, place hands on mat, thumb and forefingers touching forming a triangle. Bow but do not take your eyes off your opponent. The hands on the floor are to protect your head should your opponent try to slam your head onto the floor.
DennisOnly a Cowardly Loser hurts an innocent, defenseless person.
Dennis P. McGeehan
01-18-2006, 00:03 #3
What i learnt was almost identicle. Except in the dojo there is no real opponent, just sensei's and other students and it's considered extremly rude to look while bowing.
You may look at there feet if you wish, but never eye contact.
01-18-2006, 00:09 #4
If it's a question of Japanese culture, the deeper the bow, the more respectful. In martial arts situations one does not take the eyes off the opponent because doing so would be trusting your opponent not to attack, but traditionally you should show that you trust the person to whom you are bowing by looking downward as you bow. Bows are usually accompanied by a phrase in proportion to the amount of respect you are showing. For example, a teacher might bow to a student with a slight nod of the head and no words, where a student might bow from the waist to about 30 degrees with a phrase such as "Greetings," "Thank you", or "Excuse me" (depending on the situation). Apologies are generally accompanied by deeper bows and more obescant phrases, the most extreme being a very deep bow on one's knees accompanied by "I am not fit to live."
In most dojo Japanese culture isn't followed as closely as they like to pretend, so basically just bow however your sensei tells you to bow.In practice, don't say, "Uke will do this," or "Uke will not do that." I don't even know what I will do in a fight, let alone what uke will do.
01-18-2006, 09:09 #5
Originally Posted by TroyRogetBarry McConnell
- Barry A. McConnell
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We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. - Abraham Lincoln
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
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01-18-2006, 15:42 #6
Whatever you do, just make sure you don't point the arrow at anyone.
01-18-2006, 15:52 #7
In chinese cultures the bow is done many different ways, with different ways of holding the hands, and can be kind of a secret greeting for people from the same group.
In class it is done to show respect, usually the teacher bows first to show respect to the students, then the respect is returned. It is also asked that you bow when the sifu enters the floor, but not if it interrupts your training. If you are in the middle of a form, or stretching, or doing push ups, the bow is not necessary.
To be really traditional, sometimes the person who intitiated the bow will hold the posture until the bow is acknowledged, but unlike japanese bows, the depth of bow has nothing to do with it, and it is really more of a head nod and a soft hand gesture, not an agrressive move, as this could be seen as a challenge.
As far as where you point your eyes, if its an opponent or a partner or anyone who is not related to your school you would look at them while still bowing your head, it it was a friend of your sifu, your senior, or your sifu, or anyone else you trust highly, then the eyes would glance downward.
01-18-2006, 17:18 #8
Originally Posted by DragonMind
A Dutch teacher once said: "How do you think it would come across if the Japanese started to wear traditional Dutch clothing and wooden shoes when playing a friendly game of skittles?"
But to answer Fanci's question:
You bow at least as low as your sensei does unless he's touching his knees with his nose; that's just overdoing it .
Bowing on the ground: you put both hands on the ground simultanously (the way Dennis McGeehan explained).
If you put down your left hand first and then your right hand (or leave your right hand hovering above the ground), then, in the old days, it would show that you didn't trust the one you were greeting. You would always have your right hand free to draw your sword if the other bloke tried something funny.
Since we normally train in a dojo where good manners and etiquette prevail it shouldn't be necessary to show distrust.
Another tale of the old days: if you are kneeling on the ground then you should put your left big toe over your right big toe. If someone would step on your feet, you could still slip your right foot from under you and free your right leg so you could draw your sword.
All of these 'old day stories' were told to me by people that have been training far longer than I have. I have stored this in my memory as marial arts lore. I do not have historical documentation of scientific data to back this up.
Last edited by Bengel; 01-18-2006 at 17:26. Reason: Spelling correctionsDennis de Booij
It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
01-18-2006, 23:19 #9
Thats kinda funny, cause that is exactly how i was taught, left hand down first when bowing from sieza and keep your big toes crossed. Never knew the reasons behind it though.Charlie McAndrew
01-19-2006, 14:21 #10
Thanks for all the info so far!
As far as the "however your sensei tells you to" thing, all we are really taught about bowing is (1) you have to (2) whenever shihan enters the dojo, you have to, even in the middle of a kata (3) When bowing from seiza, don't smack your hands on the mat.
I suppose the reason is that even in the advance class we have 8-year-olds, one who has an attention disorder. you can't really teach them how to bow right. Knowing them, they would say, "but do you bow to a guy with a gun?" which would only lead to even worse questions. you can't teach the begginers how to bow right, either, seeing as sensei decided to try something new by putting a freakin 3 1/2 year old boy in class! even the older ones don't care, they don't want to be there. Why bother teaching them? They never pay any attention.
Also, I heard that if you opponent is shorter than you, you have to bow lower, or somthing like that. Anything to back this one up?
Aiki Tora Ryu is....well...sensei says it's a "system" but in all actuallity ( even he admits), it's MMA, strictly defensive MMA, but still MMA. So My question was of all MA cultures.Your are only a true martial artist when you see the martial arts as a way of life.