Bowing to O Sensei

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by Anth, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    Random question I thought of while doing a bit of tai sabaki (while warming up before karate) the other day - who started the "tradition" of bowing to a picture of O Sensei at the start and end of practice? I understand the various reasons why we do so but have no idea who started it or when. Was it something done while O Sensei was alive or did the first doshu start it?

    Cheers folks :)
  2. pmosiun

    pmosiun Valued Member

    Judo people also bow to the picture of the founder Jigoro Kano. I think it is more as a respect. In japan, it might not seem so strange, a good example if you look at Chinese people, they bow to their ancestor as a sign of respect also. This tradition might happen because maybe after the founder pass away, his student wanted to show respect?
  3. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    I'm not sure how many judo schools actually do that. None of the ones I went to ever did.
  4. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    It was done when he was alive. Even Gozo Shioda who founded the Yoshinkan had a picture of O Sensei in his dojo. All of the early aikido clubs had a photo too.

    There was much criticism when Koichi Tohei demanded that O Sensei's picture be removed from some dojos and replaced by a picture of himself.
  5. YellowFury

    YellowFury Valued Member

    my judo school bows to kano at the beginning and end of class, but it's not really consistent. Sometimes we only do it at the beginning, others at the end. I think it's just a respect thing
  6. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    Do they greet the picture(s) in question by saying "ossu" while bowing?
  7. lycurgos

    lycurgos New Member


    Not positive on the O Sensei part specifically but it comes from Japanese Shinto religion. You are really bowing to shrine that hold the Shinto martial deity's. In most classical bujitstu's the founder of the art and the current Soke's pictures are included in the shrine as a place of honor. To invoke there spirit in your practice and there blessings. Bowing to the shrine at the beginning and end of practice is a centuries old tradition,as you probably know bushido begins and ends with manors.
  8. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Ossu is used by some martial arts as a form of greeting it would not be used toward the kamiza.

    The instructor calls out the command "kamiza rei" (bow to kamiza..see above post) which holds a picture of O Sensei. (aikido).
  9. pmosiun

    pmosiun Valued Member

    Strange, in asia they do.

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