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Thread: Question on etiquette?

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    Default Question on etiquette?

    I hope this question is posted in the appropriate place. I assume somehow it is related to the history or tradition of Karate.
    I asked one of the Senseiís at the dojo what beltís the different senseiís had? The Sensei I was speaking to told me that was a rude question. I did not want to be disrespectful so I did not peruse the matter. Can someone educate me on why that is a rude question?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon456 View Post
    I hope this question is posted in the appropriate place. I assume somehow it is related to the history or tradition of Karate.
    I asked one of the Senseiís at the dojo what beltís the different senseiís had? The Sensei I was speaking to told me that was a rude question. I did not want to be disrespectful so I did not peruse the matter. Can someone educate me on why that is a rude question?
    Its not the question that was asked but rather how it was asked.
    Prince Loeffler
    Shugyokan Dojo

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    Default Rude Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince Loeffler View Post
    Its not the question that was asked but rather how it was asked.
    Maybe. My experience, and I have many, many of which are known by users on this forum, has been that there is absolutely no logic that can be applied to Japanese etiquette. So much in Japan, not just in martial arts but in business and family, is based on relationships. You may not have a relationship at a level where that question can be asked yet. I don't know for sure why it was considered rude. Best practice is to ask one of your peers, if he knows then it's probably o.k. for you to know too. I've learned just to train and stay quiet. Good luck.

    Regards,

    Andrew De Luna
    Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky1899 View Post
    Maybe. My experience, and I have many, many of which are known by users on this forum, has been that there is absolutely no logic that can be applied to Japanese etiquette. So much in Japan, not just in martial arts but in business and family, is based on relationships. You may not have a relationship at a level where that question can be asked yet. I don't know for sure why it was considered rude. Best practice is to ask one of your peers, if he knows then it's probably o.k. for you to know too. I've learned just to train and stay quiet. Good luck.

    Regards,

    Andrew De Luna
    Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu
    My experience as well.
    Ricky Wood

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    Some thoughts...

    Japanese etiquette is terribly logical. Sure, it may start from different cultural assumptions than, say, American etiquette, but that's no call to say there is "absolutely no logic", is it?

    The OP is posting from LA. Do we even know his sensei is/are Japanese?
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, Ģonne he śt guūe gengan Ģenceū longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaū. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    The OP is posting from LA. Do we even know his sensei is/are Japanese?
    The OP is posting from LA, Prince is located in Redondo Beach... I have this feeling that he might have a good grasp of the etiquette of this particular situation.


    In general, I always have wondered about the best ways to politely inquire about a sensei or potential sensei's rankings and affiliations. Of course, these days a lot of folks have such information posted on the world wide web for everyone to see, and most worthwhile instructors that I've delt with have been pretty good about introducing their own training history up-front without bragging about it. If you have to ask the question, I would recommend doing so tactfully and indirectly. For instance, if the dojo that you are visiting is part of an international organization, ask the instructor at what level members of that organization are allowed to open their own dojo. He might respond, "We usually teach on our own after reaching yondan. Actually, I'm a nidan, so that makes this a study group rather than a dojo." Or if you are curious about the ranks of various people in the class, asking them about how long they've studied, etc., might be a good way to inspire the answer that you're looking for.
    David Sims

    "Cuius testiculos habes, habeas cardia et cerebellum." - Terry Pratchet

    My opinion is, in all likelihood, worth exactly what you are paying for it.

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    You all make some very valid points. I will try and give you all some back ground.

    The question was asked several months ago when I first started training at this Dojo.

    20 years ago as a teenager I trained in Shotokan. At the time I was drilled with stories of Dojo's opening with instructors that were not qualified. This particular instructor is training in a style of his own (a mixture of TKD, Motobu Ryu, Aikido.) In the past I had been warned of mixed martial artist. But I had trained with a puriest, who only believed in Okinawin styles of Karate. I am trying to be more open minded, but sometimes it is hard.

    I tried to ask the question as tactfully as I could, but your assumptions are correct in the fact I was trying to decide if the instructors were qualified.
    The master at the Dojo is Japanese from Okinawa but the Sensei I was speaking to was American Caucasian.

    I am not sure how to evaluate someones qualifications if it is rude to ask. I hope that helps you all understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Reyer View Post
    Some thoughts...

    Japanese etiquette is terribly logical. Sure, it may start from different cultural assumptions than, say, American etiquette, but that's no call to say there is "absolutely no logic", is it?

    The OP is posting from LA. Do we even know his sensei is/are Japanese?
    Maybe not a Japanese sensei but this is a Japanese forum so let's say we're dealing with Japanese people. If there is logic to Japanese etiquette, then present a formula that will help William ask his question.

    Regards,

    Andrew De Luna

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    Please, I am not trying to inspire a debate on the logic or lack of logic in Japanese thinking. I simply am trying to understand so I do no insult anyone and still get the information I require.

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    Generally, inquiring the rank of teachers at a school could have been done via a website or a teacher whom you had developed a good level of communication and openess.

    I dont find it a rude question, but there is tact when asking certain questions.
    Richard Scardina

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