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Thread: History of Osu?

  1. #16
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    I've heard that the word originated in the Japanese Imperial Navy.
    The abbreviation theory for "ohayogozaimasu", "onegaishimasu" etc don't seem out of place, particularly in a military/nationalist setting. (Apparently the Takushoku University Aikido club also used the word)
    There is a page dedicated to the form and function of the word in Kanazawa's SKI Kumite Kyohan (p.24), but the author claims not to know its origins.
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  2. #17
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    When I was growing up during the 70's, I only knew it as oss, not ossu.
    Osae means to push or press on. The idea was to push your body to the limit and endure through the pressure.
    Ray Baldonade
    Chibana-ha Shorin-ryu

    "Love many, trust few and do wrong to none". Chan Yau-man

  3. #18
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    Just noticed this thread so I am a bit late to the gate. I began Karate training in the mid 1970's. Everyone in my dojo used oss including our sensei and every visiting JKA instructor. Over the years I have heard many explainations as to it's true origins and meaning. The truth is no one knows anything for sure.
    It is however a great word for showing strong spirit. It has a great number of uses including yes, thank you, hello, I agree, I understand, goodbye etc. To me it's the hallmark of great karate spirit. Use it with spirit and you won't go wrong no matter what anyone says.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyuck3X View Post
    When I was growing up during the 70's, I only knew it as oss, not ossu.
    Osae means to push or press on. The idea was to push your body to the limit and endure through the pressure.
    That would not be oss, the word would be gambatte. Meaning "to push through", "use all your strength to the end". Still used in Kendo and other budo.

  5. #20
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    I remember being told, back in my karate days, that "Osu" and "oss" were considered "low level," almost a grunt, and that it was seldom used in Japanese dojo. If one wanted to respond to an instruction, especially to be polite and to show that one was listening and paying attention, "Hai" or "Hai, Sensei," was the more desired term.

    Can anyone verify this?
    Cady Goldfield

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