Rei and Bowing in Aikido

Posted on by Arran Fisher

Newcomers to Japanese martial arts might find all the bowing that we do a little bit strange. In the West, we don’t do much bowing and when we do, it’s either for a ceremony, such as the end of a concert performance, or it’s part of a religious ritual. But in Japan, there is bowing all the time. The girl selling you donuts in Hashimoto will neatly package them up an a perfect box and, while holding it in both hands, give you a bow. It’s actually really nice! But it doesn’t mean anything more than, “thank you and please come again”.

At CAAC, we thought we should clarify our approach to bowing – what it means and why we do it. Take a look:

礼 Rei and Bowing in Aikido

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