Discussion in 'Aikido' started by TurtlePower, May 7, 2009.
What does ous mean?
I believe it is the contraction of ohayogozaimasu which is shortened by people who work night shifts but say good morning when the shift starts although it's actualy night. Also, i believe it can also be the contraction of otsukaresamadeshita which is typically said between colueges after a days/nights work. however, Otsukaresamadeshita is something that should not be contracted if politeness is needed.
Although i have the feeling the ohss(ous) is becoming more and more just a sound that one says. At first it was used only by gangsters and people that work nights like in nightclubs, but i guess it's catching on.
In Goju karate it is 'osu' pronounced "ooss". Literal meaning: I understand, yes, thank you, hello.
We use it as a greeting and an acknowledgement. However in some circles it is regarded as impolite. :asian:
I have to admit I have no clue what the derivation of the "Oss" is. I had thought it was just something some folk said at rei, like a kind of exhalation, ha! I think a definitive answer to this might be difficult
Found this interesting though
Yr most obdt hmble srvt,
Great vid, Jenna. I always just considered it a part of the tradition of the rei as well.
Her is a good article on why not to use it.
If it is an american convention, then i see little relevance in the comparison to Japanese society, and it's usage there.
from what i understand, Taco Bell isn't Mexican food, anymore than a pepperoni pizza is Italian.
we redefine everything here to fit our culture. and personally, i could care less about the culture from which an art springs. to understand that takes serious effort, study, and immersion.
I dont speak Indonesian or Chinese, and any 'kung fu' words that i try to pronounce from those languages are likely mauled beyond all recognition.
People dont even say 'yang' the right way, much less know what it means.
You're not kidding.... at my daughters' goju ryu dojo here, one can always here these during classes.... and powerful, too. Me, I'd always be afraid of ooooos'ing at an inopportune time and getting killed.... but they sure seem to enjoy it.
Osu, as you hear in the training halls of Japanese Martial Arts styles is a combination of words: Oshi which means "Push", and Shinobu which means "to Endure". It means determination and patience, respect and appreciation, and perseverance.
In Seido Juku (my Japanese style) and in a ton of other styles, every question is answered with "Osu". Every greeting is Osu. Every instruction or question in class is answered by "Osu" instead of "yes" or "I understand". When performing kihon waza in class, each technique is often accompanied with a loud "Osu". When practicing kumite in class and your opponent lands a good, hard technique, you say "Osu" to acknowledge your opponent's skill. You bow and say Osu when you enter and exit the training floor.
And if the GM enters the hall when we are training, the Osu! is deafening
Generally speaking, your training is demanding. You push yourself until you think you've reached your limit. Your body wants to stop, but your mind keeps pushing you forward. Then your mind wants to stop, but your spirit keeps you going. But you fight through it, endure the pain, and persevere. That is Osu.
Couldnt have said it better myself.
I've never heard it used in Aikido, Judo or Jujutsu classes except by visitors. As a matter of fact, we had a high ranking Japanese Aikido sensei at one of our Camps and he went ballistic when a karateka Os'd him rather than reply with "Hai!" According to the sensei, the phrase is primarily used by thugs, low ranking military, sports teams and Japanese nationals of Korean descent.
Never used, don't intend to start but it was surprising how virulent his response was to it. Apparently it opens all sorts of closets regarding one's position in society and heritage.
In all my time here in Okinawa and Japan (16 years) I have as of yet to hear anyone (in a dojo) utter this sound... I have seen it used in Manga stories, though.
I also haven't heard it used in aikido, judo or jujutsu.
In karate I have heard it in some styles.
KyokushinKai schools are very famous for it's use along with Shotokan. In Okinawan schools they don't use it at all. If you hear it in Goju-Ryu than it is something that the instructor brought with them since it is not used in that style.
Gakusei beat me to it and posted the article from 24 Fighting Chickens, I would encourage everyone to read it. It is a very good article.
Seido Juku, my style as noted above, was founded in '76 by the former head instructor of the Japanese Kyokushin Honbu, and the founder of the North American Kyokushin Honbu.
My explanation of what it means, holds for those in the Martial Arts for whom it means something. If it means nothing to you, then you have your answer.
If you don't use Osu in Aikido, that's fine, but it does have meaning in karate, and it isn't that you're some sort of yakuza wanna-be punk. As for what it means outside of the dojo, I wouldn't know. It is a dojo specific term in karate, and you would not use it on the street to greet a fellow karateka.
First, nobody really knows what the term means exactly or how it came to be. Some people think that it comes from the words to "push and suffer" others think that it is "push and hide". Then others think it is a shortened version of "good morning". It is also not a "dojo specific" term and you could use it to greet a fellow karateka.
That's the problem I have with people using the word. It is used incorrectly by most people. At least read through this article on how the Japanese view the word and it's usage. If you still want to use it, I could care less, but at least acknowledge that it is just a term that has been overused and moved from it's cultural context to mean something else to westerners. It's like the old Budweiser commercial where everyone started saying "Whaazzz uuuuup!" to each other.
I personally use the word in the exact context in which it was taught to me, by GrandMaster Tadashi Nakamura. I did read what is published on 24dancingchickens.com, and frankly, I don't particularly care how little kids use it on the streets of Japan, or whether Japanese housewives are offended by it if they hear it in line at the grocery store. That would be more relevant in a Japanese language forum though, I suppose, so it isn't without worth as you point out. It's just irrelevant to me, personally.
I was also taught it was not proper to use dojo etiquette outside of the dojo, so I would never say Osu to someone outside the dojo, even if I were to bump into Kaicho Nakamura himself. If I did use it in that context with one of my fellow karateka, they would know I was using it incorrectly as they would have learned the correct usage at the Honbu as well. If you were taught that it was fine (and by this I mean any martial artist of any style), then by all means do it. But as I said in my previous post, if it is something you use in your school, be that Aikido or Karate or something else, then you know how to use it already. If you have not been taught how to use the word in your dojo, or when it is or isn't appropriate, then you don't need to worry about it because it isn't necessary for you to use at all. In that context, I have no reason to assume the 24flyingchickens aren't on the right track as to the usages and meanings floating around out there. In a Martial Arts context, when being used correctly, you can look back at my first post to see what it means and when it is used.
I guess the bottom line remains, if it is important for you to know in your dojo as a dojo specific term, your Master or GM will teach you its use. If it isn't, then there could be hundreds of uses and meanings for it in hundreds of situations; all with varying degrees of relative situational appropriateness. The explanation I provided is for a Japanese Martial Arts scenario in which it is proper to use the term, and I explained when and how. The 24flyingchickens give a much broader insight into some of the ways it can be inappropriately used, and why it shouldn't be used.
I think outside of the Dojo its not a good idea to use. Maybe in private but for certain not in a public place.
Carry on, fight the good fight, Give it your all, don't hold back, in it together. :asian:
I like using "Osu". I'm not one to use it all the time, nor do I fully know what the original meaning was for it, but, for me, it is a sign of respect and comraderie, a means of sharing our intent to continue fighting together, and as that article posted earlier mentions, it is a means for the class to share a noise or set of noises that says "we are ready, let's do this thing!".
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