19 practice days in to my second go at Aikido, I have decided to lick this once and for all.  For 6 weeks (and for months, last time around) I have been asking myself …what was it they just mumbled? Turns out, it is right there in the handbook:   “Onegai shimasu”, and “Domo arigato gozaimashita”

This is my (slightly sexist) mnemonic device to remember the phrases used when bowing in at the beginning of class, and when bowing out at the end of class.

Bow in:

ONEGAI SHIMASU (silent u – “onegaishimas”)

“Ohne guy she must”. Ohne = without in German, my #2 language.  Ergo, without a guy, she must (fend for herself…with Aikido…by taking this class).  This phrase is also used when bowing to your partner before each exercise.

Bow out:

DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA    (silent I – “gozaimashta”)

After class he is all beat up and bandaged, but now he is the master.  The gauze-eye master.  Not that there is any eye-gouging in Aikido.  But I am picturing how Wile E. Coyote would be depicted after taking ukemi for an hour.

What does it all mean?  With a little help from the glossary section of AikiWeb:

[…] Another connotation is “please” as in, “please let me train with you.” It’s an entreaty often used in asking the other person to teach you, and that you are ready to accept the other person’s teaching.


Doumo = thanks Arigatou = thanks (yes, again. We’re a redundant sort) Gozaimashita = for something that has happened



One thought on “Aikimnemonic

  1. I love this stuff. Polyglot mnemonics. Grossly oversimplifying it, I paraphrase these as “Please, let us do it” and “Thank you for what we just did.” In essence.

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