View Full Version : Why we must to clean tatami after every class?

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05-03-2010, 03:43 PM
Hi Everybody
Recently, in our dojo we are fixing, cleaning and beautifying :D some aspects in the physical view, based on that we started to clean tatami after every class, before this period, first student in dojo should clean the tatami, right now we started to clean after every class, I am not opposed to clean, only I want to know which is the purpose of this protocol.
Any comments will be greatly appreciated,

Chuck Clark
05-03-2010, 04:00 PM
Just a brief thought... Osoji (cleaning the dojo) is a tradition in Japanese dojo and other places. Along with keeping things clean it gives everyone a chance to "focus" their spirit" and do something that is group oriented. It is part of the kata.

Fred Little
05-03-2010, 04:06 PM
Purpose? Most traditionally: rote ritual. More practically: minimizing fungal and other infections resulting from a lack of cleanliness.

05-03-2010, 04:34 PM
thanks for your answers, but, what happen with the practice between classes, is there some restriction to use tatami after cleaning and before next class? I read in some place, "after class when we are exhausted is the best time to practice".

05-03-2010, 05:27 PM
IMHO, follow the protocol of the dojo.
What is the purpose your Sensei told you?

05-03-2010, 06:08 PM
In Japan the custom is to clean the dojo before practice. The dojo is a place to polish your spirit and so it should be clean and pure. The process of cleaning also helps you to focus as Chuck said but it is also part of purifying yourself. The physical act of cleaning in the traditional Japanese way fact also strengthens your centre (pushing a damp cloth in straight lines along the tatami or in sweeping curved movements from your hips).

Then after practice you clean the dojo again to clear the dust and dirt that might have accumulated and to leave the dojo clean for the next practice or for the next user. Practically in modern dojos that means that the dojo is often left clean so the stage of cleaning before training can be skipped. In a way that's a pity - if you do a practice after cleaning the dojo first it feels quite different to doing a practice without cleaning.

Many teachers will help with cleaning but if you see your teacher or one of your seniors cleaning it is polite to offer to take the cloth or the broom from them and to do it instead.

05-03-2010, 07:14 PM
Well... I don't know about you but I leave a lot of sweat behind me on the mat. Do you really want to roll around on a weeks worth of accumulated dried sweat from all of the people you train with?

Kevin Leavitt
05-03-2010, 09:10 PM
The best reason to clean mats daily is MRSA.


Nick P.
05-03-2010, 09:22 PM
We did it before and after class, though I suspect the before part was due to it being a shared as it was within a municipal budokan...

Janet Rosen
05-03-2010, 10:50 PM
...because Sensei said to.

Josh Reyer
05-04-2010, 05:05 AM
...because Sensei said to.
Why did he/she say to?

05-04-2010, 06:13 AM
You clean things so that they will be clean.

Simple, no?

05-04-2010, 07:40 AM
Besides the value of tradition, sweeping the mat helps keep it clear of particles that you don't want on your bare feet and that you certainly don't want to be breathing in when being taken to the mat.

05-04-2010, 10:31 AM
Please, you don't confuse, I am not asking if mat will be cleaned or not, my doubt is about to practice or simply remains in the mat after cleaning but before next class.
I believe, in that time, practice or stay relaxed in the mat contributes to improve fellowship in dojo, we could ask informally to other partners what they felt with a specific technique, test some variations, etc, but in some aspects it could be rudeness for some partners.
Like Niall mention in Hombu Dojo, clean the mat is executed before practice, but in almost all dojos, that I visited in several parts of the world, they clean after every class, but I never hear something about to practice or not in that portion of time.

Keith Larman
05-04-2010, 11:20 AM
Why do you change your underwear daily? You might change it in the morning. You might change it at night. But regardless of the particular time when you change them, you still should do it daily. For all the same reasons as why you clean the mat before/after/whatever.

Regardless of when it is done the mat should be kept as clean as possible. If you want to train more after it has been cleaned, by all means do so. Even better when you're done with your extra bit of training clean where you were training.

05-04-2010, 12:36 PM
Like Niall mention in Hombu Dojo, clean the mat is executed before practice, but in almost all dojos, that I visited in several parts of the world, they clean after every class, but I never hear something about to practice or not in that portion of time.

I think I understand the question now...sort of!

If the question is, "Is it all right to practice or talk or stretch out while others are cleaning," I'd say emphatically no -- but you never know, there may be dojos where this is all right. In general, though, when others are doing chores, it seems like the best thing is to join in.

If the question is, "Is it all right to practice or talk or stretch out between classes, if nothing else is going on," I'd say it depends on the dojo. In some dojos, it's fine, and sensei will tell you when he/she wants you to line up; in others, you are expected to be on the mat, sitting quietly in line, five minutes before class starts (without being told to do so). I would suggest doing what is done in your dojo, whether it's casual or formal, and not trying to change the way things are done there.

05-04-2010, 01:19 PM
Our mats need a good cleaning... we took the kid's class Saturday and had them make their mother's necklaces with tiny glass beads....guess what I found dug into the mats last night? They didn't even make the necklaces anywhere near the training area!! Kids always amaze me.

I'm thinking I'm gonna be volunteering myself for tiny glass bead hunting tonight. :/

Michael Hackett
05-04-2010, 01:25 PM
We clean after every class and some train for a while after the cleaning. Usually those training will clean again after themselves. They won't do the dusting and so forth, but clean the mat again.

Anne-Marieke van Rooij
05-06-2010, 10:55 AM
...because Sensei said to.
Second that. Just do as you're told and stop asking why-why-why. There are lots of explanations, but acceptance is lesson #1 I believe.
Though it's hard, I know.