Re: Etiquette and Ego
I had a friend who when young was totally undisciplined, gave his parents no end of grief, had no respect for authority and eventually got kicked out of his home for his behavior and disruption of his family (yes this has something to do with the post on etiquette).
Well this kid finally decided to go into the Marines of all things and he told his father that he was going to stick it out no matter what. He told me after finishing boot camp and more basic training that the DI's made them do all these seemingly stupid things constantly. The guys that washed out (or were recycled) never grasped what my friend said he finally did grasp. Every seemingly stupid thing had a purpose, at least as part of the overall Marine training was concerned so that they would not get killled and be disciplined Marines. Once he realized this (and had it validated by his instructors) doing all these things was no longer a massive hassle, but became supremely easy and eventually faded into his subconcious personality.
I think it is the same with the question of dojo etiquette. Personally none of what was listed seems excessive. However, if you are training adults, I think it is appropriate to explain why you do everything. Personally, if a piece of etiquette seems to have no discernable purpose, after much thought and deliberation, it should be eliminated. Mindless, purposeless etiquette will be seen as demeaning, IMO. For instance, requiring ONLY the lower ranks to clean the mat at the end of practice is in my opinion stupid. Having a new student understand that it is EVERYONE's responsibility to help keep a dojo clean is important. Exempting the yudansha "because we are yudansha" creates a bad paradigm among students. Explain why things are done and have everyone do them seems to be a good way to infuse the etiquette into everyone.