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Old 11-11-2004, 09:30 AM   #4
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

I think it's important because it makes two statements: I'm connected enough to this dojo to take care of it, and I'm a working member of the community rather than a passive recipient of teaching. When I ran a religious group, we found that people who wouldn't contribute to clean-up almost never became productive long-term members. Either they would lack commitment to stay through hard times, or they would turn out to be problems in other regards (taking without giving).

Technically, well, my dojomates tease me constantly that mopping will be on my shodan test, because it's about the worst thing I do. I can't master that butt-in-the-air position so I crawl back and forth across the dojo instead. If nothing else it's training in persevering against embarrassment....

After John sensei's classes I'm usually gasping on the mat, but shame makes me get up and mop anyway. That's definitely training too.

There is probably something going on in Japan that we can't copy, but I think there are things going on here that are valuable--we'd lose something if we hired a cleaning service or stuck a few people with all of the clean-up duties.

Mary Kaye
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