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Old 11-11-2004, 11:20 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
But cleaning the dojo as a way to humbling people, or as a part of the training, needs more ellaboration to be justifiable imho.

Well, Demetrio. You have quite the elevated sense of importance if you think that you're above cleaning the dojo. This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years. Yes it's good for the dojo but its also good for you. Nobody suffers from putting the requirements of the group, in this case the dojo community, ahead of their own. Many of the Shihan you train under did more than their share of cleaning over the years. Yamada Sensei wasn't even accepted as an uchi deshi initially. He took to going into the dojo early every morning and cleaning until they finally realized he was serious and wasn't going to go away.

You get out what you put in. If you think you should be one of those guys who shows up, trains, and then disappears then you will never even come close to having the kind of relationship with your peers and with the dojo which you should have. When I trained at the Seattle School of Aikido under Mary heiny Sensei I would often go in on a Sunday to train a while on my own. Then I would clean the whole place myself. You put that kind of attention on a place and it becomes yours in a very real way.

My own students take care of everything at the dojo. Because they have a feeling of relationship with the physical space they are in they feel free to do imporovements on it. I came back from Winter break a couple of years ago and the had remodeled the entire place. They did this themsleves over Xmas break as my present for our 10th anniversary. You better believe that they have an investment in the place on an emotional level.

Commercial cleaning service indeed...

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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