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Old 11-11-2004, 12:23 PM   #22
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

The question is: cleaning the dojo as a tool for humbling students is acceptable by today's standards?

Humilty is a interesting subject. I think it is as relevant today as it ever was in society.

I don't equate humility with the act of humiliation though...two different things I believe.

I am a Field Grade Officer in the U.S. Army. In this role I have earned certain priviledges that I no longer have to do "details" such as cutting grass etc. However, I did do these things as I was coming along earning my rank. I still have things that I must do for those that outrank me. That is just the way it is.

When I go to certain Courses where all are students regardless of rank or position, we are all more or less equals and there are things I have to do that would be beneath me as a field grade. That is just the way the dynamic works.

Same in a dojo....the Shihan has earned a level of respect and probably no longer does things like sweep the floor. But it does not mean he has never done it, nor is willing to do it. A good leader is one that all that serve him know that he would do these things if necessary...but the students would never allow him the opportunity do to it. There is a mutual respect in this.

I have watched my Shihan...he still pays attention to the small things and will stop to pick up a errant piece of paper or a smudge.

Humility does not mean humiliation. There is mutual respect in the balance of things.
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