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Old 03-06-2005, 08:05 PM   #76
PeterR
 
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Ditto on the Hep C - scary stuff. And what Rock says.

I don't get so worked up about blood stains as some - there tends to be a bit of overreaction. It's just easier to clean up fresh than dried and why should others clean up your mess. With a cloth there is no need to touch the blood in any case.

I tend to be more cautious about free flowing blood but I have never seen a dojo injury where I had to be in physcial contact with someone elses blood.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-07-2005, 02:29 AM   #77
Tim Griffiths
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
I tend to be more cautious about free flowing blood but I have never seen a dojo injury where I had to be in physcial contact with someone elses blood.
I've sprayed someone with a good half-pint of blood before (losing the rest getting off the mat before I passed out - a good way to get someone else to clean up your mess).

I clean the bathroom and wash the floor at home. I don't feel any more or less humble doing the same thing at the dojo. There are people in my dojo who rush to get the brooms, or put the mats away - that's fine, but I don't feel that I *must* clean - just doing the job in front of me, without paying much attention to whether I want to do it or not.

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 03-07-2005, 04:53 AM   #78
stuartjvnorton
 
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote:
Is cleaning the dojo part of training? Why? What is the goal of this training? Is it idealistic to think that it is anything other than being sanitary? Does this ideal translate into American sensibilities?

Like most things, it's what you make of it.
If you see it as menial and beneath you, you will resent it accordingly. If you see it as another way of polishing your own mirror, then use it as such and appreciate it.
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Old 03-07-2005, 05:02 AM   #79
PeterR
 
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Tim Griffiths wrote:
I've sprayed someone with a good half-pint of blood before (losing the rest getting off the mat before I passed out - a good way to get someone else to clean up your mess).
Yuck-I spilled that much in the Dojo but it sure didn't spray (half torn off toe). Pray tell what did you do?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:59 PM   #80
Greg Null
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

What an interesting topic. I was so fascinated by the varied responses I had to chime in.

To me it is as simple as this: You cannot begin to afford your training. So you do whatever possible to "pay back" your sensei by doing whatever is required. Sometimes that might be cleaning. Sometimes it might be maintenance. Sometimes it might be teaching. You simply to do whatever you can in a joyful manner because it is your responsibility as a student of that dojo. Not because it promotes humility. That might just be a pleasant side-effect.

You do it because it needs to be done. Simple.
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:17 AM   #81
Tim Griffiths
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Yuck-I spilled that much in the Dojo but it sure didn't spray (half torn off toe). Pray tell what did you do?
Live tanto + thrust to the throat + nervous uke = knife right through my hand.
The movement I was making meant the knife pulled out by itself. I walked off the mat to my bag to get a towel (no, I didn't stop to bow ) but never made it. The guy with the knife just stood there, dripping, until someone came and took it away from him.
The class cleaned up the mat, finished the last 15 mins of practice, got changed, and *then* someone drove me to hospital, where I was damn lucky to have an observant nurse, and a GP on call who used to be a surgeon (but gave it up for a normal practice - how often does that happen?) to fix up the mess.

Happy days....

Tim

If one makes a distinction between the dojo and the battlefield, or being in your bedroom or in public, then when the time comes there will be no opportunity to make amends. (Hagakure)
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:25 AM   #82
GLWeeks
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

"Is that blood on your Gi?"

"Some of it..."
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Old 01-07-2011, 08:17 AM   #83
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

I love this thread! Although my husband calls me "messy Bessie"
(no offense to those whose name really is Bessie) because I find
it hard to deal with his stuff, including office and trades equipment
my two brothers' stuff and my late parents (still havent been thru
theirs and it's been sixteen years) and of course mine, I collect
small bits of everything, I still have the goal of being a
sort of Shinto Princess (real Shintoists please understand that
the desire to emulate has prompted the nickname I mean no
disrespect, quite the contrary)

But there are personal reasons that are muscular and neurological
why I liked cleaning the dojo way back when. I was basically a klutz who switched from modern dance, which I also had to
work hard at to keep up with my high school classmates.
At NY Aikikai I don't think we were
humble ,but we had a sense of humor, so I think for my dojo friends
it was just a way of being part of the group. Paint parties were fun too
The dojo was small, and (hope this doesn't offend him now) Yamada Sensei could be seen after one o'clock class in gi bottoms
and sleeveless undershirt and one or two elbows on the mat
reading the baseball scores. At that time of year, by the
way "batting practice sankyo (with throw)" seemed to be
taught more than at other times of the year.
His aikido was really serious, but he seemed to want us to know he wasn't a guru. I'm not saying humble, but what I heard him say at a summer camp test, and again years later read in Federation News, the basics are of primary importance.

For me, cleaning was a way to become more coordinated after
the training of practicing set moves in class, it was what
you might call mental and physical cool down, in today's
language of "personal training." Plus I often found quarters
dimes and nickels along with pennies on the floor of the dressing room.

The ideal setting for me to teach years later was at a Y, it turned
out. I loved surprising people who dropped by to check out the class with everyday life examples for Aikido, even the Chow Chow
Chow step from the Purina Cat Chow commercial.
I remember one day after dog obedience we had to
sweep and mop up fluffy bits of dog hair. Another time, not
sure what group had been there first, but there was grime almost
like road dirt on the floor, so I asked the Japanese restaurant for
newspapers to shred, moisten and sweep Japanese style. The
had no newspapers but were from Northern japan and said
use snow. We did.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:54 AM   #84
Basia Halliop
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

I don't think it's ever occurred to me to find anything 'humbling' about cleaning, any more than any other random activity...
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:10 AM   #85
Mikemac
 
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Jon Truho wrote: View Post
Is cleaning the dojo part of training? Why? What is the goal of this training? Is it idealistic to think that it is anything other than being sanitary? Does this ideal translate into American sensibilities?
Zen saying.....

"Have you eaten?"
"Yes"
"Then clean your bowl."

______________________________________________

"Hey! You got your kotegaeshi in my peanut butter!"
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Old 01-07-2011, 02:59 PM   #86
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

I personally like to train in a clean dojo, so I clean it as do my fellow aikidoka do, and I'm the bleedin' sensei !!!!
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:11 AM   #87
Hellis
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
I personally like to train in a clean dojo, so I clean it as do my fellow aikidoka do, and I'm the bleedin' sensei !!!!
Thanks for my first smile today

Why would anyone not want to take part in keeping their dojo clean ?? In the early days Derek Eastman who was then a young 16 yr old assistant would get in the dojo early to sweep the frost off the mat surface, he never moaned once, as it would have cost him 200 push-ups on the back of the wrists...so he did it willingly....
As sensei I did my bit too, I would inspect his work.

Henry Ellis
http://rik-ellis.blogspot.com/
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #88
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

If I were king:
Students would be required to help clean their public schools before they went home/every day - but the custodial union would raise the roof - and sad to say, so would the parents. So kids go to school and have an entitled sense that they are "served" - they have no particular ownership in the place. If schools had a garden, for example, and students participated in keeping the place not only clean, but aesthetic they would be less entitled and younger than their years, as so many are (13/14 year olds once went to war, now 24 year olds play Hamlet, "what should I become one day)."
And, if I were king, homeless shelters, except for those serving the 100% disabled, would have a requirement that those staying there would clean up the place - washing the steps, the hallways, the - - - everything. (And that is NOT done).
Why waste time on what the meaning of the word "humble" is? This is, once again, confusing spiritual training with martial arts. The junior cleaned the toilets because it was the most unpleasant job, so of course, the junior did it. And dreamed of the day that a new student would arrive and the task was passed on. But everyone cleaned something. It was considered a given.
Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 01-08-2011 at 12:27 PM.

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Old 01-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #89
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
If I were king:
Students would be required to help clean their public schools before they went home/every day - but the custodial union would raise the roof - and sad to say, so would the parents. So kids go to school and have an entitled sense that they are "served" - they have no particular ownership in the place. If schools had a garden, for example, and students participated in keeping the place not only clean, but aesthetic they would be less entitled and younger than their years, as so many are (13/14 year olds once went to war, now 24 year olds play Hamlet, "what should I become one day)."
And, if I were king, homeless shelters, except for those serving the 100% disabled, would have a requirement that those staying there would clean up the place - washing the steps, the hallways, the - - - everything. (And that is NOT done).
Why waste time on what the meaning of the word "humble" is? This is, once again, confusing spiritual training with martial arts. The junior cleaned the toilets because it was the most unpleasant job, so of course, the junior did it. And dreamed of the day that a new student would arrive and the task was passed on. But everyone cleaned something. It was considered a given.
Best
There you go Ellis, How dare you advocate personal responsibility in the Whats-for-me, Sue-You society!

Imaizumi Sensei once wrote an article on this subject. He pointed out that you can simply clean as a function of it being a responsibility. One can also clean as a function of some aspect of shugyo. Cleaning one's space can mean both the external and internal environments through the act of cleaning the external environment.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 01-08-2011, 01:09 PM   #90
Walter Martindale
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Well, now, isn't this an old thread, revived...
I believe we all need to chip in keeping the training environment clean. One dojo I was at I used to make a point of showing up 20-30 min early to sweep and wash. The DUSTIEST dojo I've ever been in. I'd sweep up a bunch of dust-bunnies and old hair and then use a dilute dettol solution to wash the vinyl-tatami, and by the end of an hour of practice there would be a fresh pile of dust-bunny in the corners again. T'was amazing.
Every other dojo I've been in, there's a clean-up either before or after every straining session, and any blood is sopped up with a cleaning solution right away.
However - it certainly is an old thread.

W
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Old 01-08-2011, 04:56 PM   #91
lbb
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
There you go Ellis, How dare you advocate personal responsibility in the Whats-for-me, Sue-You society!
Feel better now?

We're an international forum coming from many different societies, so I don't think sweeping statements about what's wrong with "society" will get any closer to the question of students cleaning the dojo. Speaking specifically of the United States, training at a dojo is seen as a variant of training at a gym or a health club, and it would be quite unusual for customers to expect (or be expected to) clean up at a health club. White-collar workers aren't generally expected to clean their offices, and students aren't generally expected to clean their classrooms. You can argue about whether or not this is a good thing, but that's the situation, and to be honest, I don't think arguments for or against are really relevant if your goal is to get students to clean the dojo -- it's just a distraction. Leave the "should" out of it. Explain to students that a dojo operates on a different basis than a gym, a school, or an office, and that it needs students to do chores in order to function. Address it as a practical matter rather than some kind of moral imperative, explain that there isn't any paid staff to do it, leave the character judgment out of it, and let people come to their own conclusions about whether the act of cleaning the dojo has some kind of inner meaning.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:49 PM   #92
Michael Hackett
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

I vote for Ellis for King! We could do worse, and have.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:51 AM   #93
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

yup, Ellis for king!
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:13 PM   #94
Walter Martindale
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Feel better now?

We're an international forum coming from many different societies, so I don't think sweeping statements about what's wrong with "society" will get any closer to the question of students cleaning the dojo. Speaking specifically of the United States, training at a dojo is seen as a variant of training at a gym or a health club, and it would be quite unusual for customers to expect (or be expected to) clean up at a health club. White-collar workers aren't generally expected to clean their offices, and students aren't generally expected to clean their classrooms. You can argue about whether or not this is a good thing, but that's the situation, and to be honest, I don't think arguments for or against are really relevant if your goal is to get students to clean the dojo -- it's just a distraction. Leave the "should" out of it. Explain to students that a dojo operates on a different basis than a gym, a school, or an office, and that it needs students to do chores in order to function. Address it as a practical matter rather than some kind of moral imperative, explain that there isn't any paid staff to do it, leave the character judgment out of it, and let people come to their own conclusions about whether the act of cleaning the dojo has some kind of inner meaning.
Difference between most health clubs and most dojo is one has "clients" and "staff" while the other has "members". At least, most of the dojo I've been at. I worked at a health club where we called clients "members" but they were paying customers and we had a janitorial staff. I've never been at a dojo that had staff.. (many have been housed in facilities that had staff, but when we were using the space as a dojo, we cleaned our mats, space, etc.)
W
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:31 AM   #95
SteliosPapadakis
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Ι have a querry (actually more than one), if i may...
Should the Sensei demand or "expect" from the students to clean the place? Or should he ignore the whole lot and see if they do it themselves anyway?
What if there is not enough time? Another class by a different teacher before the aikido class followed by another class by another teacher immediately afterwards?
Should the Sensei postpone his lesson for 5 minutes in order for them students to clean the tatami?
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:56 AM   #96
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Stelios Papadakis wrote: View Post
Ι have a querry (actually more than one), if i may...
Should the Sensei demand or "expect" from the students to clean the place? Or should he ignore the whole lot and see if they do it themselves anyway?
What if there is not enough time? Another class by a different teacher before the aikido class followed by another class by another teacher immediately afterwards?
Should the Sensei postpone his lesson for 5 minutes in order for them students to clean the tatami?
It would much depend on how filthy the tatami was...?
I have always had to put up with either sport/leisure centres or rented rooms /halls etc, most are neglected , so I would find a broom, cloths, buckets, cleaning materials from the janitors cubby 'ole and have a clean up, with students..... those that didn't get there early to do their bit, certainly knew about it through the training session.....
Just to say they would be absolutely knackered and their dogi's soaking wet....... and so was mine.....
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:26 AM   #97
lbb
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Difference between most health clubs and most dojo is one has "clients" and "staff" while the other has "members".
That is a distinction that will be missed by most people in the US until it is pointed out...

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
At least, most of the dojo I've been at. I worked at a health club where we called clients "members" but they were paying customers and we had a janitorial staff.
...and even once it is pointed out, many students will fail to get the distinction, because like the "members" of the health club in your example, they too are paying.

Don't mistake my comments for a "should", Walter. They're just a statement of how it is.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:30 AM   #98
lbb
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

Quote:
Stelios Papadakis wrote: View Post
Ι
What if there is not enough time? Another class by a different teacher before the aikido class followed by another class by another teacher immediately afterwards?
At the karate dojo where I used to train, the floor would get cleaned between classes. A student for the class coming in would fill the buckets, then after the first class has come off the mat, all students (old class and new class) would grab a rag, wet it and wring it out, place it on the floor and run to the opposite side of the dojo...one after another. The whole thing took about three minutes. You're not going to clean aikido mats like that, but it's an example of how a cleaning can be done between classes that will greatly increase the dojo's cleanliness. Also, students were expected to always keep the dressing room tidy, to pick up trash wherever they found it, straighten rugs in the waiting area if needed, etc. It works if it's ingrained in the culture of a dojo: new students coming in pick it up, for the most part (although some people are incredibly oblivious). I think it works best if the tasks are regular, so that everybody knows that after class, we all do such-and-such.
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