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Dojo Cleaning, 2011

At the beginning of each year, our students get together for a special dojo cleaning. We will do so this weekend. I looked back, and my post from January 2007 addressed this subject as follows:

About a week ago, my students and Sensei Gary Omori's Koshinkan Dojo Aikido students got together for a joint dojo cleaning. We use adjacent rooms. On Monday, my class uses his matted room and on Wednesdays my class uses the linoleum tiled room next door.

I sent an email to my students to let them know about the Saturday morning cleaning. Most of my students came out.

I must say that I have excellent students. How do I know this? Because I did not have to tell any of my students what to do. They all simply began to clean with no instruction or supervision. They all just worked together.

I did not have to supervise at all. What did I do? As the Sensei, I thought it important to find the dirtiest job and do it. So I cleaned toilets. But I had plenty of help.

No one complained. No one slacked off. This is how a dojo should be. We all work together. I even have some students who have missed classes for the last few months because of work, but still came out to help clean.

If anyone thinks I am bragging, you have remember that I am bragging that my students can clean well! I always say:
  • Clean the dojo, clean youself.
  • Clean the dojo, have a clean mind.
  • If your dojo is clean, your home and office should be clean too.
  • If you are too good to clean, then you are too good for our dojo.
  • The Sensei should lead by example. If he does not help clean the dojo, he is missing his own training.
  • If you clean the dojo but do not help clean at home, you should quit Karate.
  • They way you are in the dojo should reflect the way you are outside the dojo.
Cleanliness should also apply to your gi and body. Your fingernails and toenails should also be clean and neatly trimmed. Jewelry should not be worn in the dojo.

I am very fortunate to have fine students (who also clean very well).

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin

Those words, particularly the bulleted points, remain true today.

If your dojo is clean, your house should be clean, cleaner in fact. What you do in the dojo should be a reflection of how you are in daily life. How you are in the dojo should never be better than how you are in daily life. If so, you are just acting in the dojo.

Sometimes parents will tell me that they are so surprised that their children sweep and mop the dojo because they are messy and lazy at home. I think that same may be said about some spouses!

I sometimes say that Karate should be the worst thing that you do. That way, if you are good at Karate you will be even better at everything else.

Anyway, for my students this weekend, please remember that cleaning the floor is like polishing your character. That is what we are doing through Karate training -- constantly polishing our character.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin