Cleaning up the Dojo-お掃除
In the Japanese culture from early childhood, children learn how to clean their classroom. Every member of the classroom is part of the team and together they make their study environment pristine and to their best, spotless.
It is better to clean after ourselves because it is our space.
It will make you proud if you are doing a good job.
It helps to build self-confidence.
Tidying up after themselves is about preparing them for life.
It is always nice when people say: “Thank you!”.
When I was a teenager in boarding school, we had to clean: the toilets, the showers, make our beds and we had to clean the whole building. All students were assigned a chore duty and it changed every week. If we didn’t do our chores well then, we had to do them again or we were grounded for the weekend.
In a dojo, it is the same, we must clean together because it is our space, and it is where we train. We want to make sure that it is always clean. We are all students in the dojo, and we are community. It is important for the community to team up and perform all the chores necessary to preserve the balance and to respect the space.
Respecting the space:
Most dojos have a standard etiquette including:
a clean uniform for practice,
a clean physical appearance,
and a proper hygiene.
If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, we recommend that you stay at home and rest. First, it is not recommended to exercise when you are sick and secondly, you don’t want to make other students sick.
A clean environment:
It is always more comfortable to train or study in a space that is organized and clean. The opposite is not comfortable. There are a lot of Asian studies that indicate that a disorganized space makes the energy in the room stagnate. I would recommend reading about the science of Feng shui.
Now, imagine, you are a student in a dojo, and you just washed your uniform, and you are ready to train but the mats are very dirty with sand or dirt. Would you be comfortable to put your face or roll on the mat?
In a recent blog post, I discussed the meaning of “No openings”. This is part of it. Practicing cleanliness helps to be ready to put all the favorable conditions for the training practice. Respect yourself and respect your dojo! Be a proud student!