Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (December 16th, 2007)

From Sensei Rob Neff

The High School for Leadership and Public Service Ueshiro Karate Club

The dojo is a place
where courage is fostered

and superhuman nature is bred

through the ecstasy of sweating in hard work.

It is the sacred place

where the human spirit is polished.

Shoshin Nagamine

I’d like us to take to take a look at this quote from perhaps a different perspective this week. Rather then thinking about polishing ourselves, this week during the holidays think about how we can give back to our dojo. It is our Giri (duty – one of the six virtues of a warrior) to polish our dojo every time we step into our scared training hall.

Traditionally we sweep the deck and do a traditional wipe down after every class. In our more modern setting we don’t always get a chance to observe these rituals. Some of our clubs and dojo share spaces that are used by other groups, and perhaps even cleaned by cleaning services. We should not allow these convinces to prevent us from helping out and doing what we can to make our dojo shine. Additionally, if you get to the dojo before class starts and you see it needs cleaning don’t hesitate to “Just do it.” It is always more pleasant to train in a clean setting, and there is always something to be done.

I challenge us to embrace the less pleasant tasks that involve cleaning and embrace them as if we were doing Kata on the spot with Hanshi watching. I have been told that monks “fight” over who gets to clean the toilets in their monasteries. This is because it is considered an honor. This week and every week polish your dojo with joy and vigor!

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Sensei Rob Neff,
The High School for Leadership and Public Service Ueshiro Karate Club