"Cleaning the Change Rooms"
Recently I was asked again by a parent from my school why I have the teenagers clean the change rooms. This is something that has been done for over thirty years in my dojo. However, this time I was asked in a polite manner unlike the complaint I received several years ago. I decided to pull out an old article about this subject, tweak it a little and put it in this month's newsletter. My teen parents read this newsletter so maybe this article will answer that question if it's on their mind. This article may also clarify this philosophy to others that are not in the martial arts world.
The martial arts are quite unique from other entities such as dance, gymnastics, or other businesses where a "service" is provided to its "clients". In the martial arts we consider ourselves a family, not a service providing a product. The fees are considered funds that help pay for the facility and martial arts knowledge. Not to give participants entitlement. The school (dojo) is considered our house and home. As a family it is our responsibility to work together to keep it clean and not to hire others to do it for us. Some of us may hire outside help to accompany our efforts, not to eliminate them. In the martial arts it is considered our duty to clean our own house. This philosophy has been in the martial arts since its inception. There is learning and discipline that come from cleaning our school. The cleaning of the school also develops the philosophy of being of service to others in our family and that of our guests. It is the same philosophy that many of us have at our own private homes.
The teachings of the school go far beyond self defense. Philosophies are taught that help us work at improving ourselves as human beings. These philosophies and techniques show us how to control our emotions, suppress our egos, develop humility, move beyond the feeling of entitlement, give back to mankind, and so on and so forth. It is a lifelong endeavor. Believe it or not, cleaning the change rooms is a part of it. Adult martial art students, including myself, clean the dojo and the change rooms on a daily basis. I have the teens clean because they need to understand service, learn to take pride in the tasks, and be a contributing part of the family. Nothing is asked of them that we don't do ourselves. The teenage years are critical in these areas of understanding. I also expect them to do these tasks at their home and would be very disappointed if they didn't.
In the original complaint, safety was brought up as a reason why teens should not participate in dojo cleaning. This is my response to that argument.
As far as getting hurt or injured while helping clean the dojo, an injury can happen anytime and anywhere. Where do you draw the line? I guess maybe I am opening myself up to law suits. I hope the world hasn't come to this.
I have always considered the infection issue. We have taken steps to help in this area by providing gloves to be used in the change rooms. My conclusion is that if someone is going to get an infection by cleaning, we have bigger problems. That means someone could get an infection just by going into the change rooms. To take this issue a step further, people could get infections simply by training on the same floor with other people. This is a problem of all athletic sports where people train in close proximity to others. We work hard at the dojo to minimize such problems. The point is where do you draw the line? It is a difficult dilemma.
Convenience to parents waiting for their teen was also cited as a reason teens should not help with cleaning the change rooms after class.
I don't know what to say about inconveniences that may come from this policy. These tasks are very small. There is generally a half a dozen teens or more that help out after each class. Each teen does a simple task such as wiping down the counter, cleaning the mirrors, cleaning a toilet, and so on. Each task doesn't take more than a couple of minutes. If it takes longer, then the teens are socializing. I don't know if that is a bad problem unless it makes a parent wait, which of course would be bad manners.
During my 35 years in the martial arts this is the first direct complaint I have received on this topic (this was several years ago). Parents have said they understand and agree with this policy and have gone as far as to actually encourage it. However, I am not naive enough to think that every parent agrees with me on every policy and philosophy. If you are a parent that disagrees with me, just send a polite e-mail and let me know. In that case, your teen will not be required to help with the change rooms. Maybe the teen can clean somewhere else in the school. I will leave it up to you, the parent.
Welcome to the world of "Wado"and other Martial Art Information
Dear Wado Enthusiast and other karate practitioners;
This newsletter is to help keep Wado enthusiasts and others informed of activities in Wado Ryu, Wado Kai, Wado Kokusai, and independent Wado groups in the United States and abroad. Please send your Wado event or activity with a photo of the instructor and/or event organizer by the 20th of the preceding month to get your information in this newsletter. Please send your text in a Word document and pictures in small jpeg files, thank you.
we will publish editorials, articles, or any other important information that may be of interest to Wado or other karate enthusiast. Please send a photo of the author with the article.
Instructors, please forward to a Wado enthusiast or other karate practitioners, thank you.
Volunteer Wado Staff
View other Newsletters
One of the most difficult areas that this newsletter has to deal with is the use of instructor titles. We are very sensitive to this issue and do not want to offend or insult anyone. To simplify this daunting problem we will use the following guidelines with the use of instructor titles:
a. The correct title of the instructor(s) must be in the article or seminar information submitted by the author or event organizer.
b. All captions that we place under photos will be:
1. Japanese instructors: Last name followed by the title Sensei.
2. Non-Japanese instructors: The title Sensei followed by the last name of the instructor.
c. Any title and name that is placed in this newsletter by newsletter staff will use the title of Sensei.
We consider the title "Sensei" a very prestigious title
Wado Books & Information
Editor's note: There are many Wado practitioners in the world that do not have access to Wado books and literature for one reason or another. In this section we will publish key parts of Wado books and direct the reader to where they can be purchased. We will publish the author's introductions and philosophies but not the technical components of the book.
We are continuing with another writing from Master Otsuka's book Wado Ryu Karate, published by Masters Publication. This book can be purchased at Amazon.com.
Martial Arts Mentality - Necessary for Present Day People
It is unfortunate and regrettable that "martial arts mentality" sounds so feudal and contrary to contemporary society. This is probably the result of martial arts forms being utilized by certain individuals during the feudal eras to oppress people, as well as the ignorance of the general population.
With the end of World War II and its consequent democracy in Japanese society, words such as "feudalism" and any notions associated with it may seem unattractive. As stated before, the "path" of the martial arts is the foundation of a peaceful society and exists to better the collective existence of humanity; thus it is unconditionally necessary - the person who walks this "path" has to see that it is indeed necessary regardless of date and time.
Developments in communication and transportation "lessens" the distance from nation to nation, creating friction, doubt and conflict between people. Establishment of peace then likely is to increase in difficulty as time progresses. Therefore, the martial arts mentality becomes increasingly necessary. Essentially, what is most important is to be able to use this appropriately within the limits of society.
A white ceiling of hazy clouds floated across the Cape Cod sky like a friendly wraith holding the sizzling July sun at bay. The breeze off the Atlantic ruffled my hair and dried the salty sweat on my skin like a popsicle on Arizona blacktop.
I strode across the green grass of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, a couple miles from the entry to Cape Cod Bay, and stopped to watch a small legion of diehards in dirty white karate pajamas (rapidly assuming the camouflage colors of earth and grass) kick and punch, jump, run, scramble and shout to the cadence of a Sempai doing what Sempai have felt the urge to do for centuries - conjure diabolical exercises to make students ask themselves the eternal karate question, "What am I doing here?"
George Mattson strode across the Maritime grass with a lanky, elk-like stride, a smile bisecting his face, hand outstretched. I had never met the man, but it took about ten words to make me feel like a long awaited brother.
It was Sensei Mattson's annual Summerfest weekend, three days of karate delight every summer for 31 years. I was there to ballyhoo my book and teach a pair of seminars.
To read the rest of this article click HERE.
Sensei Hunt holds Dan ranks in Wado Ryu, Shito Ryu and Shotokan.
Robert Hunt is the author of the book "The Art and the Way". Click the title to get information about this book. To order the book click HERE.
You can contact Sensei Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's note: I picked this up on a Wado WIKF Linked In conversation. I'm not sure where it originally came from but I had to put it in this newsletter. It's humorous, but has some validity.
Here is the final 33 of:
93 Warning Signs Your Dojo is a McDojo
61. Your grandmaster rarely teaches stuff hands-on (he has assistants for that).
62. There are "forbidden" techniques that only certain students are taught.
63. You're wearing a taekwondo uniform.
64. Cross training is discouraged.
65. Other schools are talked down.
66. Kyu grade students are recruited to become instructors early on, and put in 'accelerated learning programs'.
67. Your grandmaster has a habit of dating students.
68. "Sensei, when will I learn my next kata?"
69. "When you buy the DVD!"
70. You are rarely taught philosophical concepts, strategy or theory.
71. Doing stuff that's "correct" is seen as more important than doing stuff that actually works.
72. You practise harnessing your ki/chi power.
73. Quantity is encouraged over quality - both physical and theoretical.
74. The sensei is always right, everybody else are wrong.
75. The style is always right, everything else is wrong.
76. The dojo is always right, everyplace else is wrong
77. Questioning the style, teacher, lineage or dojo is a big no-no.
78. New students aren't allowed to watch a class; "Just sign the dotted line."
79. Your sensei adds/changes/removes techniques when he feels like it. Which is basically every week.
80. Your sensei teaches crescent kicks as disarming techniques for handguns and knives.
81. You train defense against baseball bats by blocking with your forearm.
82. Your sensei invokes fear.
83. You bow to a huge portrait of your sensei hanging on the wall.
84. There are "hidden" techniques in kata.
85. When you practise self-defense, it's always based on a scenario where your opponent steps towards you with a straight punch and then leaves his/her armdangling in front of you as you execute 5-10 different finishing techniques.
86. Your sensei knows the 'no-touch' K.O.
87. Your memory to recall techniques is tested more often than your actual skill in performing techniques.
88. Your instructor prefers to use "grandmaster", "master" or "sensei" rather than his real name. Both in print and person.
89. Showing techniques you learnt from someplace else is frowned upon.
90. The dojo equipment can't stand full contact use.
91. Students scream more than they bow.
92. If you make a mistake, it's quickly (and often loudly) pointed out by your sensei. But when you make something correct? Crickets.
93. You practise backflips.
MARTIAL ARTS HUMOR
The Moon Cannot Be Stolen
A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift." The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. "Poor fellow," he mused, " I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."
We all need a little Zen in our Lives. If you have a story, please send it in.
Wado Pentecost Course 2013
The Tanden: The Body's Center and Gravity
by Christina Gutz
More than 100 participants met for the traditional Pentecost Wado Course 2013 in Berlin. The instructors were Shuzo Imai, Takamasa Arakawa, Bernd Alscher and Christina Gutz.
The Course lasted for three days and comprised the full diversity of Wado karate: kihon, kata and kata kaisetsu, idori, kihon kumite, ohyo kumite, self-defense, tanto dori, as well as tachi dori. The instructors´ common principle was the significance of the tanden in connection with important principles of budo in general and Wado Ryu in particular, such as chushin tadasu (correct body alignment), tai otoshi (dropping the body), and tai sabaki (evasive action). Each session began and ended with joint exercises, whereas the participants practiced in the main units in separate groups according to their grades.
Shuzo Imai placed one focus in his sessions on kihon since it provides the basis for a deeper understanding of all techniques and for executing complex series of movements. He pointed out that the techniques can be executed fast and effectively if the movement is released from the tanden, caused by relaxation and uses the body's center of gravity. He demonstrated and conveyed this in tachi dori and tanto dori, as well as in other exercises with partners.
To read article click HERE
New Wado Book Release
Karate Is Self-Defense
by Wado practitioner Mathew C. Matson
Karate is Self-Defense; Karate was developed as a civilian form of self-defense. It is more than just physical techniques, it is a way of life, a way of thinking about the safety of you and your loved ones. Karate develops a mindset that will help over come obstacles and achieve goals. The habits and mindset developed in karate apply to all aspects of life including practical application for real world situations. "Karate is Self-Defense" contains over 350 photographs displaying technique, a brief history of martial arts focusing on Japanese Karate, non-fighting aspects of self-protection,responsibilities when dealing with a, physical conflict and the aftermath as well as physical techniques and drills that can aid in training for physical defense. Soft cover and kindle versions available. http://www.amazon.com/Karate-Is-Self-Defense-Matthew-Matson/dp/1481034901/
|All Britain Wado Kai|
July 6th and 7th
Instructors: Kato Sensei 7th dan JKF
Katsube Sensei 7th dan JKF
For additional information click HERE
Wednesday July 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Greenville, South Carolina
Don't forget the opportunity to test for a USA Karate Dan Certificate
Register on line at www.tournamentinabox.com
Click 2013 USA Karate Nationals (Greenville, SC)
Event Date: 07/11/2013 - 07/14/2013 (USA KarateArticle Subtitle
|Wado Kai Sommerlehrgang in Haslach i. k.
July 25 -29, 2013
For additional Information click HERE
WIKF Wado Karate Seminars
Sensei Jon Wicks
WIKF World Chief Instructor
International Wado Summer Karate Open Course 2013
Instructor - Yoshihiko Iwasaki Shihan
Venue; Gyomaendrod, Hungary
Date; Sunday 4th - Friday 9th August 2013
Events will be included as below
Traditional Wado Karata inc Kumite, Kata and Ohyo Waza (Application arts), Refree course, Kumite Competition and Dan grading,
Early morning training 6.30am includes Taichi (Ki exercise)
For additional information:
Additional Information and Application click HERE
|Swiss Takagi Seminar
September 6,7, & 8, 2013
For additional information click HERE
7th WIKF World Championships
September 20-22, 2013
For additional information click HERE
Wado Aiwakai Karate-Do Federation
presents the 2013
JKF Wado Kai Masters' Course
Teaching Masters: Takagi Hideho, 8th dan
and four other instructors
Septemptem 27-29, 2013
To view poster click HERE
For Dan Grading Fees click HERE
For Masters' Course-Delegate's Guide click HERE
Irish Karate Association
Irish Karate Association Wado-Ryu have great pleasure in inviting your club/students to Our International Open Karate Competition, on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th of October 2013 in the Dolmen Hotel, Kilkenny Road, Carlow.
For more information click HERE
27e Coupe de Kayl the Luxemboug
October 19-20, 2013
For more information click HERE
"So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after."