Importance of Cleaning the Dojang
Anthony Segura - 3rd Degree Black Belt
the Dojang? How can cleaning the Dojang, something that is easily
taken for granted, be an essential part of my martial arts training?
In modern American culture, cleaning is something that we have to
do; something we would rather pay someone else to do. It is usually
done for a variety of reasons, i.e. guests coming over, that time
of the week or something we do for exercise. And we rarely feel the
impulse to clean a place that we don't live in - heck, we have a hard
enough time just trying to clean our own home.
demo at the International Festival near the Alley Theater in
downtown Houston in 1989.
In traditional martial arts training the Dojang is treated as a revered
location. In fact, in many cultures one must first spend several months
just cleaning the Dojang before being allowed to train. The reason
for this exercise is to teach the student patience as well as provide
an appreciation for the school in which they train. A neat appearance
is important to give a good impression of our Chayon -Ryu system.
Looking at this from a different perspective, a person who visits
our Dojang and finds it dirty and unkempt will associate that with
the quality of the students and instruction and may decide not to
Now, how can cleaning the Dojang be an essential part of my training?
There are few people who point out the similarities when discussing
the relationship, or connection, between training in the Dojang and
cleaning the Dojang. A properly cleaned Dojang is one in which the
slightest detail has not escaped the awareness of the student who
is training there. Thus, cleaning teaches us how to pay attention
to detail. Attention to detail is very important in Chayon-Ryu training
How can you learn to master a technique or form if you lack the ability
to recognize and pay attention to detail?
The Dojang is a place of learning. Students are united in mutual friendship
in an effort to improve oneself and others. The Dojang is where individuals
come, not only to learn how to defend themselves physically, but mentally
as well. How can you effectively and efficiently train when the Dojang
is dirty? Students should, without having to be asked, help keep the
Dojang clean. Students are responsible for cleaning the Dojang before
and after every class. A clipboard is posted by the sign-in sheets
with a list of what should be done. Pick something to clean - how
much easier can it get? Every student should take part in these activities
at least once per week.
Lastly, leaving the Dojang ready for those who practice after you
is a sign of respect and humility for your fellow students. If you
are one who doesn't care to clean the Dojang, then you are someone
who doesn't care for or respect the Chayon-Ryu system in its entirety.
"Respecting others" is one of the phrases spoken in our
Dojang Hun Cleaning the Dojang should never be taken for granted if
we truly want to learn what respect and mastery means.