Kindly remove your shoes

The sign (kindly provided by a student) outside our Hombu dojo used to read: Leave your ego, with your shoes, at the door.

Catching newbies and visitors before they walked, dusty shoes and all, onto the dojo floor required a careful balancing act of maintaining the right dojo etiquette while trying not to scare newcomers off with a regime of barked orders as their smile in greeting faded to a look of this is all too much, already!

There are of course a number of reasons why you are requested to remove your shoes before entering the dojo. Principal among these is the simple desire to keep the floor clean. Imagine trying to do pushups when you're too scared to breathe for inhaling road grime traipsed in by the unsuspecting... practicing your grappling on a wet and muddy floor... or trying to retain your calm T'ai Chi composure as the person next to you picks up a sole covered in dirt and transposes said dirt to their rear, creating a blurred imprint on their butt, during play guitar.

Another reason is that removing your shoes before entering a building is - at least for many westerners - an unusual thing to do. It requires conscious effort - and as such it is one of the tools that helps you move from a general rushed and hurried state of mind. Taking your shoes off forces you to slow down, brings you into the present moment, and produces a mindset more appropriate to training and learning in the dojo.

Which brings me to Dojo Tip #1

But I digress. Yesterday we saw a sign on the door of a home that does the job admirably.

Life is made of choices... remove your shoes or scrub the floor










So - if you're visiting one of our dojo... be aware: You'll be expected to take your shoes off or asked to scrub the floor!

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27 January 2013, 02:34
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