Dojo Ownership

305747_599163800094260_1835252804_nIn karate, the terms Gimu 義務, (duty or obligation) and Giri 義理 social obligation, are sometimes incorrectly used to describe the responsibilities or obligations of the dojo population. As much as we would like to proliferate Japanese traditions in the dojo, some are difficult to truly apply. I have heard karateka use Giri before when referring to actions in the dojo or association but this term can often refer to an obligation one does for another, but may not necessarily want to.

I think hokori 誇 is a more proper term as shown by a beginning adult student one evening. After finishing her training, she asked if she could come back in two hours later after yudansha keiko and do osogi 掃除 with the black belts. When I told her that it would be two hours before training ended, she smiled and even more enthusiastically asked again. This young lady came back in street clothes and still cleaned up and down the dojo floor, elbow to elbow with the yudansha and then cleaned the mirrors. 

Her gesture, enthusiasm and smile showed pride and altruism, something that is the foundation of great students. Remember that the dojo is not owned by the Sensei, it is yours. The PRIDE you show ensures a legacy for you and others to enjoy and grow.