Changes around the Dojo

There are several improvements going on at New York Aikikai. The biggest one is our new free towel service. Instead of us uchi-deshi busting our butts to get both the gi’s and towels clean, we now have an outside towel service that brings towels and takes them to be cleaned. It actually saves the dojo money because we don’t have to spend it on water electricity and repairs to the washer and dryer.

The second improvement is simply the replacement of the sink and counter-top upstairs in the deshi area. This sounds small unless you have seen the sink and its awesome state of disrepair. The counter is level and the sink no longer leaks. Hooray! and several other little toilet problems were fixed as well. Its really nice when stuff works.

The other improvement means a bit more work for me since I’m newer around here. Basically we have to clean never before cleaned areas around the dojo. Like the closet on the mat. The dust in there was as thick as carpet. I don’t think anyone cleaned it in twenty years. Don’t get me wrong. This place is usually pretty nice looking, but New York dust likes to settle in corners where people usually don’t look and then it kind of creeps out of its hiding and then blows around the mat like tumbleweed.

The next is the private room behind the office. The change is, its not there anymore. Sensei had Luke Durham knock down the wall. I never would have thought a wall would have so many layers. It took several weeks and a lot of garbage and dust everywhere to take out that one wall. Sensei wants to extend the office area and make the counter run farther down So people coming in can see where the office is. There is also the issue of dojo propriety that maintains there should not be a private room. Those of you who have heard tales of former uchi-deshi and their habits know what I mean.

That’s it for dojo changes. Again congratulations Buck, Jerry, and John. Marius said that the black belt test was really hard and that you all did well. It kind of scares me a bit. It seems like every year the tests get harder. What will it be like when its my turn?