when i first returned to Aikido about 4 years back, my heart break to see my sensei doing the mopping himself. I guess it was the irrational emotional part of me.I was like, he was Singapore’s first 6th dan Aikidoka, The Most senior Aikidoka in Singapore, EVER! He is, in my then opinion THE BEST Aikidoka in Singapore! Why do someone with an elevated status like him doing lowly things like mopping? But he is just mopping, like how he has been doing chores long before he picked up Aikido.
Now, much have changed though I still want to do ALL the chores for him and have him rested instead of doing it himself. but i cannot stop him, because he is a hands-on sensei. He likes to do things on his own, he will never accept ‘Please sensei, take a rest, let me do it for you.’ He lets you to do the chores with him not for him.
So everytime i come early I would do the chores with him. and that would make me very happy. It is not easy to earn his acceptance on something as simple as just mopping the floor. He doesn’t want you to do it because you possess an eagerness to do his work for him. what he wants is an earnest character to work beside him.
So I told Cristian, let it be. Be earnest, not eager. Be there, for sensei, in the background. always ready to come to his assistance, not out of eagerness but out of being earnest. if he wants things done his way, on his own, so be it. if you think you can do it better than him, he’ll let you. but if you screw it up, it will be a long time before he’ll let you again. Its not about earning his trust, its about be earnest about being accepted.