My sensei will usually lay the vacuum and mop the floor as well as laying out the mats. Usually I will arrive early to help him and sometimes, James will beat me to it. After these years of helping him, I’ve slowly gained his ‘trust’ on how to mop the floor.
Last week, he decided to mop the mat as well, which was a good thing, the mat stank of stale sweat and dirt. However it was harder to dry compared to the floor, and sensei has to use another dry mop to wick off the excess moist.
Cristian was there too, and he offered help to sensei to take over the drying. Sensei refused his offer. I approached him moments later, and he let me have it without much of a thought. Cristian asked me later why did sensei gave the mop to me and not him?’ He rationalised that probably he was late and therefore…
I told him that this is typical of Asian cultures. usually the elders will prefer to do things their way. To the old folks, they have this approach that ‘by the time i teach you how to do it right, my way, i could have better use my time and do it myself!’ It is not the case which sensei is not willing to impart the ‘Mop-waza’. its just that he has seen how the youngsters done it and he is not impressed at all.
Honestly, sometimes, I am not impressed with the way i mop the floor too, and i get suggestive comments from sensei when i mopped a little faster than him, after all i am a good 3 decades his junior and surely my youth would ensure speed and thoroughness. he would think that i sped things up and cut the corners.
He has a particular way of mopping the floor and he always complained how the rest simply wet the floor, and doesn’t really ‘mop’ the floor. It took me a while to understand that and how it is tied to martial arts.