The Charles Fink Karate Dojo aims to keep fees low but it is not a charity. Sensei gladly gives his time and effort to bring his skill and expertise to the community. Students should support him in any way they can. Paying fees on time is certainly a good place to start but it is not about the money. Students should consider giving back to the dojo in a meaningful way.
In order for a dojo to operate properly, certain tasks must be performed. The Sensei has achieved his position because he has demonstrated a mastery of these tasks and can now be trusted with the operation of a dojo and passing on his skill and knowledge. It is unreasonable to ask or expect Sensei to perform all the duties associated with the operation of the dojo. Every member of the dojo should contribute to its success. The more senior the student, the more they can (and should) contribute.
Everyone in the dojo should sweep (even the black belts)
For example, the Sensei can do everything in the dojo but he is the only one who can teach. As students spend more time in the dojo they acquire skill and knowledge of dojo operations and can contribute in different ways. All students, even the newest members, of the dojo can help in the daily chores such as sweeping and cleaning the dojo. As students gain experience, they can take on other duties such as preparing the equipment, welcoming new participants, and setting up the shinden (shrine). As time goes on, students begin to take on tasks such as organizing social events, handling tournament registrations, booking rooms, handling memberships, collecting fees, keeping the books, and begin to assist Sensei by running drills and leading class.
This is not to say that only the white belts should sweep. Everyone in the dojo should sweep (even the black belts). This example is simply used to demonstrate that there are tasks that everyone (even brand-new students) in the dojo can complete. If basic tasks are taken care of, it allows more experienced students to handle other affairs. When all students are contributing, the dojo fires on all cylinders and Sensei can focus on teaching knowing that all of the chores have been taken care of and that every member of the dojo has played a part in this realization.
A well-rounded dojo, where every student has a sense of ownership, will operate smoothly. This contributes to the success of the dojo and will ultimately enhance dojo life for all.
To be part of a well-rounded, organized, and balanced group, you can join the Charles Fink Karate Dojo. We welcome your contribution and I am certain you will gain much more than you will give.