Benjamin Cliver is one of the young guns and keepers of the flame at the Doshinkan, our headquarters in Philadelphia. Here is a great essay written about his perspectives on Budo.

Budo and Cleaning the Cold Box

by Benjamin Cliver on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 7:25pm ·

So, today at Yards, I had an interesting experience.  A fellow I worked with was mocking me for having to been assigned an obnoxious task.  This chap, is one of those people that, while seemingly having a preternatural aversion to hardwork, delights in seeing others working very hard.  Anyway, he mocked me for having to do a hard task.  I walked away with a serious desire to traumatically redesign his face with my hands.  Instead of the hard task he had implied that would be mine to do, I volunteered for an even harder one.  I asked to clean the cold box.

The cold box is dirty.  We run a fork lift in and out of there all day and the pallets we stock items on shed bits of wood constantly.  At first, I was just in the cold box to avoid the chap who had mocked me.  As I worked, I decided to CLEAN the cold box rather than just MOP the cold box.  After more than an hour and five buckets of fresh water I had become elated.  I worked hard and loved it… It was a very Budo moment for me.

Essentially, Budo says that we should examine ever task we undertake as way to make ourselves better.  Focus on that which we are doing and complete that task.  Every time I thought to half ass this task and “get done” another side of me said, “No, do it right this time.”  I find it really interesting that the most menial task has brought me so much joy.  Something my aikido instructor, Sensei Utada has been telling me for a dozen years, “Do the job you want to do the least!  That is your training.  You learn nothing by doing the thing you want to do”.  Awesome day for me.