The Maru Dojo culture stems from courtesy and respect which are some of the concepts found in Budo. In simple terms, Budo is a way to cultivate mastery of self and mind.
In the dojo, there is no room for machismo atmosphere; the bro-ey environment does not exist. Chest thumping and trash talk will simply fall to deaf ears. These attitudes belong on the streets. It has never existed in the dojo and it will not be tolerated.
The act of bowing should not be taken as a sign of worship to the sensei (instructor) nor should be taken as a sign of surrender. Rather, it is a sign of respect to both individuals. It is an expression of gratitude for an opportunity to practice and refine one's skill.
Stepping On The Mat
For decades, stepping on the mat meant a variety of different things. It was a signal to leave the stress, the anxiety, the worries, the constant and chronic emotional distress etc., at the edge of the mat. Stepping on the mat was a time to reset, a time to collect your thoughts and focus on yourself. It is a time to refine your skill and "tighten your mind".
During practice one would not have time to think about anything else but just learning to focus the here and now. There will be many days that even on practice, nothing goes the way as planned; this is just part of training.
At the end of practice, you leave your frustrations on the mat, you let go of your anger on the mat, you let go of your disappointments on the mat, you leave your sweat on the mat, you leave your tears on the mat.
Cleaning and wiping down the mats should serve as a symbol to wipe away the frustrations and it is now part of the past. Reset and strive for a better training next time.