How much reverence a martial art or one of its schools places upon its training area is a matter of choice. Traditionally, the dojang is a place of honor and is respected as such, but, with the Americanization of the martial arts, Taekwondo included, much of this reverence has been forgotten. However, there is also such a thing as common decency. No reputable yoga class, aerobics class, weight room, Pilate class, or any other type of physical training area permits alcohol drinking, smoking, etc. in or near the training area. Operating a strict dojang is always advantageous to a school, while operating a lax school is always detrimental. A good reputation is difficult to attain, and a bad first impression can never be recalled; looks as if this school lost out on both counts.
Nowadays, being courteous and decent is frowned upon as being old-fashioned; being a jerk is cool. History has shown that the prevalence of social courtesies, as well as the length of hair and hemlines, rises and falls within a society over time. The current deterioration of social graces will bottom out at some point, and common decency and courtesy will again prevail. All we can do is stand for what we know is right and good, and not be influenced by what others think or do, and then, either wait for better times, or do what we can to speed the process.
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