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What are the qualities of a traditional Martial Arts Dojo?

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The qualities of a traditional martial arts studio are those that bring with it, the soul of the martial art’s eastern origin, reflecting the history of peace and non-violence,connecting the old tradition with new and creating a space with full zanshin.

The qualities of a traditional marital arts dojo include a space that creates a safe and calm environment free from all the chaos from the outside world. A clean, white and neutral space, a space with no distractions, no brands, logos or unnecessary messaging to distract the student or teacher from what is happening at that present moment.

Through reducing distractions and focusing the mind, a traditional dojo enables students to not only learn but to leave their egos and preconceptions at the door. It is a leveller to make everyone equal in the dojo. A traditional dojo manifests the history of the students that have passed through and where you can feel the intensity, atmosphere and etiquette as soon as you enter.

A traditional dojo creates respect amongst the students, through the silence and bowing on entry and exit to the dojo.A traditional martial arts dojo is a place that brings the student into a calm place and allows the student to focus,open their mind to concentrate only on the present without distraction.

Even through the noise and chaos of its surroundings, a traditional martial arts dojo allows the student to bring the mind back to stillness, to distance themselves from their everyday life. Ego is left at the door and each student from white belt to black is respected and treated equally.

A traditional martial arts dojo brings a safe space for students to learn, grow and build their confidence in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. Qualities of a traditional martial art dojo also include the stillness that the dojo brings, to enable teacher and student to bring together both the physical and mental elements of their training in harmony.

By Nicola Marshal.

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Author, teacher and mentor.The essence of Andy's teaching is correct martial arts training is a great method of personal growth. It can be studied on the surface to get fit and learn self-defense and it can also lead to incredible changes in self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline and self knowledge.

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2 Comments

  1. Margie on June 8, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for this piece Sensei and Nicola. It is a good guide for our dojo we meet in… which I think reflects this history. Always a great start to my weekend to be in the dojo early on a Saturday before the city wakes up. Gives me a spring in my step and washes out the week!

    • Sensei on June 9, 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Thanks Margie. Always so good to see you. Andy

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