Sunday, March 29, 2009

What I don't like to see in a dojo

So, I have hoping for a little more participation from the people who read my blog. If you find it helpful, let me know. Your thoughts are as important as mine!

Which this dovetails into my topic nicely - What I don't like to see in a dojo.


I hate coming to the dojo when it is supposed to be open and seeing three people standing around out front talking. When in the dojo I do not like to see people milling waiting for practice to begin.

I am a firm believer that when you get to the dojo the training starts. Take care in putting on your uniform - it is your Zen robes after all.

Be in the moment - and clean your training space. Do you know where the "witches broom" comes from? In witchcraft before a ceremony they ritually clean the space with a broom. In the ritual of martial practice we too should spend time cleaning, bring chaos into order.

Once on the mat - nothing to do? Stretch, do kata, practice some roles. See someone standing around? Grab them and start going through something. The good lord grants us precious few hours to train. Don't waste them away waiting for something to do. Training is in the here and now! Get to work!

Anything you don't like to see? Like I said, I hate seeing idleness - whether in the dojo or on the online version! I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. I hate to see "ugly energy" -- usually it crops up in the form of rudeness or abuse or physical , mental, emotional violence-- militancy and people barking orders is pretty ugly too-- people hurting others-- making pain and fear --people behaving recklessly with the precious gift of a training partners body and spirit-- also arrogance, self agradnizzemt, and putting others down -- abusive teaching styles -- all of this rankles me plenty

  2. I would say perhaps an unwillingness to fail and try new things. People get stuck in their comfort zones which prevents them from making large improvements because they would have to face that period in time when they stink at it!

  3. I hate to see someone use a bokken as a crutch when standing up from seiza!

  4. I don't like it when people lose their calm. I don't like to see egos battling against "losing". Focusing on the positive, I like to see respect and people giving - whether it be energy as an attacker, encouragement and sharing knowledge.

    I do like to hear laughter. It may sound disrespectful to some, but I unconsciously laugh out loud with glee when someone performs a technique that surprises me to the ground.

  5. Which reminds me - I like to see myself in the dojo. I'm shifting things around to get back to Mondays. I miss you all.

  6. I don't like seeing the sensei being the only guy who cleans and maintains the dojo (or doesn't and lets it get dirty).

    I like to see students get the clue without being told that part of the deal is to leave the dojo cleaner and more orderly then when they came.

  7. Right ON! Halleleuia Pat! Amen my brother! Yes with Capital YEA-ES!-- and i second Gareth on liking laughter too--