The Karate Dojo for so many people is a place of sanctuary.
It’s a place where you can let the events going on in and around your life behind and just train. Filled with stories, the Karate dojo is a place where your classmates become friends and in some cases, your family.
Your Sensei is your trusted confidant, someone who offers you advice, listens to you and helps you to reach your personal best.
Having grown up and spent the better part of the last 40 years of my life in a dojo, I have seen and learned so much about people.
As my dad, who is also my Sensei, always said to me it is the best type of university on life.
Many people come and go within a dojo. However every person who comes into the dojo, leaves their imprint there.
Lessons taught on the dojo floor include everything from learning how to fight, to defend yourself, becoming a champion, getting into shape, to developing self discipline, confidence, and a strong character.
After awhile, the faces that come in and out of the dojo have an impact on your life. The names and faces change, but a person’s character remains forever. They teach you strong life lessons about compassion, gratitude, respect, and humility to name some of the big ones.
From the blood and sweat that falls on the floor, to the unique smell only a dojo with history can provide, it all shapes us into Martial Artists.
Over the years, you see and experience everything. From babies being born, to people dying, people falling in love, marriages, divorces, graduations, injuries, personal trials and tribulations to success stories and so much more.
You see kids coming in and growing up right before your eyes and into some amazing adults. Teaching generations is always really neat.
Over the years, many child- parent- grandparent families have come through a dojo. People come and people go, but no matter what they all leave footprints on our hearts. Some good, some maybe not so good.
The Dojo itself is a big life onto its own. As someone once said a giant Eco System.
If you are fortunate enough to have a DOJO in your life, cherish it.
Take care of it. Nurture and respect it.
Remember that everyone who comes into your dojo has a story and how you interact with them is important. They are as much your teacher as you are theirs.
We can all learn so many valuable lessons from being part of such a unique place.