【 The thought of DOJO 】

 

Generally, it is called ”DOJO(道場)" where BUGEI is practiced in Japan.
The meaning of "DO(道)" is "WAY". Especially, "DO" is pointing the way of BUGEI(武芸). "JO(場)" means "PLACE".
In short, the meaning of "DOJO" is "The place for the way of BUGEI". When we image the Kanji "道", we reflect not only way but also our way of human life.

According to the Oxford English-English dictionary, it is explained as follows with the "DOJO".
"A room or hall in which Judo and other martial arts are practiced."
I cannot help saying about this explanation but totally it does not understand the meaning of DOJO.


 

At the DOJO where I belong to, I see the foreign students and foreign instructors who never help cleaning after training. There are persons who keep practicing while a lot of students are cleaning it. Disregarding cooperation and forgetting endurance shorten your longevity in the battle.

Other case, I meet many the students and instructors who came from other country everyday. Frequently, some of them attempt to me to "teach" or "instruct". I should say, they also never understand the meaning of DOJO. When you visit to other DOJO for your training, your position is lower than newest students of the DOJO where you visit. You must behave prudently. Sometime, You might also have the situation in which the new student's advice should be accepted for your purpose.

I see many foreign instructors purchased KAMIDANA(神棚) which is little Japanese shrine for decorate in the DOJO. They pray to the KAMIDANA before and after training. But, that is nothing important for DOJO. Totally they misunderstood about the meaning of DOJO. DOJO is not formed by only place. DOJO needs human relationship, high regard, worthwhile time and the wisdom of BUGEI. That is why DOJO is different from sports gym. Repeat, DOJO does not depend on such a small KAMIDANA!

 

 

Abandon, such a your stupid pride and authority! It is a shameful attitude as well in Japan. DOJO is not same as sports gym, room or hall but also much more than that. Therefore, BUGEISHA must follow the rule and manner of the DOJO with respect. If you cannot follow them, you are just technique collector or technique recorder.

DOJO is never necessarily limited as the hall and the room. The Japanese thinks that it feels to unconsciousness other places are DOJO. Even little space in shrine or temple for short time training, we regard the place as DOJO. Therefore, We use the place and time with respect.

 

 

To tell the truth, DOJO is the little place and short time for check for your BUGEI and your life. Not only for the training place. If you don't have your own checklist, you shouldn't come to DOJO. You will waste time. Please understand the importance of DOJO.

For your BUGEI training, the time of outside of DOJO is more important. If you understand it, DOJO becomes more important for you.

For the BUGEISHA who still can't find out magnificent DOJO, I would like to say, Please respect as DOJO from the sand at your shoe sole. That DOJO will lead you to better DOJO where you wish.

I think that only our life itself is the true DOJO...

 

August 21, 2009 with BUDO-KA, FUDOAN HEKISHUSAI
《 THE BASIC MANNERS and CUSTOMS in DOJO 》

・Pay attention to your clothing. The casual style is forgiven at the Bujinkan DOJO, but DOJOis not sports gym.
・Do not loud or disturb to other training.
・Do not take photo of other training without their permission.
・Do not lie down on the floor for taking rest or sleeping.
・Do not cuddle, caress or kiss (the kind of emotional communications) too much in DOJO.
・Bow before enter and after exit.
・Bow before and after sensei advice to you.
・Bow before and after training to your partner.
・After training, participate in cleaning. (Even if you are high rank!)
・Try to study more than attempt to instruct in visiting DOJO.
 You can't be sensei at the DOJO where you are visiting.
・Even if your sensei is your friend, you have to call him as "sensei" in DOJO.
・Pay attention very carefully to sensei's instruction much more than handling your camera.
・When you visit other DOJO, your position is lowest.
 There is no philosophy of "guest" for BUGEISHA in DOJO training.
 You must consider what the meaning of this custom is.
・In the training, just concentrate to the training. Abandon your pride, authority, rank, career,
 any kind of very stupid thoughts at that time. Maybe they will be "just heavy" for your training.
・Especially, Japanese dislike "EGO" very much. But we don't give the advice about it.
 Because, we know the person who love "EGO" never listen to the advice, we don't waste the time.

When you visit the Japanese dojo, I recommend to practice with direct disciple of the dojo. Especially, you had better practice with Japanese disciples. Because you are studying Japanese culture. Often, I am surprised that many visitor disciples practice with only their group member in Japanese dojo. There is the visitor who does not do even an effort to talk with a Japanese. Please consider whether you study techniques and which of the culture.

These manners and customs are very common in any kind of DOJO in Japan, nothing special. We, Japanese wish to the foreign BUGEISHA can follow these basic manners and customs in not only in Japanese DOJO but also in your DOJO. If you follow these things, we will respect you as excellent person for not only BUGEISHA but also your understanding of Japanese culture. The excellency of technique and skill is nothing important than these things.

SD100115 FUDOAN HEKISHUSAI