“Dojo” means “school” in Japanese --and while every country has it’s own name for school (it’s a different word in Korean, Chinese, ect.), the important part of this statement is that your life is your school. Should you ever decide to take martial arts lessons, of any kind, I hope that you would be lucky enough to find a teacher who understands and practices the idea of my life is my dojo.
When a student is on the mat, executing punches or kicks, rolls or break-falls, leg locks or arm bars, and/or blocks and parries, all sorts of things are learned, such as the patience required to polish the maneuvers, the control you have to exercise to do it right, the teamwork it takes to participate with a your partner and classmates, and the understanding of the return one gets on effort and consistency. What a shame it would be if we failed to take those lessons “out of the dojo and into the world.”
The real lessons in our school, the valuable ones, are the ones we practice on the mat, but fully understand that we’re practicing for the purpose of making something in our life work better, smoother, and with more mastery. We practice what we wish to see in our lives. That’s what we know to be the most valuable aspect of what we do in our school.
By the way, if you’re not a student, but you’d like to see what it’s like to be one at Johnson's TaeKwonDo & Leadership Academy, just mention this post and we will give you a pass to come in and try a free class. Every great journey begins with some small movement in a new direction, right?
And here’s a secret: I think, “My students are my dojo.” I learn what I need to learn by helping others to do, well...all of the above.