The Dojo Is Where Your Feet Are Planted
By Ken Tallack
My older brother in the path of Budo, Yogi, has the right idea when
he says that the dojo (place of training and spiritual development) is
where one's feet are planted.
True '"lifetimers" go through many different phases, places
and with many different people as they follow the journey which has no
end. That which is today an insurance office is tomorrow a dojo, then
years later an insurance office again. It could even have been the same
people using that space over those years. The space is the same, the thoughts
and approaches of the users is what varies.
One day I was walking in the wintertime forest with Sensei Bob Dalgleish.
We walked out of a tree line onto a frozen lake, virgin in its whiteness
of new fallen snow. He bowed before walking onto that pristine surface
and said, "Look, the largest dojo in the world." We then leapt
onto the lake surface, performed kata, then jumped back so we could see
the footprint pattern in the snow (He let me keep my shoes on that time,
too, which was nice).
The point is that the Dojo is where we make it. A frozen lake, a downtown
storefront, a community hall, your buddies garage any of these can be
open to the energy of the dojo if approached by those with karate-do in
If you want to establish a new dojo then you only need the spirit of
krate-do, tempered with your conscience as a guide. If the Sensei's heart
is sincere in bringing karate-do to his community, then he will find a
way to do it, not matter where it is.
As Yogi said, "we carry the dojo with us in our minds and hearts,
and as they are so will our dojo be."
About the author:
Ken Tallack is the Canadian Representative of the Dai Nippon Butokukai,
International Division and holds the grade of Shichi-dan, Kyoshi from
this group. Introducing Goju-Ryu Meibukan to Canada in the 1980s, he continues
to teach and practice classical Budo in Kingston, Ontario, Canada