My garage has been turned into a traditional Japanese dojo where I can teach or go over technique with my kids if they are having trouble. There are no pictures yet so I will explain: the walls are made from tongue & groove pine that are nailed horizontal (because vertical looks to common) the wood was stained with a pecan varnish to give it the old dojo look. There are two weapon racks filled with different size bo's, shinai, wooden knives, nunchuks, sai's and kali sticks. On the other side hanging is my prize hand crafted Iaido katana, "NO, you can't use it"
use the Paul Chen crap haning next to it! Just kidding. On the far wall are my certificates and a number of belts & pictures of people that we have trained with over the years. The last wall has two large 4x8 foot mirrors next to each other for personal cratique. The floor is covered with Macino mats since I didn't feel like going through all the hard wood floor labor, we train on Macino mats at our regular dojo anyway. There is a bathroom all the way in the back for changing and when nature calls. There are also three windows that can be opened for fresh air, on each window are flowers and MA books and video's if someone needs to barrow or watch. Up in the corner near the back we mounted a TV with a DVD player in it for watching any kind of MA educational tape. Just got a tonfa tape narrated by Master Demura that my son stares at all the time while were in the dojo, keeps him busy when I'm cleaning or oiling my katanas.There is am intercom which is connected to the house in case the "boss":o needs us. The back door open up to a Japanese style garden with the rock formations and cherry tree, off the door is a 12' x 48" deck that runs through the garden, over the garden door way is bamboo tori gate. In the garden are three very large white pine trees my father & I planted ten years ago while it was still a garage and because of that my home dojo is named "three pines dojo" On one of the trees there is a makiwara mounted for conditioning. I"m still going to get some Japanese calligraphy work done on a big piece of drift wood and have that mounted on the outside door, that would really set the entrance on fire! Since we never had any heat in the garage we mounted a 3kw electric wall heater which has plenty of BTU's, once you get a couple of people working out it get turned way down anyway. The center beam has a hook mounted where at any time the Century heavy bag can be lifted & hooked, it is mounted in the center of the dojo so there is plenty of room to work. The cieling is sheet rock and the lighting is 1 x 4 recessed flurescents fixtures. Well it all sound like a lot but it took me a year to build in my spare time, garden we did in the last two years. Here are some things about the dojo that I wish we could change but ....
1. The cieling are under 8 feet and it difficult to use the bo with certain kata. We go outside a lot anyway.
2. Need a de humidifier to keep swords in better shape.
3. My wife likes to work out with her friends" in my dojo and they leave all that girly work out stuff on the floor. You know the step masters, boom box on the window sill with dvd tapes strown all over the place. One time I even found a leatard (spelling) drapped over my prize sword.....the horror
4. Don't make a fort out of my weapons and airshields and forget to put the equipment away. Kids
They know better than to touch my swords, they have seen tameshigiri demos and are very educated how dangerous a sword can be.
If you have any questions about building a home dojo please don't hesitate to ask