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#182564 - 08/31/05 01:45 PM Building a Dojo?
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning:

Many months ago, I'd posted a question re: building a small dojo. I was then (and am still) seeking ideas, concepts, blueprints, drawings, photos. Unfortunately it seems the thread died.. (ie and may no longer be in the archives?)

What have members learned in building their own spaces (dojo/dojang/kwan) ?

I am especially interested in building an "outdoor area" purely out of interest, but am hoping others have covered this ground previously and might be willing to share what they learned in/from the process?

Please does anyone have insights/experiences to share ?

Grateful in advance,
Jeff

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#182565 - 08/31/05 03:48 PM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Ronin1966]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
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 ... chicks?

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


Edited by schanne (08/31/05 03:53 PM)
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#182566 - 09/08/05 12:08 PM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: schanne]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Good Morning:

[Unrolling a huge scroll of questions, the scroll rolling out the door and down the stairs....]

Jeff

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#182567 - 09/08/05 01:46 PM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Ronin1966]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
I will do the best I can
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#182568 - 09/08/05 03:39 PM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Ronin1966]
Littlpond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 46
I have a private studio as well as working on a commercial school. The private studio is 23 by 30 feet of work out space. there are 13 foot ceilings. it is built out of recycled matierals, about 85% of the matierals are salvaged.. it was constructed from salvaged barn beams. It is located on a farm outside of the city. it sits in a secluded area with a pond right off the wrap around porch. two of the walls are lined with windows that look out over the woods and pond. The second school is a work in progress as you can tell from the photos. this school is two floors totaling 2400 Sq ft. 1200 per floor. I have not finished it yet but hope to by the end of the year. I am not good at discribing it so I will let the photos do the talking. the first photo is of the private club. the rest are of the commerical school.
www.cs.pitt.edu/~wolfson/karate/karate/index.htm
Matt

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#182569 - 09/09/05 05:06 PM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Littlpond]
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Your small dojo is beautiful to me. I like all the wood & brick especially those huge beams. Please keep me updated as you progress!:p


Edited by schanne (09/09/05 05:08 PM)
_________________________
The way of the warrior does not include other ways... Miyamoto Musashi Schanne

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#182570 - 09/12/05 04:56 PM Building a Dojo? [Re: Littlpond]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Afternoon Mr. Pond

Beautiful photos thank you for sharing them so generously!!!
Are you using anything "special" for the flooring to give it both solidity AND withstand whatever usage you might put it through?

Jeff

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#182571 - 09/13/05 08:42 AM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Ronin1966]
Littlpond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 46
I will keep posting pictures as things progress. Those beams are salvaged from an old barn. I cut the capitols on a ban saw out of extra pieces of beam. I have been saving for oak tongue & groove flooring. When I put the new support beams in the basement I made sure I had a fairly large span between supports. This way the floor will flex when jumping up and down, which is exactly the way I want it. I have mats that will be spread out over the floor when needed. The combination of matting and springiness of the floor will make a very good work out surface that is firm but forgiving. All the remodeling so far is either built from salvaged matierals or done with a budget in mind. The flooring will be the one thing I do spend a good deal of money on. It is shaping up to cost me roughly $2000 to put down a new floor. That is with me procuring and installing it. I will have it professionally finished though.
Matt

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#182572 - 09/13/05 09:23 AM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Littlpond]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Are you considering any type of raised platform, I would imagine that providing a lot more options for this "spring" without requiring the installation of ~gymnastic flooring~ anyway...

Secondary question, how do you design/build a floor to be springy? I would think (flawed I'm sure) you'd have the potential for "too much" bounce, eventually leading to the floor self-destructing (literally) through excessive expansion-contraction... (Is this flawed thinking on my part???)

More please...
Jeff

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#182573 - 09/13/05 09:56 AM Re: Building a Dojo? [Re: Ronin1966]
Littlpond Offline
Member

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 46
Quote:

Are you considering any type of raised platform, I would imagine that providing a lot more options for this "spring" without requiring the installation of ~gymnastic flooring~ anyway...

Secondary question, how do you design/build a floor to be springy? I would think (flawed I'm sure) you'd have the potential for "too much" bounce, eventually leading to the floor self-destructing (literally) through excessive expansion-contraction... (Is this flawed thinking on my part???)

More please...
Jeff




If the floor was concrete then I would have done some type of raised floor. Most likely a 2x4 grid suspended on tires and toped with plywood. The longer the span between supports the more spring you will have in the floor. Spring can easily turn into the floor sagging if you have to much span and I guess you could have one of the josts fail. But the flooring nailed across the top of the josts helps to tie it all together and lends streght to the configuration and reducing the possiblity of a catastrophic failure. The orginal span between supports was 26 ft. I feel this would have been to much span and that all the jumping and pounding would have possiblily caused the floor to fail, and definitely would have sagged over time.
As you suggested in your post, no your thinking is not flawed at all. I shorted this to 16 feet between supports and the floor still has a very nice spring. If you look at the photos there is one near the bottom that shows both sets of support beams in the basement. The set on the right was added to reduce the span from 26 to 16 ft. I dont have a formula for figuring this out. it is more like put the mine jack in this spot on the floor from underneath and then go up and jump up and down with a couple of people and see how the floor responds. It also depends on how thick the joists are and what wood they are made out of. Both of these will effect how much the wood will flex before snaping and how strong they will be. Also I am putting the oak flooring right over the existing pine floor. The pine is in pretty rough shape with holes all over, but by laying the new flooring perpendicular to the old floor, this will also help to streghten it. Let me know if this makes sense or if you have other questions.
Matt

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