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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 their hearts.

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."

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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

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