Monday, May 16, 2011

Your Own Place

I once read a book about Sagawa Yukiyoshi (佐川 幸義), a master in daito-ryu aikijujutsu. In the book, there was a portion when he talked about the difference between him and his teacher, Takeda Sokaku (武田 惣角). Master Takeda did not have a fixed dojo, insteading wandering from place to place to teach. Sometimes he would stay in a certain place longer if he can find a suitable place to teach, otherwise he would stay for a short while to give seminar-like lessons. Master Sagawa, however, set up his own dojo, a fixed place for him to teach. Unlike his teacher, Master Sagawa believed that it was important to have his own dojo. And I think I understand why.

A person who teaches martial arts full-time spends a portion of his time teaching. Yet he also has time in which he is not teaching. However, without his own dojo, he cannot utilise that "free time" for his own practice and research. If you have your own dojo, you can use the time between lessons to practice, to research, to ponder, without having to worry about finding a suitable place. In a way, it allows you to maximise the time in honing your skills. Imagine, if you wake up in the middle of the night with an inspiration, if you have your own dojo, you can just walk in and pursue that inkling. Maybe that is why Master Sagawa chose to have his own dojo.

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