Ok, it’s now 2014, and I thought it would be beneficial to reflect what actual year it is. Most people have Mobile Phones. Most people like Starbucks lattes. Most people like to be comfortable. Most people like to feel safe. Most people have watch their health and want to practice a martial art safely. Having said that, I wanted to reflect on the environment we’ve created by the hard work of many to have a professional martial arts dojo in the year 2014. Our dojo has shower facilities so you can go to work after your aikido practice. Our dojo has heat and A/C and a sprung-floor mat system which allows for maximum safe practice. Our dojo has a place for visitors to sit and watch. We have a sign so potential students can find us easily. Etc. Etc. I find it comical when I see certain people talk about ‘real training’ well, it’s 9 degrees today? Is that a safe temperature to have class if your dojo doesn’t have heat? Or even walls with insulation…I think you know the answer there.
Again, the practice you put in, the hard work you put into your practice while training is what counts. The rest is a mirage. It doesn’t make you tougher to train in those conditions. It certainly doesn’t make your aikido any better. But it opens you up to injury that unnecessary. Again, it’s 2014 – having a comfortable, dojo with quality instruction and quality students I believe is the goal of most of the aikido professionals I respect.