Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Random Thoughts: Dojo Energy

In our travels, we've had the opportunity and privilege to train in a variety of dojos with practitioners of all ages and backgrounds. Each bring with them experiences, beliefs, and personalities that fill the training space with a distinct energy. Tapping into it has been a challenging yet rewarding experience; giving a sense of connection with the people, the building, and its history.

From hidden treasures like the Shinfukan Dojo in Marseille, France and modern luxuries like the Shinjuku Cosmic Centre in Tokyo, to the lineage significant floors of the Musashi Dojo in Ohara, and our current hombu at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center in Toronto; the art may be the same, but the environment each have their own uniqueness.

An Iaido friend once told me to let my emotions flow into my training.
When you feel happy, do happy Iai. When you feel upset, do angry Iai. Let your Chi/Ki carry these feelings into your movements until you are in balance. This will bring life into your Iai.
When entering an unfamiliar dojo, there is a lot you can learn from basic sensory input (sights, sounds, smells), but don't forget the feelings to come about subconsciously. Let yourself forget about technical differences and styles, and experience the training with an open mind and heart.  There's no telling how much your performance can change.

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