|Preparing a space for the new dojo|
In between the old dojo closing and the new dojo being ready for use, I not only had time to think about many things, but I had the space too. Not having a dojo to go to in the mornings separated me from my usual routine, and provided an opportunity to think and evaluate how I engage with karate; it was an interesting and productive time for me, and gave rise to a number of changes.
|The same space as it looks today|
There is a common misconception among karateka about the nature of "ownership" when it comes to karate; many believing that it means you're free to do what you like, but that's a mistake borne out of laziness; an excuse offered up by people who never learnt the lessons found in practises like kangeiko. These days, I place different challenges in front of the students who train at the Shinseidokan, challenges that may seem less difficult to others, but that perception too is a mistake.
|The dojo garden last winter|
Having space to think and work means you also have space to become lost; it's important to remember that the price of freedom is responsibility. No good is served by having the potential to develop your karate, if that potential is eroded by an inability to control your ego. Space its self might not be the final frontier, as Captain Kirk would have it, but it is the medium by which you can change course toward it; and by doing so, chart a path to a better grasp of karate's deeper values.