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Drag'n
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 224
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Styles: Daidojuku/Kudo ,Muay Thai, TKD.......

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

karatekid1975 wrote:
Drag'n, it's not that I don't respect our dojang. It's the way my instructor goes about doing it. I don't mind cleaning after class (the last class does sweep up and straighten up a bit). If we were a small dojang, I wouldn't mind at all. But this is a commercial place. They charge a lot for tuition. And the cleaning thing is requirement for BB. If you don't do it (or can't because of work, home life, ect on sat) you don't get your BB. Some people work on saturdays, and they just can't do it. This dojang makes enough money to hire someone to clean.


OK I think I get the picture now. Its diferent over here. In Tokyo Dojos are usually tiny and cramped. High rent costs make it impossible to rent large spaces. I dont think its as commercialised as in the States I guess.
Generally theres not alot of money to be made in running a dojo. Its something instructors do out of passion rather than for financial motives. In fact its often in spite of the lack of financial gain involved.
When I first started traing with my present instructor, we were hiring a community hall, and training alongside breakdancing and jazz dance groups. Music blaring from all sides. It was tough trying to spar without crashing into anybody. Some of those hot little dancers were a bit of a distraction too. Not exactly what I pictured training in Japan would be like.lol.
So just having our own dojo now feels like a real privelidge. Its like that for alot of groups here.

Its not cheap. Generally you'd be looking at around 8000 yen per month. Which I guess is around US$70. But everything is expensive here, so its not a big deal. We pay around •4000 for gradings. But dont grade often. Only once or maybe twice a year.
I get the feeling dojos are more like fitness gyms over there. The atitude seems very different.
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jaymac
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 1133

Styles: shotokan (nidan)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can say that our dojo is definelty not a fitness gym. We do not have weight lifting machines around or a sauna etc... We have two training areas. One which is heavily matted to train in self defense techniques and sparring, one is a hardwood floor. We clean because we use it and dirty it. It is our responsibility to clean up after ourselves. Any other maintainance is done by employees and those who volunteer their services, which most do because they have great respect for our instructor, each other, and the dojo. We are not required to learn CPR in order to advance to BB. I know CPR because I felt it important to learn at an early age. Any volunteering I do outside of the school is not recognized as part of my participation at our dojo.
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NothingsShadow
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Australia
Styles: Karate-do, Kendo

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it is a problem with the inexperience of the people running these dojo. IMHO there seems to be many people that aren't experienced enough to be running a professional dojo (by that I mean a dojo where their major income is derived). In Japan many professional sensei will have been training for 40, 50 or 60 years (maybe longer) where as in the west it seems that many professional dojo are run by people who have significantly less experience (15, 20, 25 years). I only know a very small hand full of people who would fit into the 40+ years experience category (personally I mean) who aren't Japanese. Hence, I think maybe some people may need to reassess who their sensei is and are they really qualified to be a professional sensei. Obviously years aren't everything but they are a significant factor.

Unfortunately in the west there seem to be fewer opportunities to learn martial arts professionally, hence there are fewer avenues into professionally teaching martial arts.

I donít personally think that anyone who wishes to make some serious money from martial arts should be running a dojo as in my opinion it undermines what martial arts are all about. That said professional sensei are needed so that they can commit themselves to their respective martial arts full time.

For some it's not feasible to run a non-profit dojo, but for a large number it would be, and I believe this is an important step is gaining experience and respect for the potential running of a professional dojo.

Remember respect (true respect) cannot be demanded, it must be earned.
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karatekid1975
KF VIP

Joined: 26 Mar 2002
Posts: 4588
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: Tang Soo Do/TKD/jujitsu

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point, NothingsShadow. My instructor has been doing MA for about 40 years (maybe slightly less), but he has a BA in business. I don't know if that means anything. He is definitely business minded, it seems.
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NothingsShadow
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 03 Apr 2006
Posts: 32
Location: Australia
Styles: Karate-do, Kendo

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ultimately every dojo will need to be run like a business to some extent, whether they be non-profit or professional, this is to keep a dojo viable (but how business like you make it depends on your definition of viable and too much business and not enough martial arts make for a bad dojo).

karatekid1975 your sensei sounds like he has had many years experience and "should" be a good instructor, unfortunately those with many years experience aren't necessarily the best instructors (depending on their personality and their sensei's ability to teach them).

If you haven't already, maybe you could speak to some of the other Black Belts in your dojo and try to work out what their take on you problems are. Having been there before you they may have a more accessible insight into what your senseiís philosophy really is.
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