Saturday, May 27, 2017
Home Sweet Home
Home is where you belong, where you can relax and feel comfortable. Where you BE YOU. In the absence of any other plan, home is where you would choose to be, together with your family.
For those of us who have frequently moved jobs, moved house, or even moved countries, "home" may not be easy to define. In my case, as much as I love Yokohama the dojo equally feels like "home". After a long week at work I am really looking forward to going to the dojo on Friday night to see my Kali family. No matter what happens at work, my home is my refuge, my safe place where I can leave the outside world OUTSIDE and just have some "quality time" with my class.
Instead of collapsing on the couch in front of the TV, I choose to be on the mats sharing and learning while we train. It is sometimes said that we make our living from 9-5 but we make our life from 5-9. In my case, I prefer that 5-9 (7-9 actually) to be at the dojo whenever possible. There are not too many other places I feel so comfortable.
My first dojo was a converted car garage in Bloomington Heights Illinois. It felt like home. Since then I have trained in dojos big and small all over the world. Some famous and other you wouldn't recognize even if you stood right in front of them. Many of them felt more like home than where I slept at the time. I fondly remember the KM dojo on Yan Kit Road (humble beginnings) and look forward to being back at the KM HQ in Singapore (one of the best dojo in the world). Walking up the stairs feels nostalgic and I get a bit emotional every time I pass through the door there. It feels like a place I BELONG. The energy heals me.
KM Japan's dojo is a little rental studio in Roppongi near the subway station.
It can feel cramped with a full class, and it is not luxurious by any means, but when I am there I feel a great sense of contentment. I hope it can be a refuge for us to think about our training and not about work or other worries. I hope our students feel like part of our family and that they belong, too.
There is no secret formula in martial arts, no magic recipe or sacred scrolls. There are no shortcuts. There is only training. Good, honest training and persistence which improves our skills over time. Martial arts is the Great Equalizer, since regardless of body type if you have the will to train and invest the time, you will see the results. The years teach much the days never know.
Of course, good teachers and good training partners matter. A LOT. They help you maximize your investment of time and energy and encourage you to remain motivated. Some days energy is low and stress is high, and the Family is there to keep us focused and make sure we don't skip class if we could be there.
There's No Place Like Home.