What Is a Dojo?

“Dojo” translates as “place of the way.” Tangibly speaking, it is the training space where we come together to reinforce our personal practice. Practitioners can train individually or with partners, but a dojo is something that is created by a community.

In a less tangible sense, a dojo is something that is created each time we come into the training. A dojo can be thought of more as a process. It is a mindset that we all share to make our training more effective. At Traditional Karate of Bellingham, we go to work transforming the space from a public building into a dojo each and every time we train. This process of creating a dojo has the additional effect of creating a mindset in those training that day.

A tidy, orderly space makes for a disciplined attention to detail in the practitioner. Initially, coming to the dojo creates a separation from the daily life. It is an insulated space from outside distractions. People often find clarity in the dojo. With time, repeating the process of creating a space gives people the ability to create a dojo mindset in other areas of our lives. The dojo becomes something we can create in ourselves everywhere we go.