I recently started listing out what we value at our dojo. It’s because I was thinking of Sei Shōnagon. She was a writer who lived in service to Japanese royalty. Even though Sei Shōnagon died nearly a thousand years ago, we can get an idea of her personality, intellect, life and values due to her writings. These included poems and lists such as the one entitled “Rare Things,” shown here. When I first read her lists, I was impressed by how much I learned about this woman from long ago through such a simple thing. You really can learn a lot about a person from their lists. The same is true of a dojo.
WE VALUE TRADITIONS
Some of the traditions that we value at our dojo are obvious, some are not:
Wearing a uniform to put us into the right humble, hard-working, part-of-a-team, open-minded, clean-slate mindset.
Bowing to show respect for all who have walked the karate path before.
The tradition of listening more than you talk to your higher ranks.
WE VALUE THE DOJO KUN
I think the fact that we value the Dojo Kun very highly should be obvious. We put it up front, recite it regularly, require our newest students to memorize it, talk about it, and remind ourselves and our students to use it. I even wrote a children’s picture book to promote it. But some people just don’t realize how seriously we take it. We strive daily to use the Dojo Kun values:
Good Moral Character
WE VALUE PEOPLE
Maybe it’s because we teach from heart to heart. Or because we recognize the preciousness of life. Maybe it’s that we are a family-run dojo. Or because we have the influence of Okinawan culture. We value people:
Elders and their wisdom
Adults in-between the above who do so much work
Young, innocent children and their energy and enthusiasm
Teens and their perspective
Ancestors who were links in the chain to bring us to this point
If you want to read another one of our dojo’s lists, how about the one toward the bottom of our website’s home page entitled, “Why Learn Karate at East Valley Martial Arts?”