Moderator: Megan Lieff
The real milestones in our training paths are locked away inside us in invisible yet indelible "stripes" too numerous to ever mention, let alone display.
obscured by framed pictures of my deceased cat-friends
In the Nagahama Dojo...there is a long shelf with small statuettes and other items. These are not decorations however. Each piece holds a lesson that relates directly to our training. If I want to explain a concept or technique in other than words, I can use one of those items - a teaching technique that usually works like a charm. If I want to teach "mushin" I actually have a statue of a Chinese goddess that teaches the concept quite nicely. If I want to teach continuous and circular motion, I have a little magnetic toy that shows the swing action to convey this concept well too. If I want to teach proper use of hands, eyes, posture, balance, and flexibility, I have an iron statue from Thailand that shows it well. And several others. That's only if my words do not get through quite as well as I wish.
The nafuda (name-plates) are hung in order of rank to honor the hard work of the students. All names are in Kanji and romaji (or kana and romaji for foreign students). When I recently replaced several nafuda with better wood, I gave the old name-plates to those studnets, too. This was very special to those students, especially the children.
I have only one belt hung in the dojo. It is my Rokkudan belt, which is retired now but shown because it was a gift from Sensei and the Zakimi Dojo. The lesson it teaches is one of loyalty and sharing.
So, there are no decorations in the dojo at all. Everything is functional or pragmatically placed, and has a meaning that directly relates to the training or the history of the dojo and system.
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