Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pimp My Home Dojo!

We have a double-sized garage at our house.  Instead of parking our cars in it, we've organized it into a training space for the martial arts.  We prefer the garage as it's shady and we can have all of our equipment and punching/kicking stand handy.

Our current teacher came up under his first master in a home-based dojo much like what I have at my house.  Indeed, that teacher still teaches there on occasion!  It's possible, if you're reading this, that you have trained in a garage dojo, or maybe your teacher did.

Many of us end up with a small group training in back yards and garages, especially if one studies a less popular art, or if one lives in a more rural area.

So, here's my garage "dojo" - right now it's just space for our family, but we have had friends over training many times.  We have one wall lined with mostly non-martial arts oriented stuff, and the other wall is mostly martial arts.  Here's the "deadly" side of the garage:

Youngest daughter not included.
We try to keep a wide open area for training, and line the walls weapons, art, a few stools, and paper/whiteboards for notes.

Not the usual kind of naked person you'd see on somebody's wall.
That anatomical poster is marked up with key pressure points.

Yep.  Stick ninjas.
This is our random stick repository.  The ninjas are toys we picked up that we think will be fun to use when we start working with my youngest daughter (in about six months) and with kids we may teach in the future.  The idea will be to "avoid the ninja".  We also use the green "pool noodles" on some of our thinner sticks when we are actually hitting each other.

Welcome to our dojo. "STICK" around!  Get it, get it?!?
We take a lot of notes on how we understand what we're studying.

That's what the white boards are for.  We then transfer our notes to the big white paper you see at the left, and pin them on our walls.  You can see prior notes to the lower right of the anatomical poster in the here:
Chuck Norris facts poster optional.
Of course, we have to hit stuff.  Can't hang a bag here (it's a rental) so we have a Century XXL punching/kicking bag.
One use for that entertainment center you can't get rid of.
We can - and do - move it around as needed.

Yes, that's a cow horn drinking cup.  I did mention I'm in Texas, right?
When we left Mississippi on our way to Nevada, the owner of our school gave us these wall hangers as a going away gift.  It's a nice decoration for our home dojo.  Yes, I'm aware that they are upside down in this picture. Fixed now.

In case you're interested, here's the other side of the garage.
"Machete' and Jackie Chan.  Cooler than a flag, sorry.
In the corner you can see our mats for falls - those big blue ones.  We use them sparingly, as they are old, but it's better than concrete or grass.

One modification I would definitely make if I weren't renting is that I'd repaint the floor and put space markings and footwork diagrams (triangle, asterisk).

Right now, the space is not air conditioned, so that's the next issue I'm trying to solve, as it gets incredibly hot here in Texas.  If anybody has any ideas for a portable cooling option that DOESN'T cost an arm and a leg and that you've actually done - I promise my Google Fu is strong and I have found some but not sure how well they work just yet - please let me know!. I have fans but man, it doesn't help much in that space! I may end up breaking down and buying a portable a/c unit someday.

There's my home dojo.  Now I challenge YOU.

Share with me your home dojo, or if you train in one, tell us your stories of what it's like.  Use the hashtag #homedojo if you share it on Google Plus, Twitter, or Facebook.

I'd love to see it, because it'll give me some great ideas to make my home dojo better!