Beginning students in Japanese martial arts, such as karate, judo, aikido, iaido, kyudo, and kendo, learn that when they are in the dojo (the practice space), they must don their practice garb with ritual precision, address their teacher and senior students in a specific way, and follow certain unwritten but deeply held codes of behavior. But very soon they begin to wonder about the meaning behind the traditions, gear, and relationships in the dojo.
In this collection of lively, detailed essays, Dave Lowry, one of the most well-known and respected swordsmen in the United States, illuminates the history and meaning behind the rituals, training costumes, objects, and relationships that have such profound significance in Japanese martial arts, including
- the dojo space itself
- the teacher-student relationship
- the act of bowing
- what to expect—and what will be expected of you—when you visit a dojo
- the training weapons
- the hakama (ceremonial skirt) and dogi (practice uniform)
- the Shinto shrine
Authoritative, insightful, and packed with fascinating stories from his own experience, In the Dojo provides a wealth of information that beginning students will pore over and advanced students will treasure.