As the year draws to a close, it is a time for festive celebrations and self-reflections. A time for looking back on what has been done and then looking towards the future.
This year, the Dojo aimed to further the technical skills of the members through several Seminars (apart from the usual practices) and participation in Shinsa. But all these is not possible without the members' own efforts and contributions. This forms the 3 cornerstones (Waza-Kokoro-Reishiki) in making a Dojo a progressive one.
Waza. In a nutshell, Waza refers to the techniques and katas taught. Practice and strive improve in what you are taught, learn earnestly and take notes. Share and compare them with peers. Gaining mastery of techniques is fulfilling, doing it together as a Dojo, more so. Examine oneself's techniques to try and understand how the body mechanics behind a technique (the whys and the hows). Seek clarifications if unsure.
Kokoro. Refers to the heart; the character of a person. Help and support each other in the Dojo. Pass on the teachings of those before unreservedly to future generations, so that they could do the same. Teach with the students well so that they can one day surpass the teacher. In a non-profit organisation, the contributions from each member counts.
Reishiki. In this context, it encompasses more than the routine Reiho at beginning and end of practice. Here, it refers to etiquette, sincerity and respect - how one treats another in a Dojo. The same level of respect should be maintained regardless of Kohai, Sempai, Sensei (all are equal).
The first is taught explicitly within a Dojo. The other two are more sublime, but no less important. In fact, the latter two are more relevant in everyday lives. These three set the cornerstones for a conducive learning environment and a cohesive & supportive community.
Till next time, have a blessed holiday and Happy New Year.