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ChrisHein
06-30-2011, 06:15 PM
In the last 5 years or so, I've noticed more and more Dojo's are outlining their mats with river rocks. Does anyone know where this started? Is it an old or new idea? What is the main idea behind this.

I like it, stepping over the rocks makes you take a moment of pause to realize that you are beginning training.

Thanks

Janet Rosen
06-30-2011, 06:24 PM
It sounds pretty....I would not want to hit my head on the edge or curve of one if thrown badly!

Chuck Clark
06-30-2011, 06:35 PM
Seems pretty stupid to me. I can't count the number of times in my life that I've been thrown onto the edge of the tatami/mat. If there had been river rocks there, I wouldn't be walking around today.... I've been in dojo in a significant number of countries and mats up against walls are pretty common, wooden spacers, etc. covered with carpet & padding also common, windows with wood barriers, etc. at mid-arm height to keep you from going through them pretty common, etc. but even the worst designed mat areas never had rocks around the edge of the mat!

Pauliina Lievonen
06-30-2011, 07:26 PM
I have to agree with Chuck and Janet on this one. I even discourage people from putting their weapons bags downs next to the mat, I much prefer them standing against the wall a little bit away.

Pauliina

raul rodrigo
06-30-2011, 07:28 PM
Pretty bad idea, to my mind.

graham christian
06-30-2011, 07:38 PM
Maybe it came from some kind of Ninjutsu training. Designed to make people improve zanshin. A few rocks, some metal spikes, a few holes covered by straw.

Mmmm. Hope the health and safety don't visit.

Regards.G.

JW
06-30-2011, 11:08 PM
Never seen that, Chris (though I sure don't get out much). When I was a kid we had a fake rock. Made of foam. Wouldn't those look classy around the mat?

guest1234567
07-01-2011, 01:59 AM
Chris I never saw that, first time that I read anything alike. Where are this dojos with the rocks?

Hellis
07-01-2011, 02:11 AM
Chris I never saw that, first time that I read anything alike. Where are this dojos with the rocks?

Maybe the dojo is in an area with a high water level ? perhaps sandbags would be more effective.

Henry Ellis
British Aikido
http://britishaikido.blogspot.com/

Tim Ruijs
07-01-2011, 02:27 AM
Maybe the dojo is in an area with a high water level...
Now there, I live in the Netherlands and we have had our share of high water :uch: But I have never found rocks around the tatami to protect us while training:D

Or.. perhaps it is to keep the water in so you can learn to move softly without disortating the water surface and maintain perfect reflection???

amoeba
07-01-2011, 07:52 AM
We have a few cm of river rocks around our tatami - but the wall's there anyway, so rolling there wouldn't be recommendable in any case. Like these, only white:
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/106/305301453_1ec398e2e0.jpg

SmilingNage
07-01-2011, 08:50 AM
Never seen rocks as an outside border before but we did have a decent sized rock water fountain/pond in the back corner of of the dojo next to the mat. Probably once a year, some one would be tossed and roll up into it.

Kevin Leavitt
07-01-2011, 08:50 AM
I thought you were talking about guys like me. "Rocks" around the mat or dojo!

Keith Larman
07-01-2011, 08:59 AM
Apart from the loose rocks rattling around in my head, never seen it...

ninjaqutie
07-01-2011, 11:57 AM
Never seen it before. I would imagine it would be pretty, but not very efficient. I trained at a dojo once where canvas was stretched across the mat and tied down via these cords that are tied into these metal screws with a loop on one end. I got thrown onto one of those and it HURT.

They have these every few feet or so just off the edge of the mat.

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTk0gXNuIRX-RtMubTQEYnV6fcYCX2EqbAAe0NAw9TiSjxrE7cD_g

ChrisHein
07-01-2011, 11:56 PM
Ha, now I'm really wondering where the idea came from. David Valadez has rocks at the front of his mat. Several pictures I've seen of late have had rocks around the mat. And when I told one of my students I was going to revamp the mat at Aikido of Fresno, he quickly asked if I was going to put rocks around the mat.

I have been wondering if there was a traditional aspect to it, or if it's a new fad that is popping up.

Eric in Denver
07-04-2011, 12:39 PM
Are you talking about large rocks placed on the floor or small river stones filling in a gap around the mat, like a few inches wide and couple inches deep? If it is the latter, I have seen this as a decorating style in Japanese architecture magazines, I think it has to do with blurring the boundary between inside and outside.

Nick P.
07-04-2011, 01:44 PM
Rocks in the head? Yes, often, around the edge of the mat.
Rocks? Not so much, no.

ninjaqutie
07-04-2011, 09:55 PM
Does someone have a photo of them phenomenon? I have never seen this before and now I am curious.

dps
07-04-2011, 11:05 PM
I think it has to do with blurring the boundary between inside and outside.

Smacking your head against a rock will definitely blur your boundaries.

dps

ChrisHein
07-05-2011, 12:41 AM
Are you talking about large rocks placed on the floor or small river stones filling in a gap around the mat, like a few inches wide and couple inches deep? If it is the latter, I have seen this as a decorating style in Japanese architecture magazines, I think it has to do with blurring the boundary between inside and outside.

Indeed the latter. Small river rocks, that make a boundary around the mat. I'll try and dig up some photos.

Eric in Denver
07-05-2011, 09:39 AM
I just asked my wife about it (she is Japanese), she wasn't sure, but to her it sounded like the kind of decoration you would find around a genkan (entrance) to a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn).

She thought that it would be out of place for a dojo, at least in Japan. The equivalent of decorating a training hall like a Bed & Breakfast.