Re: spirtuality in the dojo
I want to echo what others have said about spirituality being a subjective thing. My instructors never speak of spirituality within the dojo or when we are training. Technique and application are the priority. I think this is in the line with the Dentokan mission statement as if they began teaching 'eastern' philosophy or spirituality they could alienate others who do not agree with such beliefs.
The Dentokan mission statement is as follows:
"To preserve and teach the traditional martial arts of Japan (including Okinawa). We strive to accomplish this in an environment free of intimidation, politics, and other distracters. We further seek to foster a spirit of fellowship and understanding, welcoming all like-minded individuals, regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, religion, national origin, or physical handicap."
The dojo is a place where people from all walks of life should be able to come and to learn the martial arts and through that practise internalize and develop the inner self. I think this is the aim of Dentokan too:
the Dentokan vision statement says:
"Build healthy minds, bodies, and spirits through the study of traditional martial arts."
Implicit in training then is the development of the spiritual self. The martial arts do contain a spiritual element that helps the person to grow as an individual. So Dentokan members should be well-rounded, respectful and to a certain extent spiritual people. The dojo is not a church or a temple or a mosque, it is a training hall: a training hall for the body, mind and spirit through the practise of martial arts.