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Old 06-30-2011, 06:15 PM   #1
ChrisHein
 
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Rocks around the mat.

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

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Old 06-30-2011, 06:24 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

It sounds pretty....I would not want to hit my head on the edge or curve of one if thrown badly!

Janet Rosen
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:35 PM   #3
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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!

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:26 PM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #5
raul rodrigo
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Pretty bad idea, to my mind.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:38 PM   #6
graham christian
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #7
JW
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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?
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:59 AM   #8
guest1234567
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Chris I never saw that, first time that I read anything alike. Where are this dojos with the rocks?
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Old 07-01-2011, 02:11 AM   #9
Hellis
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Quote:
Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 07-01-2011, 02:27 AM   #10
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Quote:
Henry Ellis wrote: View Post
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 But I have never found rocks around the tatami to protect us while training

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???

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* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 07-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
amoeba
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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/106/3...1ec398e2e0.jpg
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:50 AM   #12
SmilingNage
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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.

Dont make me, make you, grab my wrist.
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Old 07-01-2011, 08:50 AM   #13
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

I thought you were talking about guys like me. "Rocks" around the mat or dojo!

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Old 07-01-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
Keith Larman
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Apart from the loose rocks rattling around in my head, never seen it...

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:57 AM   #15
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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:A...w9TiSjxrE7cD_g

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Old 07-01-2011, 11:56 PM   #16
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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.

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Old 07-04-2011, 12:39 PM   #17
Eric in Denver
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:44 PM   #18
Nick P.
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Rocks in the head? Yes, often, around the edge of the mat.
Rocks? Not so much, no.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:55 PM   #19
ninjaqutie
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Does someone have a photo of them phenomenon? I have never seen this before and now I am curious.

~Look into the eyes of your opponent & steal his spirit.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #20
dps
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
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
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:41 AM   #21
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
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.

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:39 AM   #22
Eric in Denver
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Re: Rocks around the mat.

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.
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