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Old 04-22-2008, 12:51 AM   #1
Location: Fayetteville, AR, USA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 54
Building your own dojo

I'm new to aikido and to these boards. I just recently started training after finally finding the time and patience.

I was wondering how many people here have built or improved upon their own or someone else's dojo.

Obviously I don't on having my own for many, many years, but I am interested in the construction aspect of the dojo. What types of wood you use for the trim, hardwood floors, types of mats you prefer, etc.

It would be nice to see some pictures as well.

Perhaps there are some articles on this topic?
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:04 PM   #2
Randy Sexton
Dojo: Aikido of Lake Keowee
Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 187
Cool Re: Building your own dojo

I admire your desire to someday open your own dojo. At this stage I would recommend you focus on developing your skills as a practitioner. Teaching opportunites will arise as you advance in your training. Students learn so much from the senior students as well as the Sensei and that is how we all develop our teaching skills. Over the years your Sensei will advise you on whether or not you have the skills and aptitude for opening your own dojo. As you travel and visit other dojo note things that you like about each dojo and keep a notebook of good ideas for future reference. Continue to dream of what you would like to see in your own dojo and allow that dream to change as you change. Welcome to the mat and I look forward to someday hearing about your new dojo.

"Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will"
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #3
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,181
Re: Building your own dojo

I expect every dojo owner who owned the building has done a lot of repairs and improvements. My senseis bought a pretty run-down commercial space a few years back -- now it has a new roof, new interior walls to divide the space differently, mats of course, a really beautiful kamiza made from local wood (sensei's a carpenter, among other things), a new entryway, and an ornamental garden where there used to be asphalt. This year we might rip up more asphalt to extend the garden -- I'm suggesting we proceed with caution, it's a huge project and we need to make sure we've got the bodies to get it done.

If you've got the right site, skills, money and time, you can build anything you can imagine. Otherwise, what you build will be at least somewhat constrained by the site, the existing structure, building codes, etc.

Picture of the roof-raising

Our first garden planting (there's a lot more there now)
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