The martial arts are often described as an exciting and challenging sport, a fascinating cultural recreation, a practical form of self-defence, a rewarding social activity, a way of getting into shape and keeping fit, and sometimes even a way of combating the stress-related obstacles that so often impede an otherwise productive life.
The St. Catharines Martial Arts Centre is a traditional dojo offering training for adults in:
- Meibukan Goju Ryu Karate
- Kobudo (traditional weapons training with bo, spear, naganate, sai, tonfa, tonbo, jo, kama, nunchaku & techu)
- Daito ryu aiki jitsu (a complete samurai system using sword, spear & empty hand techniques)
- Jujitsu and grappling
- Tai chi, chi kung and paqua
Upon entering a traditional dojo, one removes oneself from the ordinary world. Likewise, one’s identity in the “outside world” is also left behind. The professional or social status enjoyed (or endured) in daily life becomes irrelevant in the dojo.
The traditional emphasis on respect and form becomes obvious from the moment one enters a dojo. Shoes are removed immediately, and upon entering the actual training space, one bows with respect toward the front of the hall that displays pictures of the founders of the style.
The bow of respect upon entering and leaving the dojo floor has two meanings. First, it displays respect of the training space itself, as a place where a single purpose will be pursued. Second, the bow demonstrates respect for the traditions and teaching of the art and for those who have gone before.
from “Exploring Our Roots” by Carrie Wingate, Ph.D (Journal of Asian Martial Arts Volume 2 Number 3 - 1993)