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Thread: How is the term "dojo" used in Japan?

  1. #1
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    Default How is the term "dojo" used in Japan?

    Gassho!

    Here in the west we tend to use the Japanese term dojo very broadly for both any place where we train and the groups we train in. When in Japan, I heard that this isn't necessarily the case there: Training groups are either called shibu (same as here in official use) or doin, but is it completely unusual to use dojo? And how about for the place of training?

    Kesshu,
    ______ Jan.
    Jan Lipsius
    少林寺拳法
    Shorinjikempo
    Humboldt University Berlin Branch

    "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." Gandhi

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    Default doin vs shibu

    Hi Jan,
    It used to be that a Doin had a shrine with a statue of Daruma (or Kaiso) and people could gather there to discuss Kongo Zen, whereas Shibu dojo were generally located in community centers or local gymnasiums. I donít know if thatís changed, but thatís the way it was explained to me many years ago.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    Default

    Shibu means branch, perhaps designating something less than a full dojo. Sometimes in English, a study group, denoting that the instructor doesn't have full teaching credentials.

    Dojo simply mean place of exercise. A dojo can be a movable feast, as it is primarily the people, not the physical location. There are dojo in Japan that train in 2-3 different places each week. the name remains the same, but the location is different.

    So I practice in a number of different dojo - giant facilities, purpose built 'dojo', outdoors, etc.
    Lance Gatling ガトリング
    Tokyo 東京

    Long as we're making up titles, call me 'The Duke of Earl'

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    Default

    That sounds pretty similar to the usage over here too - dojo can refer either to the physical location of training ("I left my bag in the dojo") or the group of people ("Our dojo went to a seminar"). As ever, context is king in determining which is meant. The distinction with doin doesn't come up, as these don't exist in the UK!
    Steve Malton
    Shorinji Kempo
    Oxford Dojo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Malton View Post
    That sounds pretty similar to the usage over here too - dojo can refer either to the physical location of training ("I left my bag in the dojo") or the group of people ("Our dojo went to a seminar"). As ever, context is king in determining which is meant. The distinction with doin doesn't come up, as these don't exist in the UK!
    BTW I seem to recall 'shibu' (branch) dojo that simply call themselves X Dojo. Shibu doesn't enter into the name, that's an internal issue for the ryu ha.
    Lance Gatling ガトリング
    Tokyo 東京

    Long as we're making up titles, call me 'The Duke of Earl'

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