REMOTE DOJO GUIDE
The physical fitness, mental focus and sense of purpose our martial arts training provides us are as important as they have ever been. And while achieving the same level of training outside the Dojo as we do within its walls is challenging, that challenge itself provides a significant opportunity. Engagement through the Remote Dojo can bring not only healthy physical activity and mental calm, but also a whole new level of self-discipline. It will allow our students -- some of them really for the first time -- to get a feel for what self-directed at-home practice is really like, and to fully appreciate the benefits.
How best to approach this challenge? Here are some things to keep in mind:
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR
In short: we're looking for each student's best effort. Before submitting video for personal feedback, the student should have spent at least three minutes practicing each of the prescribed techniques for that class, until the movements become natural and fluid for them. Four minutes, of course, isn't enough to achieve perfection--but that's not what we're looking for. There are always little details that need to be fine-tuned. The more a student demonstrates their knowledge of and comfort with the material, the more we can use our video feedback time to get into the nitty gritty of our students' skill sets and put them on the road to true mastery.
A full, uninterrupted 30 minutes should be set aside for the students practice time. This will allow them to complete the warm-up portion of the class, along with any of the exercises prescribed in the homework section, watch the videos, practice the techniques, then record the results of that practice.
Any room in the house can become an appropriate Dojo space, as long as it is given completely to training during that time.
There are certain things we do that bring us into our Dojo space mentally. One is putting on our uniforms. Tying on our belts has an almost transformative effect. Tashi Henry noted, correctly, that the students we see in videos who have put on their belts for practice seem to be the most focused in what they're doing.
The light meditation we do ahead of our practice is also highly important. Relaxing our bodies and focusing our minds on our breathing takes us away from any stress or other distractions, so that we are both physically and mentally prepared for our practice.