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Why Would You Open A Dojo?

Enso SKC Dojo in Bartley Green

Welcome, my dear reader friend, to the first Enso Shotokan Karate Club blog.

Why would you open a dojo? Well, there is a real Pandora's box, is it not? And where do the answers lie, and in what priority?

Well, if truth be told, there is no single answer and there is no priority for me opening my own dojo. It simply became something that I just felt that I had to do. Why? Because I have a deep passion for Shotokan Karate do; it has, for me, almost been a vocation. I remember when I was 15, talking to my mum about religion. I had been brought up in a faith and going to mass every Sunday was the norm. I always admired and indeed envied those close to me who felt a deep sense of faith that meant that they never missed going to worship, no matter what. As for me, sadly, I could not relate to that, but after a year of doing Karate at such a young age, that sense of never missing, always being there was stronger for the dojo than anything else.

Looking back at the sacrifices that those who follow the way (no matter what it is) will make to ensure that they are there in the line ready to commit to the Sensei, be they at the Sempai end or the raw beginner end.

For those who commit, the rewards are huge, but be warned the price is high. It does take courage, effort, and sometimes, dare I say it: selfishness. But for that minority who stay the course, I genuinely believe that the benefits are massive and that is not about wealth, or career success or all those other trappings of what today’s world perceives success to be.

No this is far simpler, healthier and happier, it is about training your socks off in the dojo. Week in, week out with like-minded Karateka, where whatever bad things life and indeed people have thrown at you are left in your socks, as I like to say. Socks off, gi on, just go and do it, and that is what it is all about.

And to answer the question why open a dojo? The simple answer is: because if I had not, I would always have regretted that decision. It is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. And sometimes you feel compelled to do things in life, to be fair it might fail and be a disaster but if that happens I care not, so long as I have done the very best that I could and that I had not given up and not given in, then I will live with that.

So here we are, about to embark on a new venture. Enso Shotokan Karate Club will open the doors in Bartley Green at Adams Hill School, a dojo steeped in Shotokan history for me. I am really looking forward to welcoming those Karateka who want to embark on a new venture.

We have nothing to lose and hopefully only good things to gain. I welcome you to join me on a new journey.


Sensei Austin Birks

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