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Paperback In the Dojo: The Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts Book

ISBN: 0834805723

ISBN13: 9780834805729

In the Dojo: The Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts

Beginning students in Japanese martial arts, such as karate, judo, aikido, iaido, kyudo, and kendo, learn that when they are in the dojo (the practice space), they must don their practice garb with ritual precision, address their teacher and senior students in a specific way, and follow certain unwritten but deeply held codes of behavior. But very soon they begin to wonder about the meaning behind the traditions, gear, and relationships in the dojo...


Format: Paperback

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette

Excellent for a beginner who has started to learn about the Japanese Arts. It is good to know what to expect when starting out in a new dojo. Not all dojos take the time to show all of the etiquette. Sometimes, it is left up to the student to know ahead of time. This book also details a bit of Japanese history, of which is always good to know the history of the dojo you will/are attending.


Great book! Very informative. While reading, it reinforced what had been taught to me by my instructor. It was refreshing to know what has been passed down to me and to my students is the proper etiquette of traditional karate. Sad that so many of our Americanized karate-ka miss out on true traditions in the dojo.


Dave Lowry adds significant meaning to what happens in a dojo. His explanation of numerous Japanese words fosters the readers understanding of what karate is. He explains certain conjectures about karate, and when there is reason to dismiss some conjectures, he does so with perspicacious descriptions. I particularly liked his explination of dojo. Do means way, as in karatedo, and jo means place. Dojo is "The place of the Way" which I find more meaningful than "practice hall". He has dozens of useful explanations of Japanese terms. The book is much more than a list of translations.

The best!

Dave Lowery is by far the best author on the martial arts out there today. His insights and true knowledge of the martial arts is amazing. I would highly reccomend any of his books!


A great resource for martial artists and Japan aficionados alike, this book covers all aspects of etiquette and tradition in the classical Japanese martial arts. If you plan to study aikido, iaido, judo, karate, kyudo, or kendo this is a must read. Subjects include layout of the traditional dojo, accommodating visitors, wearing traditional uniforms, handling weapons, the Shinto shrine, contemplative meditation, ritual bowing, martial language, interacting with teachers and other students, and training fees. The author covers not only the obvious traditions but also the "unwritten" behavioral expectations as well. You will also learn a whole lot of useful Japanese words and phrases. The book is a very easy read, filled with colorful vignettes to entertain as well as educate. My only complaint is that there are no illustrations. While some practitioners have the luxury of training in a classical dojo and seeing a traditional Shinto shrine, many do not. Those folks would undoubtedly appreciate seeing what this stuff actually looks like. The same thing goes with the hakama skirt; while it is traditional bugei garb, it is not used in all Japanese martial arts. A picture really is worth a thousand words most of the time though I suppose if Lowry can write an outstanding book on sushi that contains no pictures he can certainly leave out the illustrations here... While this book may be most beneficial to newer practitioners, it is useful and insightful for anyone who practices Japanese martial arts. Like most of Lowry's tomes, it truly deserves a place of honor in your personal library. Highly recommended! Lawrence Kane Author of The Way of Kata, Surviving Armed Assaults, and Martial Arts Instruction
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