Despite the flack that the martial arts community gets for the occasional thuggery and bad behaviour of some, I truly believe that most of us wish to be better and to be kind. A dojo is often a place of sanctuary and acceptance, a family that can be a great support in difficult times. I know that my dojos over the years have been places where I can be myself, which means being a bit weird and super nerdy about things.
It is with this in mind that I finally started an initiative that I have been thinking about for a long time. It is a small start, but I hope it will grow over time.
I have started with a simple bin for collecting old karate suits, training equipment and clothing in general. It is in the dojo reception area, and has a sign on it encouraging dojo members and family to donate. Every week, I hope to sort through the donations, then allocate them to dojo members on dojo account as well as dojos that are just starting out in less fortunate circumstances. Whatever is left over, I will take to charities in the area and build up relationships between our dojo and charities we personally approve.
We have tons of parents and kids coming through the doors every week, and we are so lucky to have the time and resources to train. Why not make it easier for people to give back with a collection point in a trusted environment? Parents often ask if there’s anywhere they can donate the good clothes their kids grow out of. Let’s make it easier for them!
If you would like to start something like this in your dojo and theme it (pet food as entry to a gashuku, toys for Christmas, whatever), please feel free to download the posters using this link.
I would be honoured if this appeared in even one other dojo. Please send me photos!
We have the opportunity to give back, always. I believe every dojo is special, and has so much to give.
Follow your martial heart 🙂