It’s become a ritual in my Dojo to completely empty yourself in order to get ready for training. This includes three things:
- Empty your mind: Only an unoccupied mind like water trains well. In order to learn, we need to first remove all other thoughts. This usually happens during warm-up, when the exercises are so demanding that we don’t have time to think about anything else.
- Empty your appearance: We remove all jewelry and put on the Keikogi, the traditional training clothes. This removes all items from our bodies that could be distracting. It also removes the individualized outward appearance that we are used to. We all look almost the same in the Dojo.
- Empty your body: Before starting to train, we make sure to satisfy all basic human necessities like having to pee or being thirsty. They’d only distract from learning, they’d partially close our open minds.
After you empty yourself, you are completely ready for something new — your mind is open. It’s one of those things that help to make a Karateka a better person, inside and outside the Dojo.