My life is my dojo

“Dojo” means “school” in Japanese --and while every country has it’s own name for school, "dojo" still is the most well known. We on the other hand use the word "do jang", which is the Korean word. Nonetheless, the important part of this statement is the idea, and practice of: "my life is my school" . Should you ever decide to take martial arts lessons, of any kind, I hope that you would be lucky enough to find a teacher who understands and practices the idea of: my life is my dojo. When a student is on the floor, executing punches or kicks, rolls or break-falls, leg locks or arm bars, and/or blocks and counters, all sorts of things are learned, such as the patience required to polish the maneuvers, the control you have to exercise to do it right, the teamwork it takes to participate with a your partner and classmates, and the understanding of the return one gets on effort and consistency. What a shame it would be if we failed to take those lessons “out of the dojo and into the world.” The real lessons in our school, the valuable ones, are the ones we practice on the mat, but fully understand that we’re practicing for the purpose of making something in our life work better, smoother, and with more mastery. We practice in our school, what we wish to see in our lives. That’s what we know to be the most valuable aspect of what we do in our school. By the way, if you’re not a student, but you’d like to see what it’s like to be one, just mention this post and we will give you a pass to come in and try classes. Every great journey begins with some small movement in a new direction, right? And here’s a secret: I think, “My students are my dojo.” I learn what I need to learn by helping others to do, well...all of the above.
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About the Author:
MeLisa Turcott Strongheart is a Master Instructor and owner at Mercer Island Martial Arts. She is a 7th Dan Master Instructor. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling. She brings these two areas of specialization to her work with families, children, teens, and in designing curriculum.

Master Strongheart emphasizes and has taught thousands of students the value and power of respect. Respect for oneself, others, and the community.

(MIMA), located on Mercer Island between Bellevue and Seattle in Washington is celebrating 24 years on the island in 2021. MIMA's curriculum is intentionally designed to build fitness, flexibility, self-defense, as well as to create a milieu that engenders physical and psychological growth, respect, courage, community activism and leadership.

MIMA has programs for families to practice side by side, as well as adult, teen, and children's classes. Also offers before and after school, and summer camp programs for kids.

You can contact through email:; calling 206 230-9050.

The school is located at:
2630 77th Ave SE #106-108 Mercer Island, WA 98040
Parking free under the building.

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