DOJO – A Poem from IOGKF India

By: Sensei Zeenat Mistry – IOGKF India


People,Spirits, Masters

The soul, mind and body

Everything together

Syncronizing in harmony.


For many thousands of years

Our legends and teachers

Sweated and trained and sowed the seeds

That today we experience, reap and teach.


They studied and trained

Morning and night

Not counting the hours

Or looking at time.


For a martial artist

The dojo is his temple

Slippers are put to the side

Bows and walks

Into his shrine.

‘Reing’ to shomon

In seiza he sits

Thoughts come and go

With eyes shut he focuses

his breathing, calm and slow

gently bows towards the floor.

showing his respect

to all those teachers

who's pictures now hang on the wall.

Only their memories

 and imparted knowledge

remain for the future of all.


The warm up begins

from basics to combinations,

bag work and hojo undo

Hitting the makiwara

Conditioning the bones.

Later kata and then bunkai.

He can feel every muscle

Sore and in pain

But continous with a smile

For hours he trains.

he is not ready to give up

It’s never enough.


A tribute to all great masters

Who trained and taught

Their spirits remain

In a true martial artist's heart.


After a cool down

He wipes and mops

Every earned sweat and drop

He bows in humility

Not in shame

A promise to leave

Only to come back again.

Gently shutting behind him

The door of his temple,

Leaving the key

 under the stone

For another humble student

To enter the holy dome.