One of the things we emphasize at Progressive Martial Arts Academy is truly making the martial arts a lifestyle, or a way of life. Something that can really help you on that path is having a dedicated space in your own home to practice martial arts. Some of the greatest martial artists of all time trained and began teaching from their “home dojo.”
One of the first memories I have of training martial arts was in our garage in Chesapeake, VA. Check out this old picture of a group of students that just finished training. You can see SiJo Bruce Corrigan, Sigung Meg Corrigan and Sigung Shawn Riquelme in there!
When creating this area, you want to be very efficient as to not waste space, and make sure that your dojo doesn’t encroach upon other parts of your house that people may enjoy. One of the most difficult aspects of building your home training area is getting the equipment you need to train by yourself. Try building your own equipment, as this can be a very rewarding project that will feel fulfilling every time you practice.
My father's first teacher in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, was Rorion Gracie. Rorion began teaching from his garage when he brought his family's martial art to the United States. Rorion would offer one free private lesson to anyone who brought in a new student to try a class. He knew that if someone could experience the effectiveness of his art, they would be hooked! I think the intimate training environment of being in his own garage helped with this because everyone got 1-on-1 attention.
As a teenager, I often made trips out to California with my father to train with Paul Vunak. We would stay in SiFu Vunak's home and often training was done in his garage as well! And most recently, we traveled to train with Master Virgil Cavada in the Filipino Martial Arts and spent a week training in his garage and backyard.
So as you can see, even some of the greatest martial arts instructors of all time have Home Dojos!