Service to the Dojo: a traditional dojo cannot exist without the enthusiastic support of its members. Members pay dues, of course, but beyond that, they ought to help out with special events, speak well about the dojo to their friends and acquaintances, and be helpful to the sensei and the other students.
Service to One Another: since we spend a great deal of time working on techniques that could potentially hurt one another, it is important to balance this with kindness and caring. While there's no need to be overly tender with other dojo members, it is nevertheless important to try to protect them from injury, help them learn, and, if they are in business, to send business their way. By looking out for one another, the entire dojo community thrives.
Service to the Art: traditional martial arts are fragile things, easily lost or corrupted. It is our duty (one that increases the longer we're involved), to try to pass on the spirit of our art in as close a form as possible to when we received it. We should speak well of our art, and encourage other decent people to practice it. We should guard it from people who might corrupt it or use it for pure commercial gain. Our connection with history is a unique element of our practice, and we must be vigilant about protecting it.
Service to the Community: we sometime say that martial artists should "own" the consequences of their actions. This helps us in learning techniques: if our skills don't work, we must admit that fact and practice until they do. It also helps us in getting along in the world: if your behavior upsets other people, then we must admit this and work to try to be a positive force in the world. In business, if we are not succeeding, as martial artists we don't blame the economy, the community, or other outside factors. Instead, we internalize by asking ourselves what we could do better to succeed. If we reflect on our roles in the community and improve our actions accordingly, we can make our environment a better place to live.
The Japanese Martial Arts Center would like to thank the many Ann Arbor businesses that support this blog, both martial arts-related and others, including: Network Services Group, Art of Japanese Swordsmanship, Shudokan Martial Arts Association, Budo Mind and Body, Art of Judo, Iaido Dot Com, Lorandos and Associates, Oxford Companies, Bluestone Realty Advisors, Portfolio Ann Arbor, Invest Ann Arbor, the Law Office of Nicklaus Suino and the ITAMA Dojo.