The following where taken from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Definition of gymnasium
plural: gymnasiums or -nasia

1a: a large room used for various indoor sports (as basketball or boxing) and usually equipped with gymnastic
b: a building (as on a college campus) containing space and equipment for various indoor sports activities and usually including spectator accommodations, locker and shower rooms, offices, classrooms, and a swimming pool
2: a European secondary school that prepares students for the university

Definition of studio
plural: studios

1a: the working place of a painter, sculptor, or photographer
b: a place for the study of an art (as dancing, singing, or acting)
2a: a place where motion pictures are made
b: a company that produces motion pictures
c: a place maintained and equipped for the transmission of radio or television programs.
d: a place where audio recordings are made

Definition of school
1: an organization that provides instruction: as
a: an institution for the teaching of children
b: college, university
c(1): a group of scholars and teachers pursuing knowledge together that with similar groups constituted a medieval university
(2): one of the four faculties of a medieval university
(3) : an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university
d : an establishment offering specialized instruction
2a(1) : the process of teaching or learning especially at a school
(2) : attendance at a school
(3) : a session of a school
b : a school building
c : the students attending a school; also : its teachers and students
3: a source of knowledge
4a : a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher (as in philosophy, theology, or medicine) ; also : the doctrine or practice of such a group
b : a group of artists under a common influence
c : a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior; also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group
5: the regulations governing military drill of individuals or units; also : the exercises carried out

Okay, I net you can guess where this rambling is going now. My brain does get stuck on words. I think a bunch of it is because that’s a part of how I get information across to students. So much so, that our White Tiger Haidong Gumdo student manual has much more Korean terminology than necessary.

The way words are or aren’t used has a profound affect on our culture and society. You can see this in things like “text language” and how books labeled as “Teen” reading become highly popular. The Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga illustrate this well. Does this reflect the reading level of our citizens? But that’s for another time.

The definitions above put reality based programs in a school. It also puts martial arts programs in a school. This is important to understand and acknowledge. If you are training with the intent of learning, you cannot be anywhere else! You are in a place where learning and teaching that puts your education to use in everything you do in life. While there is so much focus on the physical techniques, many of the principles and concepts fit how your should be acting in life.

Why is this important? It presents the value of the training and its importance in life. Using the definition above, a gym is a place for “used various indoor sports”. This means that going to the gym is going to play a game. Yes, games can teach important things…if they’re actually discussed…but that’s rare. It tends to be much more about having fun with others playing the game. Yes, I correlate this to focusing on wining trophies. You know, if winning championships in sports created that much success, why aren’t more Olympic athletes running the country and major companies…instead of being forgotten (to most except for others in the same sport).

Now, even worse is that many, many people go to the gym. They exercise because they should to keep healthy, not because they enjoy it and, definitely, not because they are learning anything from being there. How many people wear an iFit to track their steps and heart rate? Why? Truly, why? Do they have medical issues that requires that kind of regular monitoring?

The last two paragraphs are why I don’t have a gym. I don’t believe that it presents the proper image to students for the purpose of being there. Being a gym takes away the importance of the training, which is SO beyond the physical techniques! Since we are training to live better and serve better, chasing medals and trophies only diminishes the education gained from a school.

Where do you train? Can you see the focus and intention beyond the training? Are you being taught or just getting instruction?

Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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