A Dojo is a training hall where judokas go to train and develop their art. Due to modern technology and innovation, training facilities are now state of the art master pieces and can be built in likeness, to reflect a previous period in history. The Dojo Stara Weis is the world's largest and most advanced Dojo. It was officially opened on October 10, 2009.
The Foundation for Traditional Karate Development started a new investment in 2003 in the village Stara Wies located in Przedborz commune, Poland. The Dojo aimed to create a unique center in Europe for Japanese martial arts. The Dojo was a massive campaign for Japanese culture to be seen in a new light by the European community in and around Poland. The center was to act as the forefront for an increase in participation of martial arts in Poland. The center would also hold international martial arts meetings and aimed to attract the best Japanese traditional masters. Some of these great teachers ended up living in the county. The migration was important as it helped increase the presence of martial arts in the region and more people started getting involved.
The center is available to anyone who wants to train or be alone and at peace. The Dojo is also at the disposal of governing bodies and associations that can send their teams for long hard training, and the center can essentially become a training camp if need be. The Dojo maintains Japanese culture and guests get to partake in various Japanese cuisine.
Figure 1: Dojo Stara Weis aerial view of the World's Largest Dojo.
The facility was designed and built on tradition Japanese architecture. The Dojo took just over 6 years to build and covers 60 acres of land. The whole structure is comprised of buildings and facilities designed to give a guest a proper feeling of being in a Dojo:
• Two large halls that include buildings with gyms, social rooms and a spa-room.
• A remedial house.
• 16 houses (each for seven people), separated from the surrounding by the Japanese garden.
• The main administration building.
• A stable combined with a farm.
Figure 2: State of the art practice hall as a class is in session.
Affecting Participation Rates In The Region:
The plan was carefully thought out. The idea that a state of the art facility would attract people has paid dividends. Participation rates have steadily increased in Europe, and the Dojo Stara Weis continues to bring athletes and tourists from around the world. The more visitors and athletes are rolling in and out of the facility; the more martial arts is spread through the traffic of people. The Dojo Stara also hosts major world tournaments and will continue to be a beacon of martial arts in the region. Local participation has increased dramatically since the inception of the Dojo Stara, the facility has also brought economic growth to the village through the tourist attractions, and the town of Przedborz is now most famously known for housing the Dara Stara Weis.