I really enjoy training on my own. In these solo training sessions, I train on my specific areas of concern, at my own pace, and dedicate as much time as I need to whatever it is that I am working on. Training alone is, I feel, very important. It helps develop a deeper insight into the techniques, combinations, stances or sequences that we practice. This is when we truly discover for ourselves how we can personalize our art and make it work in a way that is unique to ourselves.
That does not, however, allow for discounting dojo training at all. Going to the dojo is a very different experience. It is not only about the actual training. The dojo has a certain spirit of its own - an energy that is contagious. When we enter, each one of us taps into that energy. It is hard to put into words the electric feeling of entering a dojo. It just has to be experienced.
Perhaps this energy is created by the hundreds of like-minded students visiting the dojo everyday, with the sole purpose of training the martial arts. This singular focus and the unified spirit of every budoka is probably what creates and strengthens daily, the spirit of the dojo.
While solo training is a wonderful journey of discovery, dojo training is truly walking on the path, under the tutelage of the Sensei; or guiding the next generation of students. Training alone, one can succumb to various reasons for not being able to train properly, or train at all sometimes. In the dojo, no such reason exists. We go there for no other purpose but training.
There have been days when I have entered the dojo reluctantly, thinking (mostly to myself) that I feel a bit under the weather, or just feel drained after a whole day's work. But when I do enter, suddenly all the fatigue vanishes! I feel recharged just being there. Whatever physical discomforts I feel just disappear. At times, if I start training a bit sluggishly, I end up finshing the session fully invigorated!
Solo training is fun, and a great workout; something I learn a lot from. Dojo training is just magic! So I would encourage everyone to visit the dojo regularly.