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Tips on Turning Your Spare Room Into a Martial Arts Dojo - Charlene Roth

Tips on Turning Your Spare Room Into a Martial Arts Dojo - Charlene Roth


Is your child missing karate lessons now that your family is under a stay-at-home order? Disrupting months of hard work and practice can be a tough adjustment for kids, especially with everything else that’s going on in the world. Instead of letting your child’s karate practice lapse, why not create a martial arts studio at home? With these tips, you can quickly set up a DIY dojo to keep your child active through quarantine.

Why Create a Dojo at Home?

Is designing a home dojo really worth it? Can’t you just send the kids outside to play? The truth is, keeping your children active is only one reason to invest in a home martial arts studio.


     Martial arts does more than get kids exercising. It also improves self-discipline, social skills, and concentration in children. With the coronavirus causing stress for everyone, a martial arts practice can be a great way to help kids reclaim a sense of control.

     A martial arts studio can also be a savvy addition to your home. While you might think a dojo is too specialized to improve your home’s value, a martial arts studio can double as a yoga studio, home office, craft room, or other flex space depending on a family’s needs.

Where to Look for Extra Space

Most homes have underutilized space somewhere. The key is finding it in your home! Here’s where to look.


     Dining rooms are among the least-used rooms in the home. Depending on your home’s floor plan, converting a dining room into a flex room could be a natural swap — and making the switch could be as simple as installing a door!

     Basements are a good choice for workout spaces because they’re relatively soundproof. However, a basement gym gets musty fast without proper air circulation. Invest in ventilation when finishing a basement for best results.

     No basement? No problem. Attics can also be great for exercise as long as there’s plenty of open space under the rafters. Just remember that you may have to install a way to get up there! If you’re short on space, opt for a spiral staircase, which only needs about five feet.

How to Equip Your New Workout Space

Once you’ve created the space, you need to fill it! Here’s what you need to set up your new flex space for martial arts practice.


     Flooring is perhaps the most important component of any dojo. Use foam floor mats or interlocking tiles to create a surface that’s soft and non-slip without ripping up existing flooring.

     Of course, no workout space is complete without music. If you just want to play tunes for motivation, buy a smart speaker. But if you want to follow along with training videos, consider splurging on a smart TV so you can access your favorite martial arts videos.

     Don’t forget to include any equipment you need for your dojo, including a heavy bag, gloves, sparring gear, and rebreakable boards.

     Finally, include a chalkboard or whiteboard where you can track your child’s martial arts goals. Setting and achieving age-appropriate goals is a great way to build self-confidence in kids. And by writing them down, you make it easy for kids to see their progress and feel proud of themselves.


Setting up a karate dojo at home doesn’t have to be complicated. With a few simple, DIY-friendly changes, you can convert unused square footage into a functional home martial arts studio. With a space to get active, your child will have a way to burn up all that extra energy during quarantine — and you’ll have a great new flex space for your home.


Image via Unsplash

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