The term Dojang is simply the Korean pronunciation of the Japanese term Dojo and many people have heard of this term.
Most places on the internet will define a Dojang as a martial arts school, the place where martial arts training happens. Whether that is Taekwondo, Hapkido, Judo etc.
But, simply because you practice a martial art in your space doesn't automatically make it a Dojang. The Dojang is not the gym, it is not a wrestling room, it is not a boxing gym, it is not a place to just learn martial arts. All of those things are secondary to the nature of a Dojang. A Dojang is where you are completely focused on becoming a better you, in every facet. Classical martial arts such as Taekwondo and Hapkido have 3 aspects, Nei Gong-Wei Gong-Shim Gong (External Power-Internal Power-Spiritual Power). Most Dojang are very good at teaching the first two, but that third is increasingly difficult.
Modern students tend to flinch at the term "spiritual". They don't want their religious rights violated. And I agree with them. A martial arts school should not be forcing students to partake in any single religion, religious ideology, religious ritual, etc. But that's not what Shim Gong is. Shim Gong is empathy, compassion, community, work, the very nature of interconnectedness and mindfulness.
It's because of this that many Dojang in the past also functioned as temples, community meeting places, scholastic institutions, etc. as long as the main goal of the space was to help all who enter on their path to enlightenment. This is why we bow when we enter, and bow when we leave. The respect is of great importance because it is an extension of our better selves. The Dojang is a place where out better self, lives. It is a place where that better self is cultivated, nurtured, and realized. It is the place of the way.
Today, the Dojang of Alpha Omega is a Dojang dedicated on Transformational Training. Located in Wahoo, Nebraska it is a place where those who may be emotionally distressed, mentally discontented and spiritually in debt, can gather to be trained and transformed into comprehensive and highly compassionate people. We are able to accomplish this mission through our training that is designed to stabilize our emotional mindset.
This stabilization training exposes the origins of unresolved anger, anxieties, lack of focus and fears, while teaching our students how to contemplatively confront and conquer our negative emotions with composure. SET’s focus is to temper the heart (i.e. the emotional seat of humanity) so that the spirit of a humanity can move freely and rule the responses of the individual. Instead of a simple belt ranking system, we evaluate each student by the way they live their lives, not only in the Dojang, but at school, at home and in their communities. We place a strong emphasis on association, where each student is more concerned about sharpening each other (steel sharpens steel), instead of surpassing each other. As a result:
72% of our students improve their grade point average one letter grade without tutoring.
82% of parents have reported that their children have become more emotionally stable since becoming a student at Alpha Omega.
97% of our students who were victims of bullying are no longer bullied and have not compromised their kind spirit.
56% of parents report a decrease in school suspensions and an increase in their child’s making more advantageous decisions.