Strong punches? Solid kicks? Flawless Katas? These are all important parts of your training. These are goals. Maybe you want to be the best at sparring in the dojo. Maybe you want to work into a leadership and teaching roll. All good things.
But I would argue there is ONE thing that is far more important than any goal at the dojo that you can name. What is that one thing?
No progress will occur for you in your absence. Of course you can practice on your own. In fact I would highly encourage it. But you need others around you to see what you don't see. You need others around you to push you where you can't push yourself to go.
Lets take a kata for example. Have you ever poured a lot of time into making a kata what you want it to be? You're feeling really good about what you have accomplished with it and you are looking forward to showing it off. Then you take center stage at the dojo, show off your latest efforts, and a few things get pointed out to you that you were totally unaware of. Maybe your elbows were flaring out? Maybe your footwork was off, or your strikes weren't going to the target?
These are things that are easily missed on your own. You need to show up for these improvements to get pointed out. You need to show up to work with others who challenge you and make you feel uncomfortable in order to grow. This is the benefit of being at the dojo.
Show up and get better, a formula for success. -john g