Dojo Etiquette

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Dojo Etiquette – Courtesy and respect are key elements in karate training and conduct. How we act is how others perceive us. Here are some general rules of conduct:

  • Bow upon entering and leaving the Dojo. This should be accompanied by an effort to change to a more serious and focused attitude. (The Dojo is any place we practice, even if it were an open field.)
  • Treat the Dojo with respect.
  • The instructor is always addressed as “Sensei”. It is Japanese for “one who has passed this way before” or “teacher”.
  • Adhere to the training times and try not to be late. However, if the delay is due to circumstances beyond your control, join the class, and make Sensei aware of the reason at the end of the class.
  • If you are late and the class has begun, stop at the door stand straight with the feet together, and await acknowledgement from Sensei before joining the class.
  • Similarly, if you have to leave the class early, advise Sensei before the class starts. Then, at a logical break in the training, move to the door, standing with feet together, and await Sensei’s acknowledgement before leaving. This is also done if you need to leave the class unexpectedly (for illness, toilet, etc.)
  • When Sensei enters the Dojo, the students should recognize him with “Oss” and/or a Rei (bow). This is a sign of respect that your Sensei deserves.
  • Give respect to all karate participants, whatever the grade or age.
  • Always keep your training Gi clean and tidy.
  • When class begins, line up quickly, with lower ranks to the left. Form a straight line with the person on your right. Face front.
  • There should be no idle talking during class. It is disrespectful, and distracting to Sensei and other participants.
  • When you are listening to Sensei making an explanation during training, stand quietly and attentively, with the hands at the side or behind. Never lean against the wall, or place hands on the hips. This shows disrespect.
  • Make your maximum effort during class.
  • Do not wear jewellery in the Dojo. If rings cannot be removed, they must be taped to prevent injury to others.
  • It is customary for all visitors and spectators to stand while the class lines up and bows at the beginning and ending of class.