Dojo Etiquette

Dojo Etiquette

In traditional Martial arts, the development of the whole person is more important than the development of the physical and technical prowess, the strict compliance of the Dojo Etiquette is fundamental for the development of budo spirit.

Dojo Etiquette is an expression of honour, self-discipline, appreciation, kindness and sincerity. 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:

Teacher Ranking System

Shihan – Head Instructor

Sensei – Teacher
Sempai – Senior

  1. Bow when entering the Dojo.
  2. Bow when leaving the Dojo.
  3. Always bow and greet the instructors and higher-ranking members when entering the dojo.
  4. Never refer to the instructor by name in the dojo. Always address you instructor as Shihan, Sensei or Sempai.
  5. Since promptness is part of the self-discipline karate-do encourages, arriving late for class should be avoided whenever possible. If you are late and the class has begun, stop at the door, kneel in the Seiza position, or stand straight with the feet together and await acknowledgement from Shihan, Sensei or Sempai before joining the class.
  6. Line up in order of rank. People of the same rank line up by age.
  7. Arrive early and warm up on your own before formal class.
  8. Listen to the instructor, listen means not to talk. There should be no idle talking during class. It is disrespectful, and distracting to Shihan and other participants
  9. If you have a question, ask it with respect. Under no circumstances will a lower belt challenge a technique or procedure taught by the instructor that is instructing. If a certain instructor is teaching a technique that is different in execution that was taught be another instructor, the student will apply the technique as taught and will not question it on the floor. The student may then approach the original instructor and respectfully question the technique. It will then be up to the 2 instructor’s to concur and then both will teach the correct procedure. This will apply to Sempai’s as well and Shihan Meagher will have the final say.
  10. When you are listening to an instructor’s 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. Acknowledge the instructors instructions with “Hai Shihan, Sensei or Sempai”.
  11. It is important to “Kia” on all techniques relating to Standing and moving basics and any supplementary training or fighting techniques. The “Kia” is an expression of intent and therefore must be loud and audible, it cannot be an under the breath murmur… When teaching it also gives the instructor the timing that the class is working to and helps with the speed and rhythm of the class.
  12. Under no circumstances will the “opinion” of a lower belt be entertained unless expressly asked for by the instructor.
  13. If a student is addressed by a senior while they are sitting down they will stand up and place their hands by their side and listen to the senior.
  14. A student’s help or assistance is not required unless expressly asked for by the instructor.
  15. If a student is asked to perform a task, for example, do the warm-ups they will see this as duty and not as a burden.
  16. Under no circumstances will a “junior” (Under age) warm up a senior class. This is in immediate violation of the structure and may not happen.
  17. Wear a clean Gi.
  18. Do not wear jewellery.
  19. If told to remove jewellery, do so immediately.
  20. Keep fingernails and toenails short and clean.
  21. Bow when someone hands you training equipment.
  22. Do not walk between the instructors and other students.
  23. Do not lean on the walls during training.
  24. Do not yawn or cross your arms during training.
  25. Place your clothing and equipment in order before training.
  26. Let senior ranks get water first.
  27. No shoes on the training floor.
  28. Leave equipment neatly to the side when not in use.
  29. Do not leave your belt on the floor.
  30. Students are to report any conduct, which is beneath the dignity of the martial arts that they or any other practitioner are engaged in.
  31. Never walk off the Dojo floor without the permission from Shihan or Instructors.
  32. Chewing gum is not allowed when training. It is disrespectful and is not a safe practice