Dojo Etiquette

In the dojo (training hall) we expect the proper etiquette and respect to maintained by everyone in the dojo.


Why is etiquette important? The founder of karate, Gichin Funakoski stated, "Karate begins and ends with courtesy".  He was a school teacher and felt that discipline, respect, and courtesy were instilled in people by karate-do. Etiquette helps maintain courtesy and respect.


1.  Always bow when entering or leaving the dojo.


2.  Show respect to your Sensei and assistant instructors, when you first see your Sensei bow and say "Oss Sensei"


3. Always respect your fellow students and when you are asked to partner with a fellow student bow and say "Oss" to them before starting to train with them.


4. Please try to respect the class times and turn up on time for your classes. If you arrive late for class and the class has already begun, kneel down at the side of the dojo and wait for the Sensei to ask you to join the class. When your Sensei asks you to join class, bow and say "Oss" before joining the class.


5. At the beginning of class, Sensei will call for a straight line: You should immediately line up in a straight line with the highest grade standing to the Sensei's right and the lowest grade to the left. You should stand at attention with no talking at this time.


6. If you have a question during class, raise your hand and wait for the Sensei to acknowledge you. When your Sensei acknowledges you say "Oss Sensei" and then ask your question.


7. At the end of class you will line up the same way you did at the beginning of class. When "Seiza" (kneel) is called kneel down, look straight ahead, and no talking. When the dojo kun (morals of the dojo) are said out loud together, say them loud and clear.


8. No swearing or bad language anywhere in the dojo or outside.


9. Always help your Sensei by helping to clear away equipment, sweeping the floor, and keeping your dojo neat and tidy.


10. Tidying your gi. Your gi is your karate uniform. It is your responsibility to ensure your uniform is clean and tidy at all times. It is also your responsibility to ensure your belt is tied properly and does not fall off. Please ask a senior grade or Sensei how to tie your belt if you do not know how. If you need to retie your belt or straight your uniform you should face the back of the dojo and fix your gi, and then turn and face the front again. This should only be done at appropriate times, not during Kihon practice, in the middle of kata, or in the middle of a kumite match!



About bowing and kneeling


Bowing and kneeling down is part of karate class and part of good etiquette. Bowing and kneeling in karate class does not signify subservience and is not religious in any way. Our karate came from Japan and therefore has adopted the Japanese ways of showing respect and of sitting. Bowing shows respect and kneeling is the Japanese way of sitting.