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Dojo Etiquette

The dojo is a space dedicated to the study of Karate and the perfection of the individual. It is not a place for displaying one’s ego, but for uplifting and cleansing the body, mind, and spirit. In the dojo, as in all areas of life, the correct attitude of respect, sincerity, and modesty are essential in creating an atmosphere conducive to the learning process. The following rules are vital to your study of Karate as each point of etiquette has its origin in a concern for personal safety and growth.

  • Please arrive 5-10 minutes before the start of class.

  • Please take a few minutes before class begins to warm up and stretch. Also, use this time to clear your mind and prepare for study.

  • Please remove your shoes before entering before stepping onto the tatami mats.

  • Please remove all jewelry.

  • Please keep your gi (uniform) laundered and in good repair and your obi (belt) tied correctly. If you are a beginner and need assistance, kindly ask any sempai (senior student).

  • Please keep your fingernails and toenails neatly trimmed to prevent injury to yourself and others.

  • Please silence all phones. If a parent must take a call, please step outside.

  • Other than water (or sports drinks), do not eat, drink, or chew gum in the dojo.

  • As you enter and exit the dojo, please bow towards the shomen (front of the dojo) and say a strong "OSU."

  • Please greet your fellow students respectfully by bowing and saying "OSU'"

  • If you arrive late for class, please sit in seiza (formal kneeling position) at the back of the dojo facing away with your eyes closed (mokuso). When the instructor invites you to join in, stand up, turn towards the front, bow and say "OSU." Quickly join the back of the class.

  • Unsupervised kumite (sparring) may lead to injuries. Do not practice kumite unless instructed to do so.

  • Always move quickly in class when instructed to do something.

  • Please keep talk on the mat to an absolute minimum. Conversations during class should be limited to discussions of technique.

  • Do not leave the mat during practice, except in the case of illness and injury.

  • When adjusting your gi, please turn away from the shomen and the instructor. Never turn away to adjust you gi while Sensei is talking or giving instruction. This is very impolite!

  • Always put forth your best effort when training.

  • Cleaning is an active part of thanksgiving. It is each student’s responsibility to assist in the cleaning of the dojo.


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