info-aboutus-dojoetiquetteThe Japanese word Dojo simply means ‘a room or hall for the practice of martial arts’. As a new student to Karate you will observe many examples of conduct and standards of etiquette. These actions should never be interpreted as acts of subservience, they are simply based on common courtesy, respect, structure and safety.

The dojo is a place where spirit is forged through rigorous physical conditioning and self-discipline. Karate goes back many hundreds of years and is influenced by Okinawan, Japanese and Chinese culture. Many rules, particularly those of etiquette usually go unspoken. However, this compilation should make these rules more easily understood. If in doubt, always ask your Sensei or a senior student.

  • All students should bow upon entering and leaving the dojo.
  • All students should ensure that they hold an up to date Karate licence.
  • The Karate Gi (suit) should be kept clean and tidy with the Obi (belt) tied neatly with both ends at equal lengths.
  • All students should keep their fingernails and toenails short and neatly trimmed.
  • When asked to ‘line up’, students should end conversations immediately and face the front of the dojo in grade order, ensuring that lines are straight and that they are standing in masubi-dachi.
  • Anyone arriving late, or re-joining a class should kneel at the side of the dojo and wait to be invited to join in by the instructor.
  • Students should never refer to the instructor by any name other than ‘Sensei’ whilst in the dojo.
  • Students should never leave a class without first gaining the permission of the instructor. This includes water and toilet breaks.
  • Students should always respond to instruction from the Sensei with a spirited ‘Oss’.
  • When asked to ‘pair up’, students should always ensure that the senior grades are the first to be partnered.
  • With grade comes responsibility, consequently all students have a certain accountability for the grade directly below their own.
  • Students should never request to be graded. The Sensei will always tell the student when they are ready to attempt a grading. Simply training for the minimum time period between ranks does not make the student eligible. Many factors are involved such as time at current grade, attendance, attitude, effort and of course, an improvement in technical ability.
  • Although enjoyment is vital, training should always be challenging as it is only through endeavour that the student can improve. Remember that there is no growth in comfort, so maintain 100% effort, 100% of the time. Do not make excuses.