The Kobe Osaka Karate Club had its beginnings in Glasgow in 1963 and is thus the oldest established karate club in Scotland today

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The great master Funakoshi said "Those who follow Karate-do, must consider courtesy of prime importance. Without courtesy the essence of Karate-do is lost".

Conceit has no place in karate. Students who really wish to progress should show proper respect to their Sensei and the dojo seniors. They should be aware of and receptive to criticism and should not pretend to have knowledge that they do not have. The way of karate is not easy; it is not meant to be. The beginner may find the attitude and methods of his teachers difficult to understand; obstacles will be put in their way, he/she will be tested, their Sensei will not "tell them everything" and much will be up to them to find the "way".

Japanese students understand "dojo etiquette" but for the western student ignorant of the customs of Okinawa and Japan here is a guide to proper conduct in the karate dojo.

Discipline in the Dojo (Training Hall) is of paramount importance. Dojo etiquette is a code of conduct essential to the proper practice of Karate Do (Way) - without it their practice becomes meaningless. Self-discipline and mutual respect for one's opponents are essential to safe practice. Please carefully observe the following procedure in the Dojo.

  1. On entering or leaving the Dojo or upon meeting one's Sensei (Teacher) bow (Rei).
  2. On greeting one's training partner bow and say "O's".
  3. Before entering any training or contest area for competition always bow at the perimeter before advancing or leaving the area, being careful to enter from your own side, never cut across the contest area (Shai Jo).
  4. Students must keep their bodies clean, nails must be kept short, Karate suits (Gis) should be clean and well pressed.
  5. Smoking and swearing in the Dojo is at all times forbidden.
  6. Any person who presents themselves for training and has been drinking alcohol or under the influence of drugs will be asked to leave the Dojo.
  7. No talking in the dojo is permitted during training unless it is absolutely necessary.
  8. Students should make every effort to attend classes on time.
  9. Students should do their utmost to carry out the training as laid down by their Sensei.
  10. Make a habit of visiting the toilet before training. This is especially important for children.
  11. You must never use your Karate skills outside of the dojo, except in the defence of yourself, your family or friends and only when there no other way.
  12. Do not be a bully inside the dojo or outside.
  13. Never lean against the walls or sprawl about the dojo floor. Always sit upright cross-legged. If you are waiting to train with a partner do not stand about or sit down but train in a similar manner to the rest of the class. Never run around or misbehave whether your instructor is present or not.
  14. When listening to explanations by your instructor never stand with arms folded or hands on the hips.
  15. When asked to "line out" or called on by the Instructor, always run into position.
  16. Do not leave the dojo during training without your Instructor's permission as, should you be ill, your Instructor requires to know.
  17. Any form of footwear is prohibited whilst training unless there is a good medical reason and only if your instructor permits it.
  18. As soon as the Instructor enters the dojo, students will line out in the appropriate manner, or if the Instructor is in the dojo and commands "line out", do it as smartly as possible, standing in musubi-dachi (feet together) and with hands by your sides.
  19. The senior grade present in the body of the class shall, as soon as everyone is in position, call "Seiza". The class shall then kneel in unison, left knee first keeping the back straight, then on the right knee and finally sitting back on the heels with the palms of the hands resting on the inside of the thighs. On the command "Mokso" the hands shall be cupped, left hand on top, thumb tips together and with the eyes closed the students will compose themselves for the forthcoming training. On the command "Yame" the eyes are opened and the hands returned to the thighs, palms down. On the command "Rei" the class shall place their hands on the floor and bow in unison for about three seconds. They shall not rise before the Instructor as this is a breach of etiquette. The class will then rise with the Instructor first to commence training.
  20. Any member arriving after training has commenced shall execute a kneeling bow at the edge of the training area, facing in the direction of the Sensei. Upon being given permission to do so and before joining the class, the student will quickly do an appropriate warm up and stretch.
  21. Any student wishing to leave the class early shall only do so after receiving the Instructor's permission. On leaving the student will perform a full kneeling bow at the edge of the training area nearest the door.
  22. When demonstrating for or with the Sensei, or upon receiving instructions, students will acknowledge with a standing bow and "O's". Note that the students always bows to the Sensei first, the Sensei will acknowledge.
  23. When called upon to assist the Sensei, the student should acknowledge with a loud "O's", and run into position. They should then bow to the instructor and await further instructions.
  24. When training with a partner both shall bow simultaneously before and after each section of training.
  25. For safety reasons jewellery must not be worn during training.
  26. Instructors and seniors shall never be called by their first names during class. Instructors shall be addressed as "SENSEI" and senior students as "SEMPAI".
  27. Finally, remember the dojo creed:

This dojo ettiquette was originally written by Sensei Tommy Morris in 1964 and is reproduced here with his permission.





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