great master Funakoshi said "Those who follow Karate-do, must
consider courtesy of prime importance. Without courtesy the essence
of Karate-do is lost".
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".
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.
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.
entering or leaving the Dojo or upon meeting one's Sensei (Teacher)
greeting one's training partner bow and say "O's".
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
must keep their bodies clean, nails must be kept short, Karate
suits (Gis) should be clean and well pressed.
and swearing in the Dojo is at all times forbidden.
person who presents themselves for training and has been drinking
alcohol or under the influence of drugs will be asked to leave
talking in the dojo is permitted during training unless it is
should make every effort to attend classes on time.
should do their utmost to carry out the training as laid down
by their Sensei.
a habit of visiting the toilet before training. This is especially
important for children.
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.
not be a bully inside the dojo or outside.
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.
listening to explanations by your instructor never stand with
arms folded or hands on the hips.
asked to "line out" or called on by the Instructor, always run
not leave the dojo during training without your Instructor's permission
as, should you be ill, your Instructor requires to know.
form of footwear is prohibited whilst training unless there is
a good medical reason and only if your instructor permits it.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
training with a partner both shall bow simultaneously before and
after each section of training.
safety reasons jewellery must not be worn during training.
and seniors shall never be called by their first names during
class. Instructors shall be addressed as "SENSEI" and senior students
remember the dojo creed:
HUMILITY, SINCERITY, RESPECT, PURITY, ENDEAVOUR, PATIENCE, LOYALTY.
dojo ettiquette was originally written by Sensei Tommy Morris in
1964 and is reproduced here with his permission.