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Dojo Etiquette and Conduct

The observance of the rules of the dojo is very important to many aspects of our training. It is important to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to learning an art that is based on so much tradition, and skills that, improperly used, can cause great harm to ourselves and to our dojo mates that we depend on to help us with the continuing improvement of our own skills.


The following are the rules that we should observe as students of Bushido Dojo and the martial arts.


Because our training in karate includes a great deal of close physical contact, no one thing is more important than to always have and show proper respect for all your dojo-mates.


Always be conscious of your personal hygiene.


Keep your fingernails and toenails neatly trimmed at all time.


Leave any anger or stress outside. Your dojo-mates are not “punching Bags”…we provide several..


If you are ill, and your illness may possibly be contagious, STAY HOME! In the alternative, get a chair from the lobby, sit…watch, listen and take notes. But please….don’t bring your cold or flu into the training room.


Balance your training!


Although you will find, over time, that your karate training will increase your speed, strength, agility, sense of balance, and awareness, we encourage you to balance and supplement your Wadoryu with….


1. A proper diet and good nutrition – remember – you are what you eat!


2. A regular, daily aerobic or cardiovascular exercise program – it will work wonders for your endurance rate…Something you’ll find invaluable in your karate training. If you’d like more information, or to talk about guidelines for a program for you, please fell free to ask!




Always make an effort to arrive at least ten minutes before your class begins. If you are an assistant instructor, fifteen minutes.


Come to class prepared. Have your gi (uniform), obi (belt), and all safety equipment.


The dressing room is for one purpose only, and should be kept neat, clean, and presentable at all times.


Your obi should never be washed, or worn outside of the dojo or a dojo event. Put it on, tied correctly, after you've changed into your gi, and before you step onto the floor.


The gi should be clean and neat at all times, with all strings tied and tucked away, out of sight.


Your safety equipment (headgear, hands, feet, mouthpiece and pads) should be brought out to the floor before class begins.


If you are late, you should get ready as fast as possible. Once dressed, you should move to the edge of the floor, waiting in the attention stance until you are invited to bow onto the floor and join the class.




The custom of bowing in a traditional karate dojo is as much a part of the true martial arts experience and culture as punching, kicking and blocking. It is a single, simple gesture, but conveys something far more important: respect for others.


Always bow (rei) before stepping onto the dojo floor. First, face any Yudanshi (Black Belts) present on the floor, and bow. If there is more than one Yudansha, bow toward the senior black belt. If you don’t know the seniority of the black belts, bow in their general direction to ensure you are showing respect to all. Next, face the kamiza(the shelf at the front of the Dojo), bow in that direction, then, step onto the floor respectfully.


When leaving the Dojo floor at the end of class, or during class for any reason, first bow out to senior Yudanshi, bow towards the kamiza, then step off the floor respectfully.


Whether a Yudansha, or kyu, it is the responsibility of the senior student already on the floor to call the class's attention to, and acknowledge, any senior Black Belt stepping onto the dojo floor. This is done with the class command to come to attention, Kiotsuke!, followed immediately by the class command to bow to an instructor: Sensei, rei!


Remember: in bowing to a senior, we are not bowing to the individual, but to the knowledge that the color of their obi represents. If you are ever unsure whether or not to bow, always remember Sensei Tyler's words of advice: 'When in doubt, rei!'. Showing respect to and for others is never something to doubt.



The relationship between Kohai and Sempai (junior student and senior student) is a vital component of any traditional Dojo's family. While the most important lessons are those you will learn by attending class, the following are guidelines to help keep those lessons fresh in your mind.


Our Yudanshi have reached a level and earned the right to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity, and we expect such to be shown. Any Yudansha, regardless of age or personal relationship should always be addressed by their last name within the confines of the dojo.


Punching, poking or any other type of contact with a Yudansha, in a non-sparring context, is inappropriate.


Remarks, of a challenging or goading nature, toward any Yudansha is inappropriate.


All sempai should be shown the same respect as a Yudansha. A senior is a senior, whether it is a white belt to a 6th degree black belt, a 2nd degree black belt to a more senior 2nd degree black belt, or a white belt to a more senior white belt. No matter what the difference in rank, a sempai has some degree of knowledge or experience from which a junior (kohai) can benefit.




Have fun in class, but work with a serious attitude.


Move fast. It doesn’t matter if you are moving from one line to another, from a standing position to laying on the floor, or vice-versa, you want to get there as fast as possible.


Work hard, push yourself, but don’t hurt yourself.


Don’t cheat yourself. Whatever you are doing, do it to the best of your ability.


When in line, you are always lined up according to your rank. There is rank belt to belt, and there is rank within a belt. Your rank is determined when you start your first class. Once you line up, the peo­ple on your right will always be on your right, and the people on your left will always be on your left. The only time the order would change is if you were promoted to a rank before a senior. From that point on you would line up to the right of that person until a time when they were promoted to a rank before you.


When spread out on the floor, you spread the same way you line up. The senior-most student should be at the right front of the floor, followed by less senior students at the center front, less senior still at the left front, mid ranks then to the right center, and so on, with the junior-most students at the left rear. If a senior student wants to use another spot, that is their prerogative.


When practicing on the floor, always remember... the order you are placed in for the drill, or exercise being taught -- is the order you remain in, until the instructor moves, or changes that order. Listen carefully at all times!


You should never leave the floor without asking permission first.


You should never walk between the instructor and those he or she is working with.


You will make mistakes. Every Black Belt was once a white belt.




Always raise your hand and wait to be called on if you have a ques­tion. Never speak out unless the instruc­tor makes it clear that you should.


A ques­tion should be a real ques­tion in your mind, don’t ask a ques­tion that you know the answer to. If you have some­thing to say to the class, it should be said by you, after you have been dismissed.


You should never correct a senior under any circumstance. If you have a question concerning what you have understood previously, it should be asked after class.


If you have a question, you should not go straight to the instructor or highest ranks, first, but to someone that is immediate senior to you. If that person doesn’t know the answer, they should follow the same procedure, and approach the next senior to them, until the original question is answered.


When approaching a Yudansha with a question or concern, approach respectfully and wait to be addressed. Once addressed, you should first bow, then pose your question. Upon completion you should bow and back away.


You should never perform or demonstrate any technique on a senior unless instructed to do so.

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