Dojo Etiquette

Sensei (sen-say) is the title used to address anyone instructing a class. The Chief instructor is always called Sensei.

Rei (ray) is a bowing done formally from a kneeling position, or informally from a standing position.

Bowing is done when:

  • entering or leaving the dojo, towards the flags; bowing signifies mutual respect towards the founding country of karate and your own country, jointly
  • before and after each class, to the instructor, to show respect for his ability and knowledge
  • before and after Kumite (koo-mee-tay) or sparring practice, expressing mutual respect, trust and appreciation to each other
  • before and after Kata (kah-tah) practice, to show respect for the masters who developed the art of karate-do

Class procedures:

Class start and end is announced by the highest ranking belt in attendance.

  • Mokuso (mukso) means to close the eyes, meditate or contemplate quietly, and thus separate the karate training from the outside world and give your full attention to the study of karate.
  • Yame (yamay) means open your eyes.
  • Shomen-Ni-Rei (shomen-nee-ray) means bow to the front.
  • Sensei-Ni-Rei (sensay-nee-ray) means bow to the instructor.
  • Sempai-Ni-Rei (sempie-nee-ray) means bow to senior students.

During class there should be no one talking while the instructor is explaining or demonstrating a technique. Have respect for your instructor and fellow students.

The instructions of all higher ranking students should be followed. In discussing Karate, it is considered impolite to contradict the instructions of a higher ranking student. It is also improper for a lower rank to criticize and try to correct a higher rank. If you feel the higher belt has made an error in discussing a karate technique, then it would be appropriate to discuss this with Sensei.

At no time will "horseplay" be tolerated. Karate is a discipline of both mind and body and as such demands the full concentration and serious effort on the part of the practitioner. Horseplay can only lead to loss of knowledge and possibly unintentional injury to one's self or partner.

Please ensure your Gi (karate uniform) is kept clean. For safety reasons student's fingernails and toenails are kept short and students should not chew gum or wear jewelry while training.

Please remember, your conduct outside the premises reflects on your dojo, its members and instructors.