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 DOJO ETIQUETTE




An important aspect of the study of any martial art is learning to control

one’s own behaviour - selfcontrol.  A prime example of this

control is the etiquette we observe with our instructors and fellow

students.  To be impolite or unkind is to be lacking in

consideration of others; to be inconsiderate is to be lacking in some

essential kindness of the human  spirit.  Correct etiquette in Aikido is simply acting politely

with due respect and consideration for the well being of others.  









To help one another understand the correct behaviour in the Dojo, we follow these guidelines:


∙  When entering or leaving the Dojo, we face the front of the practice area and bow.  We use this bow as an opportunity to remind ourselves to be grateful for this place to train.

∙   At the Dojo, we take off our hats, shoes, and street clothes and put on a training uniform called a dogi.  This uniform provides protection and helps us shed our outside concerns and focus our attention on our Aikido training.  Dogis should not be altered nor have sleeves rolled up.

∙    During class endeavour to focus all your attention on the study of Aikido.

∙   When we greet a fellow student or an instructor, we greet them with a traditional bow.  Bowing is also a sign of respect and reminds us we are involved in a relationship with the people around us.

∙   When coming onto or leaving the practice mat, we bow again to the front of the Dojo.  This expresses our intent to concentrate on our Aikido training, and acts as a kind of respectful  recognition of all individuals, past and present, who have contributed to Aikido.

∙  All jewellery and watches must be removed before practice.  A clean body and clean uniform are also very important.  Finger nails and toe nails should be clean and trimmed  as jagged nails can scratch or cut someone.  Hygiene is not only important for your own health and well being, but consideration should also be given
to people you train with.

∙    When class is ready to begin, before the teacher sits, the students line up sitting in seiza in a straight line.  The person to your right should be of equal or higher rank.

∙    A senior student will command: “Shomen Ni Rei” which means “bow to the front” followed by “Sensei Ni Rei” which means “bow to the teacher”.

∙   When a technique is being taught, the students kneel quickly.  Students should remain silent while instruction is being given and hold questions until the end.  

∙    When assisted by the teacher (Sensei), students bow and say either "Osu" or "thank you". 

∙   During class, any student wishing to leave the mat or practice something other than the class is practicing must first ask the permission of the instructor.

∙    Always begin and end your training with your partner by bowing to each other. 

∙   All members must treat their partners with respect at all times.  Never shout, curse or become angry on the mat.  If there is adisagreement, see the instructor.


∙   All members should assist in keeping the Dojo and change rooms clean.  All students should assist in the setting up and closing down of the Dojo.

∙    Members must not practice any other martial art, exercise, sport, or activity in the Dojo without the Instructor’s consent.  Horseplay is not acceptable in the Dojo.  Due to inherent risks, the consent of the instructor must also be obtained for any Aikido training conducted or organized by students and assistant instructors outside the Dojo.

∙    When the instructor is off the mat, treat the senior student with the same respect you do the teacher.

∙   When the class is ending, the students quickly line up and kneel before the instructor sits.  Students remain kneeling until the instructor has left the mat.  

∙    Once the class has been dismissed, students should bow to all the partners they trained with during the class, thanking them for the training experience.

∙    To help maintain the successful operation of the Dojo, all members are encouraged to pay their training and testing fees on time.  Fees must be paid prior to receiving test results.