Dojo Etiquette

Always take off your shoes before entering the dojo floor.

Never openly yawn during class. Yawn through your nose.

Prepare yourself properly for a training session, including going to the bathroom beforehand and providing your body with adequate food and water. Leave at least one hour between eating a light meal or two to three hours for heavier meals before class.

When you are sitting during class always sit in seiza unless your sensei says to sit comfortably, preferably by crossing your legs.  Sit without moving or fidgeting. Do not stretch your legs out and point the soles of you feet to anyone, as this reflects a lack of respect.  Do not lean against a wall or behave in negative ways as evidenced by body language.

When listening to your sensei speak, listen attentively and don’t speak while something is explained. If you understand an explanation, show this by bowing clearly or if your sensei asks if you understand answer “Hai”.

Keep your nails short and neatly clipped on hands and feet and do not wear any jewelry while training in the dojo. A karateka who does not bathe regularly will not be allowed on the floor.

If your sensei asks you to put on any training gear, such as pads, do so quickly and quietly.

The first to arrive on the training floor cleans the floor.  A junior student who arrives while the cleaning is in progress should immediately ask for the privilege. It is customary for all students to help clean the dojo regularly, regardless of rank.

Technical or protocol questions that arise before or after class should be addressed to Sempai first.

When standing in class, stand in “Kaku” unless your sensei tells you to stand in “Kiostuke”.

When your sensei enters or leaves the floor nobody moves.

Never stand when a Sandan or above is sitting.  Never sit when they are standing unless given permission.  If you are sitting or warming up before class and a Sandan or above enters the room you immediately stand and bow.

When you walk in and out of the training floor or at tournaments never walk in front of Sandans and above.

During a promotion exam the highest Dan should not be unattended.  For instance if Zokucho is observing the exam the next highest rank stands next to him. If this person walks away the next highest rank should immediately take his place.

Sandans and above are never left unattended at a tournament.  They should always have a Nidan or the next highest ranking belt with them.

Never wear a formal belt when the ranking belt is not wearing theirs. A lower ranking Renshi  would not wear his formal belt unless the senior Renshi was also. If he did not bring a Black Belt with him he should then wear his Renshi belt inside out.

If a Kyoshi visits a dojo the instructor should ask if he would like to take over the class. If he does not desire to do so he must not be left unattended.

When Renshis and above are in gi and have finished working out or have completed a function a lower rank should take their gi, fold it and carry for them.  They should never have to carry anything in or out of any place.

The Kanzen patch must be worn by all Green Belts and higher.  Without a patch a karateka is not permitted on the dojo floor.

All Black Belts are addressed as and referred to as Mr.or Ms.  Nidans and above who are drill instructors are called Sempai.  Sandans who teach are called sensei. Yodans and above who teach are called sensei unless they have been awarded a title, then they are called by that title.