Dojo Etiquette

First Time Visitors ::
If you are considering visiting our dojo, there are a few things you should keep in mind ::
It is best to send an e-mail, and check our Calendar before visiting. This is both to ensure that the dojo will have practice when you will visit, and to let us know you are coming. We sometimes have special practices or holidays when either visitors should not visit, or when there will be no practice. Please do not disturb a class that is already in progress. Ask for Sensei Jay or any black-belt to whom you can ask questions of before or after class. Questions will not usually be answered during a class unless a regular student is sitting out and observing class that day. The head instructor sometimes delegates the task of greeting and answering questions to an assistant instructor. Please do not insist on seeing the head instructor, as the responsibility of the head instructor is first to the practicing students.

Bow-in and Line-up Procedure ::
Students must always bow prior to entering or leaving the classroom (dojo). To begin class, the highest ranking senpai will give the command, "narande" (line-up). It is at this point that all students must quickly line-up by rank order (descending level). The highest ranking students start at the right front of the room (when facing forward). All other students will be lined up in right-to-left descending order in the first row. The next row will begin the same manner with the highest ranking student at the right and moving to the left. The lowest ranking (beginners) will eventually be in the last row to the left. All students will stand in a ready position (yoi). The lines and rows will be neat and symmetrical, look to your right. The sensei will be facing the class in the center front of the classroom (dojo). The senpai will then give the command, "kio tsuke" (attention). The next command given is, "sensei ni rei" (bow to the instructor). All of the students will bow as a sign of respect to the sensei. The sensei, in turn, will also bow towards the students as sign of respect and gratitude. Class is now ready to begin. Keep in mind, there are several different ways of bowing-in for karate training. Some dojos may include a kneeling (seiza), bowing to the front (shomen ni rei) to honor the senseis of the past, and a meditation session. Some dojo have the students bow to the senpai's as part of the bowing in ceremony.

Attire and Appearance ::
All jewelry, watches, and hats should be removed prior to any training. Uniforms (gi) must always be kept clean, with no holes or tears. Shoes and socks must be removed. Men must have no shirt or a white T-shirt on underneath the gi top. Women must have no under-shirt, a white T-shirt, and/or an athletic bra on underneath the gi top. No colored shirts are allowed under the gi. Fingernails and toenails must be kept trimmed and your hair should be kept behind and above your collar. When adjusting your uniform or belt, turn and face the corners of the room, do not show your backside to the front of the room or to your Sensei (ever, if possible).

Addressing Senior Instructors ::
When asking a question during practice, simply raise your hand and say "Sensei…?" Do not say the instructor's first name or just speak out, wait until your question is ready to be asked. Always maintain polite behavior. When approaching the instructor it is proper to bow first, then wait for acknowledgment before asking a question or making a comment.

Behavior During Class ::
Do not make excess noise, chew gum, chat, or swear during class. Whether waiting in line for the next exercise or waiting in the back of the room, talking should be kept at a minimum or not at all. There should be no talking if the sensei is addressing the class. When you hear the command to stop all activity (yame) is given by the sensei, stop everything you are doing immediately and listen. If arriving late to class, you must line up in the back-left side of the class, regard less of rank and wait for permission to train. The sensei will acknowledge you when it is time for you to begin to train. Do not begin until the sensei has acknowledged you and given permission for you to join the class. If you need water, a bathroom break, don't feel well, etc. then bow out and exit the class to the rear of the room. You do not need to ask permission first. Let the instructor know if you need to leave the class early, before class begins.