Dojo etiquette are rules of
behaviour and codes of conduct that you are required to respect and
uphold for your own safety and benefit as well as for others. Many
of the rules are also directly related to traditional Japanese
customs design to prevent conflict and minimise the risk of attacks
or other threats in a very practical way. They are therefore an
important part of your self-defence training and ignorance is no
defence under the law!
commencing full training the student should familiarize
themselves with the dojo etiquette and basic terminology.
commencing their first training session, new students should
complete a membership application form. The student must
inform the instructor of any health issues and potential
membership (Joining) fees must be fully paid up in advance of
the commencement of training.
Ensure you bring with you any equipment or
clothing that might be needed for training purposes. We do not
currently have storage space at the school, so there is no club
equipment available for general use, other than what you bring
Everyone should help layout the mats, equipment
or otherwise prepare the dojo for the training session. I.e.
Mats, training equipment, safety and hygiene aspects. If you
notice a safety issue that cannot be readily cleared, report it
to the instructor for further consideration and/or action.
Hygiene & Safety
or socks should never be worn on the mat in the dojo.
During the warm-ups we often practice Parkour skills, for which
indoor gym shoes may be worn. During the main skills training on
the mat, we practice in bare feet or with black gym shoes (jumpa
tossut) that have soft rubber soles for better grip and safety
for our training partners. The gym slips are also often
useful on the hard wooden floor when practicing exercises suited
to that area, such as kickboxercise.
and feet must be kept clean. It is extremely unpleasant to
train with a dirty and smelly partner. It is also a health risk
and displays a considerable lack of self-discipline, respect and
consideration for other club members and training partners.
Dirty vagabonds will be expelled from the mat until they have
properly cleaned themselves up.
and toe nails should be kept clean, cut short and filed for
reasons. Otherwise tape is sometimes used to mitigate the
All jewellry should be removed prior to training
for everyone's safety. Ideally, and for your own property
security, they should be left at home in the first place.
bow on entering or leaving the dojo. Note that a traditional
bow is performed from the waist. Because some people have issues
about bowing to anyone other than God, the Monks prayer hands
salutation is commonly used.
walking onto the mat always bow or perform the monk's
wait for the acknowledgement of the senior grade on the mat
and then bow in return before walking on.
you must leave the dojo for any reason during the course of a
training session, let the senior grade know and get his
permission first. The
highest grade on the mat is responsible for all activities
there and each students safety.
should always bow to your training partner before commencing
and immediately after training with them. It is a sign of
respect and intentions.
a presentation or grading the training pair should first bow
to the senior grade/instructor or examiner and then to each
other. Afterwards they should bow first to each other and then
to the examiner.
When an instructor is teaching (talking), you should keep quiet
and listen. Stand in the 'Listening Stance' to help you
pay attention and show respect for you instructor (assuming you
still want/need their help thereafter ;-). This way you can
avoid potential accidents and injury and, you might actually
When standing in a queue awaiting your turn, pay attention to
what is happening around you and especially in the main training
area. Stand in the 'Ready Stance' to help you focus and
pay attention. It has been known for unattentive students to
miss their turn or, even get hit by flying bottles and other
objects that a defender (Tori) has disarmed from an attacker (Uke).
Awareness, concentration and focus are some of the cornerstones
of all self-defense training and practice. You neglect them at
If someone gets injured, do NOT all crowd around gawping!
This sucks out all their much needed oxygen and often in itself
scares them half-to-death causing panic etc. The
training partner remains to inform the instructor of what
happened. A third partner may clear the area to make it safe and
guard it. All others should move away and continue with their
training. Whilst the instructor or other first aider attends the
fallen party, the other partners or competitos should then sit around the established
perimeter facing outwards (way from the injured person), until
General Behaviour & Self-control
singing, eating, drinking and smoking are forbidden in the
Dojo area. Such unruly behaviour is both disrespectful and
disturbing to others genuinely trying to practice the martial
arts etc. The Japanese used to regard and treat the Dojo as a
quasi-shrine, closely connected with their indiginous Shinto
religion. Unethical or unruly behaviour in a dojo or elsewhere
could often lead to dire if not fatal consequences. To behave
badly in a dojo and the presence of a teacher with the skills to
cut your head off in an instance would have been extremely
foolhardy. Today, we are a little more temperate, but, negative
consequences they will still always be.
Outbursts of anger or other temperamental
displays, including contempt and disrespect for others,
are wholy unacceptable and display an immature lack of control
that cannot be tolerarted for the welbeing of the club and the
safety of all concerned. Isolated outbursts will incur
proportional consequences such as disqualification from a
grading. Behavioural trends/patterns of this nature will lead to
expulsion from the club.
- After the final team-shout, everyone must help
with putting away the mats and other equipment and ensure they are
properly and neatly stored for next time.
- Help clean the mats and the hall in general
ready for the next users.
- Leave in a quiet and orderly fashion so as to
minimise disturbance to any groups practicing in the hall after
ours. We can always chat and play about outside in the school yard
if we feel the need ;-)
Other more situation specific codes of conduct will
be taught to students during training as needed.
Failure to comply with these requirements may result
in corrective measures or in the worst cases forfeiture of membership
without refund of any training fees or membership subscrfiptions paid.
Remeber, Excuses are the corner stone of
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