Dojo Etiquette

Proper observance of etiquette is as much a part of your training as is learning techniques. Please take the following guidelines seriously.

  1. When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow in the direction of O’Sensei’s picture, the kamiza, or the front of the dojo. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
  2. No shoes on the mat.
  3. Be on time for class.If you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the mat until the instructor grants permission to join practice.
  4. If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach the instructor and ask permission.
  5. Never lean against the wall or cross your arms, it’s rude and says you’re bored, don’t care and have nothing to learn
  6. If sitting in seiza becomes too much for you, sit cross-legged (agura). Its much more polite to sit cross-legged than to be squirming around all class.
  7. Remove watches, rings and other jewellery before practice.
  8. Do not bring food, gum, or beverages with you on the mat.
  9. Please keep your finger and toe nails cut short.
  10. Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to one topic — Aikido.
  11. Carry out the directives of the instructor PROMPTLY. Do not keep the rest of the class waiting for you!
  12. Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.
  13. Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odours.
  14. Remember that you are here to learn, and not to gratify your ego. An attitude of receptivity and humility (though not obsequiousness) is therefore advised.
  15. Preserve common-sense standards of decency and respect at all times.

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