Entering and Leaving the Dojo (Training Hall)
Before you enter or exit the dojo, you should face into the room, bow, and say “Osu” in a purposeful tone. This is how we express respect and appreciation for our school and the sweat that we shed to make ourselves better students and people.
For the sake of safety and neatness, do not wear jewelry during training, or when you are wearing your dogi (uniform). Before training, you must remove ALL jewelry regardless of whether it is made of metal, plastic, string or any other material. This includes rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and watches.
Greeting Your Instructors and Fellow Students
When you arrive prior to the start of class, you should approach (in order of rank) Sensei, then Sempais, then senior students, then your fellow students. You should bow to them, say “Osu”, and offer two hands for a handshake. This is done out of respect and appreciation for their help in your training. If an instructor or senior was occupied or unavailable prior to class, make a point to approach them between or after classes.
Speaking During Class
During the course of formal training, if you have not been asked to instruct the class, then you should refrain from speaking whenever possible. You should not speak to your fellow students when sitting or awaiting instruction even if they have mistakenly initiated conversation with you. It is impolite to initiate conversation in the same way that it would be impolite to talk during a lecture or seminar. Additionally, you should always pay close attention to the instruction that is being given to you or others so that you may absorb as much of the valuable information provided by your instructors as possible.
Be sure to go to the toilet prior to training. An accidental blow to a full bladder can be dangerous. Try also to remember that it is not good for the body to train on a full stomach, so avoid eating for at least one hour before class starts. You should also make sure to be well hydrated before the start of class. Please make sure to bring a water bottle. Don’t bring food or refreshments other than water into the training area. If you require a bathroom or water break, raise your hand, wait for an instructor to recognize you, and ask their permission to do so.
Arriving Late to Class
You should always do your very best to make it to class early, not just on time, and certainly not late. By arriving to class early, you can help to bring in equipment, sweep the floor, or otherwise prepare the dojo for training. Additionally, you should stretch your body prior to the start of class. This is increasingly important during the winter months and for students over the age of 30 to prevent injury. When late to class, kneel at the side of the class, sitting on your heels (seiza). Wait with your eyes closed (mokuso) and your fists on your hips. When acknowledged, remain in seiza, bow with a strong Osu, and quickly join the back of the class.
Move with Purpose
If Sensei or a Sempai tells you line up, kneel, sit down, move, or stand up, you do so as quickly as possible, with control, and with purpose. Karate people do not stroll or meander.
Do Not Break Rank
Do not break rank for any reason without permission from the instructor. Never walk between rows, or between the instructor and those training. If you must leave your position, walk behind the row you are in to either side of the class and proceed from there.
There is no chewing gum in the dojo.
More to come!