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Brighton karate class

Dojo Etiquette

A DOJO is a place reserved for martial arts training. it is considered a very special place and should be treated with respect. DO is the Japanese word for a road or pathway and JO is a term for structure or place. The word DOJO literally means “place of the way” or “training room”.

Originally the meditation and prayer hall of Buddhist acolytes was referred to as a dojo. It is a place where one went to study, practice and learn about the truth and the nature of one’s existence. The dojo is a place where all distractions are eliminated, reactions and responses are sharpened and a place to practice and train in the path of budo, the “Warriors Way”.
  • Students will bow on entering and leaving the dojo. Footwear will be removed prior to entering the dojo. Once inside the dojo no junior student is permitted to go outside the hall unless accompanied by a parent or senior.
  • All jewellery and sharp objects to include watches, neck chains, chunky rings/earrings and wrist/ankle bracelets must be removed prior to commencement of training.
  • There is definitely no chewing gum during training times.
  • There is no smoking allowed in or in the vicinity of the dojo.
  • Alcohol is prohibited within the dojo and students will not be accepted into training if affected by alcohol consumption.
  • Help to keep the training area clean and tidy.
  • Keep fingernails and toenails trimmed.
  • Karate Gi’s to be clean and in good condition. Sleeves and pants legs of gi’s not to be rolled up or folded back.
  • If a student arrives late, wait for the Sensei/Instructor to signal you to join in.
  • If there is a need to leave the dojo floor during training seek permission before moving off and bow before leaving and re-entering the training area.
  • Students are not permitted to run through the dojo prior to class commencing. There is to be no deliberate rough contact between students during this time.
  • Instructors to be addressed as Sensei. (teacher)
  • Class leaders to be addressed as Sempai. (senior)
  • Show kindness to karateka weaker than yourself and guide beginners in the right manner. Be humble and a good example to others and use your strength nobly.
  • For reasons of safety, respect and courtesy always listen carefully and follow the instructions given by leaders.
  • Every class begins and ends with a bow, which is a form of greeting and respect for your fellow karate-ka, seniors and Sensei.
  • Bow to your partner at the commencement and end of a training exercise as a form of gratitude and respect.
  • Always arrive at the dojo in sufficient time to prepare mentally for the class.
  • Be mindful at all times of the aims recited in our Dojo Khun and of the five moral concepts of our martial arts involvement of Courage, Courtesy, Integrity, Humility and Self Control.

Dojo Kuhn


Commonly used terms

Most people are unfamiliar with terminology commonly used within the training environment and the following may be of some assistance. A lot of commands and procedures are expressed in Japanese. Some commonly used terms are as follows;

Dojo: training hall
Sensei: teacher/instructor
Gi: karate suit worn by students
Rei: bow
Oss: a form of greeting or acknowledgement.
Yasume: you may rest or go.
Kihon: the basic moves, stances and techniques, the ABC of karate.
Kata: a series of pre-arranged movements developed into a routine simulating response to being attacked by one or more offenders.
Kumite: the combat part of karate, free fighting one on one. Full contact is not permissible. In competition, the student must be able to exercise control over the attack so as not to make contact with the opponent. Junior students engage in limited freestyle kumite, but mostly in a pre-arranged series of basic movements