Etiquette Bullet List

Etiquette plays an important role in our karate training. It makes us aware of what is going on around us, is a sign of respect, and is just common courtesy.

The following rules of etiquette are to show respect for the art, dojo, the teachers and the students. If you are unfamiliar with any of them or have a question about some of them feel free to ask about them here or at the dojo.

Entering and Exiting the Dojo

  • Arrive ahead of time unless there is a genuine reason to be late.
  • Remove outer clothing when you entering the dojo.
  • No shoes on the dojo floor.
  • Bow when entering and exiting the dojo floor and the dojo itself.
  • If higher graded people enter the dojo with you, let them go first as a sign of respect for their grade. (Same for leaving.)
  • When Renshi enters the dojo floor during a class, the class stands and bows in his direction as a sign of respect.

Lining Up For Class

  • When told to line up, do so quickly.
  • Line up according to rank, adults in front and youth in back.
  • If someone is the same rank, line up in order of date graded then age.
  • If you haven’t entered the dojo floor before the class is kneeling, wait until they have finished.

Class Etiquette

  • If you must leave early, let the instructor know in advance, so you can be excused at an appropriate break.
  • Minimize talking during class.
  • Listen carefully to the instructor at all times.
  • When working with a partner, always bow when starting and ending as a way of thanking them for the opportunity to work together.
  • When addressed in class personally, acknowledge that you have heard by answering “Osu Renshi/Deshi/Sempai”.

Personal Etiquette

  • Always keep you gi clean and tidy (i.e. ironed). Repair any rips or tears. No jewelry or any kind is to be worn during class.
  • Fingernails and toenails should be kept short.

Sparring Etiquette 

  • When told to partner up, always turn to your senior first. If he/she is already partnered, then turn to your junior.
  • Put your sparring gear on as quickly and quietly as possible, lining up in a straight line in order of grade when ready.
  • When joining or leaving your partner, always bow to acknowledge their help during that session.
  • Show respect when being tagged with an effective technique, and when delivering an effective technique.

Outside the Dojo

  • When addressing Renshi outside of the dojo, you should still call him Sensei, unless directed to do otherwise.
  • If you are unable to train for a period of time, let the instructor know so that he/she is not left wondering if there is a problem.

Learning and practicing etiquette inside and outside of the dojo is an important part of karate training. It is based upon respect for karate, for the dojo, for the instructor, and for each other.