Reishiki and Class Etiquette


Opening Class Etiquette

Our classes start in one of two ways. The simplest is the “informal bow in” where Sensei will have everyone line up with the command, Seireitsu. Once everyone is in place he will then call, “Rei” which is to show courtesy and respect. Then we will begin class.

The more typical is our formal opening or Reishiki which begins with seireitsu but continues into kneeling and meditation. After everyone is lined up the Sempei will call the next commands of “Yoi” (ready stance), “Seiza” (kneeling/sitting position), “Mokuso” (meditation), “Makosu Yame” (end meditation).

At this point we show curtesty and respect by bowing 3 times. First is to the shomen (front of the dojo) with shomen ni rei, to show respect to all the karateka who have come before us. Next is to your teacher with renshi in rei. Then to each other with, outage ni rei, as we all help each other learn.

Finally, Sensei will call, “Tate” (stand) and will we begin class.

Basic Etiquette

Basic class etiquette is based on respect for the art, your teachers and your fellow classmates. Here is a set of guidelines that apply to all karateka (peope who study karate), from white belt through master level.

Honor the art and all who have contributed to it in the person of the teacher by bowing to the teacher. With the bow you also honor your own potential.

Class Etiquette

Set an example of focus and attentiveness in class. Even if the material seems familiar, class is a learning opportunity for you, as well as for those with less experience.

Allow the teacher to complete his/her presentation. If you have a question, it may well be answered as the session unfolds.

Continue practicing a given exercise until the teacher is ready for the class to move on. This attitude of perseverance develops devotion and earns respect and personal attention.

Avoid correcting, teaching, or conversing with other students during class unless Sensei has paired you off or given you permission to help others.

Assist others in acquiring certain skills when asked to do so by Sensei and only when asked to do so. This is for your own development as much as for those you are helping. Be cooperative, not competitive, in learning.

Assume that whatever is happening at every moment is for your personal benefit. A particular comment or exercise introduced to the class as a whole may be especially directed toward a single student and be exactly what that student needs at that time. That student might even be you.

Practice whatever you remember, as much as you remember, as often as you can. Even if you feel it might be incorrect, practicing something is better than doing nothing and just waiting for the next class.

Show respect by helping take care of the training area. Keep your personal possessions away from the training area. Keep your clothes and gear neatly organized and stored properly. Put away anything you’ve used — put away your drinking cup; discard trash; recycle paper and plastic.

Closing Class Etiquette

At the end of class Sensei will again call, “Seireitsu” to have everyone line up. We will repeat the opening reishiki but this time after the bow to each other the Sempai will close with a thank you to the teacher with all the students repeating him using, “Domo arigato gozaimashita” to which Sensei will reply, “Otsukare sama deshita” which roughly translates to “Thank you for teaching us.” and “You did a good job.”