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Dojo Etiquette
Karate-Do is Lost “Without Courtesy"


The SKTD is a traditional dojo that has followed the way of all those that have gone before us In the way of karate-do. An important part of that way is adhering to a traditional etiquette in the Dojo.

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When upon entering the dojo, we bow (rei) and say in a loud clear voice Osh.!! This shows of respect for the Dojo and all inside. Also before one step onto the training floor, one bow towards the Kamiza ( shrine of the teachers before us ) and say Osh! Whenever Sensei or another black belt steps onto the training floor, we bow to them and say Osh! This is done in order to show respect to our seniors.

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Before class is started, all students must line up facing the Kamiza ( shrine of the teachers before us ). When lining up, we line up in rank order from right to left, with the most senior students being to the right.
Once we are lined up, the senior student will say "Shinzen Ni Rei" ( Bow to the Kamiza ) as a group we bow towards the Kamiza in silence, paying homage to those that have gone before us. If their is no Kamiza present, it would be "Shomen Ni Rei" (Bow to the Front). The senior student will then say "O'Sensei Ni Rei"; ”Shihan Ni Rei”; "Sensei Ni Rei" or "Senpei Ni Rei" depending on who is leading the training. As a group we bow to and say "Osh!! At this time, class has officially started. Anyone arriving after this time is required to sit in seiza (A Traditional Japanese Way Of Sitting) at the edge of the training floor until invited to join the class.

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Dojo Etiquette "does not stop when we begin training".
Having "Good Spirit" ( a positive attitude) is paramount to good karate and good karate training. Without dojo etiquette this spirit cannot exist. During your training you will be expected to do things that will be very "hard", but rest assured, never more than you can do. To complain about or make excuses for what you cannot do at the time not only effects "your spirit", but the spirit of your classmates around you. Hence, to show proper dojo etiquette, you must endeavor to persevere (overcome).

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To keep the "flow" of the training environment at peak, one should leave all questions or comments until after the training session is over. On asking questions, it is in keeping with proper dojo etiquette that you ask of the Dojo Senpei (Black Belt student) first. If they do not posses an answer for you, they will turn your question over to Sensei. It is the responsibility of the Dojo Senpei to see that what Sensei is teaching you, is reinforced. If and when Sensei or one of the Dojo Senpai corrects you during your training it is poor dojo etiquette to say anything other than Hai (yes) or Arigato (thank you) Sensei or Senpei. This is for two reasons. First and for most, anything you would have to say, would be an excuse or a complaint. Second, is that they are correcting you because they take an interest in your development as a karateka (one who practices karate).

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Everything we do while training, whether it be Kihon Waza (Basic Technique), Kata (Forms) or Kumite (Fighting) begins and ends with courtesy. One must remember at all times that karate is a "Martial Art" and that one who is without courtesy and etiquette takes away the opportunity to learn true Karate_do.

Dojo Etiquette

" Dojo Etiquette continues even when class ends"
When class has ended, Sensei will say "Lets Line Up". This is when we line up in rank order, facing the Kamiza. . If their is no Kamiza present, it would be "Shomen Ni Rei" (Bow to the Front). The most senior student will again say "Shinzen Ni Rei" We bow in silence towards the Kamiza, showing respect to those that have gone before us. You will then hear either "O' Sensei, Shihan, Sensei or Senpei (depending on who lead the class) Ni Rei".
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"Dojo Kun"
At this point, we recite the Dojo Kun. The code we S.K.T.D. (Shotokan Karate Traditional Dojo) live by.
The Dojo Kun is:
To Seek Perfection of Character.
To Be Sincere and Honest
To Practice Courtesy and Humility
To Show Strong spirit and Perseverance
To Control One’s Temperment
To Acquire Mental Strength Thru Physical Discipline


This is the dojo kun

We bow and say "Osh!! "Domo Arigato Gozimasu "O' Sensei, Shihan, Sensei or Senpei (depending on who lead the class) Ni Rei". Showing thanks and gratefulness for being taught.

After the recitation, class has officially ended, but dojo etiquette continues. This is the time to clean, showing respect for the place where "we" follow the Way, by sweeping the training floor, wiping down the mirrors, cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, etc. Much like worker who take good care of their tools, so we take good care of our Dojo, so that it will always be in good condition, waiting to greet us again.

Like the dojo kun, etiquette is a way of life. This should have given you a good idea of what dojo etiquette entails. Now; read this again and look for ways you can apply dojo etiquette to your everyday life. Because a true martial artist, etiquette doesn't begin and end in the Dojo. Like the Dojo Kun, it is a way of living your life.


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