Dojo Etiquette

Here are few things about Dojo etiquette . . .

  1. When entering and leaving the dojo, students bow. This is a tradition of showing respect.
  2. When approaching the mat, students also bow respectfully.
  3. Students should assemble at least five minutes before the class is scheduled to start.
  4. When the class is told, they will line up in rank on the mat. Please line up with us, to the left of people in Aikido uniforms.
  5. The students will be asked to seiza, which is to kneel on the mat.
  6. When the instructor comes onto the mat, he and the students bow to O-Sensei’s picture, showing respect for the founder of Aikido. The students then bow to the instructor, formally opening the class.
  7. We usually start with warm up exercises and do eight of each type. Do as many as you comfortably can. We only ask that you do the first and the last of each set.
  8. To assist you in learning the new patterns associated with Aikido, a senior student will buddy with you during the warm ups and you will receive individualized instruction during your first two to four weeks.
  9. Techniques are practiced with a partner. Your partner is not an opponent. Techniques are learned through him/her and with him/her.
  10. When changing partners during class, you should acknowledge both the partner you are leaving as well as your new partner with a bow.
  11. Care should be taken to be aware of the ability of your partner so that no injuries occur.
  12. At the end of class, the instructor and students bow to O-Sensei’s picture, then the students bow to the instructor.
  13. It is proper to ask the instructor for permission to practice when arriving late for class, or for permission to leave early.
  14. A few DON’Ts: lie on the mat; lean against the walls; sit with your legs stretched out; wear rings or watches; chew gum; or have long finger or toenails.
  15. When observing class, spectators should remain quiet out of respect for the instructor and practicing students.