Etiquette and Protocol
Etiquette and Protocol In traditional martial arts, the dojo ("place of the way") is understood to be a
special space, different from the other spaces of day-to-day experience. Dojo etiquette and protocol
reflect our respect for the tradition of karate, the Dojo, the sensei and students. It is also a sign of our commitment to train together, and our readiness to focus all our attention.
1.Within the realm of Karate Do, etiquette is sign of respect – respect from the students to the instructor(s),
from the instructor(s) to the students, among the students in the dojo and toward the dojo itself.
2. Before starting practice, go to the restroom. Similarly avoid eating at least one hour before practice.
3. Be prompt. If you come in late, sit in the back or stretch/warm up and wait for permission to join practice.
4. When entering or leaving the dojo, always stop at the door and bow toward the dojo.
5. Junior students are expected to look to seniors for guidance, imitate their behavior, and treat them with
respect and consideration.
6. Senior students are expected to set a good example for juniors, help protect them from injury and similarly
treat them with respect and consideration.
7. Speak quietly and maintain an attitude appropriate for serious practice. No eating, drinking, chewing gum,
using cell phones, cursing, etc.
8. Exercise self-control; never lose your temper during practice.
9. Pay attention – it is part of the training. Concentrate fully on karate while you are in the dojo.
10. Always try to keep your gi (training uniform) clean and tidy.
11. Always turn around to your right, to adjust your gi and when you are done, turn to the right again to return to
your starting position.
12. Students are expected to practice kihon waza (basic techniques) and kata outside of class.
This is the only way to improve skill and physical conditioning.
13. Students who are in school are expected to maintain good grades and show respect toward their parent(s), teachers and others.
14. Don't wear jewelry or watches during training.
15. Always keep fingernails and toenails short and clean.
16. Do not talk during class unless to invited to do so by the Sensei, instructor or Senpai (senior student).
If you wish to speak, raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged.
17. Do not break rank without asking permission. If you must leave your position, do not walk between the instructor and the class. Walk behind the row you are in to either side and proceed from there.
18. Your training should be a serious matter. Do not laugh, giggle, talk or cause disruption during the class. Unless told to relax, you should always stand in heiko dachi when listening to the instructor(s) or awaiting the next instruction.
19. When a black belt enters the dojo, all students stop, face the door and bow.
20. If you have an injury or illness that will affect your training, report it to the Sensei, instructor or senior student before class.
21. If you wish to leave the dojo when training is still under way, raise your hand and ask for permission from the Sensei, instructor or senior student.
22. If you sustain an injury or illness during the class, you must report it to the Sensei, instructor or a senior student immediately.
23. No gossiping! If someone has an issue with any aspect of the dojo, they are encouraged to bring it directly to the Sensei.
24. Don't be late, students entering and leaving disrupts class.
25. DO NOT come to class if you are sick!
26. If you forget your belt, you will do pushups and line up at the back of the class out of rank order!
27. Do not ask to test for a higher belt. Sensei will invite you to do so when you are perceived to be ready.