Dojo etiquette

Dojo etiquette

Behavior rules during Aikido classes

In our dojo we strictly adhere to traditional rules of behavior.

Dojo etiquette:

-  Entering the room reserved for training, and going out of it, you have to make a greeting-bow (Ray) in Shomen direction (side with Founder’s portraits).

-  Whenever stepping on the mat or on the going out of it, you should make Ray towards Shomen and instructor who conducts classes.

-  Dojo (hall for lessons) exists for the development of your body, spirit and mind, not for self affirmation by force. Be attentive to your partners.

 - Each student have to participate in creating a favorable atmosphere of harmony and respect.

-  Each student is required to maintain cleanliness in the dojo and keep clean its form and training inventory.

 - Dojo, unless this is direct Sensei’s order, should not be used for any purposes other than regular scheduled classes.

-  Only Sensei decides upon to teach you or not.

 - Monthly fees provide you a place and an opportunity for training and practice for you and your partners. In time montly fee payment is a sign of respect towards the sensei.

 - During lessons you shouldn’t wear any decorations. Before classes you must remove all jewelry.

 - Respect place for training and equipment. Dohi (form for classes) must be clean and neat. The weapon must lay in order and be in the place designated for it, if it is not used during the lesson.

 - Never use kimono or weapons belonging to someone else without permission.

-  Shortly before the classes you should be in a Seiza position in line with others, settled according to your level of training, in the focused state (dzanshyn). This will help you clear your mind of extraneous worries and concentrate at training.

 - At the beginning and at the end of classes a traditional ceremony is held. Everyone who trains should take part in it, but if you are late, you have to wait, sitting in Seiza near the corner of the mat until the instructor does not give you a sign to join the rest. Stepping on the mat, alone, make the necessary ceremony, while not distracting the attention of your comrades.

 - Sitting on the mat is allowed only in Seiza position. If a knee aches, you can sit with legs crossed (Turkish style). But under no circumstances you are allowed to pull out your legs in front of you or sit with your back leaning at the wall. It's not ethically and in such posture you are not ready to repel a possible attack.

 - Leaving the mat is allowed only in case of injury or illness, after Sensei’s permission.

 - When the instructor shows or explains technique during the class, you have to sit in Seiza silently and attentively listen to him. After the explanation, do Ray to instructor and then to your partner and keep training.

 - After a signal you should immediately stop and quickly take its place among the others.

 - Aimlessly walking on tatami is strictly prohibited. Or you work off technique or, if necessary, is waiting for your turn, being on the edge of the mat in Seiza.

 - If you need something to ask from Sensei never hail him. Go to him, do Ray and wait until he answers you.

 - When during the lesson the instructor explains something to you personally, carefully watch his explanation, sitting in Seiza. After the explanations do not forget to thank the instructor. If you are interested in explanations that instructor gives to your friend, you can interrupt technique and listen to them sitting in Seiza. After these explanations just do not forget to thank the instructor.

 - Respect those who have been training longer than you. Never be engage in debate over the studied techniques. Remember - you're here to do, and not to express your opinion to others.

 - If you know technique that is being studied during the class and your partner is not familiar with it, you can show him how to perform it correctly. But it is better to refrain from teachings and corrections - at least until you achieve high level.

 - Conversations on the mat should be minimized. You can only feel Aikido by yourself

 - Do not walk on the mat before classes or after. Tatami for those who come to train.

 - It is necessary to preserve the cleanliness on the mat. Everyone should monitor the cleanliness in the room. After training with full responsibility refer to the dojo cleaning – it is a part of your training.

- During classes and on the mat chewing gum is especially forbidden. Never drink alcohol and do not smoke until you have removed the dogi (kimono).

 Remember: compliance with each of these rules is crucial to your safety and successful study of Aikido. Aikido is not a religion but a way of training the spirit. You do not need faith to any religion - you need to save only spiritual openness.

Etiquette and manners in everyday life are there in order to facilitate communication between people and reduce the risk of misunderstanding. But more important role it plays in a society that lives by the law, where a code of honor and rigid social structure are the only things that restrains violence. While allowing to keep the situation under control, etiquette often is that narrow strip, which is the border between life and death.