1. ​Once yoi is called, you are IN KATA.  Do not break (move, fidget, scratch, fix your hair, speak, etc.)  Maintain proper metsuke during kata
  2. When leading a kata group, perform at a speed with which the LOWEST RANKING STUDENT in your group can keep up
  3. When instructing kata, always bow to the Shomen before kata practice
  4. All budo, and especially kata, is practiced with 100% of your spirit or not at all; never practice half-heartedly.  Practice with a good attitude and be a role model to your juniors
  5. When changing a kata group leader, bow first to the instructor, then to the person who was leading the group before you.  Take that person’s place in line regardless of rank
  6. Never interrupt a kata to ask a question.  Hold all questions until the kata is over
  7. Be aware of your surroundings.  Never strike a wall, an obstacle, or another student when doing kata or any other drill.  Adjust your distance accordingly if you get too close to another person or to an object in the dojo 


  1. ​Youth karate students:  When called for rank grading, bow to your instructor before leaving your group
  2. Walk along the rear of the dojo until you are facing Sensei.  Bow to the floor, then approach with your left foot first
  3. Bow to Sensei, and come immediately to yoi position
  4. After grading, bow to Sensei using the proper courtesy, step off the floor with the right foot first, and bow to the floor
  5. Walk along the back of the dojo, and assume seiza position until your instructor acknowledges you and invites you back into your group
  6. Never ask Sensei for the results of a rank test.  Constructive criticism will be given where appropriate, and karate grading results will be discussed with you privately following your shinsa
  7. Although not mandatory, attendance at karate shiai is very, very strongly encouraged, regardless of whether you have recently tested for rank or not, barring severe illness or family tragedy.  Attendance at at shiai (as well as all other dojo functions) demonstrates your support of the dojo, the art, and your fellow budoka.
  8. Being present to help uke during kobudo and jujitsu rank tests is mandatory, and again demonstrates your spirit and a strong sense of camaraderie and support of your dojo & fellow students.  Testing dates are announced months in advance; adjust your personal/work schedules accordingly

DOJO REIGI (Etiquette)


​During Class

  1. Treat everyone with respect & courtesy, regardless of rank
  2. Always be humble and receptive.  Keep an “empty cup” mind-set at all times
  3. If you arrive to class late, bow onto the mat and assume seiza position until a sensei acknowledges you and invites you into the class
  4. Kobudo students should either bring their weapons into the dressing room or lay them horizontally on the mat against the wall and out of everyone’s way; do not lean your weapons against the wall or against anything in the observation deck area of the dojo
  5. Line up in rank order.  Always defer to your seniors.  Within a given rank, there is seniority:  those who achieved that rank before you did are senior to you even though you are the same rank; allow senior students of the same rank to line up to your right
  6. When kneeling, males keep approximately two fists’ distance between their knees; females kneel with their knees touching
  7. Do not ask to use the bathroom or to get a drink of water during class, unless it’s an emergency.  Use the bathroom before class begins, and try to come to class hydrated
  8. NEVER, ever argue with an instructor.  Never question a teacher’s or senior student’s authority or technical knowledge.  Accept all correction and instruction happily, saying “Hai, Sensei” or “Hai, Sempai.”  If a correction is in conflict with something taught to you by a higher-ranking teacher, DO NOT ARGUE the point; instead, speak to a senior instructor about it in private
  9. Leave your ego at the door.  Also, leave all of your personal problems outside.  We all have stress and we all have bad days.  Come to class with a positive mind.   
  10. Bow to your partner before & after working with him/her, using the appropriate courtesies
  11. There are various levels of courtesy involved in bowing.  Combat bows (one or both hands fisted) should be used in ippon or jiyu kumite; keep your hands open and along the sides of your thighs when bowing; to perform a more respectful bow, slide the arms forward along the fronts of your thighs.  Keep your eyes on the eyes of the person to whom you are bowing at all times, unless bowing formally (not during kumite) to a high ranking instructor (even then, align eyes with head position; do not look at your feet)
  12. Never hurt your partner.  Neglect, belligerence, and the intentional or over-zealous harm of another student will NOT be tolerated
  13. Never stand with your arms crossed, on your hips, or in your pockets
  14. Do not use your hands on the ground for support when sitting or standing
  15. Never lean against a wall or assume a lounging posture
  16. Never touch another student, unless doing so is part of a formal drill
  17. Never lose your temper.  Avoid profanity.  Treat all junior students with courtesy & respect, as you would like to be treated by your seniors
  18. Return all gear when you’re done using it; stop the heavy bag from swinging when you’re done using it; re-align the crash pad after you fall onto it (jujitsu); etc.
  19. Handle all training equipment with care & respect; when handing a kicking bag, weapon, or other equipment to another student, do so gently and reverently.  Never throw, toss, or drop gear.  Treat all training weapons (knife, club, gun, etc.) as though they are real; handle & respect these weapons as such.  Never play with these weapons as though they are toys
  20. Do not leave the mat during a class without permission of the senior instructor
  21. Notify the senior instructor discreetly if another sensei (3rd dan or higher) enters or leaves the dojo.  Do NOT stop the class yourself or command the class to bow
  22. Lower ranks should make an attempt to do needed work (cleaning, removing or restoring gear or equipment, etc.) as necessary.  If you see a senior student doing work, offer to take over
  23. Always address black belts with the proper titles:  1st and 2nd dans must be referred to as “Sempai;” 3rd dans and above are addressed as “Sensei.”  4th – 6th dans may be addressed either as “Renshi” or “Sensei.”  7th & 8th dans as either “Kyoshi” or “Sensei.” Do not use first names unless there multiple sempai or sensei on the mat.
  24. It is appropriate but not mandatory to address any senior kyu-level student as “Sempai” 
  25. Walk behind other students whenever possible during class.  If it is impossible to do so, show your open right hand to students as you pass; if you’re passing between two people, extend your empty right hand to the senior student.  Never walk through a line of students during a drill
  26. Do not teach new techniques or kata to others unless instructed to do so by Sensei, or unless that person has already been shown the kata/technique by a senior Sensei
  27. Never ask to learn a kata or technique that is part of a higher rank’s curriculum.  Never practice a kata or technique that is not a part of your curriculum 
  28. Avoid fixing your dogi/obi during a drill or kata.  When adjusting your dogi, face away from the Shomen.  Face away from the sensei.  Try to turn in a direction where there are no other students; however, when surrounded by others, either face the lowest ranking student, or genuflect while adjusting your uniform
  29. When sitting down informally, sit either in seiza (kneeling) or cross-legged.  Never sit with legs extended or in any other reclining posture
  30. Treat everything in the dojo with the proper respect, including all equipment and tools, weapons, etc.  Never drop or throw equipment on the ground or toss it to another student.  Never use equipment for anything other than the purpose for which it was made
  31. The martial arts dojo is a place of peace and respect for all forms of life; therefore, do not kill or cause harm to any living being.  If you find an insect in the dojo, bring it peacefully outside, or inform Sensei
  32.  Do not practice a technique on the heavy bag or makiwara unless you have been given specific instruction in that technique
  33. The makiwara should not be used by any student under the age of 16


  1. ​Put on sparring gear as quickly as possible.  When doing so, face away from the mat, and do not sit
  2. Bow to Sensei and to your partner with the highest level of spirit.  Never mumble your courtesies
  3. Always maintain proper ma-ai (distancing) before and after a kumite match
  4. Always step BACK into kamae position 
  5. When yame is called, STOP IMMEDIATELY.  
  6. Never turn your back on your opponent, even after yame is called
  7. Never cheer or root for anyone during a sparring match
  8. Show good sportsmanship by bowing to/shaking hands with your partner after a match
  9. In the unlikely event of an injury during a point sparring match, ALL STUDENTS in the dojo (not just those participating in the current match) will stop all action immediately and will kneel, facing away from the injured student.  Students will remain kneeling in this position in absolute silence until instructed by the ranking instructor to resume activity


  1. Keep fingernails & toenails cut to an appropriate length
  2. Personal hygiene must be maintained at all times
  3. Keep your dogi clean & washed
  4. Never drop or throw your obi, or drag it on the ground.  Your obi is a symbol of your spirit and represents all the time & effort you’ve given to your training.  Also, never wash your obi
  5. Keep long hair tied back during class
  6. Make sure that the proper patches are SEWN onto your dogi.  Do not affix patches in any other way.  All patches must be sewn straight.  If your patch is crooked, remove it and re-sew it
  7. If your dogi becomes too small for you, or unwashably dirty or stained, you must purchase a new dogi
  8. Adult karate & jujitsu brown & black belts must have appropriate stripes sewn onto their belts after having passed rank tests for 2nd kyu, 1st kyu, 2nd dan, and 3rd dan.   

Before Class

  1. Always bow upon entering/leaving the dojo
  2. Bow when stepping onto/off of the mat
  3. Remove shoes, socks, and all jewelry/watches before stepping onto the mat
  4. Keep all areas of the dojo clean and neat
  5. No eating, drinking, or gum chewing on the mat
  6. Try to be punctual.  Let Sensei know if you are going to be late on a specific day
  7. Silence your cell phones & other electronic equipment before class starts
  8. If you arrive early, and there is no other class being taught, you may step onto the mat; limit before-class activities to stretching, practice of kata or techniques (NO kumite of ANY kind!), or talking quietly
  9. Use the bathroom before class begins (so that you don’t have to during class)
  10. No running on the mat; no horseplay of any kind will be tolerated
  11. Stay off the mat at all times when another class is in session.  Be respectful of the class in progress.  When on the observation deck, keep talking to a whisper and be silent when the class is meditating or bowing out
  12. Notify the senior instructor of any injury or limitation before class starts
  13. If you must leave class early, notify the senior instructor before class begins
  14. You are responsible for bringing all necessary gear & equipment to class every time you train.  This includes your dogi, belt, sparring gear (karate/iaido), and weapons (kobudo/iaido)
  15. Pay your monthly dues ON TIME.  This is necessary for the dojo to remain open and functioning.  Dues are expected before the close of the first week of every month
  16. When a student misses 365 or more consecutive days of training, he or she will put on a white belt when returning to the dojo for the first time, as a show of humility, and will continue to wear the white belt until re-certification testing is given or until he or she is slotted into the ranking hierarchy at sensei’s discretion

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Martial Arts