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By webmaster - Posted on 25 August 2008


Karate training is not merely the practising of various techniques. As a karateka (karate student) your role is also to practise the etiquette and discipline of the dojo at all stages in your training. Etiquette sets up the rules and gives you the correct way to act in the dojo.

Courtesy and Attitude

Karate begins and ends with courtesy. No one can be regarded as a karateka without courtesy, regardless of their technique. It is our respect and courtesy that helps build the sensei (teacher) and student relationship. We attempt to learn the correct theory, application and attitudes from our seniors. They, in turn, always treat their students with due respect and consideration. If we consistently work harder, we should always get the best from ourselves. The attitude of the karateka needs to be that of continuous application and disciplined effort. It helps to clear unnecessary thoughts from our minds and to concentrate on learning as much as we can.

Etiquette and Traditions

Dojo means place of learning or training hall. In this environment the most important thing a karateka can remember is to remain disciplined and respectful; if we bear this in mind we will gain the most from our time in the dojo.

  • Always bow on entering and before leaving the dojo. This shows your humility and respect for everyone in the dojo and yourself.
  • Shoes should, if practical, be removed before entering the dojo.
  • Remove all jewellery before training, wedding rings can be taped over if it's impractical to remove them.
  • Your gi (uniform) needs to be clean, and your finger and toenails clean and short. Discipline starts with yourself.
  • T-shirts are not to be worn under the gi, women excepted.
  • Do not eat in the dojo.
  • Do not run or make unnecessary noise in the dojo.
  • During the break you should not sit down on chairs, instead please sit on the floor or remain standing.
  • Always address the instructors as Sensei and assistant instructors as Sempai. You will be informed who is who.
  • Respect your training partners; it is utterly wrong to intimidate fellow students (for example, through over zealous sparring.)
  • Acknowledge instructions given to you by saying 'Hai!' (yes) clearly, and with emphasis.
  • Show respect to your seniors. You should also not ask higher grades to spar with you.
  • If you are late for a class, stand quietly at the side of the hall and wait for the instructor to bow you into the class. Bow and enter the class by walking behind the lines and joining in at the appropriate place.