The dojo is a sacred place where we train ourselves physically and mentally. The students should respect the dojo and observe the following etiquette.
  • The students should observe the training schedule. The students should try not to be late for training.
  • Before entering the dojo, remove outer clothing such as coat, scarf and hat. After taking off your shoes at the entrance, place them neatly in order. If you find some shoes in disorder, place them in order, also.
  • If a senior student is standing behind you at the entrance, let him go in first.
  • Upon entering the dojo, say “Onegai shimasu,” meaning “please help me,” clearly and cheerfully.
  • Upon entering the dojo, show respect by bowing to the dojo shrine.
  • Always be polite to your instructors, senior students and elders.
  • Before starting practice, go to the toilet.
  • Always try to keep your training clothes clean and tidy. Always practice in clean training clothes in the dojo.
  • Be aware of your physical condition.
  • Keep your finger nails and toe nails short, to prevent injury to other students when practicing together.
  • Do not eat for an hour before practice.
  • Do not forget to do warm up exercises before practicing, even if you are practicing alone.
  • When you observe the training at the dojo, sit in the proper way, and do not stretch your legs out. Put your hands on your lap.
  • When an instructor calls for training to begin, line up smartly, facing the dojo shrine.
  • When the instructor calls for “Mokuso!” (meditation), close your eyes, breathe deeply from the lower stomach, concentrate on the tanden (lower abdomen), and try to achieve concentration.
  • While practicing, listen carefully and seriously to the advice and instructions given to you.
  • When you use the training equipment, handle it with care. Be sure to put it back in the correct place after using it.
  • When an instructor gives you some advice, listen carefully and sincerely. Do not forget to show that you have heard and understood the advice.
  • Each student should know his physical condition, stamina and physical strength well. Do not force yourself to do the impossible.
  • The instructor should always observe the physical condition of each student. Take a short break in the middle of the training period.
  • Five minutes before the end of the training period, do the closing exercises together with all the students.
  • When the closing exercises are finished, sit in the “seiza” form in the original position.
  • Make yourself calm and quiet, concentrate your mind, and recite the precepts of the dojo.
  • Bow to the instructor, senior students and each other with appreciation and respect.
  • The beginners and colored belt students should ask the senior students if they have any questions. It is important to study about karate always.
  • Do not forget to thank any one who gives you some advice on karate.
  • Baths which are excessively hot are not good for you. Nor should you spend too long a time in the bath.
  • Cigarettes damage your health in innumerable ways. Smoking does not have even one redeeming feature.
  • When you injure yourself, do not practice until the injury is completey healed. Watch the training during these periods.
  • Upon leaving the dojo, do not forget to say “Arigato gozaimashita” (thank you very much), or “Shitsurei shimasu” (excuse me).

Excerpt taken from Traditional Karate-do – Okinawa Goju Ryu, Volume 1

Some other points

  • When training with a partner, bow and say onegai shimasu before beginning any exercises. Afterwards, thank them by saying arigato gozaimashita or domo arigato gozaimashita.
  • Before performing any kata, bow and say onegai shimasu.
  • When changing positions in the dojo, do not walk through the rows. As much as possible, walk around the outside or between rows.
  • When adjusting or tidying your gi, bow and face away from the dojo shrine. Do not adjust your gi during an exercise unless told to do so.
  • When standing in yoi, hold your left hand on top of your right. Right on top of left represents death. The same is true for wearing your gi; left side over right.