Dojo Etiquette

Karate etiquette involves aspects of courtesy and consideration designed to promote self-discipline, training, respect and humility. These qualities are the mark of a well-trained karate student. Courtesy and consideration begin in the dojo, but must continue as part of the student's daily life. We have additional reasons for strict dojo rules which are good manners, efficiency and safety.


Shoes should be taken off inside the dojo entrance and placed neatly out of the way.

The instructor should be greeted with a bow and say "OSU".

When entering or leaving the practice area, bow to the front.


All students should arrive on time to change into their uniform (Gi) before the commencement of class, and to do their own warm-up if so desired.

The uniform should be complete and kept in good repair (i.e. matching top and bottom and women should wear a white t-shirt under their top).

The uniform should be kept clean.

Students should keep their bodies clean and their finger and toe nails trimmed.

Students should not wear excessive make-up, which can rub off on other student's Gi's.

Do not wear jewelry or sharp objects when training.

At no time should a student remove their top, outside the change room.

No gum, candy or food of any kind is allowed in the dojo.

A student will not be allowed to train while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Before coming onto or leaving the dojo, bow.

During warm-ups, it is important to follow the instructor's movements. Keep the pace. This is part of the training in awareness, adaptability, and teaches control and a quick response to external situations.

When class is ready to begin before Sensei enters, students should line up in a straight line, according to rank and seniority.

When Sensei is in seiza, the most senior student will call "Moku so" (close your eyes, concentrate, meditate). After Moku so, the same student will command "Moku so yame" (open your eyes) and "Shomen ni..rei" (bow to the Shomen), then "Sensei ni..rei". The pause allows sensei to get into position and the students to direct their focus.

When a technique is being taught, do not talk or fidget. Focus your attention. Begin and end your training by bowing to each other.

During practice, keep discussion to a minimum. In case of a problem with a technique, ask and follow the directions of a senior. If doubt remains, discuss it after class.

Be sensitive to your partner's limitations during practice. Also, be aware of space limitations on the floor. Ensure that no harm is caused to your partner or other students through lack of attention or over-enthusiasm.

In the event of an accident, notify Sensei immediately.

If a student is late, they should avoid interrupting. The student should sit in seiza or stand at the entrance to the dojo until Sensei invites them to join the class. The student should then bow to Sensei and quickly take their place.


"Moku so" will be called by sensei or the senior student. The lining up or calling procedures are then the same as for the opening of class.

Students should remain in position until Sensei has left the floor. Once class is dismissed, seek out your partner and bow to them, thanking them for the opportunity to train together.

Never use foul language, or become angry and frustrated, practice discipline.

Keep your attendance up to date, do the required work with spirit and develop sincerity in your training.