Dojo etiquette

An approved instructor controls a Karate Dojo. They will be referred to, at all times, as “SENSEI”.

Assistant instructors or higher graded students are called “SEMPAI” and the other students “KARATE-KA”.

Karate-ka train in white training clothes called a “GI”, together with the appropriate coloured belt (OBI) for their grade. A badge symbolising the GoJu Ryu motif should be worn.

  • Students should try not to be late for training.
  • All students will bow when entering or leaving the Dojo.
  • If a senior student is standing behind you at the entrance let him/her go first.
  • Footwear is not permitted on the Dojo floor at any time.
  • No jewellery will be worn during the lesson.
  • Finger and toenails should be kept short to prevent injury to others.
  • Karate-ka will not eat or chew gum at any time in the Dojo.
  • No Karate-ka will swear in the Dojo.
  • Whilst observing training students will either sit in “SEIZA” (kneeling) position or stand without leaning or slouching.
  • Students will acknowledge their opponents and any correction of their training by the Sensei with the word “OSU” (pronounced ‘oos’).
  • When the instructor calls for training to begin (“SHUGO”) students will line up smartly. When joining a line, which has already formed, students will join from behind and not from the front.
  • Each training session will begin and finish with “MOKUSO” (meditation).

Note: Correct Dojo etiquette and discipline are essential to good karate. It is important that each student sets an example to new members of the Dojo. New students will be encouraged and if necessary, corrected by senior students who are seen to practice such conduct.

A student who cannot understand any part of this code of conduct should seek advice from the Sensei or one of the Sempai. Karate-ka who increase their knowledge of the art will thus become better students.

Before training begins and after training ends the instructor and the students carry out “MOKUSO” (Kneeling Meditation). During Mokuso breathing should be controlled (breathe in through the nose, out from the mouth, exhaling the air from deep within the abdomen). The purpose of Mokusu is to relax and clear the mind and to allow any cares or anger to go away before commencing training. After training Mokuso should be used as a time to reflect on what has been taught.