Dojo Etiquette 'Reishiki'

Reishiki refers to the demostration of good etiquette and correct behaviours in a traditional martial arts Dojo.

The training hall, or Dojo, is a place of special study and should at all times be treated with the utmost respect. the name 'Dojo' originated with the meditation hall of Zen Buddhism. it is a place of the deepest concentration and highest discipline. If the following simple rules are observed inside the Dojo, both teachers and pupils will progress together in harmony, according to the spirit of kyushindo.

Actions to carry out when in the Dojo -

When entering and leaving the Dojo, it is proper to rei -bow in the direction of the kamiza.

Respect your teacher, or Sensei. Always seek to follow the advice and directions given.

When 'YAME' is called stop what you are doing and pay attention to your teacher , or Sensei

Never stand up from seiza before your Sensei.

Zanshin - you are training with dangerous equipment, and must always be aware of those training around you.

Be considerate and friendly towards other students.

Be kindly and helpful to lower grades never rough.

When moving around the Dojo with a weapon, you should reach out with your empty right hand, palm up, to show you mean no threat. do not walk behind people.

Be on time for class, but if you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the dojo until Sensei grants permission to join practice , so as not to disturb the started class unnecessarily.

Bad language , sillyness and loose talk are to be avoided , keep your body and training clothes clean and neat.

Keep finger and toe nails short and well trimmed

Ensure that the hall and changing areas are always left clean and tidy.

Never employ Budo techniques outside of the Dojo, other than in extreme need for self defence or protection of others.

words of Otani Tomio Sensei

Many people consider that to be a teacher is to be in charge or to give orders, the japanese word Sensei means simply "one who has gone before" and the word for disciple is Deshi, which means "younger brother or sister". There should be no orders in a well run Dojo but rather mutal respect and co-operation between Teachers and pupils.

If the more experienced lead by example and assist with affection, then those below will follow naturally, this is the ancient way. The high esteem accorded to teachers of budo was due soley to their devotion of "The Way" and their kindly aid to those who followed.

Respect is not a right determined by rank or grade, but a privilege that is earned by the wisdom of the Teacher and the due diligence of the pupil. The purpose of Reishiki is to cultivate an atmosphere which is most likely to foster correct study.

Discipline is more strict in a properly run dojo than in almost any other situation, yet the atmosphere is not repressive because this discipline is self imposed.

There are times when one may converse freely, or even joke and laugh inside a dojo without breaking etiquette, the result of etiquette is to do that which is appropiate to the occasion. Etiquette should not be confused with ceremoney and form which are expressions of the principle. Each Dojo has its own forms and ceremonies so the newcomer need only behave politely to be in accord withe spirit of etiquette.

Lastly it should be born in mind that any area or space which budo takes place becomes, in spirit, a Dojo. This is especially true of public contests and demonstrations in which feelings often run high and students are under the eye of the general public.

Otani Tomio Hanshi 1981

Otani Sensei 1982