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Anteikan Dojo Etiquette

An important aspect of the study of any martial art is learning to control one's own behaviour - self control. A prime example of this control is the etiquette we observe with our instructors and fellow students.

To be impolite or unkind is to be lacking in consideration of others; to be inconsiderate is to be lacking in some essential kindness of the human spirit. Correct etiquette in Aikido is basically acting politely with due respect and consideration for the well-being of others.

To help one another understand the correct behaviour in the Dojo, we follow these guidelines:

  • When entering or leaving the Dojo, we face the front of the practice area and bow. We use this bow as an opportunity to remind ourselves to be grateful for this place to train. Bowing is a sign of respect and appreciation.

  • At the Dojo, we take off our hats, shoes and street clothes and put on a training uniform called a dogi. This uniform provides protection and helps us shed our outside concerns and focus our attention on our Aikido training.

  • When we greet a fellow student or an instructor, we greet them with a traditional bow.

  • All jewelry and watches must be removed before practice. A clean body and clean uniform are also very important. Finger nails and toe nails should be clean and trimmed as jagged nails can scratch or cut someone. Hygiene is not only important for your own health and well being, but consideration should also be given to people you train with.

  • When class is ready to begin, before the teacher sits, the students line up sitting in seiza in a straight line. The person to your right should be of equal or higher rank and the person to your left of equal or lower rank.

  • When a technique is being taught, the students kneel quickly. Students should remain silent while instruction is being given and hold questions till the end. Questions should be pertinent to the technique being taught. When assigned by the teacher (Sensei), students bow and say either “Osu” or “thank you”.

  • Always be mindful of your surroundings and of other students' practice. Inattention may result in serious accidents and injury. When performing a technique students should take care not to throw towards other students or move into another practicing groups' line. Students not participating in a technique should pay attention to those who are and should do their best to avoid getting in their way.

  • The only time a student should be laying down while on the mats is when performing a technique or pin. At all other times, student must be either standing, or seated in seiza (kneeling) or anza (cross-legged) when appropriate.

  • During class, any student wishing to leave the mat or practice something other than what the class is practicing must first ask the permission of the instructor.

  • Always begin and end your training with your partner by bowing to each other.

  • Never shout, curse, fight or become angry on the mat. If there is a disagreement, ask the instructor what is correct.

  • All members should assist in keeping the Dojo and change rooms clean.

  • Members must not practice any other martial art, exercise, sport or activity in the Dojo without the instructor's consent.

  • When the instructor is off the mat, treat the senior student with the same respect you do the teacher.

  • When the class is ending, the students quickly line up and kneel before the instructor sits. Students remain kneeling until the instructor has left the mat. Once the class has been dismissed, students should bow to all the partners they trained with during the class.

  • To help maintain the non-profit status of the Dojo, all members are encouraged to pay their training and testing fees on time.

Student Resources
Grading System
Dojo Etiquette
Belt Tying
Japanese Pronunciation Guide
Aikido Glossary of Terms

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