Dojo Etiquette

When entering or leaving the dojo, stand in the doorway, face the front, bow and say “Osu”. This represents a mark of respect for the dojo and the people in it.

Participants at the national camp.

Participants at the national camp.

If late for training, kneel at the back of the class, facing away from the front in seiza (formal kneeling position). When the instructor acknowledges you, stand up, turn to the front, bow and say “Osu”, then quickly join the back of the class. Try not to be late.

Do not smoke or swear in the dojo. Always move quickly in class when instructed to do something. Do not stroll.

Do not practice kumite unless the instructor is present.

Do not break rank for any reason without asking permission from the instructor. If you must leave your position, do not walk between the instructor and the class. Walk behind the row you are in to either side and proceed from there.

Always address the instructor by their proper title (Senpai, Sensei, and Shihan) inside the dojo and not by their first name. Acknowledge them with a loud “Osu” when they speak to you.

Your training should be a serious matter. Do not laugh, giggle, talk or cause disruption during the class. You should always stand in fudo dachi when awaiting the next command.

All directions by the instructor in the dojo should be obeyed without question. You will not be asked to do anything that your instructor would not do themselves. If you cannot keep up, do the best you can. Do not give up.

During any breaks, do not sit on chairs, lean against the wall, or lie down. Do some training or stretch rather than waste time.

Under no circumstances are male karatekas allowed to wear t-shirts or other clothing underneath their karate-gi.

Do not adjust your karate-gi without being told to do so. When told, turn to your right, way from the front of the class or your partner, to readjust your karate-gi.

Your karate-gi must be neat and washed clean at all times. Your belt should never be washed, only air-dried. It symbolically contains the spirit of your hard training.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the dojo is clean, tidy, and safe at all times.

Do not wear jewellery or watches during training.

Keep fingernails and toenails short and clean.

Instructor’s Note:

These rules are designed to help with the smooth running of our dojo.

Some of these procedures are common sense, many are just good manners, and most are modelled on the traditions in Japan. In Kyokushin dojos around the world, there is strict adherence to tradition, but there is also compromise where appropriate. Attitudes do vary from nation to nation, so variations of etiquette also exist.

There is no justification for laziness however, or disregard for general courtesy. The dojo and its members should be revered, as it is not merely a gym or an exercise hall.

KARATE HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH STRENGTH AND BIG MUSCLES, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE PERFECTION OF ONE’S CHARACTER.