Conestoga Karate
Authentic Japanese Budo Training

Etiquette


From time to time it is helpful to review dojo etiquette. It helps to elevate the professionalism of the dojo and helps new students learn. Etiquette is for everyone’s benefit, it is not implemented as a form of punishment or to display superiority of one person over another. Part of Karate-Do training is about humility and politeness, so following these simple guidelines will ensure that you are observed by others to be a well mannered and properly trained Karate-ka.

- Tardiness - Please arrive before class begins. Many things happen in day to day life and we are sometimes held up for reasons beyond our control. This is well understood and happens to everyone periodically, but chronic lateness can be misinterpreted as a sign of poor planning or lack of respect for the instructor. An apology to Sensei is in order when arriving late for class and the student is expected to wait in Seiza position at the edge of the tatami for permission to join the rest of the class. 

- Visitors and Observers - Please keep your voices low so you don’t disrupt the class. Please do not walk on the tatami with shoes. Parents, your presence in class is always welcome. You can keep up-to-date with information about up coming events and news.

- Listening in Class - When Sensei is talking, no one else should be. Always give Sensei your complete undivided attention. If the class is in progress and Sensei stops the class to give further instruction or explanation please stop what you are doing and face Sensei. If Sensei is in the middle of the group, then the students closest to Sensei should kneel down so everyone can see and hear. Do not conduct a separate lesson in the class unless Sensei asks you to.

- How to Stand - When standing in the dojo please do not cross your arms in front of your chest, place your hands on your hips, or cross them in front of your belt. These postures can be misinterpreted. It is best to stand with your hands together behind your back, or let your arms hang free at your sides.

- How to Enter and Leave the Dojo - When entering or leaving the dojo it is customary to bow facing into the dojo.

- Where and How to Store Your Gear - Please stow your gear in a neat manner in the shelves in the dojo. Keep your shoes and socks together and nicely lined up in the shoe rack right beside the tatami. The doorway must be kept clear at all times in case of evacuation for a fire, etc. At the end of class please collect your gear and remove it quickly, return borrowed items to their proper owners. Make sure your name is clearly printed on all of your gear.

- Where to Stand in Line - A lot of time is spent lining up for the beginning and end of class. Please line up quickly and quietly. If you are late for class and have been asked by Sensei to join the class , your correct position in line is last. If Sensei re-arranges the line for whatever reason, please move to the new position quickly and stay put. Students with the same rank should stand together and the highest rank should be first in line. Please do not argue with other students of the same rank as yourself about who stands to the right side.

- Belt Tying - Please learn to tie your belt correctly. Respect your belt. It is not a toy or skipping rope nor is it a weapon. It should be either neatly tied around your waist or stowed in your gear bag. It is disrespectful to leave it lying around on the floor. Periodically check your belt in class to be sure it is safely tied and if it needs fixing please stop what you are doing and correct it. Turn toward the back of the class and retie or tighten it. Please wait for Sensei to stop speaking before you turn to fix your belt.

- Gi Cleanliness Please keep your gi clean and properly adjusted for your size. As you grow, or if your gi gets torn or worn out, please purchase a new gi of the correct size. All students must wear white gi jackets and white gi pants to class and have a Shuko-Kai International crest sewn to the correct place on the gi jacket. When sewing on a crest please make sure that it is properly positioned and straight. Female students can wear a white t-shirt under their gi jacket. Please refrain from rolling up the sleeves of your gi, this can be viewed much the same as crossing your arms in front of your chest. If your gi becomes untucked or needs a simple adjustment in class please turn toward to back of the class while fixing it. If a major adjustment is needed please step out of the tatami fix your gi towards the back of the class, then re-enter the tatami with a bow. Please wait for Sensei to stop speaking before you turn to fix your gi.

- Illness in Class - If you feel ill in class there may not be time to ask for permission to be excused before you get sick. Please excuse yourself and let someone know what’s wrong. If you return to class please wait for permission to re-enter the tatami. If you need to use the washroom, please wait until break time, otherwise ask for permission to leave the class.

- Jewelry - Please do not wear rings, watches, bracelets, neck laces, metal hair pins, earrings, etc to class, as they form a hazard for yourself as well as other students. Medical devices such as medic alert bracelets can be worn at all times, but please let Sensei know if you are wearing one.

- Come Prepared - Please come to class prepared. Always bring your sparring gear just in case you need it. Borrowing someone else’s gear is allowed but make sure you return any borrowed items at the end of class. Please remember to bring your passport. It is important for you to have a record of classes attended. Please keep your finger nails and toe nails clean and neatly trimmed. If you have long hair it is best to keep it off your face. Tie your hair back in a pony tail using a small, non-metallic elastic. 

- Food and Drink - Never come to class after having any alcohol. Do not eat a large meal and then come to class shortly after. Instead, just eat a small amount and eat more after class. Please do not bring food into the dojo, it is fine to have a snack in the waiting room.

- How to Ask For Help - When approaching a ranking student or Sensei, please pause and bow. When the bow is returned you may speak and ask your question. It is considered rude to interrupt a conversation that is already underway. Please wait patiently for your turn.

- Helping in Class - If you wish to offer assistance to Sensei to help in class you must be in your Gi. No one other than adult Black Belts may oversee other students during Kumite. 

- Bare feet – Please wear something on your feet at all times when you are not on the mats. If you leave the tatami for any reason you must put shoes or sandals on.  Bare feet are only allowed on the mats.


Please follow these simple guidelines and if you see others in class who do not follow these guidelines, please be kind to them and help them to learn.