ShoreiKan SRK Karate Dojo Etiquette

Dozo Onegai Shimasu- Please help/teach me
Arigato Gozaimasu- Thank you for helping/teaching me


One of the first things a new student learns is how and when to bow. Bowing as used in the Shorei-Kan dojo has no religious significance whatsoever. In bowing you are showing respect for the art, for your instructor, for yourself, and for your fellow students.

The front wall of the dojo is called Shomen, or Shinjin (place of respect). In our dojo, this wall is decorated with pictures of the founders of the styles we teach to symbolize the aim and objectives of our training. We bow toward this wall when entering and leaving the practice area to show respect for the founders, and appreciation for their perseverance in the martial arts.

Students bow toward the center of the practice area before stepping on or off it as an indication that they will work hard and do their best.
Students bow to Roseberry-Shihan to show respect and appreciation for his dedication to the arts, and to them.
Students bow to the Sensei to show respect and appreciation for the teaching.
Students bow to each other to express their thanks for working together and helping each other.
Bowing in competition is the student’s expression of respect for his opponent. All students are striving for perfection of their art, and therefore are to be respected for their diligence.

Bowing is simply a way of showing that while we are most concerned with our own training and development, we are members of a community of individuals striving for the same thing, and in our humility we recognize that, and respect what others have contributed to us.


There are two correct positions: the cross-legged style (anza), and sitting on your knees (seiza). While sitting on the floor, do not lie down or stick your legs out. Another student might accidentally fall on them and hurt you or themselves. If you are sitting in the proper position, you will be able to move quickly.


Your instructor and fellow students make the effort to be in class on time, there is no reason for them to have to wait for you. Promptness is an important quality that you should strive for. If, however, you find that you will not be arriving on time, make your arrival as inconspicuous as possible. Quickly dress, do push-ups to warm up, and wait for the sensei to motion for you to join the class.

Once on the floor, do not leave without the sensei’s permission



Talking is kept to a minimum while practicing. You should come to the dojo to practice, not to talk and visit during class. When the sensei is talking, he/she should have your undivided attention. When you have a question, wait until the proper time to ask. A controlled mind is essential for a controlled body.


All classes in the dojo should be formal. The dojo is a place for serious study. Students should conduct themselves at all times according to the etiquettes that they have learned. A student’s conduct should always be based in a deep respect for the arts and everything that goes with them. The dojo is a place not only to build the body and mind, but also a place to build character, and in order to do this, one must be disciplined so that he may coordinate the mind and body, and make the most efficient use of his physical and mental energy.


Absolutely no shoes of any sort may be worn on the practice floor.
Your uniform was especially designed for the body, and for the art you study. Therefore, it is the best attire to wear.
Rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, hairpins, and barrettes should be removed before stepping onto the floor.


Never let your belt touch the floor.
Never throw your belt, or slap other students with it.
Remove your belt before eating, cleaning, etc.
Do not wash your belt
Do not wear your belt outside of the dojo.


You should come to the dojo with a clean mind and body. In the interest of hygiene and mutual respect, you should have a clean, odor-free gi. Your fingernails and toenails should be trimmed to prevent injury to you or your partner. A scratch from a dirty fingernail can easily become infected.

Do not eat or drink anything on the practice floor.
Helping to keep a clean dojo shows respect for yourself, your art, and your school.

Visiting Students

Visiting students from other schools, styles, and systems, are always welcomed and should be treated with respect, and in accordance with their rank.
A student ranked in a different style, prior to enrolling in this school, will wear a white belt.


Martial arts study is a developmental task. In other words, it is broken down into a number of skills, most of which build on one another. If a student tries to jump, or is pushed, ahead before he has mastered the prerequisites, he will be sloppy and ineffective when using the higher skills. As a beginner it is important to repeat techniques again and again. Even if the skill seems simple, and you have only learned a little, try to make it complete and perfect. You have to understand what you are doing, digest it, and make it your own. If at all possible, the student should practice every day. This will build your strength and stamina, and help maintain good health. One cannot “talk” martial arts, and become a martial artist. You must be physically involved every day.


One of the most important reasons for dojo etiquette is that it provides for safe practice for everyone. Safety precautions are never regretted. You will soon learn that everything done in the dojo is based on the principals of mutual welfare and benefit.

Outside the Dojo

Always conduct yourself in a manner that would not bring shame or discredit to the dojo, your teachers, or your fellow students. Keep a strong, healthful, and clean mind and body. Let your actions outside the dojo reflect the teachings within.

Infraction of any of the above rules may result in penalties ranging from push-ups to being expelled.
Any student misusing the arts to injure another person in a situation not involving the defense of oneself will be expelled.