Shoes are always left outside the dojo.
The karate gi (uniform) must always be kept clean and should be
ironed before each class. All rips or tears must be repaired immediately.
Before entering (or leaving) class, it is necessary to bow. This
is a way of paying respect to the art and to the other students.
It is similar to a handshake or a military salute.
When the instructors (or a visiting instructor) enter the dojo,
students must stand and bow. Students with long hair may wear something
to keep their hair tied back, but such a device must be subdued
in style and colour.
Glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids may be worn during training
(at the wearer's own risk). Some instructors will not permit students
to wear glasses when sparring, but sports glasses always permitted.
Any training injuries must be reported to the instructor at the
beginning of class.
If you are watching a class, grading or tournament, sit quietly
at the back and do not talk, eat, read or move around. Students
are expected to remain throughout an event or a regular class. If
you have to leave early, obtain permission in advance.
For aesthetic and safety reasons, all jewellery (including watches,
rings, chains and earrings must be removed before entering the dojo.
For the same reasons, nails must be kept short.
During class, students should not converse with each other or ask
the instructor questions on Japanese culture, one is expected to
learn by insight developed after much training, from rationalisation
or explanation; this is very much opposite from how one learns about
If it becomes necessary to adjust the gi, or belt, students must
turn away from the front of the class. Normally, this should only
be done during a break in training.
It is considered very disrespectful to yawn during class, as this
suggests boredom. Watching the clock is inappropriate for the same
If you arrive late, assume seiza position at the front of the dojo,
until directed to join class. If you have to leave the dojo before
class is over (because of another commitment, ill health or injury)
obtain permission from the instructor.
Japanese culture places great emphasis on respect for one's senior.
When the class commences, all students line up in order of seniority,
facing the front (shomen). Students stand up in one row (space permitting),
from right to left, in order of rank. Within each row, students
also line up from right to left, in order of seniority.
The line should be centred behind the instructor and students should
be shoulder to shoulder.
After lining up, students kneel down together (seiza). Everyone
bows to the front and to the instructor (sensei ni rei).
Students then stand, one at a time, from right to left, in order
This should proceed quickly and appear like a wave rolling from
right to left. Formal lesson then commences.
At the end of the class, students line up and then assume seiza
position. There is a brief meditation (mokusu). The guidelines set
out in the dojo kuhn are central to all karate-do training and are
meant to apply both inside and outside the dojo.
Exert oneself in the perfection of character
Be faithful and sincere
Cultivate the spirit of perseverance
Be respectful and courteous
Refrain from impetuous and violent behaviour
Again, everyone bows to the front and to the instructor. The instructor
stands first, then everyone stands, from right to left, in order
of seniority. It is polite, but not required, to move to the front
before moving out of ranks.