Dojo Etiquette


1/   When entering or leaving the dojo;    

a/   As soon as you enter stop, bow and loudly say OSU !!

b/   Then face towards the Shomen (front of the dojo) bow and loudly say OSU again.c/   You should also acknowledge and say OSU to all instructors and students.

d/   The reverse order of a, b and c above will apply when leaving the Dojo.

2/    Traditional uniform and clothing;

a/  With the exception and the case of a new beginner, students will only wear a traditional, white coloured Kyokushin Karate Do-Gi (uniform) and Obi (graded belt) with only approved Kyokushin markings (Kanji and/ or Kanku).  Any Gi/ garment disapproved by the Chief Instructor of the A.J.K.U will not be worn.

b/   It is acceptable for female students to wear an “under garment” Eg; Tshirt or similar but this garment will be white.

c/   Any garment deemed to be “inappropriate” by an instructor will not be worn in the Dojo.

d/   Any garment worn in the Dojo is to be neat and clean.

e/   No part of the Do-Gi or Obi is to be removed during training unless otherwise instructed to do so.

f/   Jewellery, face makeup and footwear etc are not to be worn in the Dojo.   Finger nail painting is strongly discouraged.  Toe nail painting will not be worn in the Dojo.  Should any other item be necessary Eg; hair band, this will be of a neutral earth colour (Brown or Black).

g/   Unless training is conducted externally (and then only if express permission is given), sunglasses, caps, hats, scarfs or any similar garment will not be worn.

h/   No other additional garment or item outside the description in this Section 2a or 2b will be worn in the Dojo.

3/   If you are late and the class has begun;

a/   Enter the dojo as normal (as per rule number 1) then kneel down into “seiza” facing away from the class with your eyes closed.

b/   When you are invited into class, bow  and loudly  say OSU !!

c/   Stand up, turn and face the instructor and say OSU, SHITSUREI  SHIMASU (This is basically an apology for being late).

4/   Kumite;

a/   Never practice Kumite unless an instructor is supervising

b/   Never ask a higher grade to do Kumite with you, if a higher grade asks you to do Kumite, you shall not refuse their request.

c/   When practicing Kumite with a Black Belt, always show respect for their rank.  Because they are in fact a Black Belt it doesn’t mean you should take advantage of their  rank.   Eg;  The Black Belt should never feel they are “defending themselves” against strong attack.  Remember the rule of the dojo is RESPECT.

d/   Always take care when sparring with females and juniors, quite often size and  strength is not fairly matched.   In turn, the females and juniors should not take advantage of this situation.

e/   In kumite always acknowledge your partner’s good techniques by loudly using the term OSU but do not stop fighting whilst doing so.

f/   In Kumite, if you winded or injured in any way still try to be polite and use the term OSU.  Someone will assist you as soon as possible.

g/   Until you reach 4th Kyu level (Green Belt) the use of Gedan Geri (low kicks) should be avoided in Kumite.

In General;

5/   Never break rank for any reason unless told by an instructor.  If for any reason you have  to leave or return to your position always do so by moving behind the people in the line you are to be in.  NEVER walk in front of the instructor (Between the instructor and the class).

a/   When you are told to line up, re arrange lines or return to your original position always do so as quickly and quietly as possible.

b/   Do not wear jewellery , face makeup etc in the dojo.   Nail painting is also strongly discouraged. Should an item be necessary eg;  hair band, this will be of a neutral colour eg; black or brown.

c/   Do not eat anything (chewing gum included), smoke or drink in any area of the dojo (building).

d/   Always address your instructor and assistant instructors by their correct titles eg;  Sempai, Sensei, Shihan followed by their Christian name eg;  Sensei Rocky etc.

e/   Always listen carefully to the instructors’ directions and always continue to acknowledge them with strong OSU.  You will find your instructor is there to be of assistance.

f/   Your Gi (uniform) will be neat and clean at all times.   Your Obi (Belt) should be aired but never washed.  The reason being that your belt holds the hard earned efforts of your training, it is believed that to wash ones belt is to wash their strength away.

g/   If you have to adjust your Gi during training, always turn away (to your left)  from the front of dojo  or the person you are training with if you are partnered off.

h/   If you have to do a major readjustment of your Gi, eg re-tie your belt, turn away (to your left) and kneel down on your right knee whilst doing so.

i/   In training you will quite often be working closely with others.  Therefore, always be sure to keep your personal hygiene at a high level.   No one likes to train with someone who doesn’t look or smell clean.   Also, keep your toe and finger nails trimmed short.   Any drawing on parts of the body should be washed off before entering the dojo.

j/   Before training commences it is advised that you go to the toilet.   Apart from being rude and interrupting the class, an accidental blow to a full bladder can be extremely dangerous.

k/   For health reasons, it is advised not to eat for at least one hour before training, it is not good for the body.

l/   Traditional martial arts begin and end with courtesy.  Always treat your instructors with respect.   If you cannot find it within you to show respect for the people taking their time to teach and train with you, then you do not belong in a Kyokushin Dojo.

m/   Never question a direction from an instructor and never speak in class unless asked by the instructor.   If you do not understand something give a loud OSU and raise your hand.  When the instructor acknowledges you, you may then ask your question.

n/   For the reason of respect and to gain the best results, your training is to be taken seriously.  Do not speak, swear, giggle, laugh, lounge around or act inattentively during training.  A martial artists is always alert and polite.   Never stand with your hands on your hips.

o/   If you are told to sit down by your instructor at any time, always go to the back of the dojo and keel down in Seiza facing the class until given permission to relax.  Then sit with your legs crossed.  Do not lean agains the wall etc.

p/   If a drum is used at your dojo to commence training, you should be in your correct line before the drum beat stops.

q/   There is no place for familiarity and relaxation in the dojo.   Always assume a manner and attitude of respect and seriousness.   This also indicates you will give your best effort.

r/   When you come to class you should be prepared to stay and train until the end of the class.  Try to avoid leaving class before it finishes.  If absolutely necessary you may gain permission to finish early from the instructor but this should be done prior to class commencing.  For your best chance to improve, always try to avoid this situation.

s/   When shaking hands with a senior grade always use both hands.   You should shake hands with your right hand and your left hand should be open and lightly touch the back of the persons right hand.

*** .These rules of etiquette are based upon the very strong moral code of traditional Kyokushin Karate system.  “Budo”  (Strong effort) and “Bushido”  (The way of the Samurai – manners etc).   The above etiquette is not a full explanation but a guide to help you understand.

The “WAY” (DO) of Kyokushin Karate is through constant training,  hard work, discipline, dedication, courtesy and respect.

There are no short cuts, but if you follow the Way a bond of trust and mutual respect will develop between you and your instructor/s and also between yourself and fellow students.  This will help you to remain alert and information passed to you will be a lot more easy to understand and retain, thus speeding up the learning process.

In Kyokushin Karate;  “Always be hard on yourself……………but  be kind to others”.  (Nicholas Pettas).











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