Dojo etiquette

Dojo etiquette

There are many aspects to learning and practicing Aikido, such as cultivating Spirit, Zanshin, and Self Awareness.  Etiquette in the form of rules of conduct plays an important role in the Dojo as a means to show respect to yourself, the art, the Founder, your sensei and your fellow practitioners. Etiquette is a safe pathway that facilitates everyone in their learning and practice.

  1. When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow in the direction of O Sensei’s picture, the kamiza, or the front of the dojo. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
  2. No shoes on the mat. It is unhygienic and disrespectful.
  3. Be on time for class. If you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the mat until the instructor grants permission to join practice.
  4. If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach the instructor and ask permission.
  5. Avoid sitting on the mat with your back to the picture of O’ Sensei or the kamiza. Also, do not lean against the walls or sit with your legs stretched out. (Either sit in seiza or cross- legged.)
  6. Remove watches, rings and other jewellery before practice for reasons of safety.
  7. Do not bring food, gum, or beverages with you into the dojo, except water during the summer months.
  8. Please keep your finger and toe nails clean and cut short.
  9. Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to one topic — Aikido.
  10. Carry out the directives of the instructor PROMPTLY. Do not keep the rest of the class waiting for you!
  11. Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.
  12. Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odors.
  13. Please pay your membership dues promptly. If, for any reason, you are unable to pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues collection. Sometimes special rates are available for those experiencing financial hardship.
  14. Do not change your clothes on the mat.
  15. Remember that you are here to learn, and not to gratify your ego. An attitude of receptivity and humility (though not obsequiousness) is therefore advised.
  16. Preserve common-sense standards of decency and respect at all times.


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