During your training you will hear mention of etiquette many times and you will probably ask yourself, why would people who are attacking each other be so interested in good manners? There a few answers to this question two of which are as follows:
1. Karate is dangerous! People who are trying punch and kick each other with as much speed and power as possible need control to prevent very serious injury. Control comes with the practice of control; this practice is encouraged by respect for your fellow students, without whom you would not be able to train.
2. The other reason is not so practical but every bit as important. Karate is not just method of self-defence through its practice one can gain advantages in all parts of life. One of these benefits is the way we interact with other people; under normal circumstances if you treat people with respect they will treat you with respect.
Dojo rules and etiquette
Some basic dojo rules are as follows:
1. Bow on entering and leaving the dojo.
2. Address any instructor as Sensei whilst in the dojo.
3. The word 'Oss' is a general answer and also a sign of respect and should be used in the following circumstances:
- Upon receiving any advice or command from an instructor;
- When bowing at the start or finish of a lesson
- When bowing to a partner before kumite
- When an instructor enters the dojo.
4. No one should leave once a lesson has begun without the permission of the instructor.
5. Any member arriving late should kneel at the door and wait for permission to join the class from the instructor. On receiving permission the tudent should bow and join the class.
6. Personal hygiene is important students should make sure they are clean and do not embarrass and make life unpleasant for other students. Also finger and toenails should be kept clean and reasonably short.
7. No jewellery should be worn whilst training. Any that cannot be removed should be covered either by tape or plaster.
8. Members should not smoke, swear, chew, spit or commit any other act, which may offend other students and instructors.
9. One should avoid using ones skills outside the dojo where possible.
Note these will become second nature in time, you are not expected to learn them all backward by next week!