Benefits of Karate-do

  • Cultivating respect for yourself and others,
  • Earning your peers’ friendship in a positive and healthy environment,
  • Understanding your own mind and body,
  • Goal setting, perseverance and confidence through achievement and
  • Learn basic principles by which to live your life.

Basic Dojo Conduct 

When we are in the dojo, we must feel purposeful and alert. In response to corrections, students (deshi) should say "Hai" aloud. Instructions and corrections are always designed to assist the student in achieving their best, they are never implied as “put-downs”. The loud response of "Hai" lets the instructor know that the student has heard and understood the instruction. Some Dojo use the word "Osu" as a greeting or affirmation.

During the class students should be attentive and move quickly so that no time is wasted.  Students should try to remain in lines when moving with techniques, as this enables the instructor to see each student more clearly and make corrections.  Senior students are placed at the front of the class and act as examples for the other students, especially in relation to timing, rhythm and technique.

Students should not leave the dojo floor without getting the instructor's permission. This is both for reasons of courtesy and duty of care responsibilities of the instructor.

In many dojo they have established a practice to conduct a ritual cleaning of the dojo at the end of each training session (called sojii). Besides the obvious hygenic benefits of regular cleaning it also serves to reinforce the fact that dojo are supposed to be cared for by the students and not only the school's Sensei. Students are encouraged to assist with such things as the taking down of the flags at the end of training, carrying surplus equipment, laying the mat or general tidying up.

Many traditional dojo follow a prescribed pattern of procedure, that is based on student and instructor rank. Awareness of formal practice is required, as a rule of thumb the student must always strive to develop and display of common courtesy. During training seminars with visiting dignitaries, these more formal elements of etiquette will be adhered to. Upon arrival at the entrance of the dojo, all karate-ka are encouraged to bow prior to entering. This action demonstrates a level of respect, gratitude and preparedness for the training that will follow. Similarly, prior to leaving the dojo, students are encouraged to do likewise, in recognition of their respect, gratitude and effort made by all. 

Senior grades (usually black belts and above) are referred to as “Sempai” (senior); assistant instructors are also referred to in this way. A branch instructor may be referred to as “Sensei” (teacher); this is common practice even if the “Sensei” is below “third dan” in rank. Higher dan grades (5th and above) may have been awarded the rank of “Shihan” (master teacher).

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