Dojo Rules

Karate begins and ends with respect

These words were penned by Master Gichin Funakoshi and remain the backbone of Shotokan Karate today. One must be respectful inside the Dojo and out. Therefore good etiquette is essential to become a true Karateka and forms a very important part of Karate training. Not only does It promote wellbeing but also safety when training.

Before and After a lesson

  • Entering and Leaving the Dojo - BOW

  • Warmup and practice Quietly before class start

  • No Running

  • No Yelling

  • Lining Up - When Sensei calls "Line Up" Do so Quickly and say Osu

  • Say Osu (Oss) when Sensei speaks or gives you an instruction.

​During a Lesson

  • Adjust you Gi - Turn around First(Away from Shoman)

  • Questions? - Raise you hand

  • Need to Leave Class? - Raise your hand

  • Arriving late or returning to class? - Wait a the back in Haikudacki ( Ready Stance) until Sensei says to join in

  • No Talking

  • No Fidgeting or looking around

Personal presentation and safety

  • Keep toenails and finger nails trimmed

  • No jewelry and watches

  • No Chewing gum


  • Always be courteous and helpful to other students

  • Always try you best

Additional Info

The Class teacher is always referred to as Sensei. Helpers that helps the instructors are referred to as Sempai.

When entering the Dojo

Before you enter the Dojo, your mind should be focused on your training. Remove all outer garments and shoes. You should only be dressed in your Gi. If there are any other Karateka who are of a senior grade than your own entering at the same time, you should allow them to enter first. This demonstrates respect for their higher grade. When entering the Dojo, you should Rei (bow) and say "Oss". You should then acknowledge your instructor(s) and seniors by doing the same. If they join the Dojo at a later stage, you should acknowledge them at that point. By doing so, you are showing gratitude to them for passing on their knowledge to you and recognising their experience and dedication.

Arriving Late

Try and arrive to training on time. It is disrespectful to arrive late as it disrupts the class. However, it is acknowledged that there may be occasions when arriving late cannot be avoided. If you do arrive after classes have commenced, enter the Dojo respectfully as above and also quietly. Rei and "Oss" to Sensei/class instructor and stand in Haikudacki (Ready Stance) to the side of the entrance. Wait for permission to be given to you by Sensei/class instructor to join. Once permission is given to join the class, quickly Rei and "Oss" to Sensei/instructor then swiftly take your place. Do not run through the class but go behind quickly, taking up your position with minimal fuss.

Lining up

When given the instruction to line up, do so quickly and quietly. You should always line up in grade order. If there are Karateka of the same grade then (if at all possible) line up with the eldest first. Ensure that your lines are straight by looking right and aligning yourself with your fellow Karateka. You should be standing with your heels and toes touching, with your hands by your side. Sensei will be at the front of the class and request the highest grade to undertake the formal bow in/out.

Etiquette when training in class

It is important that you listen to the instructor as they may be giving instructions to follow. If these are not attended to - injury may result.

Sensei/instructors should never be ignored in class. When they addresses you in class always acknowledge that you have heard what he/she has said by saying "oss". This is a way to show appreciation and that you understand the instructions given to you.

When instructed to pair up with a fellow Karateka, rei and say "oss". When you have completed the exercise, rei and "oss" again. By undertaking this, you are demonstrating gratitude to your fellow Karteka for the opportunity to train with them.

When partnered, the junior grade should collect and return any equipment used e.g. punch pads, gloves etc.

If you have been instructed to sit down during a lesson always sit with your legs crossed and keep quiet. Do not lean against any wall or equipment. At no time should your feet be pointing to the front or at Sensei/instructors. This shows disrespect.

Adjusting your Gi and Obi (Belt)

Before adjusting your gi or tightening your belt that may have become loose, face away from the front of the class (Shoman). Once you have carried out any adjustments, turn back to the front of the class, Apart from this your belt should not be taken off in the dojo unless instructed to.

Leaving and rejoining a class

it is not permissible to leave the class while it is in progress without permission from Sensei/instructor. Should you need to leave, indicate your intention to Sensei/instructor by attracting their attention by raising your hand. Rei & "oss" Sensei where you are stood then again before leaving the Dojo. Should you return to the Dojo you should enter quietly, bow and "oss" again to the front of the Dojo and then in the direction of Sensei/instructor and stand in Haikudacki (Ready Stance) just inside the doorway and wait for the signal to you to rejoin the class. As soon as this signal is received rei and say "oss" taking up your place in class again, quickly and quietly.

Leaving the Dojo at the end of the lesson

Rei and "oss" Sensei/instructor and other senior grades, then just prior to leaving the exit, rei & "oss again. Leave the Dojo quietly

Personal Etiquette

Your gi should be clean and tidy at all times prior to a lesson.

Long hair must be tied back so as not to obscure vision.

Finger and toe nails must be kept short so as to avoid injury.

No jewelry should be worn during a class as it can cause injury to either yourself or another Karateka.

If jewelry cannot be removed (ie wedding ring) then it must be covered with a plaster or some other form of surgical tape.

Food or drink is not permitted in the Dojo. The exception is drinking water (subject to Sensei/instructor prior approval) during a lesson.