Etiquette

  • In the dojo, remove hats and shoes, refrain from any practices that will interfere with Aikido training.

  • Be respectful of other classes and students: While waiting for another class to finish remain quiet.

  • When the other class starts to end, all students should move quickly to seiza and bow. If in doubt follow the direction of the senior students present

  • At the dojo, change into a dogi.

  • Before class, junior students should sweep the mats.

  • Greet a fellow student or an instructor by bowing and saying "Osu!" This is customary in the practice of Japanese Budo.

  • When coming onto or leaving the practice mat, bow to the front of the dojo.

  • When the class is ready to begin, before the teacher comes on to the mat, all students should line up sitting in seiza in a straight line. The person sitting to your right should be of equal or higher rank; the person to your left, equal or lower rank.

  • The highest ranking student will command "Moku so." This means to close your eyes and prepare yourself mentally for class. The same student will then say "Moku so yame" (open your eyes) and "Shomen ni rei" (bow to the front), and then "Sensei ni rei" (bow to Sensei).

  • You should not arrive late for class. If you do wait standing outside the mat area quietly, until Sensei invites you to join in.

  • Once on the mat, you should kneel at the back of class, meditate for a short while and then do 30 pushups as a brief warmup.

  • When Sensei is instructing the class, or if you wish to listen to an explanation given to another student in practice, you should kneel politely in seiza.

  • When corrected by Sensei or another senior student, bow and say "Osu!"

  • During the class, any student wishing to leave the mat or to practice something other than what the class is practicing, must first ask the permission of the instructor. This is done out of courtesy and for safety reasons.

  • Always begin and end your training with your partner by bowing to each other.

  • Never shout, use inappropriate language or become angry on the mat.

  • 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 anza.)

  • Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.

  • Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odors.

  • Please keep your finger and toe nails cut short and clean, and remove any jewelry prior to class.

  • Carry out the directives of the instructor PROMPTLY. Do not keep the rest of the class waiting for you!

  • Any discussion on the mat should pertain to Aikido only. Keep it brief and quiet.

  • It can be a very serious breach of etiquette to question a teacher's or senior's authority or technical knowledge, and especially so during a class.

  • If you are confused about something, ask respectfully. Don't insist on your point of view.

  • Please pay your membership dues promptly. If you are unable to pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues collection

  • When the class is ending, you should quickly line up and kneel before the instructor sits.

  • After the class is over, you should find your partners and bow to each of them, thanking them for training with you.

Drawing by Oscar Ratti