Dojo Rules


All students will show respect and courtesy by using the traditional bow: when entering or leaving the workout area, when first stepping on the mat, after receiving instruction (either in a group or individually), and to thank a training partner after practicing a technique.

Always arrive early to class. If late for training, kneel quietly at the edge of the training area after you are dressed, warmed up, and ready to participate. When the instructor acknowledges you, bow and then quickly join the class.

If you have to leave early, let the instructor know in a quiet manner.

When in the dojo, always address the instructor and seniors by their proper rank or title (SENSEI, SEMPAI) inside the dojo. If you do not know their rank, ask as soon as possible, and use “sir” in the meantime.

It is impolite to ask yudansha (black belts) to spar. Wait until you are invited.

Treat all visitors with courtesy and goodwill. Ensure the instructor is aware of any strangers visiting the dojo as soon as they enter.



Please arrive early to get changed and warm up so that training can begin on time.

Always wear a uniform that is clean and in good repair.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the Dojo is clean, tidy, and safe at all times. Never allow someone more senior than you to clean up: volunteer to do the task yourself.

Always turn away from your partner or the class if you need to adjust your uniform.

Don’t wear your gi, obi, or hakama outside the dojo.

Don’t handle weapons other than your own without explicit permission from the owner.

Never step over a weapon on the floor; walk around it.

Always place your sword on the rack edge up, with the handle facing to the left as you face the rack. The upper spaces are reserved for higher ranks. Weapons must be sheathed before placing them on the rack.

Don’t eat, drink, smoke or chew gum in the dojo.

When lining up, the more senior students will stand to your right. When in doubt of rank, keep a humble attitude and remain to the left. Allow your instructor to decide where you stand.



Before class begins, let the instructor know if you are suffering from any physical disability, restrictions, injury, illness, or require special assistance.

Keep talking to a minimum and respond immediately when called to attention (kiotsuke). Never talk when an instructor is talking.

Listen carefully and respond immediately to a command to stop (yamé) or pause (maté) when performing a technique or sparring.

Do not break rank for any reason, without first asking permission from the instructor. If you must leave your position, do not walk between the instructor and the class.

NEVER walk behind someone training with a sword. They cannot see you.

If your sword slips out of the saya, do not try to catch it. Step back and let it fall to the floor.

Keep fingernails and toenails short and clean, and keep hair away from eyes while training.

Don’t wear jewelry or watches during training.

Do not spar, rough-house, or use weapons except as part of supervised training.

Only perform the technique which the instructor is teaching.

Whenever performing technique or sparring, you are responsible for your training partners’ safety. Be aware of everyone around you.