Dojo Etiquette

Proper observance of etiquette is as much a part of your training as learning techniques.

Please take the following guidelines seriously:

Alan demonstrating iriminage
  1. When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
  2. Please, no shoes on the mat.
  3. Try to be on time for class. Even better, show up 5 min early to help with setup. If you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the mat until granted permission to join in.
  4. If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach the instructor and ask permission. This is as much for safety as for any other reason -- the instructor should know if anyone is feeling ill or has an injury.
  5. 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. (Please sit in either seiza or cross-legged.)
  6. Do not bring food, gum, or drinks into the dojo.
  7. Personal hygiene is important. Please be considerate of others by coming to practice clean and wearing a clean training uniform, in good shape, and free of offensive odours.
  8. Remove watches, rings, earrings and other jewellery before practice.
  9. Please do not wear scents or perfumes to practice.
  10. Please keep your fingernails and toenails clean and cut short.
  11. Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to one topic — Aikido.
  12. Carry out the directives of the instructor promptly. Do not keep everyone else waiting for you.
  13. Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.
  14. Please pay your membership dues promptly. If, for any reason, you are unable to pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues collection. Special rates are available for those experiencing financial hardship.
  15. Do not change your clothes on the mat.
  16. Remember that you are here to learn, and not to gratify your ego. An attitude of receptivity is advised.
  17. Preserve common-sense standards of decency and respect at all times.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy practice.