Student Guide

Starting Class

Before class starts, be sure that the Dojo is neat and clean. Don't wait to be told what to do! Be a good example to others. Have a clean Gi (practice uniform). Be sure that your finger and toe nails are clipped short and neatly filed (too long or jagged nails can accidentally cut your practice partner). Once class starts, you should stay until the end. If you must leave early, be sure to tell Sensei before class starts.


Line up on the mat, facing the Shomen, and be ready to start before the appointed time. Sit Seiza, back straight, eyes front, extending Ki. This is a good time to practice Ki breathing and centering. If there is some reason you are not able to sit Seiza, sit Anza (cross legged). If you have an injury or illness be sure to discuss it with Sensei and let Sensei decide how you sit or whether you should practice or not. Be sure to discuss such problems before class (not after it starts).


When the head instructor enters, keep your eye on him. Even the way Sensei walks is a lesson! Without the necessity of the various commands used in other martial arts, try to be one with Sensei. Sensei will seat himself between you and the Shomen, facing you. When all are ready to begin he will turn and bow to the Shomen. If you are one with him, you will be able to bow simultaneously to the Shomen when he does. Sensei will turn and face the class, and will then bow to the class. Bow the instant he does. Following Sensei's movements and keeping in time with him will be easy if you are practicing harmony and extending Ki. As you bow, say Onegaisimasu (it means that you are ready and willing to learn and practice). Sit up straight and wait for Sensei to start class.