Dojo Rules and Etiquette

Dojo Etiquette (Reishiki)

The study of the martial arts begins and end with etiquette, and this particularly true at Aikido RVA. We practice many ancient methods of Japanese martial courtesy as a sign of respect to Suenaka Sensei and his teachers, and to ourselves.
Class Rules and Regulations.
• Pay your dues when due which is the last Sunday of the prior month. If you cannot do so please inform the dojo cho.
• Those who are absent without leave must pay their dues and fees up to date. Anyone planning on being absent should notify the instructor so the student may be exempt from paying of dues. If any member is not present for two weeks consecutively and a valid reason is not presented, he will be disenrolled automatically.
• Regular attendance of at least two classes per week is required. While the occasional absence is understandable, one must train regularly and with determination to make meaningful progress. In limited cases, a temporary exception to this requirement may be granted.
• Please inform the dojo cho or a senior if you will be absent from several classes. If any member is not present for two weeks consecutively and a valid reason is not presented, he will be disenrolled automatically.
• Bow to the shomen when entering and leaving the dojo and when stepping onto and off of the mat. If you arriving during training, keel at the edge of the mat and wait for the instructor to invite you onto the mat.
• When arriving promptly change into gi including hakama, if applicable. Women should wear a sports bra or tee shirt beneath their gi. Men are not permitted to wear tee shirts under their gi top.
• Remove all jewelry and piercings before practicing.
• Do not lean on the dojo walls. Do not cross your arms or put your hands on your hips. To do so is traditionally considered belligerent behavior or a challenge.
• Do not engage in horseplay, use profanity, tell off-color jokes, boast or otherwise behave dishonorably or discourteously.
• Practice only the art or technique that is being taught when on the mat.
• Do not come to practice if you are under the influence of alcohol.
• Turn off cell phones when in the dojo, unless you have permission to do otherwise.
• Do not bring weapons into the dojo unless you are lawfully licensed to carry them and then inform the dojo cho beforehand.
• Do not expose the soles of your feet when sitting. Sit in seiza or keep your legs crossed under you at all times.
• Observe good personal hygiene. Keep fingernails and toenails trimmed to avoid injuring your fellow students. Bandage minor wounds securely.
• Keep your gi clean.
• Physical, verbal, mental or sexual harassment or abuse is dishonorable behavior and will not be tolerated.
• Always address yudansha by their names followed by “sensei” or “shihan” as applicable. Address other by the names followed by “san.”
• Always be mindful of others on the mat. If you bump into someone, bow and say “gomen nasai” (“forgive me’).
• When the instructors calls for your attention, immediately bow to your partner and quickly move to the edge of the mat.
• Do not speak and sit in seiza while the instructor is talking. Raise your hand if you have a question and wait for the instructor to call upon you before asking it.
• Empty your cup. Receive correction with humility and gratitude and give correction with understanding, compassion and respect.