Youth Etiquette

Training etiquette is a basic part of Aikido. Etiquette teaches respect for all things, discipline, and creates a safe environment in which we can learn. To learn we must have an attitude of “growing together”.

General Etiquette

These are the basic rules to follow:

  • Take shoes and socks off upon entering the dojo and place them in the appropriate places.
  • The instructor is always addressed as “sensei” (sin-say) and assistants are addressed as “sempai” (sim-pie). Greet your sensei upon arrival to class and say goodbye before leaving.
  • Come in clean clothes. Make sure your hands and feet are clean. Remove all jewelry (rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, etc).
  • No chewing gum.
  • Use the restroom and have a drink of water before class. This avoids unnecessary disruptions during class. If you must leave the mat during class, please check with sensei first.
  • Students need to listen carefully and observe proper training rules to avoid injury.
  • Parents please accompany your child when dropping them off for class or picking them up. Safety is our biggest concern, and this will also allows us to communicate important information directly to the parents.
  • We encourage parents to watch class. We ask that if you talk please keep your voices quiet so as not to distract the children.
  • If your child is unable to attend class, we would appreciate being informed.
  • When first stepping onto the mat, perform a sitting bow toward the kamidana (picture at the front of the room).
  • If you leave the mat to get a drink, go to the restroom, or any other reason, perform a standing bow toward the kamidana.
  • Bow to your partner before starting a technique. You should bow, standing or seated, when finished (to say thank you).
  • When leaving the mat to go home, perform a seated bow toward the kamidana, as you did entering.

Bowing In/Out

All bowing at the beginning and end of class is down from seiza (seated). Bowing in and out has a specific sequence.

Bowing In

  1. Facing the kamidana, everyone lines up in seiza in order of rank, with higher ranks on the right side. Sensei will approach the kamidana and go to seiza.
  2. Sensei will bow to the kamidana, as he does the Head Student calls out “shomen ni rei” and everyone bows.
  3. Sensei will turn to the class and the Head Student calls out “sensei ni rei” and everyone will bow again.

Bowing Out

  1. Everyone lines up as bowing in. Sensei will start before the kamidana. Sensei will bow to the kamidana, and as he does the Head Student calls out “shomen ni rei” and everyone bows.
  2. Sensei will turn to the class and the Head Student will call out “senei ni rei” and everyone will bow again saying “domo arigato gozaimasu”.
  3. The sempai at the head of the line will lead everyone off the mats a different way each class. At the edge of the mats all students bow again and are released from class.