Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: ChynaRose on August 14, 2009, 09:02:21 PM

Title: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: ChynaRose on August 14, 2009, 09:02:21 PM

-*  Shoes off when crossing the dojo floor, even if you are just heading to the restroom on the other side of the dojo and aren't participating in the actual current class.

-*  Respect and listen to the sensei, even if you are just visiting as a guest or accompanying a student.

-*  Each dojo has their own unique stylistic nuances that make it different from other dojos out there - usually based along what school(s) they come out of and how the individual senseis teach. When visiting or switching to a new dojo, please respect these differences.

-*  When crossing the dojo floor, please be aware of what people are doing during the class that is in session and stick to the outer edge of the room. Waiting until people are not in the middle of a throw or sword cut also helps. We don't want to hurt you after all (this happened a few weeks ago)

-*  It's great that your [insert appropriate relation to a minor child] is interested in pursuing the martial arts, and I do hope that he or she continues with it as he or she gets older. However, there is a time and a place for changing the child out of his or her gi and into his or her street clothes. The benched waiting area that is in full view of both the street and the dojo floor is not it - even if you did choose the corner and are preforming the standard clothes changing body block. (this just happened today)
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: LovesWater on August 14, 2009, 09:58:33 PM
Bow before entering the dojo floor (is that universal? I do aikido but I've seen it elsewhere too)
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: ChynaRose on August 14, 2009, 10:44:19 PM
It's not universal. The way my particular dojo works (and I can only say for certainty the way it's done in regards to the jujitsu class), is that sensei has us line up and then the most senior student leads us through a short meditation period followed by bowing to the school (or actually, the portrait of the head of the school). Unless sensei decides to just jump right into the 'class work' (usually on the shorter class days). But that's just us, and other dojos do it differently.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on August 15, 2009, 09:04:31 PM
comment deleted by poster.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bookworm317 on August 15, 2009, 11:55:41 PM
Bow before entering the dojo floor (is that universal? I do aikido but I've seen it elsewhere too)

I always thought you were supposed to bow before entering. At least, that's how it is at the dojang I go to.

Here's an important one--
  If your uniform includes a belt: Respect your belt!
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 16, 2009, 04:42:48 AM
Bow before entering the dojo floor (is that universal? I do aikido but I've seen it elsewhere too)

Judo here. Bow on and bow off the mat to the sensei or the highest grade.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 16, 2009, 04:47:45 AM
Show respect to higher belt grades.

Never disagree with the judge in a grading or competition.

This was a tough one for me as I lost a match a few weeks ago (and a higher belt) even though I threw my opponent with a clear eppon. It was even filmed by my dojo mate. I did not question the decision because judo bigozzy kept quiet while normal bigozzy raged.

For the parents of the children classes, do not interfere with decisions or discussions on the mat. Most relate to your child and other's health and safety.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 16, 2009, 04:51:52 AM
OOh, one more.

When your uniform consists of a white kit and coloured belt do not accidently wash them together.

Bigozzy was a red belt and had a lovely pink judo kit for a while. I was able to defeat many weakened by laughter.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: JadeGirl on August 16, 2009, 07:32:58 AM
Kenjutsuka here.

NEVER touch anyone else's weapons or training gear without receiving permission from the owner.

Swords are not toys.  Always be aware of your surroundings, and be discreet when transporting them.

Spectators - chatting, flash photography and chowing down on crunchy or smelly food during a grading will get you thrown out.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 17, 2009, 12:58:02 AM
If you don't have a gi, wear loose comfortable clothing (sweats or workout shorts, tee shirt and clean socks)

Question: Are students in your dojo expected to wear socks to class, or is the "clean socks" specification only for those who want to wear them? No one wore socks where I learned (but that may have been influenced by the fact that we practiced on wrestling mats, which are quite slippery in socks), except occasionally a new student on their first day (and then it was a toss-up whether the instructor would advise them to remove the socks or just leave it up to them).

My addition: Be aware of and adjust to the skill level and strength of your sparring partner, especially if you are fighting someone smaller or of lower rank. Try to make the match challenging for yourself, but that doesn't mean you have to hit full force or even necessarily full speed. If the person is way less experienced, coach them on their technique and chalk it up to practice at teaching.

Essentially, remember that the dojo/dojang is a community, and sometimes it'll be your turn to help someone of lower rank rather than working on your own skills (as someone presumably did for you).
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on August 17, 2009, 02:37:09 AM
You shouldn't wear any socks. Wear bare feet or training shoes. If you need shoes, check with your sensei in advance to make sure you wear what is allowed in the dojo.

Your fingernails and toenails should be clean, and short. Some dojos might also require that no nail polish be worn. No jewellery at all, not even a wedding band.

Bow before entering the dojo floor (is that universal? I do aikido but I've seen it elsewhere too)

I always thought you were supposed to bow before entering. At least, that's how it is at the dojang I go to.
For karate you always bow when you enter the dojo.

If a guest sensei comes to teach a class, bow to her when she enters the dojo as well (if you're already inside).

When working with a partner (sparring or bunkai), bow to him before you start working together and after you finish.

General tip for bowing: copy the senior students. Bow when they bow.

When in doubt, ask for a copy of the dojo rules. When in doubt during class, copy the senior students.  The best is to copy the senior brown belt if you're a kyu (coloured) belt and another black belt if you're a black belt. Sometimes etiquette is different for kyu belts and black belts. Black belts should know their own dojo rules of course, but different dojos have different rules.

If a senior student or the sensei corrects you, do it. Do not talk back or question the correction in any way.

Be a good sport when sparring.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 17, 2009, 04:33:16 AM
Never be afraid to ask questions. As another poster advised there really is a community spirit.

I have always found all of the higher grades ready and willing to advise.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on August 19, 2009, 06:45:52 PM
comment deleted by poster.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on August 19, 2009, 07:06:44 PM
It would make more sense to wear running shoes though. I think socks would be too slippery on cement to train safely.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on August 20, 2009, 11:52:47 AM
comment deleted by poster.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: G'sMom on August 20, 2009, 12:12:35 PM
Kung Fu and Chung Moo Doe here.  Agree, bowing before entering the training area, no shoes when entering for any reason, respecting other people's training space and weapons, and basically everything else.  Also, in my trainings, you must bow when entering and leaving the training room (putting your items on the floor beside you as you bow with empty arms and hands) and waiting to be acknowldged by the highest ranking belt in the room before entering, whether it is an instructor or another student.  If a higher belt student requests you to do something you do it, especially if it is a request to move over if they require more training space for their practicing. Also be sure if you are bowing you are using the appropriate bow for your rank (for ours, black belts and up had a different bow). 

Also, be sure to find out the appropriate, reverant manner in which to handle, bow with, and/or pass weapons if you are going to be using them.  If you haven't been taught this yet then you probably haven't been cleared for handling them yet.

Never be in a training room with a dirty/stained/unkempt uniform and *always* have your belt on - unless you have just passed a belt test and are waiting to be presented with your new one.  A belt is never removed in the training or public area.

No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room.  Something I ran into when visiting another school recently, parents who yell out to their children during a children's class! "Billy, the other way! pay attention! step over!"  :o  Never, never, ever....
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Bibliophile on August 20, 2009, 12:27:54 PM
If you're a guy, don't assume the female you're sparring against in a test isn't as good as you.  You still have to block the face punches or end up with a black eye  ;D  While you lose, she skips a level.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 20, 2009, 01:24:25 PM
If you're a guy, don't assume the female you're sparring against in a test isn't as good as you.  You still have to block the face punches or end up with a black eye  ;D  While you lose, she skips a level.


I am 196cm and 130kg and I never, ever make assumptions about my sparring partners.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Pinky830 on August 20, 2009, 05:20:41 PM
Don't stand on the edge of the mat and chat loudly while someone is breaking a board or doing a form.

Don't argue with your instructor.

Don't make s*xually inappropriate comments to female students, especially within earshot of children. That got one of the most talented novice black belts I have ever seen, demoted to white belt and ultimately kicked out of our dojo.

If you're bleeding, get off the mat at once and get it contained. If you get blood on the mat, tell someone. If you come to class with a cut or sore, bandage it completely.

Point sparring is not about trying to kill people. If you're, say, a brown belt, don't nail a green belt with the hardest side kick you've got just to show them you can.

Keep your uniform neat; don't wad it up in your bag between classes.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Alida on August 20, 2009, 05:42:43 PM
Do not argue with your instructor. Ever.  Yes, I am friends with my instructor outside of class, and I help where I can in the dojang, but when it comes to training and who is ready for tests?  If he asks my opinion, I offer, but what he says goes, even if I disagree.

We bow in and out off the school, as the flags are very visible from the entrance.

Respect higher ranks. Be compassionate and helpful to lower ranked students.

No jewelry at all. This is not because we want you to lose something, but because you can get hurt or hurt someone else with what you're wearing.

Use proper titles.





Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bigozzy on August 21, 2009, 03:25:58 AM
Concerning the posts about jewellry and blood on the mat. I had both when I forgot to take out my earing.

Lesson learnt!

Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 21, 2009, 07:43:44 AM
Never be in a training room with a dirty/stained/unkempt uniform and *always* have your belt on - unless you have just passed a belt test and are waiting to be presented with your new one.  A belt is never removed in the training or public area.

No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room.  Something I ran into when visiting another school recently, parents who yell out to their children during a children's class! "Billy, the other way! pay attention! step over!"  :o  Never, never, ever....

Just wanted to point out that a these rules can differ from one dojo/dojang to another; the important thing is to respect the rules of the school you are in. When in doubt, of course default to the most respectful conduct you know.

My school for instance tended to be somewhat informal; full uniforms were not required to participate in class, and putting on/removing belts in the training room was acceptable (this room was larger than our actual training area). More importantly, talking among ourselves was not only allowed but encouraged. We were a club created for the enjoyment and training of like-minded students--it was pretty much expected that we would chat while warming up, joke with and encourage each other while training, give advice to others having trouble, etc. When the instructor spoke or a higher-ranked student gave instructions, everyone listened, but otherwise we were free to talk, as long as it didn't interfere with the class.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: G'sMom on August 21, 2009, 07:58:14 AM
Never be in a training room with a dirty/stained/unkempt uniform and *always* have your belt on - unless you have just passed a belt test and are waiting to be presented with your new one.  A belt is never removed in the training or public area.

No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room.  Something I ran into when visiting another school recently, parents who yell out to their children during a children's class! "Billy, the other way! pay attention! step over!"  :o  Never, never, ever....

Just wanted to point out that a these rules can differ from one dojo/dojang to another; the important thing is to respect the rules of the school you are in. When in doubt, of course default to the most respectful conduct you know.

My school for instance tended to be somewhat informal; full uniforms were not required to participate in class, and putting on/removing belts in the training room was acceptable (this room was larger than our actual training area). More importantly, talking among ourselves was not only allowed but encouraged. We were a club created for the enjoyment and training of like-minded students--it was pretty much expected that we would chat while warming up, joke with and encourage each other while training, give advice to others having trouble, etc. When the instructor spoke or a higher-ranked student gave instructions, everyone listened, but otherwise we were free to talk, as long as it didn't interfere with the class.

oh, of course it's different between schools (and styles)!  :) That's why I put what styles I had experience in at the beginning of my post, to point out those were the rules in the courses of MY training experience.  I know schools differ in formality levels.  After visiting other schools and knowing people from other styles/schools, it came to my realization that my school was almost militant in its formality  :D

ETA: My last statement in my post, though, I still can't believe would be acceptable in any school: the yelling out of parents in the waiting room to their children in the training room, during a class being taught by an instructor.  Maybe it's just me?
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Onyx_TKD on August 21, 2009, 12:17:30 PM
Never be in a training room with a dirty/stained/unkempt uniform and *always* have your belt on - unless you have just passed a belt test and are waiting to be presented with your new one.  A belt is never removed in the training or public area.

No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room.  Something I ran into when visiting another school recently, parents who yell out to their children during a children's class! "Billy, the other way! pay attention! step over!"  :o  Never, never, ever....

Just wanted to point out that a these rules can differ from one dojo/dojang to another; the important thing is to respect the rules of the school you are in. When in doubt, of course default to the most respectful conduct you know.

My school for instance tended to be somewhat informal; full uniforms were not required to participate in class, and putting on/removing belts in the training room was acceptable (this room was larger than our actual training area). More importantly, talking among ourselves was not only allowed but encouraged. We were a club created for the enjoyment and training of like-minded students--it was pretty much expected that we would chat while warming up, joke with and encourage each other while training, give advice to others having trouble, etc. When the instructor spoke or a higher-ranked student gave instructions, everyone listened, but otherwise we were free to talk, as long as it didn't interfere with the class.

oh, of course it's different between schools (and styles)!  :) That's why I put what styles I had experience in at the beginning of my post, to point out those were the rules in the courses of MY training experience.  I know schools differ in formality levels.  After visiting other schools and knowing people from other styles/schools, it came to my realization that my school was almost militant in its formality  :D

ETA: My last statement in my post, though, I still can't believe would be acceptable in any school: the yelling out of parents in the waiting room to their children in the training room, during a class being taught by an instructor.  Maybe it's just me?

Oh, I definitely that the parents shouldn't be interfering unless the instructor has specifically asked (My school was a college club, so the only kids we had were a couple of children of a professor; they were quite mature young ladies, so there was no reason for their parents to yell to them.  ;))

What I was responding to was the "No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room," which was in the same paragraph. I just wanted to point out that that wasn't a "standard" rule for martial arts classes that I knew of, especially not for adult classes. I realize you were describing the style in your school; I just wanted to make sure it wasn't taken as "standard dojo etiquette" by someone less experienced, since it would vary widely depending on school or just even on who's teaching that day within the same school. :)

BTW, a question: when discussing general martial arts (rather than a specific type, such as Karate, Tae Kwon Do, etc.), how do you generally refer to things like a martial arts school, a uniform, an instructor, etc? Do you use the terms from your own style, more generally know terms (e.g. the Japanese terms used in Karate), the equivalents in English/whatever language you're speaking? To clarify, I'm learning Tae Kwon Do (a Korean art), so the school and uniform would be called "dojang" and "dobok", respectively. But "dojo" and "gi" seem to be better-known terms to the general public. So in my position, in a thread like this about multiple arts, would you use the terms "dojang" and "dobok", "dojo" and "gi", "school" and "uniform", or something different?
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: G'sMom on August 21, 2009, 02:17:30 PM
Usually I refer to terms in in what I think would be the more widely understood terms, such as "uniform", "instructor", "school", and "training room".  There are so many styles and terminology that I usually stick to generals unless I'm speaking to someone else who is in the arts/same art.  So, for this instance, in case someone were looking for "dojo etiquette" but weren't necessarily students of the arts (either family members of a student or just interested) I would use terms everyone can relate to  :)
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on August 25, 2009, 02:28:49 PM
Never be in a training room with a dirty/stained/unkempt uniform and *always* have your belt on - unless you have just passed a belt test and are waiting to be presented with your new one.  A belt is never removed in the training or public area.
In our style (or just our dojo, perhaps) we're quite casual about our belts, and often put them on in the dojo after we've changed. If I ever visit another dojo I'll put my belt on in the changeroom and see what the other students do.

I love threads like this one because you can learn such useful knowledge. :)

No talking amongst each other either in the training room or in the waiting room.  Something I ran into when visiting another school recently, parents who yell out to their children during a children's class! "Billy, the other way! pay attention! step over!"  :o  Never, never, ever....
As casual as we are about belts, we're the opposite when it comes to talking during tests. I know my sensei would have no problems ejecting any parent (or any other onlooker) who talked during the test.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Marbles on October 14, 2009, 10:11:29 PM
In the schools I've been in, women wear clean white t-shirts under their uniforms. No, a sport bra is not enough. Nor is a spaghetti-strap tank top. This is for modesty. No one wants an accidental display.

In general, men should not wear a shirt under their uniforms without a health reason which they have discussed with the instructor. No socks, without a reason.

Come to the mat/training area with your full kit on. Your kit should be clean every time (though in my school, we never washed our belts). Learn to tie your belt properly (especially once you have been promoted - I think it looks really awful for ranked students to have poorly-tied belts).

After sparring, immediately adjust your uniform if it has become disheveled.

We also bowed when entering and exiting the building, when getting on and off the training mat, at the start and end of lessons, when beginning or ending a sparring match, and when given specific instruction from the teacher.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Alida on October 14, 2009, 10:38:59 PM
I'd never heard that one with female students, but in our TKD dojang, we do not have the wrapped front uniforms, so a sports bra is just fine underneath.  Ours don't open.

When adjusting your uniform, turn away from higher ranks and, more importantly, from the flags, to show respect.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on October 15, 2009, 03:18:26 PM
A sports bra is enough for me too, even though the gi jacket is the kind that wraps. Still, I've never had a "gi malfunction". ;D

A lot of women in our dojo do wear white T-shirts underneath though. Either way is perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: bookworm317 on October 15, 2009, 06:21:32 PM
When adjusting your uniform, turn away from higher ranks and, more importantly, from the flags, to show respect.

YES! I've been punished because of this.
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: RobinduBois on October 16, 2009, 04:28:19 AM
When adjusting your uniform, turn away from higher ranks and, more importantly, from the flags, to show respect.

If you'll forgive the slight digression; what flags are displayed in a dojo?
I'm just curious.  (My only experience of dojos is for Ju-Jitsu, and no flags were involved).

Thanks,

Robin
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: G'sMom on October 16, 2009, 09:54:35 AM
My experience is the country flag as well as the flag of the state, and of the country of origin of the art you practice
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: Alida on October 16, 2009, 08:02:06 PM
My experience is the country flag as well as the flag of the state, and of the country of origin of the art you practice

In the dojangs and dojos I have been to, the flag of your country is displayed, as well as the flag of the origin of the art studied in that studio. 
Title: Re: Dojo Etiquette
Post by: kherbert05 on October 18, 2009, 03:59:38 PM
If the instructor doesn't have a problem with someone dropping behind and stopping an activity it isn't most belts place to scold them. I has having a problem with controlling my asthma - a rare occurrence. Finally figured out it was the perfume a new student was wearing. The top belts knew what was going on - as long as I signaled I was ok they let me do things at a lower level.

On the flip side I had some of "my students" from public school in my TKD class. When one of them had an asthma attack and her mother wasn't there - I ran to the locker room, dumped out her bag to find her inhale and grabbed my phone because I knew I had Mom's cell phone number in it.

Another time at a different studio after moving to Houston - I was in a mixed class with young kids. It was the only one at a time I could take.  A boy was holding up two fingers - and when then instructor said yes he took off running. I couldn't help cracking up at the facial expressions of the instructor and older students. I told the poor instructor that the 2 fingers thing was used in a popular classroom management book to signal you need to use the bathroom.