There are some common rules of etiquette usually adopted in aikido training. They are important aspects of your training and should be observed at all times. A correct posture towards the teachings of O’Sensei, your instructor and your colleagues demonstrate your respect and commitment to aikido. We are all responsible for creating an atmosphere of respect, harmony, and friendliness in the dojo. You should incorporate these rules and remember them whenever you visit another dojo or attend a seminar:

  1. Act with respect and modesty to everyone
  2. Bow towards O’Sensei’s portrait upon entering and leaving the mat area, to your sensei after receiving an instruction and to your partner before and after the practice of a technique, or whenever the situation requires.
  3. The class starts and finishes with a bowing ceremony and you should participate. At the beginning we say “Onegaishimasu”, requesting permission to train and acknowledging the gift it is to do so. At the end we say “Domo Arigato Gozaimashita”, thanking very much for the training.
  4. Always remove your shoes to enter the mat area. Preferably leave your shoes pointing out. This keeps the dojo clean and is a symbol you are leaving all material things, your worries and ego behind.
  5. Do not leave the mat area without asking your instructor for permission. You are expected to stay on the mat the whole period of the class, unless you are not feeling well.
  6. Arrive at the dojo early enough to be changed and on the mat at least 10 minutes before class starts. Wait for the sensei on the mat for the beginning of the class, preferably in seiza position. Use this time to warm up or sit quietly in preparation for class.
  7. Try not to be late, but if you are wait at the edge of the mat until the instructor acknowledges your presence and gives you permission to join the class.
  8. Keep your Gi clean and in good conditions.
  9. Use good personal hygiene.
  10. Sit always in seiza position. If you are injured and cannot sit that way, you may sit cross-legged. Never sit with your legs outstretched, or lean against the walls or other objects.
  11. When sensei claps, quickly sit in seiza to observe the demonstration.
  12. When sensei is demonstrating a technique you should sit quietly in line in seiza and observe attentively and respectfully. After the demonstration, bow to sensei, bow to a partner and begin training.
  13. Let the more experienced student start the practice (you should attack him/her). Respect him/her. Never discuss over how to perform a technique.
  14. Make all efforts to treat the beginners with all respect and friendliness.
  15. You are on the mat to train and should do so all the time. Do not hang around idly. Be always attentive and ready to practice, even if waiting your turn.
  16. Keep talking to a minimum. Remember, you are there to practice.
  17. If you want to ask sensei something, do not call him to come along, go to where he is or wait for him to come by.
  18. For safety reasons, no jewellery is allowed on the mat.