Aikido is a martial way that requires a proper learning environment. Cooperation, respect, sincerity, modesty and safety all help form a basis which to study Aikido and allow for personal growth. An Aikido Dojo is the place where the path of the discipline is revealed. It is a special place that belongs to its members.
To maintain a proper learning environment, this Dojo follows traditional rules of proper conduct. The following should serve as a general guideline. Ask a senior student if you have a specific question. Remember; always put your partner’s and your own safety above all else.
- Be on time and ready to practice before class starts. If you are late, sit in seiza (formal sitting position) at the edge of the mat until the instructor gives you permission to join the class.
- The first time you step on, and the last time you step off the mat area, perform a seated bow in the direction of the Kamiza (front of the Dojo). During your time in the Dojo, as you move on and off the mat, do a standing bow in the direction of the Kamiza. Bowing is not a gesture of worship and has no religious meaning. It is a sign of respect and awareness
- After the instructor has demonstrated a technique, find a practice partner as quickly as possible (practice time is precious). If you are without a partner, sit out of the way until invited to practice as part of a threesome.
- Students of any rank may train together. Customarily, the senior person throws first, with the junior receiving the technique. New members and guests should never be left without a partner.
- Practice is carried out without conversation. Aikido is learned with the body, not the mouth. If the instructor is available, you may ask for guidance, but never call out to the teacher.
- If the instructor offers personal instruction to you or your partner, stop practicing and pay strict attention. If the teacher is working with your partner, sit in seza out of the way. Bow when the teacher has finished.
- Practice exactly what the instructor demonstrates. Do not experiment or improvise for your own safety as well as your partners.
- Respect those more experienced. Respect those less experienced. Aikido is a path we all travel together.
- Unless you have been given specific permission, do not teach others during class. Training before and after class and exchanging information is strongly encouraged, but leave teaching to the instructor during class.
- Never casually wander on or off the mat during class. If you need to get off the mat once class has started, ask for permission from the instructor. Inform the instructor of any illness or injury immediately.
- DO NOT wear jewelry, chew gum, wear hairpins or have long loose hair during class. Those with long hair should use hair ties to keep it in place. Do not wear perfume, cologne, or any strong scents to class.
- Keep you finger and toenails trimmed short.
- Keep yourself clean and your gi clean and in good repair. A dirty, unkempt gi demonstrates lack of respect and poor attitude toward training.
- The Dojo belongs to its members. Cleaning is part of practice and an active gesture of gratitude. Everyone is expected to help keep the Dojo clean and tidy. Use your awareness to see what needs to be done.
- Your gi and weapons should be carried in a bag or case when outside the Dojo.
- One cannot buy Aikido. Your dues help cover the operating expenses of the Dojo. Dues are not payment for specific classes. It is each member’s responsibility to pay dues the first week of the month unless other arrangements have been made with Sensei.