A dojo is a Japanese term which literally means "place of the way". The term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese do arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese Martial Arts style to conduct training, examinations and other related encounters.

Dojo Etiquette

- Remove all jewelry before training. This is a safety requirement.

- Gi's must be kept clean and in good condition.

- Remove shoes before walking onto the dojo training floor.

- Finger and toe nails must be kept clean and short.

- Hands and feet must be clean.

- Do not talk in class. Concentrate on what Sensei is saying.

The instructor is always referred to as 'Sensei' whilst in the dojo. You should never disregard a direction from the instructor.

Never intentionally try to hurt anyone in training. The emphasis is always on control.


A bow, rei (pronounced – ray), in Okazaki Karate Academy is a demonstration of respect, nothing more.

When entering or leaving the dojo, stand at the doorway, heels together hands by your side in musubi dachi (informal attention stance) and bow, saying “Osu”. This shows respect for the dojo, Sensei and everyone training at the dojo. Students must bow in this same manner to their partner at the beginning and at the end of training with that person. This too is a sign of courtesy and respect, it shows good manners.

All bows begin by bringing the right foot into the left foot to form musubi dachi. When with a training partner or in general class the student then returns to yoi position (Hachiji Dachi Shizen Tai-natural stance) by moving the right foot out and waits for instruction from Sensei. Never perform a half-hearted bow

If you are late to class you must kneel in seiza (formal sitting position) inside the doorway at the edge of the training area and when Sensei sees you, bow while still in seiza. You will then be invited into the class. This applies to any dojo you may train at.

Important points to remember
When Sensei speaks, answer “Osu!” if you understand or else say that you do not understand what was just explained or asked.

While Sensei is speaking, do not:   

- talk or fool around
- stand with your arms folded
- stand with your hands on your hips or behind your back
- have your hands together in front of your lap.

These actions are seen as discourteous and disrespectful and show bad manners.

When Sensei is speaking, correct etiquette is to stand in Shizen Tai (natural stance or ready position).