Dojo Procedures During Class
The Bow In
Japanese culture places great emphasis on respect for one's senior. When the class commences, all students line up in order of seniority, facing the front (shomen). Students line up in one row
(space permitting), from right to left, in order of rank. Within each rank, students also line up from right to left, in order of seniority.
When instructed, students kneel down together (seizan position). The Sensei will ask a student to recite the Karate Creed.
After a brief period of meditation (mokuso position), to clear the mind, everyone bows to the front. The first bow is to Master Oyama (sosi ni rei), then to Shihan (shihan ni rei)- if he is in the Dojo, then to Senseis (sensei ni rei), and then to all Sempais (sempai ni rei). The call to bow is made by the person most senior in rank below the person/persons being honored.
Again, everyone bows to the front and to the instructor. The instructor stands first, then the students stand and assume yoi position .
If you arrive late for class, or during the bowing in ceremony, do not join rank. You must kneel down in Seiza at the back of the class until the instructor asks you to join the class. Usually this will be after doing push ups, join in the back unless otherwise instructed.
Formal training then commences.
During class, students should not converse with each other or ask the instructor questions. In Japanese culture, one is expected to learn by insight developed after much training,
rather than from rationalization or explanation; this is very much opposite from how one learns in Western culture.
If it becomes necessary to adjust the gi, students must turn away from the front of class. If the student needs to fix his or her Obi (belt), the student must kneel towards the rear of the dojo. Normally, this should only be done during a break in training.
If you have to leave the dojo before class is over (because of another commitment, illness or injury) obtain permission from the instructor.
The Bow Out
At the end of class, students line up and if instructed, assume seiza position. The instructor will ask a student to recite the Dojo Oath. After the reading, there is a brief period of meditation.
After this brief period of meditation (mokusu), everyone bows to the front. The first bow is to Master Oyama (sosi ni rei), then to Shihan (shihan ni rei)- if he is in the Dojo, then to Senseis (sensei ni rei), and then to all Sempis (sempei ni rei). The call to bow is made by the person most senior in rank below the person/persons being honored.
Again, everyone bows to the front and to the instructor. The instructor stands first, then all students stand. It is customary in the MKA dojo for the students to bow, shake hands with and thank each of the instructors. This is done quickly and by rank. Move quickly from the dojo to make room for the following class.