Dojo Etiquette Part 2

Several months ago we put an article in the newsletter about Dojo Etiquette.  We talked about the importance of etiquette and tradition in the martial arts and also some of the basic rules of the Dojo.  This month I’d like to elaborate on more etiquette and just some good tips on keeping our Dojo safe and clean.

            Notice I said “our” Dojo.  It’s important in the martial arts to think of the training space as belonging to all of the instructors, students and family members.  It belongs to all of us and not just the Sensei or staff.  Sure, we pay the bills and the janitors clean the facility.  But, if every student and visitor really treat the Dojo as their own, then we will all benefit because we will have a clean and respectable training space.  We are very lucky to have such a large and professional Dojo.  I’ve been to many other martial arts schools and few are as nice as ours.  So we should take great pride in our school and try our best to keep it clean.

            The first bit of etiquette I’d like to go over is related to in class behavior. These things aren’t necessarily common sense to most people who haven’t trained before.  When students are late to class they should wait at the back of the room on top of the large black doormat in a ready stance.  They can enter class when an instructor excuses them in.  For every class, students who are here on time and waiting should be quiet and respectful of the class currently on the floor.  During class if a student needs to get a drink of water or use the bathroom they must ask an instructor first.  This is being respectful of course, but its also a safety issue because our staff wants to know where a student is if they leave the mat.  We might think they are injured or sick if they leave without letting us know first.  Students should not sit on the bench unless they are sick, injured or they were told to by an instructor.

            We would like all students and visitors to please not take out or use pads and equipment before or after class unless given permission by an instructor.  This is for safety, but also shows respect for the Dojo and others.  Students and guests cannot use the upstairs training floor unless with a staff member.  This is obviously because of safety and liability.  We also need the upstairs floor often during classes either for splitting up the class or for scheduled private lessons.

            Last, but certainly not least.  We would like to please ask the parents and family of our students to help us keep the stairways and lobby clear for people to walk through safely.  We encourage our youth students to quietly do their homework in the lobby or color or read a book.  But it’s unsafe for them to block the stairway while doing so.  Sometimes they just need a reminder of where to sit.  In addition to that, Sensei and Susie would sure appreciate students and guests to not block the walkway to the office.  That will show consideration and respect for your fellow students and family that need help in the office.

            We have plans to remodel the retail area in front of the office. This will provide more space for people to sit and kids to do homework or color.  It will also give us more room to nicely display weapons and t-shirts. 

            The staff greatly appreciates the understanding and help of our students and families in helping us keep up such a wonderfully nice Dojo