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This page is only meant to supply a few helpful hints on dojo etiquette. For more in depth answers please ask your instructor(s). If you have any questions or would like to suggest clarifications, please contact the Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai at

DOJO ETIQUETTE (Reigi or Reishiki)

  1. If you cannot attend class or if you are going to be late, you must call.
  2. Upon entering the school, you must bow.
  3. Enter the practice area with your left foot first, then your right, and then bow. When leaving the practice area, bow, then step back with your right foot first, then your left.
  4. If late to practice, you must enter the dojo (practice area) and sit in seiza. The instructor will call you into practice in due time.
  5. Always try to walk behind classmates and never, unless absolutely necessary, walk in front of a senior. If you must, then excuse yourself by extending your hand open in front of yourself politely.
  6. You are permitted to walk in front of classmates and seniors when they are practicing with weapons. This insures that they see you and hopefully an accident will be avoided.
  7. Never talk in class unless you must ask a question in which case you must say Onegai Shimasu. You can also use this term in initiating practice with your partner. If you talk, you cannot listen.
  8. If you are called by a senior, you must respond immediately with a return call. There should be no hesitation to commands.


  1. Your gi (uniform) must be white cotton or cotton blend. Silks or nylon is not appropriate.
  2. The system patch can be worn on the left chest. The Shinzen patch is to be worn on the right sleeve just below the seam.
  3. No jewelry, beepers, and cell phones are to be worn with your gi.
  4. Gi, belt, and hakama must be tied properly.
  5. If there is a need to retie your belt or gi during practice, turn away from your dojo mate(s) and sit in seiza and then retie it. Sit in seiza if your partner is injured.


  1. When not in use it must always be pointed away from dojo. When exchanging with another, use both hands, palms up.


  1. Black belts are worn with the style name on left side. Belts should never be left on the floor or worn while eating or drinking a beverage.


  1. At the start of paired practice, offense will step forward first and then defense will step back.
  2. Leave any personal problems outside the dojo.
  3. Whether outside or inside the dojo, when first coming into the presence of a senior (senpai) you must take one step back (right foot and then left foot) and bow lower than you senior. A hand shake may or may not follow.