Karate is a discipline – beginners should familiarise themselves with the guidelines below and follow the examples set by higher grades.
“REI” (BOW) WHEN AND HOW
Always perform a standing bow when entering and leaving the dojo
A deep bow is performed from the kneeling position at the start and end of every training session.
Always bow immediately before and after training with a partner. In this case, the standing bow is used, and the eyes are kept on the partner throughout – see ‘Respect for Partner’ below.
A standing bow should be executed prior to performance of a Kata.
RESPECT FOR THE INSTRUCTOR
Always refer to the instructor as ‘Sensei’.
Pay attention to your instructor at all times, and do not talk whilst he/she is teaching.
Answer instructors with ‘Os’ to confirm that you have understood them.
On entering the dojo when training is already in progress (i.e. arriving late), kneel facing the instructor and wait quietly for their acknowledgement. Once this has been given, perform a kneeling bow and join the class, causing as little disturbance as possible.
RESPECT FOR PARTNER
At various points during training, you will be asked to train in groups of two or more. When this happens, you should simply turn and face the row in front of you (or behind you). This should be done quietly. Do not waste time by attempting to find, or avoid particular individuals.
Prior to training with a partner, a standing bow is executed. This is more than a formality – in effect you are entering into a contract with your partner, in which you promise to train to the best of your ability, whilst executing proper control in all your techniques, so that you may help each other to improve.
When training with a partner, keep your attention focused fully on them, and execute your attacks and blocks strongly and purposefully. If you don’t push your partner, they will not improve, and they will have no incentive to help you improve. At the same time, always control your techniques properly. Training with a partner is not over until the standing bow is once again performed – until then, keep your attention to your partner. This is called ‘Zanshin’.