Students arrive 10 to15 minutes before the class and proceed to the
changing rooms. After putting on the uniform, 3 to 5 minutes before
the class starts, students line up and sit in seiza. After bowing
to the picture of O-Sensei and bowing to the instructor, the class
begins with a set of stretching exercises that usually lasts 10 to15
minutes. After the stretching and warm-up exercises, the practice
begins. At the end of the class students bow to the picture of
O'Sensei, bow and thank the instructor, and then bow and thank each other.
Private lessons are also available, inquire with Dojo-Cho.
Proper observance of etiquette is as much a part of training as is
learning the techniques. Observing proper etiquette often requires
one to set aside one's pride or comfort. We encourage you to read the
following guidelines and please take matters of etiquette seriously.
When entering or leaving the mat, it is proper to bow in the direction
of O-Sensei's picture and the kamiza.
No shoes on the mat.
Be on time for class. Students should be lined up and seated in seiza
approximately 3-5 minutes before the official start of class.
Avoid sitting on the mat with your back to the picture of O-sensei. Also,
do not lean against the walls or sit with your legs stretched out. (Either
sit in seiza or cross-legged.)
Remove watches, rings and other jewelry before practice as they may catch
your partner's hair, skin, or clothing and cause injury to oneself or one's
Do not bring food, gum, or beverages onto the mat. It is also considered
disrespectful in traditional dojo to bring open food or beverages into the
Please keep your fingernails (and especially one's toenails) clean and
Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is
should be restricted to one topic - Aikido. It is particularly impolite to
talk while the instructor is addressing the class.
If you are having trouble with a technique, do not shout across the room
to the instructor for help. First, try to figure the technique out by
watching others. Effective observation is a skill you should strive to
develop as well as any other in your training. If you still have trouble,
approach the instructor at a convenient moment and ask for help.
Carry out the directives of the instructor promptly. Do not keep the rest
of the class waiting for you!
Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during
Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive
Please pay your membership dues promptly. If, for any reason, you are
unable to pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues
collection. Sometimes special rates are available for those experiencing
Change your clothes only in designated areas (not on the mat!).
Remember that you are in class to learn, and not to gratify your ego.
An attitude of receptivity and humility (though not obsequiousness) is
It is usually considered polite to bow upon receiving assistance or
correction from the instructor.
During class, if the instructor is assisting a group in your vicinity,
it is frequently considered appropriate to suspend your own training so
that the instructor has adequate room to demonstrate.