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A Comprehensive Guide to Dojo/Karate Etiquette

Etiquette is all about giving respect and courtesy and training your mind to behave properly in the surrounding environment. While learning karate, you have to follow some manners and behaviours to maintain the decorum of the place. The place where your karate training is provided and practised is Dojo, and every individual has to perform a higher standard of behaviour at that place. Following such rules is related to showing proper behaviour and respect towards karate. 

This guide will help you to know what things you have to do and what not to do. These points will help you in making you a better person at the Dojo. 

  • Attitude

Your attitude matters a lot in achieving anything in your life. While entering the Dojo, whether you are a white belt, black belt, rich people or any daily wage person, you should have a clear and open mind. Let us understand this in simple terms, a full filled cup will not be able to take more, and in the same manner, if you think that you know everything very well, then you will not be able to learn new things. Thus it is very important that you should have an open mind to listen and do things as instructed. You will learn something new from every instructor. You should leave all the negative feelings outside the Dojo. 

  • Give Respect

Karate is the most respected martial art. Its beginning and ending are both related with respect. And being a karate practitioner, you have to show complete respect inside and outside the Dojo. ‘SENSEI’ is used to address an instructor, and you have to show complete respect to your instructor and fellow participants. If you do not treat them with respect, then you will have no partner to practice your training session with. The most normal way of showing respect is to bow before and after every practice session. 

  • Follow Proper Dress Code.

Your karate uniform (gi) should be neat and tidy. It should be mended properly if it is torn. Also, you have to wear a belt (obi) during your practice session. It is said that you should never wash your karate belt as it contains your spirit. You have to give attention to your feet and body while entering the Dojo. Nails of hand and toes should be trimmed; hair should be tied up, discard ring, jewellery, watch during practice, don’t apply strong perfume, don’t come for practise if you’re drunk or consumed drugs.    

  • Arriving And Leaving Manner

You should always try to arrive at your Dojo before time so that you get enough time to change your uniform and prepare yourself with the desired points. You should not take your shoes inside the door. As soon as you enter the Dojo, you should make a respectful gesture, bowing. Along with bowing, you have to say the term Onegaishimasu, which means “If you please”, do me this favour. Then bow to your instructor and other black belts partners. In case you get late, and warm-up exercise is going on, then after doing the usual bowing, you should kneel at the front place and wait for the instructor motion to join others. In case if the warming class is over, then you should do the warm-up exercise on your own and then wait in the kneeling position for instruction motion to join the rest of the team members. 

While leaving the Dojo, you have to turn your face towards the Dojo and say ‘Arigato Gozaimashita‘ means ‘thank you very much or ‘sayonara’ means goodbye. You have to follow courtesy while exiting from the door; you should allow your seniors to go first, and then you should leave.  


Etiquette offers a high trust environment to practice everything in the right manner. It is an important aspect of martial arts. Set manners are helpful in practising sessions and becoming a good martial artist.
If you are looking for a recognized karate school in Melbourne, then you can trust Kassis Karate Academy Melbourne. We are experts in teaching people authentically and quality karate moves. You just need to have a love of learning to join our team. We know how to cater for the different needs of different people. To join our classes, you can contact us at 0402 278 531.