Basic Rules and Etiquette

We have some basic rules of etiquette in the dojo. Practicing these rules connects you with the tradition involved in Aikido, and helps you to show respect to your fellow Aikidoka. If you’re ever in doubt, just ask!

1. No shoes on the mat. Remove your shoes when you enter the dojo and place them neatly on the shoe rack.

2. When entering or leaving the mat, bow to the kamiza, or the front of the dojo. This is a sign of respect to the founder, O’Sensei, and to those who have trained before you.

3. Arrive early enough before class to change your clothes and stretch a bit. Students should line up 5 minutes before class and meditate quietly.

4. If you happen to be late for class, change quickly and sit seiza at the edge of the mat until the instructor motions that it’s okay for you to join.

5. If you need to leave the mat during class for any reason, let the instructor know. When returning, sit to the side of the mat until you’re invited to re-join the class.

6. Keep your finger and toenails clipped short. Do not wear watches, rings, earrings, or other jewelry on the mat.

7. Don’t lean against the wall.

8. Come to class ready to learn and most of all, have fun!

Watching other Aikidoka is a good way to learn about etiquette in the dojo. Each dojo has its own unique way of doing things and it’s a good opportunity to develop your awareness by paying attention to how people behave in the dojo. Don’t worry if you make a mistake, you are here to learn.

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