Dojo rules (Dojo Kun)

Strive for the perfection of your character

Protect the way of truth

Cultivate the spirit of effort

Respect the rules and be polite

Refrain from rashness

begins and ends with respect.
— 礼に始まり礼に終わる Rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru —

1 PUNCTUALITY. Punctuality is a must. Lessons always start on the spot, so we must be in the dojo at least 15 minutes before, just to be changed and ready in time. Whenever we would be late (and the lesson is already started) we must wait for the master’s permission to enter the tatami mat and join the lesson.

2 PERSONAL CARE. We have to wear the karategi in the right way, keeping it clean, fresh and not creased. We also have to wear our belt carefully, making a clear knot and balanced tails. We must have a painstaking care of our personal hygiene, always keeping short hands’ and feet’s nails in order to not hurt anyone. For the same reason, wearing earrings, piercings, necklaces, anklets, bracelets and wrist watches is not allowed.

 3 SERVICE.  Just before the beginning of the lesson students and instructors provide to the tatami cleaning, all together. It is a relevant moment of mutual service spirit, humility, cooperation and respect for each other and for both the art and the dojo.

4 RESPECT. A dojo is a place of deep respect. On the tatami mat, students  address every instructor with the appellative of Sensei or Master and every instructor’s assistant with the appellative of Senpai. Anytime we enter or leave the tatami mat we have to perform the salutation, bowing towards the Kamiza (the side of the dojo where you can find the founder’s picture and/or the style’s logo images). Both at the beginning and at the end of each Karate lesson, just after the warming-up session, we perform the traditional salutation ceremony: let’s keep a focused and meditative attitude during this precious moments. When you are going to perform a Karate technique with a partner always bow towards him or her before starting and always bow right after the ending of the performance.

5 五 SILENCE. Mobile phones must be kept off or completely silenced for the whole training time (unless you have a valid and especial reason for keeping it on). During the training session, we should avoid any talking or chat in order not to break that mood of concentration needed for a good practice, whether the dojo is a silent or noisy place. A budoka is always attentive, polite and focused on what he or she is actually doing, no matter what’s happening all around.

6 RESPONSIBILITY. We always have to remember that higher ranked karatekas own the responsibility of being an example for the lower ranked ones. We must keep us conscious and available, respecting the seniors and accepting their advice. Let’s help lower ranked or less experienced people with diligence, humility and kindness. Black belts (Kuro obi) have even more responsibilities and they must be a role model for all (not only during the training sessions but ever).

7 LEARNING. The task of the master is to teach, the task of the student is to learn. We have to listen carefully to the recommendations of our instructor and commit ourselves, both mentally and physically, to put them into practice. We must be scrupulous, persevering and determined. Keeping an open mind and being friendly respectful is essential in order to progress in the path of Budo. 

8 ART. Wado-ryu Karate is a martial art, and it should be studied and respected with devotion, exactly like an art. If we consider it as a mere physical exercise or a personal defense system or just as a combat sport we won’t understand its intimate and deepest essence, and any real progress, for us, will be foreclosed. 

9 LEAVING. At the end of the lesson, we have to neatly and silently leave the dojo, meditating on the lesson just ended. We must maintain the same behavior even in the locker room, talking to a moderate tone of voice and using a respectful and appropriate language.

10 OUT. We cannot be good in the dojo without being it outside too. Let the spirit of Budo food us every moment of our day, wherever we are. Let us always remember that the techniques we learn in the dojo are dangerous: not all the people deserve to know or are able to manage them, so it is better avoiding to show them around unless expressly authorized by the master. ♦ Leggilo in italiano

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