Dojo Etiquette

Aikido is more than just a physical form of self-defence. It is a physical, mental and spiritual path for growth and development: therefore the greatest understanding is gained when each action is done with mind, body and spirit. To benefit and enjoy training in Aikido, to create an atmosphere of mutual respect among the students and teachers and for reasons of safety, there are certain rules of etiquette that are followed in each dojo.


Bowing is a form of paying homage to Aikido, O Sensei, the dojo, Sensei and training partners, and it is the spirit in which it is done which gives it value and meaning. A bow done out of habit is simply a hollow shell.

Upon entering the dojo for the first time a seated bow should be performed and on leaving the dojo students should do a standing bow towards the shomen.
Bow towards the shomen when stepping on or off the mat.

The class is started and finished with a formal bow towards the shomen and the Sensei.

Before and after training with partners they should be thanked with a bow, the same also when the Sensei provides personal instruction.


From the time you start training in the art of Aikido the instructor will be known to you as Sensei at all times.

Be on time for class, preferably early but if late bow in alone, after receiving permission to enter the tatami.

Safety and Cleanliness

Always keep body and Gi clean.

Remove all jewellery and piercings before training.

Ensure feet are clean before stepping onto the mat.

Keep toenails and fingernails clean and short.

If a student is cut they should leave the dojo and dress the wound before resuming training.

Students thought to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to train.

The use of bad language is not permitted in the dojo.