Blancke Academy Karate Club(est. 1970)
Your Karate, Kick-boxing and MMA club in Brussels!

Blancke Academy Karate Club(est. 1970)
Your Karate, Kick-boxing and MMA club in Brussels!


Dojo Etiquette

“Rei - Martial Arts begins and ends with respect.” - Gichin Funakoshi

1. Showing Respect to Other Students

"Have your behavior, both inside and outside the karate dojo, guided by respect to others." - Funakoshi

The dojo is a family. It is a high-trust environment that allows us to expand our comfort zone in a safe way. The student can try new things in the dojo and not be afraid to fail because they know that their dojo brothers and sisters will be supportive of them and keep them safe – both physically and emotionally. This enables learning and growth, and requires a deep level of mutual respect. You, the other students, and the sensei are all traveling the martial arts path together, helping each other grow and evolve.

The proper way to greet other karateka is by bowing (also called rei 礼 in Japanese). 

While you are bowing, silently say in your mind “thank you.” This will help make your bow sincere. Make sure your bow in particular, and your karate etiquette in general, are sincere and come from your heart.

2. Entering and exiting the dojo

Bow, standing at the entrance, facing the dojo or towards the front of the dojo, whether you are entering or exiting the dojo.

3. Lateness

“In martial arts, being on time is late.”

Plan to arrive at the dojo early – at least by 10 to 15 minutes. This gives you time to settle in and begin stretching and preparing.

If you are late, bow in, then quietly kneel or wait near the entrance. Wait until the instructor acknowledges you. Then bow kneeling, get up, and quickly join the group. If you arrive just as everyone is kneeling at the beginning, don’t move, don’t make any noise, just wait until warming-up starts, and bow in as described above.

4. Opening sequence

When you hear Line up!, stand shoulder to shoulder facing the front of the dojo, in rank order. 

Seiza!: kneel down in seiza, in line with the person on your left. 

Mokusou!: eyes closed, quiet, meditation – lower your gaze, relax, and breathe. 

Mokusou yame!: eyes open

Shoumen ni rei!: Bow to the front of the room (this signifies bowing to the institution of karate and to the line of instructors who brought it to your instructor). 

Sensei ni rei!: Bow to the instructor. When you’re bowing, you can say onegaishimasu,” which means “Please,” i.e., please teach me, please help me, please hold class, etc. 

At the signal of the instructor, get up; or wait for the senior person beside you to stand first then follow.

5. Closing sequence

Same as the opening sequence, except that after mokusoh, there may a recitation of the dojo kun.  

During the final bow to the instructor, you can say Arigatou gozaimashita, which means “Thank you.”

At the end, the instructor will get up. Wait until the person on your left bows and gets up before you do the same.

6. Helping out 

If you are asked to help out, actively participate to whatever extent you can., be it from tidying up or helping a fellow student.

7. General Guidelines 

Most importantly, the moment class starts, your mind should be on karate and on trying to improve your own technique. 

- Don’t wear jewelery, watches, chains 

- Don't pass in front of anyone – go behind and around.  

- Every time you get a new partner for any exercise, bow.