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Aikido Etiquette

Aikido comes from Japanese culture. It is a discipline that is transmitted through physical and energetic  practice, versus muscle or words. Therefore, honor and respect are important.


Dojo Etiquette

  • Always bow to the kamiza when entering or leaving the dojo.

  • Do not wear socks or shoes on the mat.

  • Bow to the kamiza each time you step on or off the mat.

  • Avoid bringing food, drinks, or chewing gum onto the mat or into the dojo.

  • Refrain from using drugs or alcohol before class or at the dojo.

  • Silence your phones to maintain a focused environment.

  • Pets are not allowed in the dojo at any time.

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Practice Etiquette

  • Maintain personal hygiene: Ensure your uniform is clean, your nails are trimmed, remove jewelry, and tie back long hair for a clean mind, body, and spirit.

  • Begin and end class with respect: Line up in seiza, and bow following the instructor's lead.

  • Preferred seating: Sit in seiza on the mat. If needed, sitting cross-legged (anza) is acceptable.

  • Late arrival protocol: Bow upon entry, sit in seiza at the back of the mat, and wait for the instructor's signal to join the class.

  • Observation etiquette: Remain silent and attentive while the instructor demonstrates techniques.

  • Partner practice: Bow to your partner before and after each practice session.

  • Instructor interaction: If the instructor is working with your partner, observe respectfully. Bow and resume training once instruction ends.

  • Minimize talking: Keep conversations to a minimum to maintain the meditative aspect of Aikido.

  • Show respect: Respect those more experienced. Never argue about technique. Respect those less experienced. Do not pressure your ideas on others.

  • Lead by example: If you understand the technique and are working with someone who does not, show them through your own movement. Do not attempt to correct or instruct your training partner unless you are authorized to do so.

  • Leaving the mat: Obtain the instructor's permission before exiting, unless it's an emergency.

  • Health concerns: Inform the instructor if you're ill or injured, and refrain from training.

  • Dojo weapons protocol: Seek approval before using, return weapons to the rack after practice, and take personal weapons home.

  • Personal items: Avoid leaving belongings in the dojo.

  • Collective responsibility: Contribute to cleaning the space after class.

  • Welcome newcomers: Greet new students and share the dojo's etiquette with them.

"I already see how Aikido is strengthening my ability to be conscientious and empowered in how I respond to what life throws at me. Ann O’Brien Sensei teaches the context and the content of Aikido very clearly - I highly recommend Crystal River Aikikai. "

Kyle - Spiritual Life Coach, Ayurvedic Counselor, Men's Mentor

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