Dojo Etiquette


Always show respect to your instructors, training partners, and fellow human beings.

Respect in training means: do not seek to harm fellow students physically (e.g., by cranking a submission harder than necessary to make them tap) or emotionally (i.e., by calling them names or making jokes about hurting them).

Respect also means that you must train seriously and hard enough for you and your partner to improve his or her skills, conditioning, and fighting spirit. Not giving your best during training detracts from both you and your partner’s experience.



Maintain good hygiene (i.e., shower and brush your teeth regularly). As you can imagine, it is difficult to concentrate on technique when you find your partner’s smells distracting!


Keep finger and toe nails short and clean to prevent injury to yourself and others.



Bring a clean, dry gi to each class. WASH YOUR GI AFTER EVERY CLASS. The gi must be free of rips and all patches should be secured properly. Also, always keep a rash guard or T-shirt in your gym bag for no-gi classes. Aways wear your proper belt and have the appropriate stripes.


Keep shoes off the mat, so that we can keep the mats clean and sanitary.



Do not walk outside with bare feet. If you have to go outside, wear sandals or shoes. Items (5) and (6) are especially important to prevent the spread of skin conditions such as ringworm.


Do not shout loudly or use profanity in the dojo. This should go without saying.



Do not talk while the instructor is talking. It distracts those who are trying to learn and is disrespectful to the teacher, as well as other students.


Stand, sit with your legs crossed, or kneel during class. No lounging.



Please wear your gi, a T-shirt, or a tank top while in public areas of the Dojo. No bare backs!


Do not leave the mat during class without the instructor’s permission.




Keep cell phones off during class. Again, they distract those who are trying to learn.


If the instructor has not changed the task, then continue doing the task he or she has given (i.e., don’t sit around talking because you feel you have done a technique enough times). You can NEVER do a technique too many times.



During practice help your partner learn the techniques. Do not block and resist your opponent while training. Save that energy for sparring.


If your opponent taps you will release him immediately. Likewise, if you are caught in a submission and there is a chance of injury and no immediate escape, you should tap. Don’t force your opponent to make a choice between letting you go or hurting you.



If you are late to class, wait by the door until the instructor lets you onto the mat. Always greet the instructor properly and with respect.


While on the mat the head instructor should be addressed as “Professor” and and not by his first name. Sensei or LaoShi is also acceptable.



It is the responsibility of each student to correct any new students if they are violating the standards of dojo etiquette. Do not wait for the instructor to notice.

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