Dojo Etiquette

  • Always bow when entering or leaving the dojo
  • The instructor is to be referred to as ‘Sensei’, not by name
  • Jewellery must not be worn, piercings can be covered up with a plaster
  • Nails must be kept short and clean
  • If you arrive late, kneel at the side of the class and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you
  • If you need to leave the dojo for a toilet break, just ask the instructor
  • When moving around the dojo, walk around the side so as not to disturb other students

Japanese Terminology

These are some of the words you will frequently heard used in class.

Some of the words have more meaning, but these are the simplified translations. For example, while we use ‘hai’ as a simple ‘yes’ reply, it actually means “I have understood what you said.” So it doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with the person, but rather you understand what they’ve told you.

Dojo – Training hall
Sensei – Instructor
Sempai – Senior student
Hai – Yes
Seiza – Kneeling position
Oneiga Shimasu – Give me a good lesson
Arigato Gozaimashita – Thank you for a good lesson

Hidari – Left
Migi – Right
Kihon – Basic
Zuki – Punch
Uke – Block/Parry
Geri – Kick
Mawatte – Turn
Maai – Distance
Taisabaki – Body movement

Count to ten in Japanese

Ichi – One
Ni – Two
San – Three
Shi – Four
Go – Five
Roku – Six
Shichi – Seven
Hachi – Eight
Kyu – Nine
Jyu – Ten


belt_white 10th Kyu
belt_tag 9th Kyu
belt_yellow 8th Kyu
belt_orange 7th Kyu
belt_green 6th Kyu
belt_blue 5th Kyu
belt_purple 4th Kyu
belt_brown 3rd Kyu
belt_brown 2nd Kyu
belt_brown 1st Kyu
belt_black Dan Grades