1) When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow in the direction of the front of the dojo. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
2) No shoes on the mat. Students should have footwear, such as slippers, for wearing off the mat. Bare feet are not allowed when walking on the floor surrounding the mat.
3)Be on time for class (10 minutes before class). Student should be lined up
approximately 3-5 minutes before the official start of the class. If you happen
to arrive late, stand on the edge of the mat until the instructor or senior student grants permission to join practice.
4)If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach an instructor or senior student and ask for permission.
5)Avoid sitting on the mat. Also, do not lean against the wall or sit with you leg stretched out. (Either sit in seiza or cross-legged)
6)Remove watches, rings and other jewelry before practice as they may catch
your partner's hair, skin, or clothing and cause injury to oneself or one's
7)Do not bring food, gum, or beverages onto the mat. It is also considered
disrespectful in traditional dojo to bring open food or beverages into the
8)Please keep your fingernails (and especially one's toenails) clean and cut
9)Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is
should be restricted to one topic - Karate. It is particularly impolite to talk
while the instructor is addressing the class.
10)If you are having trouble with a technique, do not shout across the room
to an instructor for help. First, try to figure the technique out by watching others. Effective observation is a skill you should strive to develop as well as any other in your training. If you still have trouble, approach an instructor or senior student at a convenient moment and ask for help.
11)Carry out the directives of instructors and senior students promptly. Do
not keep the rest of the class waiting for you.
12)Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive
13)Please pay your class fee promptly. If, for any reason, you are unable to
pay your dues on time, talk with the person in charge of dues collection.
Sometimes special rates are available for those experiencing financial
14)Change your clothes only in designated areas (not on the mat!).
15)It is usually considered polite to bow upon receiving assistance or
correction from an instructor or senior student.
16)During class, if an instructor is assisting a group in your vicinity, it
is considered appropriate to suspend your own training so that the instructor
has adequate room to demonstrate.
17) Do not break ranks at the end of the class until the instructor dismisses
Generally accredited to Gichin Funakoshi (but rumored to have been created by Kanga Sakukawa, an 18th century Okinawan karate proponent) the Dojo kun serves as a set of five guiding principles, recited at the end of each Shotokan training session, intended to frame the
practice within an ethical context.
The five rules (in Japanese) are:
hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto
hitotsu, makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
hitotsu, doryōku no seishin wo yashinau koto
hitotsu, reigi wo omonzuru koto
hitotsu, kekki no yū wo imashimuru koto
The word Hitotsu means "one" or "first" and is prepended to each rule to place it at the same level of importance as the others. The word koto which ends each rule means "thing" and is used as a conjunction between rules.
A more terse translation is used by the ISKF and JKA:
GTSS@ 2008........................... If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize. Muhammad Ali