Rules and Requirements – Members


Good manners and respect must be shown to all instructors and members. Any student behaving in a disrespectful or dangerous manner will be asked to leave the dojo. Loss of temper or bad language will not be tolerated for any reason. Any dispute should be brought to the attention of the Instructor. 

All ages

  • All members must complete a health and fitness questionnaire when they first attend and advise the club secretary/club instructor of any changes that may require amendment or replacement form.
  • All members must have a current licence in order to train (new members may train with no contact activity for 2 sessions without a licence, an application form must be completed and payment made before their 3rd training session, current members must complete an annual form and submit with payment at least 1 week prior to expiry of their previous license).
  • All ranked 3rd Kyu and above must have a current First Aid certificate, this will be checked at each grading and a record will be kept on each licence renewal form.
  • Appropriate protective clothing must be worn for any “free sparring”, with the minimum being approved PVC sparring mitts.  Additional recommended items to be worn are gum shields, groin guards (men) and chest guards (women).
  • Under 16s should not make facial contact during sparring and should be closely observed by Instructors 100% of the time.
  • All members must wear the appropriate clothing at all sessions, this will be a Dogi with club badge and  current association awarded belt unless advised by the Club Instructor.
  • Students must always arrive dressed and ready to train, at least 5 minutes before the class starts (do not get changed inside the dojo).
  • Finger and toe-nails must be short and clean.
  • Jewellery and watches should not be worn when training.
  • Always inform the instructor when you will be taking a leave of absence.
  • No eating in the dojo.
  • Tuition must be paid on time (If paying monthly then it should be in the club bank account on the 1st working day of the month, if paying on a session by session basis you must pay before class begins).
  • You must inform the instructor of any kind of medical condition or injury prior to training.
  • If there is a medical or career reason that you should not partake in any contact, you must request an elasticated bracelet to wear during the session so that all members know that you are not to have any form of contact.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off or be in silent mode.
  • When entering or leaving the training area, stop and perform a bow into the area.
  • When called to order, form a line with the highest grade on the right hand side. When all students are the same grade, then the eldest student will be on the right hand side.
  • When the line is formed and the Instructor is in place and ready, the senior student will call the class to order and all will bow to the instructor who will return the bow, this signifies the start of the session.
  • When facing a partner for sparring or to apply a technique, bow to each other at the beginning and at the end.
  • Students must never teach others what they have learned in class without the permission and approval of the chief instructor.
  • NO fighting or sparring will take place except under the direction of the instructor.
  • Students are not permitted to practice techniques on other students which have not been taught by the instructors.
  • Please inform the instructor in advance should you not be able to attend a regular session.


  • If you need assistance, a drink, a rest or to leave the dojo politely attract the instructor’s attention before doing so in a safe manner (walking around the outside of the dojo).

Juniors (ANYONE attending a Family/Children’s class)

  • At the Dojo, the black belt instructors will be addressed as Sensei (teacher) and assistant instructors (below black belt) as Sempai.
  • Parents are free to watch the lesson (where the venue has sufficient space and seating), but are requested not to speak to or distract the students during a lesson.
  • If a student arrives late for class he or she should open the door quietly, bow then kneel near to the door to await permission to join the class from a Sensei/Sempai.
  • There is no talking in the dojo when the instructors are teaching.
  • No shoes in the dojo area, all shoes must be removed before entering and left outside the dojo in a tidy manner.
  • Before any partner work is begun; distance must be checked, you must bow and then wait in Yoi until you are sure your partner is ready.
  • Light contact only during partner work and sparring.
  • There will be no take downs and throws allowed during sparring.
  • Blind, swinging techniques will not be allowed during sparring.
  • If you need assistance or to leave the Dojo raise your hand.
  • Never use karate to play around with anyone; it’s for defensive purposes only.


While these rules may seem formal, they help instil a sense of respect and discipline necessary in any sport, hobby or martial art which may, if taken lightly, be dangerous.  If you have any doubts regarding the dojo rules then please ask the Club Instructor.

It may be of interest to refer to rules that are in place for more traditional clubs to ensure you understand what is expected, should you visit another club…


Traditional Dojo Rules and Etiquette

Remember: when training at a different dojo or with a different instructor they may have a more traditional view on rules and etiquette in the dojo.  It is always advisable to err on the side of caution and ensure that you know these rules and apply them when training away from your regular class/instructor. 


  • Always show respect, specifically when entering or leaving the Dojo by bowing towards the centre of the room.
  • Always show respect to your instructors, a polite greeting such as “Osu Sensei” or “Osu Sempai” is appropriate. This type of behaviour exhibits important characteristics of a martial arts student (respect, discipline and humility). Those whom you treat in this way will in turn do the same to you, showing mutual respect between the student and the teacher
  • Respect your place of training (dojo) and the class in session, by lowering the volume of your voice if there is a class in session.  Bow upon entry and exit to the room (towards the centre of the dojo).
  • When you are in the dojo, you should return the bow of any black belt upon their initial entry to the dojo.
  • The training floor should be swept before and after each training session, the lowest grade in the room should be responsible for this (taking over from higher grades upon entry).


  • Children should be supervised until their class begins. It is unfair to disrupt teachers or other students while the classes are in session.


  • No shoes are allowed in the dojo, this both mirrors the Japanese etiquette of removing shoes before entering someones house and maintains the cleanliness of the floor that is to be trained upon.  Please make sure that when you remove your shoes and outer garments you must place them tidily in the area designated.


  • Please ensure that you have showered, bathed or washed thoroughly before each class. The class may require direct contact with another classmate and it is not only unpleasant to train with a partner who has not done this, but it also increases the risk of injury and/or infection if nails are not kept short, filed and clean. Your hair and body should smell clean and fresh: this is a common courtesy for other members of the class.


  • Please remember that traditionally a martial arts dojo is a sacred place where we must constantly monitor our language and attitude. Profanity, explicit language or negative attitudes cannot be permitted. You must be polite and courteous to everyone at the dojo. You should acknowledge your peers with “OSU” and bow when beginning or ending a training session with a partner. You must also be encouraging and supportive of your classmates efforts as you need them to progress just as much as you want to progress. Come to class each day with a desire to learn something new.


  • In many cases, your instructor will be explaining or demonstrating new techniques and/or concepts to the entire class at one time. Just like a classroom in a school or university all students must be quite and relatively motionless while the instructor is teaching. By doing so, the student and instructor can focus on material being taught. talking, moving about inappropriately can affect everyone. Always respect these common courtesies.


  • In order to truly benefit from your martial arts lessons, you must train regularly. To develop flexibility, strength, speed, stamina and self-discipline… you need to attend classes at least 2 times per week initially and later 3 times a week or more. Consistent training over time will yield awesome results!!
  • If you are unable to attend a usual session (or a session you had previously advised that you would attend) you must inform the instructor, club secretary or dojo captain before class begins.  Should this not be possible you should give apologies ASAP after the class.


  • Your uniform should be clean and pressed before each use. Your appearance not only reflects on you but also on your club and instructor. Keep your uniform in good condition by removing stains and repairing any tears which may occur. It is also important to make sure sleeves and pant legs are adjusted to an appropriate length; either too long or too short could impede your training, your safety and enjoyment of classes. Coloured T-shirts or sweat clothes are not permitted. Only Girls/Women may wear a vest or T-shirt underneath their uniform. Dojo and/or organisation badges must be worn correctly.


  • Jewellery should never be worn to class. If you cannot remove all of your jewellery please see your head instructor. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, etc can break or injure  you or your partner during training.


  • If you are unavoidably late, bow to enter the dojo and kneel at the dojo entrance.  Wait for the instructor to acknowledge your presence before joining the class.


  • Always show enthusiasm and energy.
  • Keep any talking to a minimum, at a low volume and not while the instructor is talking or demonstrating.
  • Always stay focused upon the instructor and do not fidget or move while instruction or explanation is being given.
  • Demonstrate proper posture at all times (no leaning on walls etc)


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