Aikido Vilassar

About the Aikido Etiquette

Osensi Rei Osensi Rei

In Aikido training, etiquette is as important as the study of the physical techniques. Since Aikido is a
Japanese martial art, the interactions between the teacher and the students, and among fellow students
themselves,follow the Japanese form.
You will not be expected to know all the etiquette forms at the beginning, but you will be expected to learn
them in reasonable time.It is not complex and will quickly become natural. Knowing the appropriate
etiquette demonstrates your awareness and readiness to receive instruction from the teacher.

Aikido Etiquette terms

The Dojo (道場?): Aikido training takes place in a hall known as DOJO (place of the way). The dojo is considered
a sacred place of learning; it must be kept clean and free of distractions. Behave no differently in the dojo
than you would in a church or temple. Always bow upon entering and leaving.

Training Partners: Training partners should always be approached with gratitude and respect. They are
lending you the use of their bodies to enable you to train together, to ‘polish each other’.

Rei(Bowing): Bowing is a way of showing honor and respect.

Aikido Etiquete

The Dojo The Dojo

Arriving at the dojo

First off - be punctual! Enter the dojo and be on the tatami (the mat) as early as possible, before class is scheduled to start. In the time you are waiting, ensure the mats are safely positioned and carry out warm up exercises.

If you are late,  then simply wait at the side of the tatami until you are seen and acknowledged by your sensei. As you step onto the mat, carry out a kneeling bow to O-Sensei (the Founder of Aikido). Join in the warming-up exercises or if these are over, do your own warm-up at the edge of the mat. As always, be aware of anyone moving or being thrown near you, and move if necessary.

Occasional lateness or lateness caused by special commitments such as one's work schedule is acceptable, but lateness caused by poor planning or lack of conscientiousness is an indication of a lack of order in one's mind, and unless corrected will hinder one's learning and progress in aikido.


Sieza Bad Sieza Bad Sieza Rei Sieza Rei Sieza Feet Sieza Feet Ritsu Rei Ritsu Rei

Rei to the dojo

Upon entering the dojo building, do a standing bow towards the Kamiza (shrine) by bending the body 30 to 45 degrees with the arms held by the side of the body. At all times, while in the dojo when not on the tatami, footwear of some kind must be worn. Put on your zori (sandals) or equivalent when getting changed, and leave them neatly at the side of the tatami during the practice.

Rei to the tatami (dojo floor)

The tatami surface is the training surface in the dojo and as such it is important to bow there as well. Upon stepping onto the tatami, kneel down in the position known as seiza (sitting on the heels with the back straight) and bow putting both hands in front of the knees keeping the back straight. That bow is also required upon leaving the tatami. Furthermore, if for any important reason it is necessary to leave the tatami during the class, first ask permission from the sensei, then leave the tatami after completing a standing bow, if it is a temporary absence, or a kneeling bow if it is the end of your practice.

Rei to O-Sensei (the founder of Aikido)

The spirit of the Founder is always present in the dojo. In our aikido training, we cannot practise without thanking him for the gift of his art. We do a kneeling bow to the Kamiza at the beginning and the end of the class. If one arrives late for the class, one kneels and bows to the Kamiza upon stepping onto the mat.

Rei to the Sensei

After the rei to O-Sensei, the practitioners do a kneeling bow to the sensei. This should be repeated at the end of the class as well. At the beginning of the class it is customary to say Onegai-shimasu (Please help me in my practice) as one bows to the sensei; while at the end of the class, one says Domo arigato gozaimashita (Thank you very much).

Rei to your partner

Consider that your partner is the mirror of yourself. Ignoring your partner's individuality and self-esteem is against the spirit of aikido. Your partner is not someone you compete against, but a person to train with and improve with. Show respect to and consideration of your fellow practitioners in every aspect of the practice.
Partners should bow to each other when starting or finishing techniques and methods. Ensure you listen to your instructor carefully and respect their instructions, and follow their directions in practice. On the other hand, senior students should not take advantage of their position, and should remain humble and sincere to beginners or lower ranked students.

Rei to any weapons being used

Before and after the use of the bokken (the wooden sword), the jo (the 4-foot stick), or tanto (the wooden knife) hold the weapon at eye level with both hands toward O-Sensei and do a standing bow. Even a piece of wood can be a great help in one's aikido training. When one practises with it, it becomes a part of one's body. Thus, throwing around, stepping on or jumping over the weapon is disrespectful.

Etiquette Expressions

Etiquette Expressions: The following are common expressions used in the dojo, and their approximate
Arigato Gozaimashita - Thank you very much.
One-gaishimasu - Please show me your favor.
Sumi-Masen - I’m sorry, please excuse me.
Hai! - Yes