Monday, May 14, 2012

Martial Arts Etiquette

Learning the Dojo's etiquette is one of the first things you need to do when you start at a karate school.  In my new school, one of the rules is that you must learn the student creed, 5 codes of Tang Soo Do, and more to receive a patches for your uniform.  This is in addition to the skills needed to move up in belt rank.  In our school it is these to begin with:

Student Creed

I Will develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that could
reduce my mental growth or physical health.
I Will develop self-discipline in order to bring out the best in myself and others.
I will use common sense before self-defense and never be abusive or offensive.

5 Codes of Tang Soo Do
Be loyal to ones country.
Be obedient to parents and elders.
Honor Friendship.
Never retreat in battle.
In fighting, choose with sense and honor.

Also,  we have Tenets of Tang Soo Do which are painted on the walls of the Dojo:
Respect and Obedience
Indomitable Spirit

I really respect this school and the way they teach.  I love that they have a clear mission and do their best to make your training a positive experience.  Here is their mission according to their handbook:

To Change the World One Student at a Time!The school approaches this mission with constant in-service staff and teaching team training,
outside evaluations and certifications, and constant feedback from our clients. We strive to
integrate the best of the martial arts traditions with the goals of modern living, and we sacrifice
anything that hinders our fulfillment of our mission with our students.

Besides the mandatory rules like 8 classes a month needed to move up in belts, etc.  Most schools have a etiquette that each student must follow.  These are important and must be observed.  I believe it is important that you read these and agree to them prior to joining a karate school since these definitely give you a idea of your schools atmosphere and culture.  Not all karate schools are created equal and it is important to check out a few different schools before you join.  It took me a while to find a new one when I moved, it was important to me to find one I was comfortable with and wanted to stay with for a long time.  After all karate classes is a huge investment, not only financially but with who you are and who you want to surround your self with.  I also wanted to make sure I really like the children's programs since I am wanting my daughter to start taking classes soon.  I really like the instructors here, and have seen the way they teach the children as well as adults.  Here is the Dojang etiquette for our school:

Dojang Etiquette
􀂾 You should arrive for class 10 minutes prior to class time to ensure that you are dressed and prepared for
􀂾 You should not wear ANY jewelry in class to prevent injury to yourself or others.
􀂾 If you wear a tee shirt under your uniform, it should be white or black, to match your uniform top. No
collared shirts or turtlenecks should be worn under the uniform. Long pants may not be worn under your
􀂾 You should NEVER wash your belt. According to tradition, all your karate knowledge resides in your belt, and laundering it would wash away the knowledge.
􀂾 All students should remove their belts before leaving the dojang. If you are a teen or adult student, or a
black belt of any age, you should not wear your belt or uniform top outside of the dojang.
􀂾 You must bow when entering or leaving the teaching floor.
􀂾 You must take at least 8 classes each month to be eligible for stripe testing. No exceptions will be made.
If you do not have enough classes, see an instructor about making up the time.
􀂾 In order to prevent injury, never show your karate to people outside the school.
􀂾 Your Floor Director must approve demonstrations outside the school.
􀂾 You may not attend a tournament without your instructor’s permission.
􀂾 No food, drinks, or gum on the rug. Snacks must stay on the tile floor. Only water may be on the floor
during class.
􀂾 Only Black Belts may sit in chairs or on benches in the dojang. Gups (students with white or colored belts) must sit on the floor or remove their belt.
􀂾 There are no first names in the karate school. All students and staff are addressed by their title (Mr., Mrs.,
Miss, Ms. Dr.) and their last name.
􀂾 Students should bring their sparring gear (includes wearing a protective cup for all male students) and
weapons to every class.
􀂾 During a class, students should ask permission from an instructor before leaving the floor.
􀂾 For the safety of all students, we ask parents not to come onto the floor or call to students or instructors
during class.
􀂾 STARS sheets are required for all Karate Kids to Stripe Test.
􀂾 Students need a full uniform and their current belt for Graduation and Stripe Testing
􀂾 Bags should be stowed neatly during class.
􀂾 Please scan your card and put it in the basket before class.
􀂾 Save your coins to buy PSCL or awesome prizes!!

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