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  Training Rules

O Sensei's rules for training Aikido

Aikido decides life and death in a single strike, so students must carefully follow the instructor's teaching and not compete to see who is the strongest.

Aikido is the way that teaches how one can deal with several enemies. Students must train themselves to be alert not just to the front, but to all sides and the back.

Training should always be conducted in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere.

The instructor teaches only one small aspect of the art. Its versatile applications must be discovered by each student through incessant practice and training.

In daily practice first begin by moving your body and then progress to more intensive practice. Never force anything unnaturally or unreasonably. If this rule is followed, then even elderly people will not hurt themselves and they can train in a pleasant and joyful atmosphere.

The purpose of Aikido is to train mind and body and to produce sincere, earnest people. Since all the techniques are to be transmitted person-to-person, do not randomly reveal them to others, for this might lead to their being used by hoodlums.

Doshu's addendum to the rules

Proper Aikido can never be mastered unless one strictly follows the instructors teaching.

Aikido as a martial art is perfected by being alert to everything going on around us and leaving no vulnerable opening (suki).

Practice becomes joyful and pleasant once one has trained enough not to be bothered by pain.

Do not be satisfied by what is taught at the dojo. One must constantly digest, experiment and develop what one has learned.

One should never force things unnaturally or unreasonably in practice. One should undertake training suited to his body, physical condition and age.

The aim of Aikido is to develop the truly human self. It should not be used to display ego.


The dojo's regulations in short

Before entering the dojo have your keikogi (training suit) on and your obi (belt) tied properly.  Just inside the dojo door, perform a standing bow towards the photograph of O Sensei (the founder of Aikido).  Go to the corner of the tatami (matted training area) and perform a kneeling bow, again to the photograph of O Sensei.

To perform the seated bow correctly remain seated on your heels (seiza).  Place the left hand and then the right hand on the tatami in front of you so that the to thumbs and index fingers form a triangle.

When the Sensei (instructor) enters the dojo, all students should line up (in grade order) in seiza facing the photograph of O Sensei.

To start the class all the students will bow with the Sensei towards the photograph of O Sensei.  The Sensei will turn to the students and say "Onegaishimas" (please teach me, pronounced; on-ay-gayshi-mass) and bow, the class then returns the bow.

During the class, it is polite to perform a standing bow to your old and new partner.  If the instructor should teach you and your partner individually, it is proper to perform a bow afterwards.  While the instructor is working with your partner sit in seiza on the tatami.

Ensure that your keikogi remains tied properly during practice and that you remain adequately covered.

If you come to class late wait outside the dojo until the instructor is not demonstrating before entering.  Wait at the side of the tatami to ask Sensei's permission to come onto the tatami, then perform the proper kneeling bow.

If you wish to leave early, it is polite to as the Sensei for permission to leave the class.  Perform the proper kneeling bow when leaving the tatami.

At the end of the class line up in a straight line as at the start of the class.  The instructor will bow towards the students and say "Domo arigato gozaimasita" (thank you for teaching me, pronounced; doe-mow ary-garto go-sigh-ee-mash-ta) the class then returns the bow.

To leave the dojo, perform standing and kneeling bows in a similar manner to when entering the dojo, but in reverse order.

Students should always wear zori (sandals) or some form of footwear to and from the tatami.

For the benefit of all, ensure that your keikogi is clean, in a good state of repair, finger and toenails are kept short, and long hair is tied back.  Keep a high standard of personal hygiene.

Follow the instructor's advice and instructions. Never unnecessarily talk while on the mat.

Wear clean clothes and keep your nails cut short.

Always wash your feet before training.

Because of the damage risk jewelry, clocks, candy and such while on the mat is not allowed.

Care for and show respect for your training partner.

Only aikido techniques are to be trained in our dojo. Never show what you've learned outside the dojo.

Everyone is together responsible for keeping the dojo clean and in order.

Always pay the training fees in time. There are no refunds.

What to Wear

Beginners are not required to wear a keikogi (the traditional "white pyjamas" worn by practitioners of Aikido and many other martial arts).  A pair of tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt are fine.  However, shorts are not acceptable.

If you already own a keikogi then it should be worn with a white belt.  If you are unsure of the correct way to tie the keikogi or the obi (belt) then ask one of the senior students or an instructor before the class.  The style of Aikido we practice does not use a system of coloured belts for kyu grades.  All practitioners below the rank of shodan (the first black belt rank) wear a white belt.

In this dojo, Aikido practitioners are permitted to wear the traditional hakama (black over-trousers) when they reach the grade of 1st Dan.  Female practitioners may be permitted to wear a hakama after the third kyu successful grading.

On your way from the changing room to the tatami (mat area), you should wear something on your feet.  It is considered a severe breach of etiquette to bring dirt onto the mat.  Whatever shoes you wear into the hall should then be removed and left at the edge of the mat.  Shoes are never permitted onto the mats.