Aikido etiquette – self respect and self control

aikido-brisbane-etiquette-self-controlThe previous article about etiquette was largely concerned with respect for the dojo and the instructor. Now I would like to extend the concept of etiquette to the arguably the most important concept of all. That is respect for your self!

Self respect, self control and humility are characteristics that partly define bushido – the way of the warrior. In Aikido, these concepts lead to the development of a non-fighting mind.



7 points of etiquette:

  1. Pay close attention to your personal hygiene. That includes body cleanliness, use of deodorant if necessary, restricted use of perfumes, good mouth (breath) hygiene and keeping your fingernails and toenails cut short
  2. Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odors. Holes in your uniform should be patched and sewn. Males are not permitted to wear any garment under their Gi jacket. Females may wear a white T-shirt.
  3. You may bring a water bottle into the dojo but do not bring food or other beverages. Do not chew gum during class as you may accidentally inhale it and choke.
  4. Remove watches, piercings, rings and other jewelry before practice.
  5. Be alert at all times. Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to Aikido.
  6. Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class. Growth in Aikido relies on cooperative practice.
  7. Please pay your membership and training fees promptly. If, for any reason, you are unable to pay on time, talk with the person in charge.

Learning and embracing dojo etiquette is also showing your willingness to receive instruction. It is about respect for your instructor who gives his or her time free, and it is about respect for your self and fellow students.

Beginners are not expected to learn the etiquette of Aikido straight away. You will soon pick it up by following the example of others in the dojo, particularly senior students.

Etiquette is of great value outside the dojo as well. It is a form of social lubricant that makes personal interactions proceed smoothly. Scrupulously polite people make few enemies, an obviously desirable trait for martial arts exponents.

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