The Etiquette (Reigi or Reishiki)

The Dojo is the place where you learn both the spirit and technique of Kendo, but also understand Bushido which is deeply rooted in ancient Japanese culture. Therefore the Dojo you choose should be considered your personal sacred place in which to train. Its positive atmosphere is created from the beginning of class during the Dojo Reigi (or Reishiki).

The attitude

Discipline and respect are principal values in the Dojo. You must enter the Dojo without malice or antagonism because if not this can lead to dangerous accidents. A bow is a focal point for these values. When you enter or leaving the Dojo you must stop and bow. 

The procedures

To express the techniques and ideas of Kendo, most of the time Japanese terms are used.
By commanding “Seiretsu” or “Kiritsu”, students line up for bowing, to begin or end a class. When lining up, senior students line up on the right, facing Shomen (the main wall) and the rest of the class line up in order of rank The command to kneel for a seated bow before the training is “Seiza”, but before the lesson can start there is meditation before the bow. By commanding “Mokuso”, a deep breathing meditation is practised. Other commands before you start: “Shomen ni rei” (Bow to the head wall), “Sensei ni rei” bow to the teacher and, “Kiritsu”, stand up from Seiza.

When you have no Jigeiko (free sparring), the students should try to maintain lines when training but also have the same timing and rhythm as this enables the instructor to see better and make corrections.

If late to practice and enter the Dojo you must sit in “Seiza” until the instructor calls you into practice in due time. When entering the Dojo, walk behind the group and never between two Kendokas facing each other. If you must do so, excuse yourself by extending your hand open in front of you politely.


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