Protocol

Start  — On Saturday the class starts promptly at 7:00 AM.  If you can’t make a class please text the Dojo-cho.  That means you need to get to the dojo no later than 6:45, to get dressed, pay dues, get on the mat and stretch out.  Socialize off the mat

Dues — Should be placed a labeled envelope (Japanese or Western) and handed to the Dojo-cho. They should be paid in advance. Tanshinjuku accepts cash, checks or paypal.

Entering Training Space — When entering practice space perform a standing bow in the doorway towards the Shomen with the sword held in the left hand. Sword is still in the bag. Once you enter, leave your problems behind and embrace your learning.

Stepping onto the Mat

  • You will enter from the Joseki.
  • Walk along the Shimoza  to an open space
  • Sit in seiza, sword in bag and cleaning kit will be on left side. 
  • Bow towards Shomen. 
  • Turn 90 degrees place cleaning kit on Shimoza  and take sword out of bag.  Adjust sageo.  Place sword on mat/Shimoza  edge with curved edge towards Shomen with tsuka towards the Shimoseki.  Fold your sword bag and place it under the cleaning kit.

Stretching — Stretch and loosen up, but do NOT put back to Shomen.

Line Up — Watch the Sensei. When they signal the class is ready to start, line up in seiza with sword on right facing the Shomen. In traditional dojos the senior student is towards the Shimoseki and the junior are towards the Joseki.

Bowing In — Watch the Sensei and your Senpais.

Watching — If you are injured you are always welcome to watch a class.  You can learn a lot by watching.  You are training your eyes and mind.

Practice —

  • Respect — Respect your Sensei or assigned Senpai. Learn from them; they have more experience than you do. If this is an issue perhaps you should consider another dojo.
  • Be Aware — Be aware of your surroundings. Learn by watching, the Sensei may or may not explain things. Do your best to duplicate what you see.
  • Listen — Listen carefully to what the Sensei says. Even though they may not be talking to you it could still apply to you.
  • Remember — Try to remember what you learn, consider using a journal. It can be frustrating for the Sensei to repeat themselves.
  • Talking — Don’t talk to fellow students during class. Your Sensei/Senpai will be watching. They will notice if you have a question and prompt you. You can socialize before and after class.
  • Leaving — If you get injured or need to leave, go to the Joseki side and bow out. If you are injured let the Sensei know.
  • Walking — Do not walk behind fellow students or the Sensei. It is dangerous and rude. Walk in front of them, catch their eye and bow your head.

Late — If you are late, regardless of the reason:

  • Do not disturb class, be quiet and get suited up
  • Sit in seiza by Joseki until the Sensei acknowledges you and waves you onto the mat. If you can’t sit in seiza sit cross-legged. Depending on the Sensei you may sit for the entire class. Do not be frustrated watch the class and learn.
  • Follow the ‘Stepping onto the Mat’ procedures
  • Begin doing suburi: 100 center, 50 right, 50 left. Keep count. If you finish begin again until the Sensei tells you otherwise. Depending on the Sensei you may do suburi for the entire class. Suburi is not just exercise it is training, embrace it.

Questions — The time for unsolicited questions is before or after class. If you have issues with traditional teaching methods talk to the Dojo-cho. If you have questions on protocol or even how to fold a hakama ask a Senpai.