Jaindochin Jujitsu Etiquette

Jaindochin Jujitsu etiquette refers to the conduct, behavior, manner and conventions used in the dojo. There are prescribed ways of doing things in the dojo such as, how to sit, bow, and going around people instead of cutting in front of them, etc.

The etiquette in the dojo is used to provide a sense of history for Jaindochin Jujitsu and to ensure students maintain control over themselves at all times. Respect for other people and Martial Arts itself are all demonstrated when you follow the established etiquette. In an art that can be deadly, strict control is required so that injury doesn't happen. Self-discipline is a cornerstone of all martial arts and observing dojo etiquette sets the tone for student conduct. A person can demonstrate control by following the etiquette that is required by the art.

Generally, the dojo is a serious place, so students are expected to pay attention to Instructors and not engage in horse-play or chatter. It is recognized that beginning students will take some time to learn all the details of etiquette and not knowing the correct etiquette should never paralyze the student into inaction. CD#006 2002-02-02 (6) demonstrates etiquette and should be consulted for more detailed instruction on dojo etiquette.

Kodansha or yudansha is the black belt group.
Mudansha is the non-black belt group.
Kotosei is the senior student below the black belt level.

Addressing the Instructors
Often a new student will not know how to address the Instructors. The black belts and above can be addressed as "sensei" or depending on the rank, Hanshi, Shihan, Kyoshi or Renshi.

Tapping to communicate submission
To show submission a person only needs to tap twice and the person applying a technique must immediately release the technique. The double tap can be on the mat, to the person applying the technique, or to yourself. The other method of submitting is to say "mata", loudly.

Bowing and Sitting in seiza and anza
Bowing and sitting on the floor is a big part of Jaindochin etiquette. Often new members wonder why we do all that bowing and sitting on the floor. There are several reasons for this. First, most of the art originated in the Far East and most of the countries have a culture of bowing and sitting in the seiza or anza positions. So, we are learning a little of their culture and honoring them in the process. Second, through bowing and sitting in seiza/anza, and other forms of etiquette, a person demonstrates that he has respect for the other students and the sensei. It also demonstrates that the student has control over themselves, and self control is a required quality in an art that can injure easily. Third, generally western martial artists have focused on their upper bodies while martial artists from the orient, through their culture, have focused more on their lower bodies. The act of sitting on the floor and standing up strengthens the lower body.

The bow
There is the standing bow, the sitting bow. In both cases, the bow allows a person to present himself/herself humbly and vulnerably to the person/people receiving the bow.

Performing the standing bow
Start in the standing position, feet together, with hands at your side. Bend forward, slide hands onto your thighs and stop the bend when your fingers touch your knee caps. Return to your standing position with your hands returning to your side. This bow used when entering/exiting the dojo, to acknowledge the dojo as a place of learning and respect and to put the student in the correct frame of mind. It is recognized that the student may be carrying a gym bag or martial arts items when they approach the dojo. The student should stop in front of the dojo and bow toward the dojo from the waist.

When to use the standing bow.
  • When entering and leaving the dojo.
  • After receiving instruction from one of the yudansha.
  • When class is stopped because a senior yudansha member is leaving the dojo.
  • Before and after engaging in a match with an opponent.
  • In the open and closing procedures for a days lesson.

  • Performing the sitting bow
    Start in the sieza position with hand on thighs, bend forward, slide hands to the mat with the left hand leading the way. You bottom should remain on you heels. Return to the sieza position.

    When to use the sitting bow.
  • After receiving instruction from one of the yudansha.
  • Before and after engaging in a match with an opponent that requires wrestling.
  • In the open and closing procedures for the days lesson.

  • Sitting in Sieza
    Usually, one gets into the sieza sitting position from the standing or the anza position. From the standing position, kneel down starting with the right knee going down first. Next, sit back on your legs and put your hands on your thighs.

    Sitting in Anza
    The anza position is considered to be more of an informal sitting position than the sieza position. Usually, one gets into the anza sitting position from the standing or the sieza position. From the standing position, kneel down starting with the right knee going down first. Next, extend your right leg forward and sink backward onto the floor. Fold your left foot under your right thigh and your right foot under your left knee. You should be sitting up straight on your bottom. Rest your hands on your knees.

    Students should walk around behind others instead of directly in front of people. If you must walk in front of someone extend your hand forward at a 45 degree angle from the ground to acknowledge the intrusion.

    The start of practice procedure

    Students entering the mat area for instruction are asked to use the Japanese words that indicate their desire to enter the practice area for instruction. It is never considered a matter to be taken for granted. It carries with it a pledge to be the best student they can be, and will dedicate themselves to their utmost ability to learn as much as they can from the experience.

    All students have come prepared with their uniforms clean and neatly adjusted, and carry with them any equipment or personal items they may need during the session. These things are better kept to the minimum in number. At the lead of the Senior Student (Kotosei), the students align themselves in a straight line descending from the senior student at the lower sitting area of the Dojo. The order is a combination of age and rank. The elder and higher ranked individuals always closer to the Upper Seat (Kamiza). Following the lead of the Kotosei, the entire class bows and petitions for admittance to the session. The request is made to the Hanshi or his designated student. This designate can be anyone of the Hanshi's choice -- even down to the senior student (Kotosei). The request is:

    ON NE GAI SHI MASU (Own Nay Guy She Moss)

    Once permission is granted for the students to be accepted for instruction in a particular teaching session, they must never leave the area without permission to do so by the Hanshi, Shihan, Kyoshi, Renshi or sensei, except in the case of an emergency. The class awaits some gesture from the admitting officer that they are cleared for entry onto the mat area (Keikojo)

    Students line up across from the Hanshi, facing him. The Kotosei will begin the class by calling out:
  • "Kiyotsuke"
  • 'Kamaza ni"
  • "Rei" (perform standing bow)
  • "Hanshi* ni'
  • "Rei" (perform standing bow)

  • The end of practice procedure

    Toward the end of practice the sensei will say "line up". Students line up across from the Hanshi, facing him. Kotosei on the end brings us to a kneeling position by saying "Seiza" Kotosei says:
  • "Kiyotsuke"
  • "Hanshi* ni" (perform standing bow)
  • "Rei"
  • "Kamaza ni" (perform standing bow)
  • "Rei"

  • When the session has concluded, the students should retrieve all of their training equipment and belongings and return to the original area in the lower part of the Dojo (Shimoza) to be excused.

    Once again the Hanshi or his designate, will preside over this process, and will usually make some meaningful remarks about the practice that has just ended or pick some words of advice for the departing student's to ponder as they leave. When this person has finished making remarks, the class, at the lead of the senior student, bow and offer their thanks for the being allowed to participate in the process of improving the self. As they bow in unison, they say the words:


    If they are particularly grateful for the instruction they have received, they might say:

    DOMO A RIGATO GOZAI MASHITA (DOE MOE AH REE GOT TOE GO ZA EYE MOSS SH TAH) By adding the word "Domo" at the beginning of the sentence, they have expressed, "Thank you very much," to the gesture. The class then awaits a gesture from the excusing officer that they are cleared to leave the session. This can be as slight as a glance or more usually a hand signal.

    In the absence of the Kotosei, the next Senior Student in attendance is to take over the role. Everyone in the class would do well to study the procedures and practices of a Kotosei, for the day may well come when they must take the reins of this responsibility.

    Common sense safety do's and don'ts.
  • No student should engage in Randori (free practice) without the Sensei's permission or that of the senior student (Kotosei).
  • The students should never use techniques that have not demonstrated or explained to them.
  • When practicing techniques, the person applying the technique must make sure the person receiving the techniques has enough experience so that they are not injured by the technique.
  • For throws, always make sure the mat is clear where a person will land from a throw. It is the throwers responsibility to make sure the area is clears for the throw.
  • The student should not substitute strength and power for skill and technique. This can lead to injuries.
  • Students should not have gum or candy in their mouths while on the mat.
  • Rings and jewelry should be removed before getting on the mat.
  • Finger nails and toe nails should be clipped short.
  • When your partner taps out, immediately release the technique you are applying.
  • Anytime the student wants to leave the mat area, they should contact an Instructor and ask to leave.
  • Report all injuries to the Sensei immediately.

  • Common sense do's and don'ts.
  • Students should maintain a high degree personal cleanliness, and come to the dojo with a clean gi.
  • Students should be courteous and helpful to each other.
  • Come to the dojo with an open mind ready to learn the lesson of the day.
  • When an Instructor leaves the mat area students are to acknowledge this with a Kotosei led bow, toward the Instructor.

  • Kotosei Responsibilities
    (Advanced or Senior Student below the black belt level)

    Kotosei has the following responsibilities:
  • I. Ensuring proper mudansha etiquette
  • II. Beginning the class
  • III. Ending the class
  • IV. Halting class for specific reasons.
  • V. Bowing students on or off the mat.
  • VI. Act as a mentor, or provide a mentor for new students.

  • I. Ensuring Proper Mudansha Etiquette.
    Kotosei will insure that the mudansha:
  • Is clean in body.
  • Has the proper uniform.
  • Is wearing belt properly.
  • Is aware of and following proper dojo etiquette
  • Is lined up properly for bowing in

  • Kotosei will ensure that gi tops, weapons, etc are lined up properly on the Joseki (upper side) after being bowed onto mat by the Sensei.

    Kotosei will assign duties such as turning fans off and on when instruction is being given and as directed by senior yudansha.

    II. Beginning the Class:
    Kotosei will begin the class by calling out:
  • "Kiyotsuke"
  • 'Kamaza ni"
  • "Rei"
  • "Hanshi* ni'
  • "Rei"

  • *In the event Hanshi is not present, the class will bow to the next ranking person, being "Shihan", 'Kyoshi", 'Renshi", or 'Sensei' in that order.

    III. Ending the Class:
    Kotosei will end the class by calling out:
  • "Kiyotsuke"
  • "Hanshi* ni"
  • "Rei"
  • "Kamaza ni"
  • "Rei"

  • Kotosei will then lead in the "clap of hands" to officially end class

    In the event Hanshi is not present, the class will bow to the next ranking person, being "Shihan", 'Kyoshi", 'Renshi", or 'Sensei' in that order.

    IV. Halting Class for Specific Reasons"
    In the event Hanshi, arrives late for class, Kotosei, will, upon the entrance of Hanshi, call out:
  • "Matte'
  • "Hanshi ni"
  • "Rei"

  • The same courtesy will be given to Shihan and Kyoshi if they arrive late for class.

    In the event Hanshi leaves class early, Kotosei will, upon Hanshi leaving the mat, call out:
  • "Matte",
  • "Hanshi ni",
  • "Rei".

  • The same courtesy will be given to Shihan and Kyoshi if they leave class early.

    V. Bowing students on or off the mat. In the event that a student is late to class or has to leave early, it is the responsibility of Kotosei to bow the student on or off the mat. Any person of higher rank can also perform the bowing in or out of the student.