Mode of Address
When addressing other people in the dojo, the appropriate formal
terms should be used. These are:
For Kimo sensei, simply "sensei", not Kimo sensei, Kimo,
or "hey you".
For other senior teachers, such as Giles sensei and Fred sensei: simply "sensei", unless someone
senior to them is present, then use their name as well.
For whomever is teaching the class or a group, simply sensei, unless their
senior is present, and then use their name as well.
Within the yudansha ranks, black belts equal or junior
to you are called san, black belts senior to you are called sensei.
For anyone the same rank or junior, unless they are teaching the
class: san. All mudansha (non black belts) refer to black belts as sensei.
The simple version: teachers are refered to as --sensei, everyone
else as --san.
Remember, when someone is teaching, always listen carefully and
try to do the exercise as the teacher is demonstrating it. Doing
something else sets a bad example, prevents you from learning
the material being presented, and is not very polite
Bowing, and Starting and Finishing
When starting class, the group first bows to the front of the
room, then to the teacher, then to each other. Sometimes this
is more complex, with the class also bowing to the other senior
instructors, and black belt ranks, but not in Kodokan.
A bow is performed at the beginning and end of a kata, though
if a set of a single kata are being performed sometimes one bows
only at the beginning of the first and end of the last.
A bow is performed before beginning a paired exercise. This needs
to be done only once at the beginning of a set, so that more time
is not taken up bowing than training. Another is performed at
the end of the exercise.
A bow is performed entering and leaving the dojo, facing the kamidana
or front of the room. One is also performed when entering or exiting
training for any reason, to the instructor.
When bowing, if standing, one should bend at the waist, not the
neck, and look at a point about 3 meters in front of one, on the
ground. This means you will still be able to see in front and
around you, but you do not bow and remain with head and eyes directed
forward- this is rude, and looks funny.
When sitting, first the left foot goes back a bit, then you go
down on your left knee. The right knee is brought in, and you
sit on your heels. When bowing while seated, first the left hand
then the right are brought down in front of the knees, fingers
facing each other and palms down on the floor. Incline at the
waist, looking at the ground a meter or two in front of you.
When bowing to a senior do not look at his or her face, it is
considered rude. When bowing to a junior, you can look at his
or her face, but always keep your back and neck straight.
Also- remember that if you arrive late you should quickly stretch
and join the group. Working on your own for an extended period
is somewhat disruptive, and so can take away from others