• Happy New Year

Ju Jitsu is a Japanese martial art so you will find that, along with various Japanese terms, there is some etiquette to learn. Below is a brief guide to dojo etiquette.

Bowing

Bowing is an essential part of Japanese society, and the Japanese martial arts are no exception. The act of bowing does not mean “to bow down” to another person – it is simply a show of respect, humility and lack of arrogance.

When entering the Dojo (training room) you should bow towards the Shomen (front wall). This is repeated each time you enter or exit the dojo. Outdoor shoes should not be worn to the edge of the mat; strictly speaking, they should not be worn in the dojo at all but the practicalities of training in mixed-use buildings in the UK means we aren’t as strict on this rule… instead, when we change into our Gi (training uniform) we wear flip-flops or similar to the mat.

Lining Up

At the start of the class, we line up in rank order (red, white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black) with the lowest grade closest to the door; in Japanese society, the higher ranks are always kept in the place of safety – in this instance, furthest away from the most likely point of attack!

Arriving Late

If you arrive late, you should bow onto the mat, then stand or kneel at the edge of the mat until the instructor tells you to join the class.