Karate Etiquette and Japanese Vocabulary


What we are doing at the beginning and end of class.


Initial Line-up

Action to be taken by students Vocabulary Pronunciation
Class is called to line up by the instructor Sayretsu Say-re-tsu
Class is called to formal attention Kioske Key-oh-skay
Kneeling Position Seiza Say-zah
Meditation: close eyes, clear the mind, relax
(meditation ends and eyes open at the next command)
Mokuso Mock-sew

Opening Ceremony:

Students recite the Dojo Kun (creed) together
One, to strive for the perfection of character.
One, to defend the path of truth.
One, to foster the spirit of effort.
One, to honor the principles of etiquette.
One, to guard against impetuous courage.
First bow to the front - done out of respect for those students who have trained before:
 Shomen ni ReiShow-men knee ray
(students respond by bowing silently)
Second bow, (normal): to the front – done out of respect to the head instructor for the class
 Sensei* ni ReiSen-say knee ray
(students respond by bowing directly to the front and saying...)
  Sensei, Onegai Shimasu Sen-say, Oh-knee-guy She-mas
  (this means, "Teacher, teach us please.")
Second bow, (rare): to the front – done out of respect for everyone on the floor training:
 Otagai ni ReiOh-ta-guy knee ray
(students respond by bowing directly to the front and saying...)
  Onegai Shimasu Oh-knee-guy She-mas
  (this means, "Teach us please." - referring to each other)
*Note: the correct title for the head instructor needs to be used. Sensei is one possibility. See below for more teaching titles. All karateka should know their instructor's teaching title.

Closing Ceremony:

The previous notes hold true at the conclusion of class, except that for "Teach us please" we substitute "Thank you":

For the Second bow, the proper response is:
(students respond by bowing directly to the front and saying...)
  Sensei*, Arigato Gozaimashita Sen-say, Ah-ree-ga-toe Go-zie-ah-mas
  (this means, "Teacher, thank you very much.")

*Note: please use the correct title for the head instructor of the class.

 

Teaching Titles:

HanshiHan-sheChief Grandmaster Instructor
KyoshiKi-o-sheGrandmaster Instructor
ShihanShe-hanMaster Instructor
RenshiRen-sheSenior Instructor ("Senior Trainer")
SenseiSen-sayInstructor ("One who went before")
SempaiSem-pie Assistant Instructor ("Older sibling")
ShidoinShe-doynApprentice Instructor
Teaching titles can be modified at the beginning by "Waka", meaning "provisional".
Teaching titles can be modified at the end by "Dai", meaning "head" or "chief" (there is only one of these per dojo per teaching rank).
Junior teaching titles are modified at the end by "-so".

Please see the SVKC Instructors page for the current titles for our instructors.


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