In traditional martial arts, the dojo is a unique place. it’s a place where etiquette and protocol reflect our respect for one another, to the traditional aspect of Shotokan Karate; and our commitment to training safely together. It is important to learn these protocols, follow them closely.

  • Please be prompt. Arrive in plenty of time before class, so that you may change into you Gi before class begins. If you arrive late, you may kneel just in side the entrance to the dojo and wait for Sensei to welcome you.
  • Always bow when entering or leaving the dojo with the greeting Oss. Treat one another with respect and consideration.
  • We ask that students refrain from talking whilst the instructor is teaching and that students keep all questions until either sensei asks or until the end of class.
  • Karate is a contact martial art we politely ask that students groom their finger and toe nails short, so that we do not hurt one another during training.
  • Remove all footwear before entering the dojo.
  • We also ask that participants remove all items of jewelry or other accessories before participating in each class.
  • No Eating, drinking, chewing gum, and using cell phones are not permitted in the dojo.
  • Students must be fully ready for class before entering the dojo. This includes tying your belt.


The start and end of class is indicated by Sensei by the simple command “line-up”. All students are required to line up in order from the highest rank down to the lowest, from left to right and back to front. In the case that there maybe numerous students of the same rank, the eldest student of each rank will line up first. No need to worry too much, Sensei will instruct each student on where to stand.

At the beginning and end of each class sensei and students all kneel and bow once to the front of the dojo. Sensei will then turn to the students and again everyone will bow to one another as sign of mutual respect for the instructors and the student for training with them.

During the class many Japanese words will be used. At first it is not necessary for beginners to remember these, though it may help you to familiarize yourselves with them. As students progress, the instructor will introduce more and more Japanese terms as they will become necessary as students approach their dan grade

If you arrive after class has begun please sit in seiza position and wait for the instructors permission to join. When they motion for you to join the class please bow and say “Oss”

Ranking and Testing

There are nine (9) ranks of coloured belt (kyu grades). White, yellow, orange, green, purple 1&2 , brown 1,2&3. Testing (Gradings) take place in intervals of 4-8 months depending on the current level of the student. Students are expect to perform a set of pre determined techniques and kata (Forms) to standards set by the JKA in order obtain their next grade.