Rules of the Dojo
Aikido is not a sport. It is a discipline, an educational process for training the mind, body and spirit. An Aikido dojo is not a gymnasium. It is the place where the way of the discipline is revealed. Physical technique is not the final objective, but a tool for personal refinement and spiritual growth. The correct attitude of respect, sincerity and modesty, and the proper atmosphere are essential to the learning process. And as Aikido is a martial way, they are essential to the safety of each individual. The following rules are necessary to the maintenance of this atmosphere and vital to your study of Aikido.
- Respect the Founder and his teachings. Respect the dojo, respect your instructor, training tools and training partners.
- Punctuality*: Please arrive 10 minutes prior to the class starting time to change into your gi and be ready to start when the sensei walks onto the mat. Late attendees may not be given attendance credit.
- If you arrive late, bow to the shomen and sit in seiza outside the practice mat area until the instructor acknowledges you and permits you to join the class.
- No jewelry or watches should be worn during practice, including rings and chains – these pose a safety hazard to both you and your practice partner.
- Fingernails and toenails must be short. Feet must be clean.
- Shoes, slippers or sandals are never allowed on the mat.
- No eating, drinking, smoking or gum chewing on or off the mat during practice.
- No consumption of alcoholic beverages while still wearing practice gi.
- Talking on the mat should be kept to an absolute minimum.
- Students are required to wear a gi to practice – practice is not permitted without a gi unless it is the first week of attendance of the student and the student is in the process of purchasing a gi.
- ALL students are required to participate in mat cleaning activities as part of each class. Keeping the dojo clean is the responsibility of every student and cleaning time is an integral part of each class. Cleaning is an active prayer of thanksgiving. It is each student’s responsibility to assist in cleaning the dojo and to cleanse his or her own mind and heart.
- Practice good personal hygiene – come to class showered and clean with a freshly laundered gi. Students with unacceptable hygiene may not be assigned practice partners for a given class. Use of odorless antiperspirants and/or deodorants is strongly encouraged.
- Aikido of Chennai encourages debates on ideas, techniques, training methods and general topics – however, this principle does not extend to training time on the mat. During classes only the opinion/guidance of the instructor counts – students and/or visitors, regardless of rank/seniority, shall not question the instructor or disrupt an ongoing class.
- The dojo is a place for harmony and peace. Conflicts, aggression, ego, disrespect and bullying shall not be tolerated. Students indulging in any of these activities may be expelled from Aikido of Chennai and any paid up fees forfeit.
- The dojo is not to be used for any purpose other than regularly scheduled classes without the direct permission of the head instructor.
- Fees should be paid on time – it is the responsibility of each student to ensure that this is done without the sensei having to ask. You cannot buy technique – the fees are a way in which to show gratitude for the teaching received.