We believe that karate-do begins and ends with respect. We strive to respect and value ourselves, and we then extend this respect to our fellow students, the dojo, our instructors, and the art. We bow to show this respect.
We strive to break free of our ego. We are not here to compete. We are not here to prove ourselves. We honestly acknowledge and accept where we are and we work to improve daily. We are here with an empty mind to learn. We do not compare ourselves to others. We focus on our own progress and behavior.
We take responsibility for our own feelings. We own our emotions. We strive to recognize when we are reacting, when we are falling into patterns of ego. We practice non-violent communication. We recognize that it is our responsibility to define our own emotional boundaries and to ask for what we need. We respect the emotional boundaries of others.
We do not value our time at the expense of the whole class. If we are more than ten minutes late we will respectfully choose not to attend class that day. If we are consistently late we will make arrangements with sensei, adjust our schedule to arrive on time, or withdraw from class. We do not seek personal attention or to distract from the lesson at the expense of the learning experience of fellow students.
We practice compassion. We practice compassion towards ourselves when we train, grow, fail, and challenge ourselves. We practice compassion toward our training partners. We recognize that training in martial arts is an act of self-cultivation and it can be hard, painful, and uncomfortable. We value failing hard over winning easy.
We respect the violence inherent in our training. We recognize that we have the right to train and improve because of a bond of trust with our training partners.We will err on the side of caution and always be aware of differences in size, strength, experience, and temperament in our training partners. We fight only in extremes of self-defense or in sanctioned competition. We do not fight to defend our ego or to show off.
We take our training into the world. Helping others is our highest value. We train so that we can be our best selves and so that we can help others. We recognize the opportunities we have been given and strive to give back accordingly. We use our strength, discipline, and compassion to improve our community.
Code of Conduct
We hold the dojo as a sacred space. Dojo is a Japanese word meaning: “a place to follow the way.” We respect the sacredness of this space by bowing when entering or leaving the training area.
We are fastidious in maintaining the dojo. Mindful attentiveness is at the heart of warrior philosophy, from a time when maintaining your sword and armor was a matter of life or death. We place our shoes and belongings neatly in the appropriate areas. We store our personal gear neatly when training and take it with us when we leave. We use dojo gear with respect and return it clean to the appropriate space. We do not throw gear or belts.
We respect our teachers. We recognize that achieving skill in the martial arts requires a tremendous commitment and that teaching is an art in and of itself. We will not speak when instructors are speaking. We will wait until instructions are complete before beginning drills. Unless someone is in danger of being hurt, we will withhold criticism or disagreements until an appropriate time after class.
We use meditation to learn to let go. We let go of our identity when we train. Our identity is the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. Inside the dojo we aim to go deeper, to let go of our role, our stresses, our ego, and to just be. We meditate before class to let go of our identity, we meditate after class to let go of the training experience. We step onto the floor prepared to practice. We turn off our phones (urgent matters may be allowed by the instructor) and disconnect from the outside world.
We are mindful of the experience of our fellow students. We keep our gear clean, we practice good hygiene, we change only in the changing rooms. we refrain from eating in the dojo (light snacks and energy bars are ok in the waiting area), we carry a towel as needed to keep gear and equipment clean for fellow students.
We maintain a safe and open space for learning. We respect everyone’s right to train.We welcome members into our community. We do not discriminate. We strive to eliminate sexist, gendered, racist, and hateful language in our communication. We respect the physical boundaries of our training partners, especially new students. We will ask before making physical contact outside of specific training parameters.
We ask for and give help according to our experience. Karate is a folk tradition passed from teacher to student for hundreds of years. We remember that everyone has earned their rank in this dojo. We remember that everyone was a beginner once. We help those junior (kohai) to us, we ask for help to those senior (senpai) to us. Senior students are held to higher standards and scrutiny.