What is a dojo?  (dōˈjō) noun pl. dojos do·jos.   By definition, "a training hall for martial arts."  


Onegai shimasu:  "I welcome you to train with me," or literally, "I make a request." This is said to one's partner when initiating practice.

Domo arigato gozaimashita:  "thank you very much." At the end of each class, it is proper to bow and thank the instructor and those with whom you've trained.

SHOMEN NI REI Bow to front to shomen wall to show honor and respect to past Sensei's
SENSEI NI REI Bow to teacher to show honor and respect
 
Proper observance of etiquette is as much a part of your training as is learning techniques. Please take the following guidelines seriously:


1.  When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper to bow in the direction of O Sensei's picture, the kamiza, or the front of the dojo. You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.
2.  Always address you Chief Instructor as "Sensei" and not by first name, and your upper belts as "Sempai". 
3.  Be on time for class. If you do happen to arrive late, sit quietly in seiza on the edge of the mat until the instructor grants permission to join practice.
4.  If you should have to leave the mat or dojo for any reason during class, approach the instructor and ask permission.
5.  Avoid sitting on the mat with your back to the picture of O Sensei or the kamiza. Also, do not lean against the walls or sit with your legs stretched out. (Either sit in seiza or cross- legged.)
6.  Remove watches, rings, and all other jewelry before practice.  No facial jewelry will be allowed to be worn in class. 
7.  Do not bring food, gum, or beverages with you into the dojo.  There will be "Zero Tolerance" for any alcohol or drug use and you will be asked to leave the dojo immediately.
8.  Please keep your finger and toe nails cut short.
9.  Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to one topic -- Aikido.
10.  Carry out the directives of the instructor PROMPTLY. Do not keep the rest of the class waiting for you!
11.  Do not engage in rough-housing or needless contests of strength during class.
12.  Keep your training uniform clean, in good shape, and free of offensive odors. 
13.  If you are a smoker, please use judgement regarding clothing and breath, and free of offensive odors.  Many people have allergies to 2nd hand smoke and smoke odors.
14.  Please pay your class dues to the city before the new class starts promptly.  
15.  Do not change your clothes in the dojo.  All changing of cloths is to be done in the bathrooms.  All students must wear a t-shirt under Gi uniform.
16.  Remember that you are here to learn, and not to gratify your ego. An attitude of receptivity and humility (though not obsequiousness) is therefore advised.
17.  Preserve common-sense standards of decency and respect at all times.
18.  No shoes on mat.
19.  No horseplay or fooling around while on the mat ever. 
20.  No cursing while on the mat.
21.  Never correct the instructor or a senior student.  You may rephrase your commnet by a polite question.
22.  Report all injuries to the instructor.
23.  Keep you personal drama outside the dojo, it will only hinder yours and others training.
24.  Never interrupt the instructor when speaking.
25.  Members of the dojo are from many diverse backgrounds.  There will Zero tolerance regarding any prejudice comments.  You will be asked to leave wihtout notice.
26.  If a training partner is too rough, just tell them politely that they are.  If they continue to disregard your comment, please tell the instructor.
27.  If you are feeling ill, fever or cold, please do not show up to train.  This will only infect other sudents and affect everyones training. 
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Some important words to follow on "The Way...."

The Philosophy Behind the Martial Arts

---Practice does not make you perfect, it just "makes you" of who you really are... 

---One of the most priceless gifts of martial arts practice is to get to  know yourself internally and externally.
---Consistent effort over time is needed to achieve greatness in anything. 

---After class, visualize what was done – mentally perform the physical movements. This will help you to remember and also help you develop your ability to visualize.

---If you use your body to learn movement, particularly complex movement, your mind will develop. If you use only the mind, the body does not develop. That is why we call martial arts bodymind training.
---Practice makes habit.  Practice with focus and precision, then that becomes your habit.
---The path to mastering any skill is through regular and consistent practice.

Frustration & Low Points

---You will get out of the practice what you put into it. If you are not satisfied with your progress, look inward first. What is missing? What are you not doing enough of?
---When you are able to see and identify a weakness in your practice, consider that a gift. 

---Practice without judging yourself.
---What is your biggest reason for practicing? We must know the reason, and keep it in mind, especially during those times when you want to give up.
---Be unconcerned with results, sashes and belts. Just practice.

---Practice the things you struggle with the most.


Inspiration in the Martial Arts

---Can you practice to the point where you become a flicker of light for someone else?
---If you get lost and quit practicing, you will never know what you missed experiencing. Nothing worth having is easy.
---Those who come to class consistently, even when there are so many other demands on their time or when they just don’t feel like it, those are the people on the path to self discipline and mastery. Those are the people who will really get to reap the benefits from their practice.
---Martial Arts is about developing the will. If you can develop your will you can do just about anything.

On Confidence

---If you think you can, you are right; if you think you can’t you are also right.
---Don’t compare yourself with others. Don’t worry about who is better than you or who you think you are better than. Just work on yourself – that is what the practice is for.
---Let the practice be a way for you to break through your limitations and your comfort zone. You create the opportunity to try new things.

On Martial Arts Etiquette

---Bow with gratitude and sincerity.
---When you can still the mind, you can control the mind.
---At the highest level the martial artist’s mind must be quiet.
---Make an appointment with yourself everyday. Then just do it.


OK, I'll see you on the mat. 

Oh, did I tell you the secret of Aikido, answer in small print: train, train, and keep training. You will never have to search for that answer again!