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Dojo etiquette

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  • Dojo etiquette

    It was a long time I visited a dojo in Japan now and when we and a sensei over at our own dojo in Sweden she suggested that we did some changes as our way of doing it was old or simply wrong. Our modus of starting training was:

    Line up
    Call "seiza"
    ... Mokuso
    ... Shomen ni rei
    ... Sensei ni rei
    ... Otagai ni rei and say "onegaishimasu"
    End with the same parts as above but saying "arigato gosaimashita" on otagai ni rei

    She would have it:

    Line up
    Call "shakuza" for seiza
    ... mokuso
    ... shomen ni rei
    ... rei (just "rei" that includes everyone") and perhaps "onegaishimasu" after that and "arigato gosaimashita" when ending

    I know there are dojo differences in Japan ofc but is our old method wrong and outdated?
    Last edited by Jakob Ryngen; 5th February 2017, 02:16 AM.

  • #2
    I live in Japan and have been to various dojo for kendo, iaido and jodo. Reiho that comes close to either of your descriptions can be found. The one the sensei suggested seems to be more "modern" and more the case for a dojo where there is no "sensei" or a visiting sensei does not want to impose a heirarchy.

    The ZNKR sometimes issues directives on such things. I don't know if that's the case here though. With such things some sensei are more enthusiastic to disseminate than others. I've been told off while visiting another kendo practice for bowing placing down lefthand-first then right instead of the ZNKR prescribed placing hands down at the same time. But the old way is still official with the police, iaido and jodo for example.

    Order of rei is always highest to lowest (shomen/shinzen-joseki(if present)-sensei-otagai) at start and reverse at the end.

    Mokuso is not done by iaido and jodo I have seen and called something else by the police. There are also variations on weapons placement (but not within ZNKR civilian kendo).

    The command to go to seiza is "chakuza" but I've heard "seiza-shite". The command to line up is "seiretsu".
    Last edited by dillon; 5th February 2017, 07:28 AM.