Club notes for new members
Etiquette is one of the most important aspects of Karate: it forms the basis for a good and solid karate club and it is the measure by which others will judge the reputation of the club, its members and the instructors. It is therefore the responsibility of all club members to see that a high level of respect and etiquette is maintained at all times when training, visiting other clubs, participating in competitions or attending training courses.
Remember that this is your club and that the basis of any good club is formed by its membership. Your support and regular attendance is very important to both you and the club.
Correct Dojo Etiquette
Dojo etiquette must be observed at all times. Bow when entering or leaving the dojo. You must have respect for both your instructors and your fellow members, whatever their grade may be. Members should at all times pay attention to personal hygiene when training; it is that which reflects the character of the student. Karate Gi's should be washed regularly, finger nails and toenails should be short and clean to avoid injury to other members. Long hair should be tied back and items of jewellery such as earrings, rings, necklaces, wrist bands and watches should not be worn when training as they may cause injury to fellow students.
When members enter the dojo before a lesson they should commence limbering up exercises. On the command to line up, do so quickly and in a straight line, with the highest grade to the left hand side. Students in the back row are to line up directly behind the students in the front row. Stand with your feet together and your hands at the side, then follow the instructor.
From the moment that you enter the dojo to the time that you leave it, you must give yourself 100%, both physically and mentally, to the Art. When training, keep your mind and spirit on what you are being taught and what you are doing: you must have a positive mental attitude towards your karate.
With regular training and understanding of karate, there is no reason why students cannot reach their own goals through hard work and dedication. Many students will have different abilities throughout their training, but the emphasis on Attitude, Etiquette and Discipline should all be the same.
Injury or the feeling of being unwell during training should be brought to the attention of the instructor, who will take charge of the incident. No other member should be involved in the matter and students should carry on training regardless.
Students are urged to arrive approximately 10 minutes before the training starts, to give them time to limbering up and practising techniques. If a student arrives late for the lesson, then he/she must limber up at the side of the dojo and wait for the instructor to allow them to join in the lesson.
Regular attendance, as previously stated, is very important to both the students and the club.
Students who consistently fail to attend the regular training sessions will not progress in the Art of Shotokan Karate and they will not be able to grade until they have been training regularly again for a sufficiently long period of time.
The club will regulalrly organise grading sessions for kyu grades. Stefan Lenaers, our club examiner supervises these grading sessions with due diligence. Those students who have reached the required standard and have regularly trained throughout the grading period, will be eligible to grade. If at any time that student is stopped for grading, it is in the interest of the student to train harder to reach the required standard.
What Can Be Gained From Karate
Karate provides our modern society with an excellent form of physical exercise, in which, unlike most modern sports, both sides of the body are equally trained and developed. But karate does more than that: through diligent training karate can have a very positive influence on the development of the character and the personality of its dedicated students. This is emphasised by the following five concepts; they lie at the heart of good karate, they are the very foundation for the development of good karate:
If you train hard and sincerely, then whatever your age, you will gain much in terms of physical and mental health. One cannot progress in the study of Karate as a Martial Art without the simultaneous development of ones inner strength and character.
The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of ones character.