Stafford Shotokan Karate Club is aiming to have their own purpose-built Dojo in Stafford where we can simply turn up and train, without having to set up the venue beforehand. However, until that time comes, there will be strict rules and guidelines that must be adhered to. These rules will be amended once our dojo has been established.
The hired hall we train in includes toilet facilities and changing facilities as well as a sports bar where you can obtain water if you need it.
Stafford Shotokan Karate has over 40 years’ experience in Shotokan Karate and prides itself on maintaining its high standards of Karatet by keeping the true ethos of teaching at heart.
Every Dojo has their own set of rules and guide lines that all karate-ka must adhere to. The rules for SSK are as follows:
- All Martial Arts start and end with respect. Therefore, everyone must respect the Dojo and Bow upon entering and bow upon leaving. As we do not have a fixed matted area a boundary will be set out for training. You will not step in to or leave these boundaries without permission from an instructor. Once permission has been granted they must Bow before walking on and off this area.
- Should you need to leave the dojo during class, you must wait for permission from the instructor, then bow and leave the training area without disturbing the on-going lesson. When returning whilst the class is in session or if you’ve arrived late, stand to the side, get the Instructors attention, once the instructor has bowed to you return to the rear of the class.
- Instructors (3rd Dan and above) are to be addressed as "Sensei" (meaning Teacher).
- Assistant Instructors (1st and 2nd Dan) are to be addressed as "Sempai".
- You must attend the dojo with enough time to get changed, register and start the lesson promptly where possible. Preferably at least 15 minutes prior to class starting.
- Shoes, jewelery or piercings are not permitted on the training area. If jewelery cannot be removed, then it should be taped over (No sparring will be allowed if any piercings are left in).
- Students that have karate uniforms (Gi) should wear them and keep them in good, clean condition (White Gi only to be worn). No T-Shirts under jackets, with the exception of female students. Finger and toenails are to be kept clean and short when training to prevent injury to fellow practitioners and hands at feet should also be kept clean.
- If you are taught individually by an Instructor or a grade senior to yourself, always bow to the Instructor at the beginning and ending of teaching. Junior grades should always bow to Senior grades first.
- You must bow to your partner before sparring. You should maintain a good attitude toward your partner. On one hand he/she is your opponent and you are to spar as seriously or as lightly as directed by your Instructor. At the same time, he/she is your colleague and you should be careful not to make contact due to neglect or carelessness.
- Junior students should not Spar with each other without the supervision of a senior grade (1st Dan or above).
- Food and drink should not be consumed on the training area.
- There should be no loud talking or unnecessary noise. Mobile phones should be either turned off or switched to silent to avoid disturbances. No photography is allowed without the permission of an instructor and the approval of all parents first in accordance to GDPR.
- Foul language, Bad behavior and aggression to fellow students will not be tolerated.
- Alcohol may not be consumed before the class and smoking is not permitted during training sessions.
- Chewing gum must be left outside the dojo and thrown in the bin before entering.
- Always ensure you have enough space when practicing with weapons and are being supervised by a black belt.
- The Dojo must be left clear from training equipment and litter before leaving to allow other venue users to quickly begin their events.
- Possibly the most important aspect, more than etiquette is the respect and loyalty shown to the Instructor and the willingness to co-operate and follow the flow of the Instructor’s wishes. You may be asked to assist e.g. teaching a class or part of a class occasionally, consider this an honour and a way for you to develop confidence, expand your skills, personality and character.
- Any student found guilty of breaking any of these rules, will be dealt with by the instructor/s present and will sit out of the session. If a student continues to disobey these rules he/she will be evicted from the Dojo permanently.
- Any instructor found guilty of breaking these rules, will be dealt with by the Martial Arts committee, to decide upon his/her future with Stafford Shotokan Karate.
Please do not break any of these rules; it would be disrespectful to the instructors, the students, the Dojo and to the Martial Arts tradition itself.