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Rules and Etiquette

All martial arts have their own rules or etiquette. For a beginner the most important relate to hygiene and safety.

• You should make sure of your personal hygiene. Hands and feet should be clean (aikido is practiced in bare feet) and nails should be trimmed. You should not walk barefoot from the changing room to the practice mat.

• Where possible jewellery (rings and earrings) should be removed.

• Changing rooms are provided and once changed you should not walk to the mat barefoot.

• Aikido begins and ends with courtesy. Respect the teacher who teaches you and respect the partner who helps your practice.

• When you first step on to the mat you should perform a kneeling bow. At the formal start of the class the instructor (sensei) and students bow towards each other. This is repeated at the end of the class. You should also bow before leaving the mat.

The practice of bowing towards the Sensei has nothing to do with subservience. Without the Sensei, there would be no class but there would be no class without the students either. Bowing is done out of mutual respect.