Rules and Etiquette

The Pacific Karate Organization teaches Traditional Japanese Karate and, therefore, traditional manners according to Japanese culture. Because our society is quite open and casual you may find these rules of behavior to be foreign at first. You will, however, come to appreciate their usefulness in helping maintain the special atmosphere of the training environment.


  1. Bow respectfully when entering and exiting the dojo. Greet the Instructor and other high ranking students with a correct bow. A sloppy bow or bowing while seated would be considered rude.
  2. Address the Instructor as Sensei and other, high ranking students as Sempai -- not by their first names.
  3. Bow when entering or exiting the dojo floor.
  4. Do not enter the Instructor's office without permission. Bow politelywhen entering and exiting.
  5. Formally introduce guests to the Instructor. Guests are subject to the rules and regulations of the dojo. Students are accountable for the behavior of their guests.
  6. The dojo floor must be kept clean and devoid of all personal items. Footwear is not permitted on the dojo floor. No personal items should be left in the lobby. Carry all equipment and articles of clothing to the locker room.
  7. No food or drink is allowed on the dojo floor. No food may be consumed in the locker rooms. Individual water bottles may be kept in the locker rooms for use on breaks and after class.
  8. Keep the locker rooms neat and orderly. Locker rooms are for daily use only. Do not leave personal items overnight. Students are responsible for the safety and security of their personal property.
  9. Do not engage in loud talking, horseplay or other disruptive activity in the lobby, locker rooms or on the dojo floor. Work to maintain the dojo atmosphere at all times -- especially when class is not in session.
  10. Observe silence during "mokuso" whether in the locker room or the lobby.
  11. Ask permission of the Instructor if it is necessary to be excused prior to the end of class.
  12. Consider the dojo as your home. Take responsibility for its atmosphere, its orderliness and its cleanliness.

Health and Hygiene

  1. Proper attire must be worn on the training floor at all times. Gis (uniforms) are not mandatory for training but optional clothing should be loose fitting and include long pants and a shirt.
  2. In the interests of uniformity and safety students may wear only Pacific Karate Organization approved equipment. Gis and equipment must be kept clean and in good repair. Men should not wear a shirt under the gi top. Women may wear a white T-shirt under the gi top.
  3. Keep fingernails and toenails trimmed and clean. Long hair must be tied back and all jewelry removed before entering the dojo floor.
  4. Do not chew gum on the dojo floor. It is hazardous during training -- a fast or unexpected movement could induce choking.
  5. A student should come to class clean and appropriately dressed.
  6. No one should enter the dojo under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  1. A student who takes class assumes total responsibility for his or her safety and physical condition. Inform the Instructor prior to class of any injury or condition which may limit or restrict your movement.
  2. All students must wear proper safety equipment when engaging in free sparring. Mouth guards and knuckle pads are mandatory. Males should have and use a groin protector.
  3. During sparring there is no contact to the head or face.
  4. All injuries must be reported immediately to the Instructor.

In Addition

  1. A person causing damage to Pacific Karate Organization property shall be liable for repair or replacement.
  2. It is inappropriate for any student to visit another dojo, participate in a tournament or demonstration, or teach karate outside the dojo without prior permission of the Instructor.
  3. These rules are intended as a general guideline. A student should endeavor to behave in accordance with good manners, common decency and common sense.