Etiquette in the Dojo


As well as good technique being important in the spirit of Judo, equally important is good etiquette. Below are some points of etiquette that should be observed whilst in the Dojo (training hall).

Upon entering or leaving the Dojo it is good etiquette to do a standing rei (bow) . This should also be practised before joining or leaving the tatami (mat) and before and after addressing the Sensei (instructor). Also towards any partner at the beginning and end of a training session. A Judoka (student) must seek the Sensei’s permission before stepping onto the tatami if he/she is late joining the class or if leaving the tatami during the class.

At no time must a Judoka (or anyone else) walk upon the tatami unless their feet are bare (socks may be worn with Sensei’s permission). Feet must be clean and shoes and socks must be taken off at the edge of the tatami so that the Judoka steps straight onto the mat without their feet touching the floor. This is practised to prevent the tatami becoming dirty and is also a sign of respect. To make this easier many Judoka wear zoris (a kind of flip flop slipper).

It is customary and respectful, as well as hygienic, for all Judoka to wear clean judogi (suit). Only female Judoka are allowed to wear a top under their judogi and this should be plain white in colour. All Judoka must have fingernails and toenails trimmed short to avoid injury to themselves and others. For similar reasons no jewelry or hair ornaments should be worn on the tatami. Plasters should cover newly pierced ears. Long hair should be tied back.


Remember – good etiquette goes towards making a good judoka!

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