Reishiki

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These rules of the dojo, also called dojo kun, reinstate the tradition of the budos. They must be applied with rigour, warmth and intelligence:

Positive rules

1. When stepping onto and leaving the mat, you must salute. Always salute in the direction of the kamiza (the side from where the teacher salutes).
2. Respect your work instruments: the Gi (training outfit) must be clean and in good condition, the stick and sword put in place when not in use. Respect your partners by maintaining your physical property before stepping onto the tatami.
3. A few minutes before the training you must get ready, sitting in seiza, all in one line, and in a posture of meditation. This time permits to empty your mind, to clear away the problems of the day and prepare to study.
4. The class begins and ends with a formal ceremony. It is essential to be on time to participate in it; but if you arrive late, you must wait sitting at the side of the mat until the teacher signals for you to join the class. Salute on mounting the mat.
5. When you wish to invite a partner or after having practised with him, bow formally: this bow is in itself a teaching.
6. The correct manner of sitting on the mat is in the position of seiza. But if you have a knee injury, you may sit cross-legged. You must be available at each moment.
7. When the teacher shows a technique, you must watch attentively. After the demonstration, salute him, then salute your partner and begin to work.
8. As soon as the end of a technique is announced, stop your movement immediately, salute your partner, and rejoin the other students sitting in line.
9. When the teacher shows you, in particular, a movement during the class, watch attentively. Salute him when he has finished.
10. If for one reason or another you absolutely must ask the teacher a question, go toward him, never call to him: respectfully salute him and wait until he is available.
11. Respect more advanced practitioners. Support the beginners.
12. If you know the movement and you are working with someone who does not know it, you may guide him with your own movement and not with your speech.
13. Speak the least amount possible on the mat. Kinomichi is an experience.
14. Each person is responsible for the cleanliness of the dojo, be it physical or moral.
15. When you do not know how to behave, imitate your elders.
16. Each action and attitude must reflect respect and honour.
17. The teacher is the guarantor of the proper running of the dojo. Follow his advice.
18. You have understood and freely accepted these rules: you have to answer for them.

Negatives rules

1. Never help yourself to a Gi or to weapons that do not belong to you.
2. When you arrive late, please, also, do not disturb the class.
3. Never stretch out your legs and do not lean against the wall or a pillar. Do not lean on someone or something.
4. Do not leave the mat during the training except in the case of injury, illness or urgent need, and informing the teacher of it.
5. Never stay standing on the mat without working.
6. Do not ask questions. Your questioning, first and foremost, is done through your own practice.
7. Do not call the teacher. If you have to ask a question, go towards him, bow respectfully and wait for him to turn to you.
8. Never discuss the technique. You are there to work, not to impose your ideas on others.
9. Do not try to correct your partner if you do not have the level of Hakama.
10. Do not lounge on the mat before or after the class. It is reserved for those who wish to practice.
11. Do not compensate your difficulty to transmit through experience by talking more.
12. It is forbidden to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum on the mat and in the dojo during the training. If you must drink or eat because you are weak, dehydrated or are hypoglycaemic, ask the teacher for permission to do it off the tatami.
13. Wearing jewellery is forbidden during training.
14. No deliberate injury or offense will be tolerated.
15. Don’t stay in a dojo where you are not happy or if you disapprove its rules.

Nguyen Thanh Thien

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