Karate is different from any other sports because a student does not only learn and improve his ability and technical skill, but learns how to respect him/herself and others. Part of this respect is gained through the Dojo Etiquette.

What is this Dojo Etiquette?

It is nothing more than a small part of the Dojo Kun (the philosophy that each karateka tries to live with), Respect Propriety (respect the correct order of things and how they should be done). Thus, in the dojo each student learns to follow rules in order to build a respectable character.


  • Bow on entering or leaving the dojo
  • Address any instructor by his title. Sensei (3rd Dan and above), Senpai (any junior instructor)
  • Say OSS upon receiving any advice or command from the instructor
  • Say OSS when bowing at the start and finish of the class, and when bowing to your partner
  • Walk around the edge of the dojo/training area
  • Inform your instructor before the session if you have any injury
  • Tell your instructor before the class if you must leave early
  • Train at least twice a week (Attendance should be regular)
  • Show respect to each other, both inside and outside the dojo
  • Keep good personal hygiene and keep finger and toe nails clean and short
  • Keep your Dogi (uniform) and Belt clean and in good condition
  • Ask your instructor or higher grade for advice
  • Give your 100% effort and nothing less during each session
  • Keep fees up to date


  • Arrive late for training (if you do, kneel as you enter inside the dojo where you can clearly be seen by the instructor and wait and watch carefully for the instructor’s command or any senior black belt to join the session, when receiving the command to join in stay kneeling down, bow, and then enter quietly, you can be asked to warm up by the side and when ready join in by going to your appropriate grade)
  • Interrupt during the session, especially the sensei
  • Leave the class without your instructor’s permission
  • Use offensive language or behaviour in the dojo (including talking during the session, shouting and fidgeting)
  • Wear any jewellery in the dojo
  • Use your Karate skills outside the dojo (except for self-defence or the defence of others within the law)
  • Smoke inside the dojo (it is strictly prohibited even in the dojo areas)

 Any other behaviour that is likely to offend the Dojo Etiquette is not allowed.

After practising this behaviour for a number of years, it becomes part and parcel with one’s attitude and character. The student will become an exemplary citizen, strong from the inside while kind and humble on the outside. This is the way of Karate. This is what JKA WF Malta is all about.