These are the rules of the Summit Martial Arts Dojo. A real Dojo is much more than a training hall. It is a place where the mind, body and spirit are matured through rigorous physical conditioning, self-discipline and introspection. It is a sanctuary - a place of respect, discipline, structure, precision, safety and self-control. These ideals are at the very heart of Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Kendo and Kobudo. Therefore, remember that Dojo etiquette has meaning. All of It. It’s part of a culture that goes back thousands of years and has been influenced by the Japanese, Chinese and Brazilians. By compiling these rules, we hope to make them more easily understood and help you grasp why they are so important. If you have a question about any of the rules or etiquette, ask an instructor or a senior student.
Arriving, waiting for your class, and leaving
Behavior during class
Being a good training partner
Health, Hygiene & Cleanliness
Outside of class
Parents and Visitors
- If you are not 100% healthy, feel sick, or have symptoms, please do not enter the dojo.
- Always treat every one of our members with utmost respect, regardless of rank, size, skill or gender. Use proper manners; this is a professional environment.
- Everyone must first sign a waiver before participating in any programs.
- Silence all electronics in the training room area. For emergency personnel folks, please let the instructor know if you need your phone on for emergency calls.
- Do not use cell phones in the main dojo area. If you need to talk or text, please go to the hallway.
- Filming and pictures are not permitted in the dojo without permission. This includes during seminars.
- Crude, vulgar behavior or conversation will not be tolerated in the dojo.
- Profane or foul language is not permitted in dojo, on the grounds or in the parking lot. Kids belong to this dojo and they shouldn’t hear profanity. Additionally, our building is shared with other businesses and a church so please be respectful.
- This is not a place to pick up dates; in the dojo always stay focused on the art.
- Basic Japanese terminology will be used throughout classes. You will become familiar with it over time.
- No horseplay or play fighting anywhere in the dojo (horseplay is how people typically get injured).
- No nicknames of any kind are allowed. All members must treat other members with respect.
- No animals are allowed in the dojo other than Law Enforcement K9 dogs or Guide dogs.
- No food is allowed in the dojo. Non-staining, non-sugary drinks may be kept with your gear. No drinks are allowed on the mat.
- Please lock any self defense items (firearms, knives, pepper spray) in your car or leave with Kyoshi Riedmiller; do not leave unattended or unsecured.
- No smoking in or around the dojo (parking lot etc.). Do not drop butts or gum in parking lot.
- Always be aware of fire safety. There are two fire exits at the dojo - one in front and another in the rear.
- If you need to speak with someone regarding changes to your membership or other private matters, contact us and set up a time to meet/speak outside of class hours. Do not attempt to engage the Head Instructor in this type of conversation before, during or after class. When classes are in session, they are the total focus.
Arriving, waiting for your class, and leaving
- Students are expected to arrive early in order to be ready for class on time.
- All members need to check in when they arrive.
- Remove your shoes and place them neatly on the floor under the chairs. Shoes are not allowed on the mat.
- Do not enter the mat while another class is in session - wait for your class to begin. Keep distractions to a minimum.
- Talk softly in the bathrooms and hallway. Sound travels easily and may interrupt classes in session.
- Always politely greet your instructors with “good evening" or "good morning” To not do so is extremely rude in Japanese and Brazilian cultures. The dojo is a major part of your instructor’s life, so to not greet them would be like going to their home and ignoring them.
- Arriving late should be very rare as it is disrespectful. If you don’t have a good reason to be late, do not come at all. If you know you will not be time, you should discuss this with the Head Instructor ahead of time and get approval.
- If you arrive late for training/class and the class is already in progress, stand at attention at the edge of the mat and wait for Sensei to acknowledge you. You may then bow to him and enter the training area quickly. Do not walk in front of class or between two people training. Do not disturb the class in any way.
- If you missed the warm-up/stretching portion of class, take at least 5 minutes to warm-up before joining the class. It is required for everyone in order to prevent injury.
- Inform the instructor at the beginning of class if you need to leave early.
- Check your attitude when you walk through the door. This is not the place for bad attitudes or bad intentions. No politics, religion, divorce, etc. NO DRAMA.
- Avoid talking during warm-up. Get your mind prepared for training.
- During warm-up, follow the person leading's mirror image. Stretch in the same direction as the leader, mirroring their movements.
- Everyone must warm up before doing class.
Behavior during class
- Always bow when entering or leaving the mat. Direct your bow to the senior person present and acknowledge his or her presence even if they don’t see you.
- Students line up in rank or descending order.
- Maintain a good attitude appropriate for serious practice.
- Pay attention. Learning how to maintain focus is part of your training.
- When an instructor is teaching a class, show utmost respect by not talking or moving around when he/she is demonstrating or explaining something. Quietly circle around if you can't see from where you are. You may stand, take a knee or sit in the seiza position, always making sure to maintain good posture.
- Do all the exercises to the best of your ability. Students are expected to train hard, be disciplined and cultivate a strong and indomitable spirit.
- When Sensei is explaining something to you personally or correcting your form you should bow before and after the discussion and thank them.
- Don’t yawn, roll your eyes, or groan in class. Don’t ask off-topic questions or blurt out comments.
- Do not leave class without permission (even for water). if you feel ill, have an injury, or need to leave for some other reason, raise your hand and inform the instructor. It's about respect - also, the instructors are responsible for your safety.
- When asked, give criticism respectfully. Generally, students should not offer unsolicited feedback to senior students.
- Take criticism gracefully; don’t talk back or give excuses to an instructor's comments.
- There should be limited talking while practicing drills with your partner or group. Too much talking can be a distraction to the other students.
- There will be no chewing gum, eating or drinking on the training floor.
- If you need to retie your belt or adjust your uniform, turn around and face the back of the Dojo to do so.
- When sitting on dojo floor always sit anza (crossed-legged) or seiza (legs stacked); never show the bottoms of your feet. In Japanese culture this is considered sloppy, undisciplined and very insulting.
- Beginning students are NOT allowed to free spar, free roll, or do throws until they have a minimum of 50 hours in that art and are approved by the Head Instructor to participate in each activity. They may only do very light body conditioning, joint locks, high kicks, real weapons etc. For safety reasons, they must develop proper skills and control first.
- Sparring (kumite), Rolling (Ne waza), and Throwing (Randori) will not be done without a Summit Martial Arts black belt leader to supervise in order to ensure safety.
- If you are injured in any way during class, notify the Head Instructor immediately.
- Do not use or touch any weapons without the permisson of Sensei.
- Students are required to come to their classes consistently. If you miss class, make it up as soon as possible. We are here to help students be successful. Failure to meet minimum attendance requirements will result in membership probation. If not corrected, membership will be terminated.
- If Sensei leaves someone in charge of the class or Dojo, they are responsible to enforce the Dojo rules and regulations.
- If you are a leader in the class, you have a higher level of responsibility for the safety of others in the class. Do not hesitate to intervene in a situation if needed.
- Only authorized leaders may teach techniques; you can be helpful but do not teach unless you are in a teaching role.
- Treat your kohai (students of lower rank than you) with encouragement and support because they are under your care. They depend on you to teach them and they look up to you, sometimes blindly. Be worthy of the respect they give you and do everything in your power to help them with their training. Work hard to never be overbearing or condescending. Above all, cultivate humility.
- When you’re working with kohai, treat it as an honor. Helping another student greatly benefits you. First learn, then practice, then teach. This progression locks skills into you on a very deep level.
Being a good training partner
- When practicing with others safety comes first! You are always responsible for your partner’s safety, and they are responsible for yours.
- Select training partners that make you feel safe and comfortable with your training.
- Monitor your own temper and stress level. One purpose of training is to learn how to manage one’s temper and handle stressful situations.
- Observe your partner's stress level. If you see their tension escalating, try to help them diffuse it.
- If you get hit hard or unexpectedly, work on controlling your reaction. Breathe deeply. Avoid displays of anger.
- Part of your training (appropriate to age and level) is learning how to react to surprising and stressful conditions. If you are uncomfortable with the level of contact/intensity from your partner, you should let them know and ask them to lower it.
- If your partner is not comfortable with your level of contact/intensity, respect their request and lower it.
- You must never forget that Budo (martial arts) can seriously injure or even kill another person if applied incorrectly during practice sessions. Therefore, it is your responsibility to practice correctly and safely. That means you must never practice a technique your instructor hasn't taught you directly.
- Practice new techniques slowly, in a cooperative manner with your partner. Be aware that different people have different body types, styles of movement and capabilities. For example, don't apply a joint technique to a small person the same way you would apply it to a large person or you may cause needless injury. Be sensitive to others and use only the amount of force necessary to practice a technique correctly and safely. You will be grateful when your sempai gives you the same consideration and respect, allowing both of you to increase your power and skill safely.
- Never refer to a student or training partner as your toy. It is highly disrespectful.
- You should never take advantage of your partner if they are smaller, weaker, less skilled, overwhelmed, exhausted or shutting down. It is never about brute force or showing off.
- When changing partners during class, you should acknowledge both the partner you are leaving as well as your new partner with a bow. A handshake and/or “thank you” is also appropriate when leaving a partner.
- Always strive to work with your partner so you can both accomplish the technique you are practicing successfully.
- Do not resist your partner until you both become used to the technique. Above all, practice safely. Understand your partner's limits before using any technique on him or her. Start slow and increase speed, power, and complexity as you both improve.
- Do not put your partner in an unsafe position or situation.
- Take it upon yourself to get to know each student and to offer encouragement when needed.
- Report any inappropriate, unclean, or unsafe students to the instructor. If someone is not being a good training partner, notify an instructor immediately.
- Always respect, encourage, and educate your training partner. Don’t try to impress, show off or teach them other things.
- Tap early, tap often, and make your partner’s safety a top priority.
- Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- Consider it an honor to train with your fellow students.
- Being a poor training partner will not be tolerated. If there is an issue, you will be given one warning, then suspended. Unsafe or inappropriate behavior will result in immediate loss of membership. Illegal behavior will result in immediate loss membership and authorities will be notified.
- Everyone must be in uniform in class.
- Uniforms should be clean, wrinkle-free, neat, and in top condition for each class. Dirty uniforms are a sign of disrespect; they also carry bacteria. They should be washed after each use.
- White, traditional style uniforms are required. No other color, no mixing colors. (Women may wear dark blue gis for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, with approval from the Head Instructor.)
- No additional patches are allowed other than Organizational patch (or approved patch) and proper style name (Kanji).
- Uniforms should be hemmed or folded to about a 3⁄4 sleeve and ankle-length for pants.
- Any rips or holes in uniforms should be repaired or the uniform replaced.
- It is mandatory to wear a rash guard or undergarment in Jiujitsu underneath your uniform; women should wear a sports bra.
- Shirts worn under uniforms should be plain white or black.
- Do not walk around shirtless or in undergarments.
- If you need to fix or adjust your uniform or belt during class, turn around and face the back of the dojo while making the adjustment, then quickly turn back. Do not disturb class in any way.
- Do not hang your belt around your neck. A belt around the neck is only okay when getting a new belt.
- Try to fold your gi neatly. Sensei can show you how to fold it properly.
- Except for training events outside the dojo and personal practice, belts should not be worn outside the dojo. Gis without belts may be worn to and from class, but never to show off.
- Students who forget their uniform or belt for class should not expect to be provided a loaner. A white belt may be provided, depending on availability.
- Never wash your belt. This is a time-honored tradition in Karate & Jujitsu - your belt is a symbol of your spirit and hard work.
- Never let your belt touch the floor.
- As a student, you occupy a certain place in the dojo hierarchy. At the top of this structure is the Head of Organization, then Head Sensei of Dojo. Beneath him are the other Sensei, Sempai, then students at various levels.
- Junior students are expected to look to seniors for guidance, imitate their behavior, and treat them with respect. Seniors are expected to set examples of respect, discipline, character and control.
- Always address instructors as “Sensei” along with their last name.
- Youth rank is different than adult rank; adults are not to be directed in any way by youth regardless of rank.
- A responsible adult is always in charge over the highest-ranking youth. No one under 18 may ever be in charge of class or dojo regardless of rank. It is not intended to make you feel inferior; rather is designed to make each student aware of his or her role, so that role can be fulfilled properly. A trained Summit Martial Arts instructor supersedes a higher rank that is not a leader or instructor.
Health, Hygiene & Cleanliness
- Keep your hands and feet clean. Wash hands before and after class and after going to the bathroom.
- Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed without sharp edges.
- Report all injuries, abrasions, or skin infections immediately to the instructor.
- When nursing injuries, train less, watch more, but come to class.
- Band-aids, medical tape and other first-aid supplies are available. If you have a cut, it must be covered.
- If you have any kind of skin infections ( staph, ringworm, athletes’ foot, etc.) you are not allowed to train until it is cleared up. These bacterial & fungal infections are highly contagious and can quickly spread throughout the entire class.
- Long hair should be tied back.
- Watches and jewelry of any kind should not be worn in class; flat wedding bands are okay.
- Avoid using strong scents, perfumes, or colognes.
- Use footwear if going outside or to the restroom.
- Do not spit or rinse your mouth or hands in the drinking fountain.
- Take responsibility for the cleanliness of the dojo. Properly throw away your garbage. Arrange training equipment neatly. If you get it out or use it, please put it away. If you mess it up, clean it up. Use cleaning supplies as needed.
- Arrange your shoes, coats, and bags neatly and out of the way so you don't create a tripping hazard.
Outside of class
- Fighting outside of the dojo is prohibited by code of honor, unless it is in a self-defense situation. Anyone who engages in this sort of misconduct, misuses their knowledge or otherwise shows a lack of self-control will be reprimanded, suspended or potentially terminated from membership.
- Anyone who shows a lack of respect towards the instructors, their fellow students, the Dojo, or martial arts in general will be suspended or potentially terminated from membership.
- Do not tell everyone about the fact that you are trained in Karate/Jiujitsu unless its someone you know and trust. Don’t brag or show off - it is foolish and invites conflict.
- Make a sincere effort to commit to training on a regular basis.
- Warm up your body daily.
- Practice your basic techniques and kata outside of class.
- If you have to stop training for a longer period of time (months), your rank will be assessed when you return. Getting back up to your rank's standard should be your first goal.
- Keep a notebook of the things you're learning. You'd be surprised how helpful this can be.
- Bring any problems that could interfere with your learning and progress to the attention of head instructor.
Parents and Visitors
- Children must stay inside if waiting for parents to pick them up.
- Visitors are always welcome, as long as they abide by dojo rules. As a member of Summit Martial Arts, you are responsible for your visitor. There is no babysitting or supervision provided for children; children must be under control at all times. No one is permitted in a class that is not a member of that class. If you or your guest make a mess clean it up.
- Think library or college classroom atmosphere in the dojo. The dojo is not a play ground.
- Parents and visitors are welcome to watch class in the seating area. We consider parents as coaches for your student.
- Please do not talk to your child when they are class. It is distracting to those training in the class. If there is any issue you feel needs to be addressed, please discuss with the instructor before arriving or schedule an appointment.
- Silence all electronic devices and phones.
- Anyone that disrupts class will be asked to go to hallway. If that fails, then you will be asked to leave building.