University of Washington Judo Club
Etiquette in the Dojo
As with other martial arts, respect is an important part of Judo. Out of respect for the heritage of Judo, many traditions are observed during practice. One of these is the bow. Bowing is done as a sign of respect for having a place to practice and people to practice with. The following guide will help you in this dojo and others.
a. Bow when entering and leaving the dojo.
b. Bow when entering and leaving the mat area.
c. Class begins and ends with bowing.
d. Bow to your practice partner before and after each exercise.
In our dojo, there is no distinction between the mat area and the dojo. If you visit other dojos however, you will want to show proper respect at both locations.
Because of the physical nature of Judo practice, it is very important to practice safely. It is possible to train very hard without becoming injured only if we have good technique and good control. While speed and power are helpful, proper technique is far ore important. Everyone's goal should be to perfect their techniques. The following safety and etiquette guidelines will help ensure that our practices are as safe as possible.
1. Be on time for practice. Everyone is encouraged to arrive early so that they can warm-up properly. We are all individuals. Everyone will have different areas that require additional attention when warming up. It is not possible for the entire class to thoroughly warm-up every part of the body. The warm-ups in class are designed to get everyone mentally prepared for practice. It is your responsibility to insure that you are physically prepared.
2. Stay until the end of practice. It is important to finish what you begin; therefore, you should not leave practice early. If you must leave early, let all of the instructors present know before class begins. Then before you leave, bow to one of the instructors and inform him/her that you must leave now. It is not acceptable to just leave the dojo without informing the instructors. This includes if you receive an injury.
3. If you receive an injury, let one of the instructors know immediately. The university has firm guidelines concerning how we are to deal with injuries incurred during practice.
4. Always come to practice clean and with short nails. This includes both finger nails and toe nails. Please keep your Judo gi's clean. Due to the close physical contact during practice, hygiene is very important. Also, please wash your hands before practice.
5. Do not chew gum during practice.
6. Prior to class, remove all rings, watches, bracelets, earrings, and any other jewelry. These can be very dangerous to both you and your partners. Do NOT wear the keys to IMA lockers pinned to your judo gi.
7. Judo practice can be very rigorous. Drink plenty of fluids before practice. Also, be sure to go to the bathroom before practice. It is not acceptable to leave practice to get a drink or go to the bathroom. During very hot days in the summer, the class will be allowed to get a drink of water mid-way through practice. Otherwise, it is your responsibility to drink plenty of fluids during the day. You may bring a water bottle to practice if you wish. Do not abuse this privilege. Drink only between exercises. For example, between newaza and uchikomi or between uchikomi and randori. Do not leave your partner to get a drink. It is disrespectful to waste your partner's training time.
8. Eating before practice is not recommended. Some people find that they can eat something light a couple of hours before practice, while others prefer to avoid eating for many hours. This is an individual thing. Don't let a full stomach prevent you from obtaining the maximum benefit from your workout.
9. If you come to practice with an injury, let all of the instructors know before practice. Also, let your training partners know if it will limit the techniques that you can perform or receive. Learning when you can train "around" an injury and when it is necessary to take time off is part of Judo practice. The instructors recognize this and will modify your practice in any way necessary so that you can continue to come and learn.
10. If a particular technique is not working, do not try to "muscle" it. This will lead to injuries and does not improve the technique.
11. Do not forget the importance of good ukemi. Practice your falls at every opportunity. While emphasizing one side is discouraged in nagewaza and newaza, it is absolutely unacceptable in ukemi. You must be able to fall safely on both sides. You will not be able to control how and where you get thrown.
12. Release the technique immediately when uke taps. This applies to choking, joint-locking, and pinning techniques. It is important that we trust one another when training. Also, uke may be getting hurt without tori being aware of it.
13. Learn what the higher-ranking Judoka are required to do. You may soon be asked to call out the commands at the beginning or end of class. Also, pay attention to the warm-up routines. You may be asked to lead warm-ups.
14. Whether in ukemi, uchikomi, sutegeiko, randori, newaza, or specific drills, make each technique count. Do not waste time with improper techniques. Remember, it takes many repetitions to make a technique "your own." Only those repetitions done with proper form will help you master the techniques.
15. Do not "choose" partners when practicing. You will have something to learn from every partner.
16. When working with someone of lower skill, do not abuse that person. You should fight at a level just above theirs. This way you will continually challenge them while still permitting them to learn.
17. Do not be afraid to be thrown. The majority of injuries encountered in Judo practice occur when tori insists on throwing and uke refuses to be thrown. When tori tries to "muscle" the throw, there is much greater chance for injury.
18. It is important to keep focused on the practice. Injuries are much more likely when you are not paying 100% attention to the practice.
19. In this dojo, white belts are permitted to apply shime waza and kansetsu waza. This is not the case in all dojos. Understand that it is your responsibility to ensure that your partner is not injured. Apply these techniques slowly and with control. Also, when visiting other dojos it is best to check with the instructor to see if white belts are permitted to apply these techniques.
1. You need to set a good example by pushing yourself at all times. Also, you need to encourage the lower ranking Judoka to do their best.
Additional Information on Judo Safety and Prohibited Acts
2. Now is the time to begin a serious study of Nage-No-Kata. Do not wait until you are an Ikyu preparing for your Shodan exam.
3. Get a Judo rule book and study it. Even if you do not compete, it is important to know the rules of shiai. You are already teaching and will soon find yourself doing it much more.
4. Seek depth and breadth of techniques. Honing your tokai waza into a weapon is very impressive, but soon you will be required to teach it. Also, you will be required to teach the many techniques that you do not regularly use in randori and shiai.
Do NOT attempt to strike your partner anywhere during nawaza randori or nagewaza randori.
- revised June 1996
Tap anywhere twice quickly with your hands or feet or say "matte!" to indicate submission.
Give your partner adequat time to tap when applying choking (shimewaza) or joint-locking (kansetsuwaza) techniques.
If you feel dizzy or faint, stop and notify the instructor.
Always keep your fingers away from your partner's face.
Do NOT bite your partner.
Do NOT grab your partner's hair or ears.
Do NOT apply a necklock which may damage a partner's vertebrae at any time. Techniques that apply pressure to the spine are strictly PROHIBITED.
Do NOT apply chokes without the supervision of an instructor.
Do NOT apply any pressure to your partner's trachea.
Do NOT apply chokes or arm-locks to beginners who have not learned to tap out.
Do NOT apply any chokes or arm-locks that have not been explained by the instructor.
Apply all joint-locks SLOWLY while controlling your partner to prevent injury.
Do NOT screw or wind up the ends of your partner's pants or sleeves, or grip either from the inside.
Do NOT grab, squeeze, twist or interlock your partner's fingers with your own.
Do NOT bend your partner's wrist in any fashion to cause pain except during Kata practice.
Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed.
Do NOT apply a leg scissor to your partner's torso.
Do NOT apply any technique that stretches the abdominal muscles (i.e. "abdominal stretch").
Do NOT jump on your partner's chest violently.
Do NOT strike your partner's groin at any time.
Do NOT apply pressure to the knee, ankle, or toe joints at any time.
Support your partner's shoulder after executing a throw, preventing the back of their head from hitting the mat violently.
Do NOT throw yourself backwards on top of your opponent if you are attacked from behind.
Do NOT hold on to your opponents uniform with BOTH hands as you are being thrown. It is very important to fall properly.
Do NOT grab a sleeve and lapel on both sides during standing randori unless you are executing a throw.
Do NOT attempt throws that you have not been taught in class. Examples would be leg takedowns and sacrifice throws.
Do NOT cross your legs when you fall.
Do NOT let the back of your head strike the mat when you fall.
Do NOT allow your head to touch the ground while executing a throw as in "uchimata".
Do NOT fall to your knees while executing a throw as in "morote seoinage".
Do NOT force the throw, causing you to lose balance and drive your partner's shoulder into the mat.
Do NOT sweep your opponent's supporting leg while being thrown as in "uchimata".
Do NOT raise your partner off of the mat and drive he or she back down.
Do NOT flail aimlessly without control of your elbows, fists, knees, or feet.
When working with a weaker opponent, practice all techniques without using strength.
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