Physical Training Oct 2000

A Moment with Martin

By Martin Dixon Martin Dixon

Instructor's Hand Out for the new Student.

Many Martial arts today are still run on the assumption that the new student will gradually pick things up as they go along. I have put together a hand out that any Instructor can use which may help the beginning student. This will save a lot of time and sometimes problems. It is much better for the student to be given a set of guidelines than to remember them as and when each one occurs, or run the risk of being reprimanded. If you have other rules within your club just add them to the list.

All Martial Arts place a great emphasis on the development of the character of its students, and a code of behavior is used, together with the physical training, so that technical skill, physical fitness and good behavior become synonymous with The Martial Art being practiced.

The code is based on a mutual respect of teachers and students, and acknowledges that respect must be shown for seniority. Practitioners are expected to show the same respect for the society in which they live, and for those who live in and administer that society. It is a source of great satisfaction to a Martial Arts Association when they have earned a reputation for producing High Quality teachers, students and competitors. All Martial Art students have a duty to behave in a way that will enhance and maintain this reputation on behalf of their club. The instructors have a particular responsibility, as they will greatly influence the behavior of their students both inside and outside the dojo. Bad behavior on the part of an instructor will reflect badly on the Association's Chief Instructor. The ethos of all Martial Arts is the development of the character through the development of the body and an instructor has a great responsibility to uphold this tradition. Instructors should ensure that the following code of behavior is adhered to.

DOJO Etiquette:

·       Always bow on entering or leaving the dojo.
·       Junior grades must bow first to their seniors.
·       Instructors should be referred to as Sensei or by their appropriate title and not their name.
·       Nails must be kept clean and short enough to avoid scratching or cutting.
·       Jewelry and watches should not be worn. If it is not possible to remove rings or earrings, they should be safely covered. It may be requested that shoes are removed when entering the dojo.
·       Late arrivals should enter the dojo quietly, change and warm up in the changing room. When they wish to join the class, they must kneel to the front and side of the class, where they can be clearly seen by the Sensei, and watch carefully for the Sensei’s signal to join in. When the signal is given, they should remain kneeling, bow deeply, then walk quickly and quietly around the back of the class until it is convenient and go to a position appropriate to their grade.
·       Smoking is not allowed in the dojo, or in any adjacent areas.
·       Any behavior that is likely to offend the etiquette of the dojo is not allowed.

It is the responsibility of the individual student that their Gi fits correctly and is kept clean and in a good state of repair. Tears and other damage must be repaired prior to the following training session. Association and club badges should be embroidered or stitched on to the Gi. The appropriate colored belt, including any necessary stripes or tabs, should be worn with the Gi at all times.

For all intents and purposes, the competition Arena should be treated as the dojo, and the same respect must be shown to the seniors and to all others involved. Competition is sometimes seen as the ‘glamour’ side of Martial Arts, and competitors, especially those who become successful, will become ‘role models’ and can have a marked influence on the behavior of others, particularly the young and immature students. Therefore, the successful competitors must exhibit exemplary behavior with regard to dress, sportsmanship, and general behavior both on and off the competition area. This encompasses matters such as general deportment - not lounging, showing respect for other competitors, officials and spectators. Referees and judges must show exemplary behavior in the above matters.

OUTSIDE THE DOJO: As stated, martial Arts Students have a responsibility to behave in a manner that enhances and maintains the reputation of their club and their chosen martial art both In and out of the dojo, and to refrain from ‘impetuous and violent behavior’.

Martin Dixon: 7th Dan Ju Jitsu
Chairman of the British Ju Jitsu Association Governing Body
Past President for the United Nations of Ju Jitsu
Member of the Council for Coaches with the National Coaching Foundation
Chairman for Sport Hyndburn (a North West Sports Council)
Registered Osteopath
Osteopathic Consultant to Burnley Football Club and Accrington Stanley F.C
Physical Training Oct 2000