Rude or Not Rude: some etiquette and manners

by Olga

I've got some questions about manners and etiquette in dojo. Here they are.

1. When we have "a little talk from a sensei (or instructor) during line-up is it considered to be rude if one of the students adds his/her comments (aloud) to what instructor is talking about?

2. During training when instructor explains some technique and one of the students comments aloud what instructor is saying is it considered to be rude? (even if a student thinks that instructor has forgotten to say something)

a) In the beginning of the training when people put bogu on (tare and do) and those who has already put wait for others is it ok to say some words in a whisper to your partner besides you?

b) When instructor speaks during line-up is it allowable to say something in a whisper to the partner besides you?

c) When instructor speaks is it allowable to warm up loudly (stomping or jumping)?

d) When instructor speaks is it ok to warm up silently: hands or toes?

4. When you are visiting a seminar with a high ranked sensei is it possible during his/her explanations to warm up the back if it hurts after some hours of traning? (for example to squat and stand up again or make some side bents)

5. If instructor in a dojo and a student have no big difference in their levels in kendo and ranks is it possible for the student to tell his/her instructor that he/she instructor does something incorrectly? (Of course after training in a private conversation)

6. During shiai is it allowable to chant one of shiai participants name? (Is it rude against the other participant? Is it better
to applaud?)
If you can please also tell us how it was at your dojo in Japan.

Answer: I think you want to know the answers from Japanese perspectives or traditionally, right? I will answer these questions from my experience as a Japanese and also only through the etiquette I leanred at my Japanese dojo. So my answers here may be different from other Japanese senseis.

Also, people outside Japan do not always have high rank sensei so different rules must be applied depending on how your dojo operates.

1. It is rude unless your instructors ask you for some comments. If you want to add something, ask your instructor if you can do so.

2. It is not super rude but you do not interrupt the training. Again if your instructor allow you to add comments, it is OK.

a) Not preferable. But just a little whispering should not be a big problem.

b), c), d) If your instructor is speaking to you, it is rude to talk to others (even whispering) or do something such as warm up (no matter loudly or quietly).

4. It does not give a good impression. When sensei is talking, we must listen. If you have some serious physical injuries, you must inform your sensei or the sensei who is giving a seminar.

5. If it is privately, I do not see why not.

6. In any shiai, people who are watching must be quiet. Hand clapping is the only thing we are allowed. However, if hand clapping is extreme i.e. too loud or has some rhythm, it is not allowed.

Personally, I do not like to applaud when my team's opponent is penalized.

Hope these help.

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