Dojo Etiquette

How To Tie Your Obi


Be prompt. Arrive before class begins. If you come in late, get dressed, be seated by the doorway, and wait for permission to join the class.

Always bow when entering or leaving the dojo. Direct your bow first to the flag then to the senior person present and acknowledge his or her presence with the greeting Osu (pronounced “Ooss”). This gesture shows respect both toward fellow practitioners and the art.

Junior students are expected to look to seniors for guidance, imitate their behavior, and treat them with respect and consideration. Sit and stand when your seniors do; always sit to the left of seniors. Senior students are expected to set a good example for juniors, protect them from injury, help them learn, and treat them with respect and consideration. REMEMBER: we were all white belts once.

Always behave appropriately in the dojo (“Place of the Way”). Remove your shoes before entering. Speak quietly and maintain an attitude appropriate for serious practice. Food, drink, and gum are not permitted in this Dojo.

Never teach new techniques or kata to other students unless asked to do so by your Sensei. Never throw or drop your Obi (belt) on the ground, and never wash it. Your Obi is a symbol of your spirit.

Never lose your temper in practice. Train with intensity but NEVER with anger or hostility. There is no place for ego in this Dojo. Pay attention; this is part of your training. Concentrate on your art while you are in this Dojo. Practice your Ping-te and Kata consistently outside of class, even if for just for a few minutes here and there. This is the only way to improve your skill and physical condition.

Ranks are valid only as indications of one’s current skill level, maintained through active training. If you are no longer training, you are not considered to hold any rank in this dojo. Sensei may reduce or advance your rank as he sees fit. Promotion or reduction of rank is a teaching tool, providing an objective evaluation of your progress. Preoccupation with rank shows a lack of understanding of the arts.

Giving back to the Arts is a must. Ask Sensei what you may do to make this Dojo a better place for ALL who train here.

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How To Tie Your Obi

The obi is used primarily to keep your dogi top from opening. Here is the proper procedure for tying it:

Fold your belt in half and find the center.

Place the center just below your navel and wrap both ends around your waist, bringing the ends back to the front. Make sure not to twist it and that the ends are even.

Bring the left over the right and tuck under both parts in front of your waist, pulling the ends left and right to form the first knot.

Bring the top over the bottom, cross them, and pull up through the hole, tying your second knot by pulling left and right (horizontally). It should look like this:


An obi should always be respected, but not revered. It contains symbolic meaning. You can tell a lot about someone and their attitude solely by the care with which they wear and treat their obi.

Do not drop it or drag it on the floor. This is carelessness and disrespect.

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