Uechi Ryu Emblem  Okinawan Karate Club

Dojo Rules

Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Code of Ethics

Master Kanei Uechi's Principles of Practice

Steve Banchick's With Tradition Comes Responsibility


(Translated from the Japanese)


*The martial art begins and ends with respect.
*Bow upon entering and leaving the dojo (Training Hall or Gym) indicating respect.
*Diligently follow the instruction given by your instructor and your seniors.
*Thoughtless and careless actions such as whistling, singing, and social conversation have no place in the dojo.
*Refrain from engaging another student in idle conversation. Make the best use of time given for your class.
*Practice in a business-like manner. If you need to rest, do so in an area where you will not interfere with another's training.
*Person to person relationship in the dojo must be reinforced by courtesy and affection.
*Keep your body and your Gi (uniform) always clean.
*You are responsible for keeping your conduct under control inside and outside of the dojo.

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Master Kanei Uechi's Principles of Practice

The purpose of Karate training is to discipline the mind and body and to master the art of self-defense.
  • A karate practitioner should be well-mannered and modest, value courtesy, always wear decent clothing, pay attention to his speech and actions and work hard at training.
  • A karate practitioner must never call upon his strength in a quarrel, speak harshly, act roughly, or become troublesome to others.
  • A karate practitioner must never speak arrogantly, fall into laziness, or act conceitedly. He should endeavor to work diligently at training and improving himself, and be filled with the vigor of life.
  • A karate practitioner should respect decorum and the martial arts, maintain the fine traditions of karate and be a positive, contributing member of society.
Uechi Kanei (Translated by Jon D. Mills, October 1984)

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Okinawan Karate Club

With Tradition Comes Responsibility, By S. Banchick

Tradition is defined as,
  1. the handing down of information and customs and beliefs from one generation to another.
  2. a belief or custom handed down by tradition.
Responsibility is defined as, 1: the quality of being dependable, the quality or state of being responsible.

Responsible is defined as
  1. being the one who must answer or account for something.
  2. able to choose between right and wrong.
  3. Having the ability to take charge of or be trusted with important matters.
Etiquette is defined as
  1. forms of ceremony or decorum
  2. the conventional laws of courtesy observed between members of the same profession.
  3. a conventional code of conduct or behavior.
Okinawan styles of karate are built on tradition, many styles work at keeping the tradition alive through teaching and practicing the forms, techniques and principals without extreme change. There exists in all styles of karatedo a certain etiquette which sets it apart from any other activities. In Okinawa, Uechi Ryu is pretty much still practiced as it was since Kanbun introduced Pangainoon (hard soft style), and New material has been introduced over the years which is based on basic principals of the original teaching. Kanei Uechi developed new training methods to enhance interest and involvement.

The sensei or teacher at each school has a responsibility to his students and that is to provide them with the information needed for the best possible training. He/she guides them to meet their goals, he sets examples by doing and being a role model for others to follow on the same path of serious knowledgeable training and clean living. The sensei in a traditional setting must maintain the tradition and continue to pass on information to the students so that the students will grow to become knowledgeable and understanding of the ways, customs and etiquette while developing good karate technique. It is the responsibility of the senior student to accept these teachings and to help sensei pass them along to new members. It has been said that karate begins and ends with etiquette. Without proper etiquette there is no karatedo (way of karate) as it will become more difficult to find the way (do). Dojo etiquette is simply a sign of respect. It is a sign from teacher to student, student to teacher, student to student, student to dojo and the dojo to the art itself. This is a way of showing respect to forefathers for introducing the way.

Every student has responsibilities in a traditional school. Many are unwritten rules that must be followed to the letter if the tradition is to stay alive.

It has been noted that over the years (in Okinawa) in the dojo the students are referred to senior and junior students with the juniors having the most responsibility for the upkeep of the dojo. The seniors have the responsibility of maintaining a well run dojo by setting examples for the rest to follow.

Dojo Code

  1. Sensei should never demand respect.
  2. Students will give the sensei the respect he has earned.
  3. Students will not be demanding of sensei.
  4. Students will observe the proper bowing procedures.
  5. Students will be respectful of each other regardless of rank.
  6. Seniors will assist juniors any time they see help is needed.
  7. Juniors will accept corrections from seniors without comment.
  8. Juniors will not correct seniors or question their teaching. (discussions are welcome)
  9. Juniors will assist new students and encourage their training.
  10. All students will maintain the dojo if needed: ( sweep floors, pick up papers, refill water, empty trash ) and never assume that someone else will do it.  This is where humility is learned along with camaraderie. To evade this duty is a sign of  pride and misunderstanding of it's purpose which is not of punishment, it is to build the attitude of responsibility and helpfulness.
  11. Students should observe the training schedule, arrive on time.
  12. Shoes are to be left in waiting area on rack provided or neatly lined on floor out of walkway. Never walk on training areas with street shoes.
  13. Always keep your gi clean and tidy.
  14. Keep finger and toe nails short to prevent injury to others.
  15. Be aware of your physical condition.
  16. Refrain from talking about non karate matters during training.
  17. When you use training equipment handle it with care. Be sure to put it back in the correct place after using it.
  18. Report of any broken or damaged equipment to maintain high levels of safety.
  19. When an instructor gives advice, listen carefully and sincerely.  Do not forget to show that you have understood the advice.
  20. Know your physical limitations, stamina and strength. Do not try to do the impossible. Practice only what is taught not what you see.
  21. If you are tired go to the back of the dojo for the needed rest break.
  22. When observing a class sit properly and do not stretch your legs out.
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