The Etiquette of Kendo
Etiquette plays a major role in the kendo environment. Each of the following customs have been handed down from ancient times and are continued as part of kendo. The following rules of etiquette are observed whenever kendo is practiced:
- A kendoka will always remove their shoes before entering the dojo.
- Whenever a kendoka enters or leaves a dojo, they bow in greeting or farewell to those present.
- A kendoka bows to his opponent at the start and finish of each practice.
- A kendoka does not smoke in a dojo unless invited to do so.
- A kendoka does not wear a hat in the dojo.
- When kendoka are wearing bogu (armour) and are in a sitting position on the dojo floor, it is customary to walk behind them. If for any reason one must walk in front of seated kendoka, they should extend their right hand and bow slightly as they pass.
- A kendoka never steps over or hits a shinai with their feet when it is placed to the left of a seated kendoka, or when the kote and men are placed in position on the floor.
- A kendoka never touches the bogu of another kendoka.
- Always upon entering or leaving the dojo, a kendoka greets or takes leave of the head teacher first.
- It important to remember that the student always stands at the practice area and awaits the teacher's instruction.
- If a piece of armour comes untied, practice must be stopped, and the opponent kendoka will remain in position while the repair is made and the equipment is fully inspected. When the opponents are ready to resume practice, each will stand and bow before continuing.