1) Remove shoes at the top of the stairs. Never enter the dojo with shoes on and never carry shoes inside.
2) Feet must be clean and toenails and fingernails kept short. Remove jewelry. Uncut nails and certain types of jewelry can cause lacerations.
3) Always bow lightly when entering or leaving the dojo, as well as when entering or leaving the mat area. Keep to the rear of the dojo when crossing the mat.
4) Kneel and bow formal to the shomen when beginning and ending practice (the formal bow varies from dojo to dojo, so observe custom when visiting other places). Never sit with your back to the shomen.
5) Maintain a straight, alert position when the teacher is demonstrating to the class. Although this may be difficult for long periods of time, view it as part of your training.
6) Respect your partner regardless of rank. Remember that you are practicing for mutual self‑improvement and, in a sense, all partners are your teachers. Always thank, your partner(s) after training and after class.
7) Address the teacher as “sensei,” accompanied by a light bow when requesting assistance. Always thank the teacher when ever you receive personal instruction
8) Keep talking during practice to a minimum. Aikido requires the emergence of new sensory capabilities, and talking interferes with this process. It is permitted to discus points of technique, but it is usually possible to communicate these points nonverbally.
9) Always inform the teacher if you have to leave practice early.
10) Take personal interest in the cleaning and maintenance of the dojo (except the. shomen) **
11) Practice with care. Assume responsibility for the safety of your partner when training.
12) Pay dues promptly.
Please be aware that, although Aikido practice is a positive and interesting time, it is a serious study of budo (martial art). Practice should always be approached with seriousness, as one blow in Aikido is capable of killing or seriously injuring your partner. Kicking or punching are forbidden except when part of a demonstrated technique. You should practice as if you are facing a live blade.
**Sweeping the mat before and after class are important. Keep the dressing rooms and bathrooms clean and orderly. The mat should be cleaned no less than once a week. This is a definite part of training. Please join in!