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Sky Martial Arts

Dojang etiquette (An overview for new students and a refresher for the rest of us!)

Posted: October 01, 2019

Being new to the martial arts community can sometimes feel confusing or intimidating at first- with traditions, routines, and commands that everyone else seems to already know. Master Han and the Instructors at SKY Martial Arts Murrieta want to make sure you feel as comfortable and prepared as possible for your first day of class. They have worked together to create this guide to help students and their families know what to expect, as well as what’s expected of them as a member of the SKY Martial Arts Murrieta Family.

Before Class

Upon entering the "dojang" (Studio) students bow first to the flags and then to instructors. If the class has already begun before you enter, you will, after bowing to the flags, wait for the instructor's permission to join the class.

Before class is set to begin, each student will find their individual attendance card and hold it until class begins. When class is to officially begin, the instructor will give each student a spot to line up. Students will say “yes sir”, then quickly move to their place. Students will turn in their attendance cards to the person to their right until every attendance card is in the hands of the student in the furthest front right hand position. That student will deliver the attendance cards to the attendance card box.

 At this time the instructor will direct the students to bow to the Korean and American flags, then Masters and Instructors. Next the Instructor will conduct warm-up exercises, and proceed with the rest of the class.

During class, proper respect and discipline must be maintained at all times and Dojang etiquette followed by all members. The chain of command of ranks must be followed at all times. If it is necessary for a student to leave the Dojang before the class is over, he must get permission from the Head instructor, unless he received permission prior to the class.

Should the Head instructor enter the Dojang, the presiding instructor (or highest ranking member), will call the class to attention, have them turn and face the Head instructor, and bow. The Head instructor will return the bow and either have them resume their training or instruct the class on what they are to do next.

The Rules

There should be no unnecessary noise. Students must remain quiet and ready for instruction at all times unless directed otherwise. Students seated at the sidelines will remain still so as not to disturb those training. If a student wishes to direct a question, that student is to raise their hand and wait to be called on.  

No one is allowed to wear shoes in the Dojang. No one is permitted to chew gum or smoke in the Dojang. Consider the Dojang as your home and treat it with the utmost respect . The Dojang is a sacred place, intended to teach students the true way of Martial Arts, meaning not just physical abilities but respect and self control as well.

While seated on the floor, students should be aware of their posture, with their back straight, hands in fists, forearms resting on the thighs, head erect, and legs folded with the right leg on the outside of the left. No student should lean against anything when sitting or standing. This is not just to show readiness to learn, but also a habit for good health.

Students should exercise care to keep their uniform clean and presentable at all times. Fingernails and toenails should be clipped and kept short for personal safety and the safety of other students. No metal or jewelry of any sort, except eyeglasses or a wedding ring, should be worn during class. All personal belongings should be kept out of the training area. Every student is responsible for his/her own valuables.

The Dojang must always be kept clean and empty of any distracting items. Students are responsible for helping to keep the Dojang clean, by picking up their personal items and also being aware to pick up any litter they may find.  SKY Martial Arts Murrieta is a place for those who wish to learn the way of the Korean Martial Arts and we have come together as a community with a common goal of bettering ourselves and the world around us.

The instructors teach what each student is qualified to learn at every level. Always give your best effort to practice and master each lesson as they are taught, as they will build upon each other.

Masters, 4th Dans or above should always, whether in or out of the dojang, be addressed as Master.

During Class

Warm-up exercises before training are to be practiced by every student in order to prepare both the body and mind. While they may start to seem routine or unimportant, these exercises can prevent pulled muscles or injury due to a lack of concentration on the part of the participant. When training with SKY Martial Arts, all students must be in proper physical condition and focus their concentration on the tasks at hand. For safety, any pre existing injuries or special circumstances must be discussed prior to class in order for approval to participate.

Before and after exercises, following the lead of the instructor, students will turn 180 degrees to their right, adjust their uniforms and belts as necessary, turn to the right 180 degrees, then bow to the instructor.

At the end of class, students will again line up. At the command of the Instructor, the students to turn toward the flags, bow to the flags, turn and face the instructor, bow to the instructor, as they say “Kam-sa-ham-ni-da”, which means; Thank you for teaching us. Finally the students will show respect to their parents as the class concludes with a final bow to the parents and family members of the students. It is at this time the instructor will announce any relevant information pertaining to that group of students, so that both parents and students can hear the announcement.

Martial Arts brings people together as part of one large global community and here at SKY Martial Arts, we treat everyone (students, parents, and siblings) like family. We take pride in our family developing friendships, helping each other in times of need and teaching from experiences both in and out of the Dojang. Family members should show their pride not only in how they conduct themselves while in the Dojang but, outside the Dojang as well. SKY Martial Arts is where individuals come, not only to improve themselves physically, but mentally as well. Learning respect, discipline, and individual responsibility is just as important to each belt level as mastering a high kick or low block. At SKY Martial Arts, students will learn more than just proper sparring techniques, they will learn to be leaders in their community, members of their families, and strong individuals.