Club Rules & Etiquette

Club Rules & Etiquette

These are the basic rules followed by our clubs. Some, like bowing or wearing a gi, pay homage to tradition, while others are designed for students safety in and out of the dojo.

There is a list of specific ‘rules’ printed in the rear of the IAJJ license holder/grading book which can be viewed by clicking here.

All International Atemi Jujitsu students are required to digest these and sign in the appropriate place to indicate that they have been read and understood.

Parents of students under 12 years are required to sign on their behalf. It’s also a good idea to fix a photo in the Top Cat Slot front of the book in the space provided, particularly important for those students wanting to compete at competition level where proof of identity and validity are a pre-requisite.

Basic Etiquette

Jujitsu is a Japanese martial art and although we don’t use many Japanese phrases, International Atemi Jujitsu clubs do follow some of the practises associated with the Japanese arts.


We at the IAJJ bow:
to an instructor after receiving instruction or asking a question
to our training partner before and after performing a technique
when leaving and entering the dojo (school)
when stepping on and off the mat.
Contrary to some people’s misguided interpretation of the ‘bow’ we are not paying homage to foreign gods or honouring a martial arts master. Some clubs or styles may bow to a ‘photo of a master’ before training commences but that is their choice. Regardless of how it originated, or its significance to other cultures, to us it is simply a mark of respect – nothing more, nothing less.
The Tatami

The tatami is the training mat area, in ancient times the floor was covered in straw; good for soaking up blood, these days we use foam filled mats. They exist for the student’s protection and should be treated with ‘respect’ – no outside shoes to be worn, no drinking or eating on them and problems such as sharp or foreign objects found on the mats should be reported to the instructor – Only leave or step on to the mat when you have been given permission to do so.

A traditional uniform (gi) based on 16th century Okinowan peasant costume must be worn for training. The exceptions are:
new students who have yet to buy a uniform
Sport Jujitsu training when T-shirts are allowed for sparring
At the instructor’s discretion on ‘hot’ days.
Belts must be worn at all times. If you forget or lose your current belt or have to wear tracksuit bottoms because your gi pants are ripped then you are ranked as a ‘novice’ and must wear a novice belt.


No eating in the dojo, drinking is allowed at the instructor’s discretion.

Talking is permitted, talking while the instructor is giving instruction is not, neither is shouting or waving your arms wildly in the air to attract attention – it’s rude and gives your instructor a headache.

Arriving Late

Every effort should be made to arrive at class on time. If however you arrive late, apologise to your instructor and await permission to join the class on the mat.

Keep all weapons covered while travelling to and from class – these weapons are illegal outside the dojo and if challenged by the police you may end up having them confiscated or fined if charged with possession!

Lining Up On The Mat

It varies in some clubs but all our students are required to line up left to right in ascending grade order. Highest grade on the left, next highest on their right, next highest on their right etc. all the way down the mat. The only exception to this rule is when all students are not wearing a full gi, after sparring sessions or on hot days.

Personal Hygiene

Very important. Toenails should be kept short to prevent injuries to yourself and your training partner. Uniforms (gis) and sparring pads should be regularly washed. Gi’s should also be ironed.

All items of jewellery, watches, earrings, necklaces, etc. should be removed before commencing training. Finger rings which are hard to remove should be covered with tape.