always commences the same way in that, once the floor has been swept
and the sempai are dressed in full
armour, less their Men and Kote, warm up exercises [Junbi - Taiso]
take place. Everyone in the Dojo begins running
in line, in a large circle. Three types clapping is used add
variation to this exercise. One clap means turn and run in the
opposite direction. Two claps means stop and squat - then continue
running. Three claps indicates that you should leap upwards reaching
towards the ceiling - then continue to run. When "Yame" is called
everyone slows to a walking pace until the command is given to form
Once the circle is formed our Sensei or the Dojo captain will lead
formalised, synchronised stretching exercises.
At the end of the stretching exercises the Dojo Captain will shout
the command to line up "Seiretsu". At this, everyone collects their
"Bokuto" or "Shinai" [ "Wo
means "Pick up"] as directed by Sensei and lines up in rank order facing
the "Shomen". Furthest from the
doorway the Captain, and then Sempai in
descending grading order
followed by the "Kohai"
in order of wearing Gi and age.
Once everyone is lined up [a second rank is formed in large Dojo]
the Captain will call "Chaku za" the instruction to sit in the
Japanese formal style. [bending the left knee first] placing the
weapon "Shinai [or] Bokuto - Oite" on the floor beside you.
[Shinai to the left. Bokuto to the right].
The " Ken sen" or blade tip pointing backwards, the "Tsukagashira"
pointing directly ahead with blade edge towards you.
The action of
adopting "Seiza" should take place within the space occupied shown
in figure A. Step back with the left foot so that it is
placed in the same spacing as for "Chudan no Kamae" as per Figure 1.
Next place the left knee next to the right foot as per figure 2 -
Moving the right foot next to the left foot, place the right knee
next to the left knee, as in Figure 3. Finally, place the shinai to
your left with the blade edge facing the left hand side of your
choose to place the upper side of you foot on the ground. If so, it
is customary to cross the big toes.
You are now seated in the "Seiza" position.
Wo - Tadashite" tells everyone to sit smartly followed by
"Mokuso" - which is an instruction to meditate.
"Mokuso" lift the body upwards slightly with a straight
back [ as though you have been pulled up by a Samurai's "top-knot"]
so that you are not resting on your heels. This position enhances
your ability to force the diaphragm downwards which enables you to
fill your lungs with more air. Slowly controlled inhalation and
exhalation is the purpose of this exercise.
The position of the hands is also
important. Place straightened right hand fingers over straightened
left hand fingers so that the index fingers are furthest away from
you and the upsides of your hand face downwards. The tips of each
thumb should then almost touch each other. An oval shape should be
formed above the groin and below the navel.
"Yame" or "Mokuso Yame" indicates the
end of "Mokuso".
Next, three kneeling bows
or "Za Rei" take place.
When bowing to the
Buddhist shrine or "Kamidana" the command is "Shinzen
When bowing to the "Shomen" - the wall o behind Sensei
where the dojo flag is hung, the command is "Shomen
"Sensei Ni....Rei! Bow to the Dojo leader.
"Sensei Gata...Ni Rei" in the presence of more than one sensei.
Then finally,"Otagai Ni - Rei Bow to everyone else
At this point everyone says "Onagai
"Please train me".
Finally, following the lead of the Sensei, everyone picks up their
weapon and rises to their feet.
[Right foot first]
then ask all members of the "Dojo" to form a circle once more
order to perform Suburi.