The first thing to understand is that as aikidokas you are part of a dojo and a dojo is not a gym, students have not only rights but also duties.
1. Bow by entering on the mat and leaving it.
2. Always bow towards the SHOMEN and the portrait of the founder.
3. Respect your working tools. The GI (uniform) must be clean and in good condition, weapons stored aside when not used.
4. Never use any weapon or wear uniform that do not belong to you.
5. A few minutes before the practice, you need warming up, sitting in seiza, all on one line. These few minutes allow your mind to empty, get rid of the problems of the day and prepare for study.
6. The course starts and ends with a formal ceremony. It is essential to be on time to participate but if you arrive late, please wait beside the mat until the teacher make you sign to join in. Bow and climb onto the mat. Also be sure not to disturb the course.
7. The correct way to sit on the mat is in seiza position. But if your knees are injured of painful you may sit cross-legged. Never stretch your legs and do not lean it up against your wall or pole. You must be available at all times.
8. Do not leave the mat during practice without asking permission from the teacher (except in case of injury or illness).
9. When the teacher shows a technique, you have to sit in seiza and watch intently. After the demonstration, bow in front of a partner and start working.
10. As soon as the end of a technique is announced, immediately stop your movement, bow your partner and join other practitioners sitting in line.
11. Never stand upright on the carpet without working. If necessary, stay in seiza awaiting your turn.
12. If for one reason you absolutely have to ask the teacher, go to him, never call him: bow towards him with respect and wait for him to be available. A standing bow is enough in this case.
13. When the teacher shows a particular movement during the course, sit in seiza and look carefully. Bow towards him when he is finished. When he corrects another practitioner, you can stop working to watch. Sit in seiza and bow as well when the teacher finished.
14. Observe the highest ranking practitioners. Never argue about technique.
15. You are there to work, not to impose your ideas on others.
16. If you know the movement and you are working with someone who does not know it, you can guide him. But do not try to fix (and do not block him)
17. Speak as little as possible on the mat.
18. Do not stay long on the mat before or after class. It is reserved for those who wish to practice.
19. Everyone is responsible for the cleanliness of the dojo.
20. It is forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum both on the mat and off during practice, or on the mat at any time.
21. The wearing of jewelery is to be avoided during practice.
22. We usually say "Onegai shimasu" (literally: I make a request, please) at the beginning of the class and "Arigatoo gozaimashita" (thank you) at the end of the training.
You can invite anyone to come and watch a class at any time, if the following rules be observed:
1. Sit with discretion, never place the legs on furniture.
2. It is forbidden to eat or drink in class.
3. Do not talk to anyone on the mat.
4. Do not walk around while the teacher shows or corrects a movement.
Although there are many rules of etiquette to assimilate, they will come naturally with regular practice. Do not be offended if you are corrected on a detail, because every one is important for the safety of all and has a specific educational purpose. Aikido is not a religion but an education and a development of the mind.