lunes, 2 de febrero de 2015

Etiquette (Rei-Gi) I

Rei-Gi (manners) is perhaps the most important thing that kendo and iaido can teach us, and it coincides with traditions of old.  Simply showing respect and courtesy in all you do will help you grow as person throughout your life.  Learn it and live it.

When entering the dojo, remove your shoes and place them outside the door in an orderly fashion.  After entering the dojo, politely bow to show respect.  Generally, the bow can be directed at the front of the dojo or to Sensei.  

After you bow, find your place along the outer portion of the dojo and place your gear in an orderly fashion.  Generally, seating will follow a progression from highest rank to lowest rank or least tenure in the class.  Remember to respect your gear and your swords; even the shinai should be considered a sword and placed carefully upon the ground and carried in an appropriate manner.

As a beginning student, you will often be asked to help with tasks such as cleaning the dojo, sweeping the floors, setting up chairs, etc.  It is important to be on-time and ready to go at the scheduled class time, so these tasks should be performed in a manner to permit class to start on-time.  Once these tasks are complete, all students should be dressed and ready to go.

Our classes typically begin with the study of iaido, the way of drawing the sword, and prior to kendo.  As a member, you are not required to study both kendo and iaido, you may choose either.  It is, however, recommended that you study both, as they will only enhance your learning and are complimentary in nature.

It is customary to join the lineup at the beginning and at the end of the practice, sitting on the left hand side of the person who has a higher grade or more tenure than you.  The command Seiretsu (Line Up) will be given, followed by the commands to bow (Rei) and to start practice (Keiko).  If you study iaido as well as kendo, we will lineup to perform stretching and basic warm-ups to begin the class.  When in doubt, follow a student with experience in the progression of things.

Sensei will then discuss practice or announcements are made (while in seiza), followed by a command signaling the end of class (dismissed).  If you would like to thank someone who was particularly helpful to you during the class, please do so after finishing the session.

During Sunday’s class, Kendo Kata will commence after iaido.  Kendo kata is a fundamental study of the basics of kendo and is an important part of learning the way of the sword.

Your advancement in kendo and iaido is shown by your movement, behavior, appearance, and attitude, and this begins before you enter the dojo.   Other students, both higher and lower in rank or grade, will judge you on these principles and learn from your example.

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