HOW DO WE TRAIN?
What do we wear?
We train wearing a uniform called "gi" - black cotton trousers and jacket, secured with a coloured belt that reflects our level of training. We wear special indoor shoes called "tabi" to protect our feet and the training mats.
White belt - absolute beginner
Green / red / yellow belt - "kyu" grades 9 to 1
Black belt - "dan" grades 1 to 15
Beginners can wear any comfortable clothes to train in - leggings or jogging bottoms, a T shirt, and socks
In the Bujinkan, like any martial arts class, we are dealing with a potentially dangerious subject that must be treated with great respect. In keeping with this spirit of respect, we should treat our school and fellow students accordingly.
The following is a prescribed manner of behaviour when in the dojo:
Students should bow when entering or exiting the dojo.
Students should ask to train with someone, and accept either yes or no. Sometimes an instructor will determine partners and this will be for specific reasons.
Students with questions are directed to ask the instructor of a class if they are available or the instructors uke, who will usually be the longest standing student. If a beginner is training with an intermediate/advanced student, the senior must allow the beginner a few attempts before instruction is given.
Do only the technique as it is shown. Do not attempt alternatives unless instructed to do so. For advanced practitioners there is usually lenience in this rule to develop their abilities in the area of Renshu (see outlook and philosophy)
Do not handle training weapons belonging to others unless given permission to do so. This is for ones own safety as well as for principles of etiquette. If a weapon was lent to you it is expected that you return the weapon to the person it was borrowed from, saying "arigatou" (thank you). Do not put weapons on the floor in the training area, this is to avoid injury to others.
If a student cannot see a technique, it is up to the student to discover the secrets. Move, observe, practice and then, if still stuck, seek guidance.
Students are expected to maintain a level of appropriate hygiene. If training in the hot summer months use a towel to wipe sweat, or have a change of t-shirt for the break times.
Consistency in training, regularly showing up is a sign of respect to the instructors and develops commitment, determination and a sense of achievement.
Never forget that you are part of a long tradition and there is a reason for everything and how teachings are delivered. It is the secrets within the way.