The Bujinkan Etiquette
A Bujinkan practitioner should follow a specific etiquette, even outside of the Dōjō. First of all, prior to leaving for the Dōjō, make sure that your body and your training gear are all clean and free of odors. Having clean cut fingernails is a must, and use of deodorant is always a good idea. Your gi should also have no dirt marks on it or anything that could rub off onto the tatami mats.
If you are not ready to invest into an adequate training uniform when you begin your journey into Bujinkan, you will be expected to wear at minima black sweatpants, black socks, and a black t-shirt when attending classes in our Dōjō.
Upon arriving at the Dōjō, be sure to bow before stepping through the entrance. Immediately upon entering, remove your shoes and place your shoes farthest away from the Kamidana (small shrine or altar) as possible. From here, you can change and then follow the same rules for your bags as you did for your shoes. Put them as far from the Kamidana as possible.
After you are changed into your training gear, bow before stepping onto the tatami mats. It is not necessary to bow again every time you step off of them (although some do). But as you cross over the threshold for the first time, stop, pause, bow, pause again, then walk into the Dōjō. At that moment, you are leaving the outside world behind you, and getting into training mode.
At the end of the training, stop and bow before leaving the tatami mats. Take a moment to reflect on the fact that you came out of there safely, and are about to go back out into the real world. From here, line up to pay for the class (unless this was done before the class) and get attendance captured before doing anything else. The worst thing you can do is make the person collecting money for the class (who also needs to get changed) wait for you while you change before paying.
After you have paid and changed out of your gi, get your shoes on and bow while standing inside the threshold of the entrance to the Dōjō facing inside before stepping backwards out of the Dōjō.
In Japan, it is customary to wait for the teacher to leave in what is called Miokuri. This is perhaps the most ignored bit of etiquette in Japan as even younger Japanese practitioners often do not do it. If the teacher is driving, you should stand back and bow as their car goes past and wait until the car is out of sight before moving from your position.
Detailed Rules of the Hombu Dōjō Japan
- Our intention is to lead a healthy life. Thus no other man come to harm. We want to maintain the relationship between man and nature through the way of the warrior.
- All members must be in possession of a valid yearly membership card issued by the Hombu Dōjō. There are two types of memberships: the general membership card and the Shidōshikai membership card. While the general membership card by all members of the Bujinkan Dōjō - whether graduated or not - can be purchased, the Shidōshi-kai membership only applies to members that carry a Shidōshi-hō or Shidōshi rank.
- General members must pay an annual membership fee of ¥2,000 at the Hombu Dōjō.
- Annual Shidōshi-kai membership fee is ¥15,000.
- General membership and Shidōshi-kai must be renewed every year.
- Only members of the Shidōshi-kai are allowed to graduate students.
- Rank certificates cost are: ¥3,000 for Kyū (9th-1st); ¥10,000 for Shodan; ¥20,000 for Nidan; ¥30,000 for Sandan; ¥40,000 for Yondan; and ¥30,000 for Godan and above.
- Half of this above amount (up to Yondan) is to be paid to the Hombu Dōjō, and the other half is kept by the teacher in order to finance their own budō studies and to come to Japan for training.
- Shidōshi-hō certificate costs ¥,20,000; Shidōshi certificate costs ¥10,000.
- Shidōshi-hō Certificate are for teachers ranking from 1st to 4th Dan. They may check their students and give graduations to a degree right under theirs (e.g. a 3rd dan can give ranks up to 2nd dan).
- The Hombu Dōjō provides cards, patches, stars and pins.
- Training patches cost ¥1,350 (Kyū, Dan or Shidōshi). Jūdan patches cost ¥3,000.
- Stars cost ¥150.
- Pins cost ¥1,500 for Kyū grades, ¥2,000 for Dan and ¥3,000 for Shidōshi.
- The total amount is paid in cash in Japanese currency (¥) by registered mail.
- For Jutte, Ken, Yari, Naginata, etc. special licenses are issued.
- Members of the Bujinkan Dōjō are informed regularly of the activities of Sōke (Taikai, videos, publications, etc.).
- Only the memberships cards and grades awarded by the Bujinkan Hombu Dōjō are considered to be valid. People who violate the principles of the Bujinkan Dōjō will be excluded from membership (as well as individuals who violate the law).
- The Bujin logo is copyrighted and belongs to the Hombu Dōjō.
- Members must respect and follow the principle of Bufū-Ikkan (the principle of the Way of Strategy applied in every day life) in order to protect nature and achieve a happy life through the way of the warrior.
- Members should always have direct contact with the Hombu Dōjō and contact other Bujinkan Dōjōs to build communities of interests with their peers.
- All communications with the Hombu Dōjō must be in Japanese, so all corporate settlements can be made more quickly and smoothly. It is also worth mentioning that the true nature of the way of the warrior doesn't translate well in other languages. They are best expressed in the Japanese language.
Sōke Masaaki Hatsumi
Bujinkan Hombu Dōjō
JAPAN / NIPPON