Home - Copenhagen Aiki Shuren Dojo
Home News Training Schedule Beginners Info Links Contact Find us


The Dojo - in Iwama
Ibaraki Shibu Dojo  

Entering the dojo 

A sign of good manners and a necessary habit to form is to put your own and others shoes in order at the "genkan" (entrance). Shoes should be paired nicely in rows and should face so that the tips of the shoes are facing away from the room they are outside of. This is a custom from the olden days so that samurai could leave the premises as quickly as possible. It is also a nice thing to do even in other homes you may be visiting while in Japan.

Inside the Ibaraki Shibu Dojo  

In the dojo

Do not step on the wooden door steps when entering rooms. Step directly onto the tatami mats. There is "soji" ( cleaning up ) before and after every practice. Be ready to clean as soon as the sempai ask for it. Watch how the cleaning is done and do it the way you are told.

Work in the dojo
As uchi deshi, you are expected to do chores and work every day. These chores will be assigned to you by the dojo sempai ( the person in the dojo who has been there longest ). You should be willing to take part in any work that has to be done with a positive attitude, even when this work is cleaning the toilets!

Kitchen duty is called Toban. You will be asked (told!) to share in the kitchen duties with the other uchi deshi. Club leaders , chief instructors and students alike all have to take their turn. Sometimes you will be paired with someone else for Toban. Toban is for one whole day on a rotational schedule. If you have to do something on your designated day you can ask to switch with someone else.

Toban includes preparing breakfast, shopping for lunch and dinner, making the meals, setting the table and doing the dishes . The others will usually help with the clearing away and washing but it is in fact the responsibility of the designated people. Be prepared to be able to cook a wholesome, inexpensive meal with things which can be bought locally. There are fairly well-stocked supermarkets and inexpensive green-grocers in Iwama. 
Cleaning the Dojo  

Uchi deshi daily life

As uchi deshi, you are expected to stay in the dojo area. If you wish to go somewhere locally, make sure to ask permission from the Sensei. Make it clear where you are going and when you will be back. Also make sure there is no work or other plans before asking to leave. During the warm months, care should be taken if sunbathing. Put on a shirt if in the presence of the Sensei or other Japanese.


If you wish to do some sightseeing while in Japan, arrange to do this before or after your stay as uchi deshi. You may be taken out for some sightseeing by the Sensei or others from the dojo, but this is only if it fits with the overall plans for the uchi deshi. Don’t expect this, but enjoy it if you get the chance

Leaving the dojo

When your stay at the dojo is over, a gift of money is put in a special envelope and given as a token of appreciation. This is often placed on the kamiza/kamidana. Envelopes can be bought, make sure to ask a dojo sempai as to which kind. Ask also about the proper amount, this depends upon how long you are staying. Also when leaving, a bottle of saké is given as well, two if your stay was for a longer period. Again, ask your sempai about the proper kind and what should be written on the package.
  The Dojo   Training   Uchi Deshi   Behavior & Customs  


Seidokan Japan Center Valbygårdsvej 36 A , 2500 Valby Tel 40 86 32 12 Legal Notice