Because RCIKK supports the most
traditional of Japanese martial arts, we also follow many of the
most traditional Japanese methods of instruction and discipline.
In traditional Japanese schools, the instructors demonstrate
techniques with little to no oral comments. Students are
expected to learn from observation. While the RCIKK instructors
will spend more time with oral explanations and both group and
individual attention, we expect everyone to observe, repeat, and
practice again and again.
Each student that joins our study group is responsible
his or her own practice, which starts with listening carefully to what the
instructors say and doing what is asked. In a traditional school, the word of
the sensei is never questioned.
Each student that joins our study group is also
responsible to a certain degree for teaching junior students within the club and ensuring they are properly instructed in both etiquette and technique. Thus,
the added benefits of seniority come with additional responsibilities.
The cornerstones of successful sword practice are good
manners and "respect." We all have different physical capabilities, but we all
can choose to implement the same, high level of respect. Good manners and
respect go beyond bows and lining up in order of seniority. We respect our
questioning, and following the instructor's directions. We should never
"experiment," engage in horse play, or practice other martial arts.
Starting class on time.
When the instructor is ready to begin class, the students should already be
in line. The instructor and senior students should never be waiting on you.
This is particularly important during kendo drills. On the other hand, if
you are a few minutes late for class, warm up, wait for the instructor's
indication that you may join the floor, and quietly join the class.
Keeping the instructor
informed. While the instructors don't want to hear excuses about why you've
been missing class lately, they do want to know that you're OK and plan on
returning. If you decide not to return, the instructor should be told.
We respect each other by doing the following:
- Being aware of our
surroundings at all times to ensure everyone's safety.
- Removing jewelry and
keeping it in a safe place.
- Never stepping over a
sword, even if a careless student left it in the way.
distracting your fellow students.
- Managing your hakama with
- Avoiding alcohol before
coming to class and drinking responsibly after class.
We also respect iaido and kendo by:
Bowing (rei) when entering
the dojo or stepping onto the exercise floor. This is the perfect
opportunity to clear the mind of distractions and leave the outside world at
the dojo door.
Helping to sweep the
practice floor and keeping it clean, regardless of rank. In a traditional dojo, students are
expected to do what needs to be done without being asked and without
expecting a words of thanks. RCIKK is your club; look for other ways to
offer help during regular class, before a demonstration, or to ease
Keeping equipment neat and
clean. Uniforms should be regularly laundered. Kendo bogu should be put on
correctly so it won't become untied during class. Shinai should never have
splinters; they might cause injuries. Tenegui should be washed and pressed, at least when expecting
guests or visiting another dojo.
- Treating a bokken or shinai with as much care and
respect as a real sword. Don't lean on them like a crutch when waiting for
class to start.
- At the start of class, bowing to the shomen (high
spot) or kamiza (shrine). You may also bow to your fellow students and your
By following all of the above, you also respect yourself
and the seriousness of your training. Also, keep in mind that you should alert
your instructor of any medical conditions or injuries that may arise. Finally,
while the instructors are not paid for teaching, RCIKK's longevity is dependent
on your decision to pay dues regularly and timely.