Sitting QuietlyBecause 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 Attentive Groupfor 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 instructors by:

  • Listening, not 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.

Studying Reiho HandoutWe 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. 
  • Never distracting your fellow students.
  • Managing your hakama with minimum noise.
  • 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 administrative burdens.

  • 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.Chiba Family Scroll For ZNKR & Kendo 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 instructor.

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.

Copyright 2010 by River City Iaido & Kendo Kyokai, All rights reserved.
Report web problems to the webmaster