1: THERE ARE NO RULES!
In reality none are needed, simply respect Soke's wishes and work together and get along. The rest is common sense.

GUIDELINES

1: Please, no politics! If you have a problem sort it out and get along. Soke's wishes are that there should be "no fighting" either within the group or outside of it.

2: All countries are independent of each other and answer directly to Soke.
(N.B. Except where a sensei has been appointed by Soke as "so" or supervisor, this will be the person who is their Sensei. The supervisory role may be know only to Soke, the people involved and possibly a few other seniors.)

3: Correct dress:

GI:
Plain white Gi with black 本派揚心流 kanji.
(At official MHYR events Soke would like all students to wear a plain white uniform without stripes or other decorations.)

HAKAMA:
Black Hakama and Blue Keikogi should be worn by branch heads. All other students should wear plain white gi.

TABI:
Soke does not like the wearing of tabi (socks). The only exception to this is should the person have a good reason for wearing them such as keeping a wound clean or an infection.

OBI:
Obi (belts) should be at least 310cm long, this is important for the first aid and restraint techniques that are taught.

DAN GRADES:
MHYR Dan grades should all wear a black cotton belt, if they wish to have kanji or their name embroidered this should be in red.

KYU GRADES:
MHYR Kyu grades may wear a relevant coloured belt indicating their kyu rank in accordance with their national branch, or they may wear a white belt. In Japan there are no coloured belts, only white. The coloured belts allow Soke to distinguish between a total beginner and someone getting close to black belt.

NON MHYR DAN GRADES:
All non MHYR dan grades should really wear a white belt of attending international events as a guest. Please do not wear block colour belts.

General training:
N.B. In general training decisions on uniform are at the discretion of the honbu-cho and the dojo-cho.

Soke's feelings on this are that only the honbu-cho and/or the Sensei in charge of teaching in that class should wear hakama.

4: Dojo Etiquette:

Please arrive on time and be ready for reiho on time. If you are late perform reiho at the edge of the mat. Warm yourself up and do not disrupt the class. Get the attention of the Sensei when you are free and ask permission to join the class.

Dan grades should make a special effort to set a good example to the junior students.

All students including dan grades who are not training, please do not attend and disrupt the students who are training.

5: Reiho (bowing):

At the beginning of class:

Seitetsu - line up
Seiza - kneel down, be seated.

Shomen ni rei - bow to the front, this is only done if there is a shoden present with the Motoha Yoshin Ryu flag (hata) and wooden dojo plaque (udon) are present.
Soke or Sensei would turn to face shomen.

Soke ni rei - bow to soke (if he is present), or Sensei ni rei.

Otagai ni rei - bow to each other. This is also performed towards the front.

Other words used in place of shomen would be shinzen ni rei if there was a kamiza or shrine in the dojo.

Kiritsu - stand up.

6: Addressing each other:
Be polite and respectful at all times!

The word for excuse me is "sumimasen" pronounced "sue-me-ma-sen".

So you have a question, first, above all else wait until you are not interrupting! Then "sumimasen Soke/Sensei" now ask your question. After receiving the correction, reply with "arigato gozaimashita" as at the end of the class to say thank you very much.

Address Soke as "Soke" or "Sensei" at all times, both in and out of the dojo.

The class teacher should be addressed as Sensei. Everyone else may be addressed using their name. In general for westerners using their first name and Japanese by their last name with the suffix San added, for example a person who was not with our group would address Soke as "Yasumoto-san".

Technically if there are other dan grades present they are not your sensei, your sensei are Soke, your Honbu-cho, and your Sensei or class leader and assistants. Unless you are in their class they are not your sensei, however it's better to be wrong on the polite side than it is on the rude side, so if you don't know the person wearing a black belt use the term Sensei.

Junior grades should be taught to address all dan grades as Sensei, although I know I'm the worst culprit and lots of them call me Andy. My view is that I'm not Japanese and neither are they. So long as they are polite and respectful I prefer that they communicate.

Above all else I dislike authoritarian behavior, and I know from speaking to Soke about it that he does too!
As teachers we should encourage good manners and polite normal behaviour, under no circumstances should there be an example set of aggressive and rude behaviour!

7: The Sempai-Kohai relationship:
The sempai (senior) kohai (junior) relationship is something very Japanese, it is one of responsibility and most certainly not one of power over subordinates.

Accepting someone as your kohai or junior is mutual in respect that they want to learn from you. This is no small matter, in effect anything that the kohai does reflects on the sempai whether positive or negative, in short if the kohai is making errors it is the sempai that is responsible for not helping the kohai correctly. In return of course the kohai has a responsibility to learn.

Above all else good manners and getting along together is paramount, everything else is secondary, even good technique does not excuse behavior that causes problems with the group or society in general.

In your dojo as a member you "as an individual" are responsible for ensuring group harmony, do not comment or get involved with others outside your group that is a problem for the other dojo-cho and honbu-cho.

Internationally the same respect applies, all countries are independent and the National Honbu-cho can worry about their own groups.

Soke told me that most problems are only with people speaking and trying to get power over each other. So more training less speaking, and as Sempai "you" should set a good example!
 
Andy McCormack
British Sohonbu-cho
Okuden no Maki - Rokudan

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