Find Us

Bowing Procedures

Bowing Procedures

Bowing Procedures


A breakdown of the Ceremonial Bowing Procedure/Reiho.

1. Seating Order in the Dojo:

Kamiza and Shimoza In Japanese society, rank and relationship between individuals is important to maintain the social structure. One of the most important rules of business etiquette in Japan is the knowledge of the seating order, kamiza and shimoza. The most important person sits on the honoured seat (kamiza) which is located farthest from the entrance. The host or the least important person is supposed to sit next to the entrance (shimoza). Also, there are more factors to be considered in every specific case. Three Basic Rules of the Kamiza and Shimoza.

The senior person(s) takes the kamiza and the junior person(s) takes the shimoza.

Far from the entrance is the kamiza and close to the entrance is the shimoza.

The right side is the kamiza and the left side is the shimoza.

2. Bowing In and Out:

Bowing, simply put, is a way in which one shows their respect for something or someone. In karate dojo, the respect is paid to dojo, kaiso, instructors, and fellow students. When it is time for class to begin or end, either the instructor or a senior student will announce that it is time to line up. Lining up should be done quickly and quietly. When everybody is lining up, the lining order should be correct and straight. Then the most senior student who is present will command the bowing in and out.

3. Diagrams in Example


Diagram 1
This diagram is based on our dojo's layout


Diagram 2
This diagram is based on our traditional North American / International Camp.
Seating can vary based on the location of the entrance of the dojo

Diagram 3
This diagram is based on a complete international contingency


Breakdown of Commands/Procedures:




  Command/Statement Actions Explanations  
1. Seiretsu! Line up!    
2. Kiotsuke! Attention!    
3. Seiza! Sit! On Knees  
4. Mokuso! Meditation! Close Eyes  
5. Shuyokun! Training Virtues Recite at end of class  
  We the students of Goju Ryu, do aspire to these virtues:  
  1. We are proud to study the way of Goju  
  1. We are courteous in manners  
  We strive to develop courage and fighting spirit  
  We cultivate fellowship and understanding  
  We respect the ideals of loyalty and honor, traditional from olden times in Japan.  
6. Shomen oyobi Kaiso ni taishite rei Bow to the front and Kaiso's Portrait    
7. (Bow to all that apply;)      
  Yamaguchi Saiko-Shihan ni taishite rei Bow to Saiko Shihan's portrait    
  __ Shihan ni taishite rei [Name/s] Bow to Shihan/s    
  __ 師範に対して礼      
  Jokyo ni taishite rei Bow to Assistant Master Instructors (4th & 5th Dans)  
  Shidoin ni taishite rei Bow to Senior Instructors (3rdDans)    
  Senpai ni taishite rei For Shodan and Nidan instructors: Bow to Senpai  
8. Otagai ni rei Bow to each other