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Revised 08/03/2003 .

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On this page, we'll take a look at some of the Club's rules and Guidelines.

Again, as with previous pages, we've split this page into sub-headers. Either scroll down the entire page as you read, or click on the headings below to skip to the relevant chapter. 

The information on this page is again taken from our Member's Handbook, which is available from any of our Coaches in a handy A5 size.

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Definitions

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Rules of Etiquette

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General Conduct

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Dress Code

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On entering the Dojo

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Sparring – General

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Sparring – Semi Contact Rules

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Sparring - Continuous Combat Rules

Definitions

"Bodoka"  a student of martial arts.

"Cha" ("sha")  acknowledgement of understanding.

"Dojo"  a room or mat for the practice of martial arts.

"Gi" (gee)  a loose fitting suit worn when practicing martial arts.

"Mokso"  call to meditation given by the senior grade or Sensei.

"Musibi-dachi"  stance with heels together, hands by your sides.

"OO’s"  greeting to an opponent.

"Rei"  a short bow using head and shoulders.

"Sensei"  the teacher or instructor of martial arts.

"Seiza"  instruction to the class to kneel.

"Yamme"  stand easy with arms poised at side.

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Rules of Etiquette

Discipline in the Dojo is of paramount importance. Dojo etiquette is a code of conduct essential to the proper practice of any martial art. Without it, their practice becomes meaningless.

As in any martial art, self discipline, mutual trust and respect for one’s opponents are essential to safe practice. Any martial art is a balance of mental and physical discipline, each are as important, indeed it is sometimes said that the mind is the most effective weapon a student has.

All members of Elite Karate are expected to represent the Club in a favourable manner at all times, and uphold it’s good name and reputation, for when the Club is respected, so is the standing of it’s members. All members of Elite Karate are required to adhere to the following code when in the Dojo.

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General Conduct

Discipline in the Dojo is of paramount importance. Dojo etiquette is a code of conduct essential to the proper practice of any martial art. Without it, their practice becomes meaningless.

As in any martial art, self discipline, mutual trust and respect for one’s opponents are essential to safe practice. Any martial art is a balance of mental and physical discipline, each are as important, indeed it is sometimes said that the mind is the most effective weapon a student has.

All members of Elite Karate are expected to represent the Club in a favourable manner at all times, and uphold it’s good name and reputation, for when the Club is respected, so is the standing of it’s members. All members of Elite Karate are required to adhere to the following code when in the Dojo.

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Dress Code

Before starting a training session, students must remove all footwear, including socks. All watches and jewellery, including rings, earrings etc. MUST be removed and can be handed in for safe keeping during the Class.

Before entering the Dojo, ensure that you are appropriately dressed. New members to the Club may wear light coloured, loose exercise clothing, though, 

NO FOOTBALL COLOURS OR BADGING.

For all other members, a clean, pressed and correctly sized, mainly white, Gi is required. Coloured Gi’s are not permitted to be worn by students and can only be worn by either the Sensei or a visiting bodoka from a different discipline. In the latter case, a white belt must be worn, regardless of actual ranking within the participant’s own discipline.

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On entering the Dojo

Bow to the centre of the room, or the Sensei if present.

On greeting one’s Sensei, or training partner from another bodoka, bow and say "oo’s".

Any person arriving after training has commenced, shall enter the Dojo, proceed to the front of the Class, face the Sensei, and execute a full kneeling bow, before joining the Class.

Any member leaving before the Class has completed training, shall first seek the permission of the Sensei, before proceeding to the front of the Class and executing a full kneeling bow to the Sensei.

Before entering any Dojo or contest area, always "rei" at the perimeter.

Mokso

Mokso is an essential component in the practice of martial arts. It is a time for peaceful reflection and meditation, based on the practices of the Samurai warriors of old, who would meditate prior to going into battle. In modern martial arts, it provides a structural process for clearing the mind of the days stresses’ and focussing on the development of personal skills and targets for the training session. The Sensei may use the time to instruct the Class in particular areas of the training, Club issues, or may require the Class to sit in silence. In the latter case, students may find it helpful to concentrate on what they want to achieve and ask themselves questions like these:

 

"What aspect of my training do I need to work on most?"

"What did I learn at the last training session?"

"How will it help me progress?"

"What has been of most benefit to me up till now?"

"What practice have I done at home?"

"What do I need to do to help me achieve my next level of grading?"

 

The Sensei will instruct students to line out in the appropriate manner. Immediately standing in "musibi-dachi". The Sensei, or senior grade present in the Class, will call "Seisa". The Class shall kneel in unison, first on the left knee, keeping the back straight, then on the right knee, and finally sitting back on the heels with the palms of the hands resting on the upper thighs, with fingers pointing inwards.

On the command "Mokso" students will close their eyes and compose themselves for training.

On the command "Yamme" the eyes are opened.

On the command "Rei" the Class shall place their hands on the floor, palms down, and bow for approximately 2 seconds. Students should not raise their heads before the Sensei, as this is a breech of etiquette.

From time to time, Sensei will require students to demonstrate particular aspects of technique. When demonstrating for, with, or upon receiving instructions from, the Sensei, students shall acknowledge with a standing bow and "OO’s". Please note that students should always bow to the Sensei first, the Sensei will then acknowledge. Also, when training with an opponent, both shall bow simultaneously, before and after each section of training.

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Sparring - General

The Elite Freestyle Karate Club promotes both semi-contact and continuous freestyle sparring as a competitive sport and as a means of developing co-ordination, power and dynamic balance. Sparring is an essential element in the in the development of effective technique and is a mandatory part of the belt grading system at every level. Only the very young, presenting themselves at the level of Yellow belt, may elect not to spar. This solely because Elite Karate recognises that in the very young, individual confidence may not have developed to the same level as physical competence.

All participants are advised that both forms of sparring are semi-contact but differ in both the rules and the skills required of the participants. In both cases, protective equipment and padding must be worn at all times.

The minimum padding requirements are:-

Hand padding or coated foam mitts.

Shin guard/pads with instep padding or separate Boot pads

Gum shield (Optional for Semi-contact)

Any other padding and body armour may be worn with the approval of the senior referee.

Sparring - Sparring partners are people too

It cannot be emphasised enough, that the object is not to injure your opponent. However, for sparring to be effective, it must simulate actual combat as closely as possible and all strikes must land on the target with semi-power. The points of guidance on the next page, apply equally to semi-contact and continuous sparring styles.

1. A good sparring partner is essential for progression in your training. They will have as much influence on your ability and technique, as the Sensei.

2. A sparring partner is also a friend and a mutual respect must exist between you. They are not there to act as simply a target or punch bag. Remember that, like you, they are here to learn and to hone their skills, as well as yours.

3. Sparring is a two-way thing, learning only comes from involvement and experience, never from observation alone.

4. "Knocking lumps" out of each other, is neither encouraged or tolerated. The objective is to experience a combative situation in a safe and controlled manner. Aggressive behaviour is what the student works towards overcoming, not seeking to achieve.

5. Both partners must leave their egos’ at the door. Learning from your partner is not related to the colour of their belt, but depends upon how much you want to learn.

6. Input from both partners is important, each should be able to give constructive advice, regardless of the colour of their belt. Remember that no matter how good you think you are, only your partner sees how effective your technique actually is from the outside.

7. Sparring is all about effort, commitment and building stamina. The harder you are pushed, the more you will ultimately get out of it. Your partner should be able to push you hard but with control and care. Sparring is NOT REAL FIGHTING and it is essential that both partners can distinguish the difference and train accordingly.

8. Having said that, the objective is to learn and not to hurt, both partners must be willing to take the knocks and the falls that will inevitably occur.

9. Training can be hard, but must always be fair. To achieve this, both partners must rid themselves of any fears and doubts and foster trust and mutual respect.

10. Hard training will be encouraged strongly…..dangerous training will be stopped.

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Sparring - Semi Contact Rules

It is intended that Sparring be energetic, competitive and combine attacks and movements in a way that simulates actual combat. The difference is that the object is for each opponent to make the first effective attack. Once that attack has been made, the referee will signal a pause and award points accordingly. The winner will be whoever reaches the required points total first. For each tournament, this total is determined by the Sensei, but is usually 10, 15 or 20 points. In the event that the required points total is not reached in the allocated time for the bout, the senior referee’s decision will be final.

To start the bout, the senior referee will call the two opponents to the fight area, and may ask to inspect all protective equipment. On command, both opponents will take up their respective positions at their mark, face each other and bow, before turning to bow to each of the referees in turn. On command, both competitors will adopt a fighting stance. The senior referee will instruct the bout to start and both competitors will commence.

Points will be awarded as follows:-

Any hand strike to the head or body will score 1 point.

Any kick to the body will score 2 points.

Any kick to the head will score 3 points.

Leg sweeps will score 1 point if the opponent is taken to the ground - if the sweep is then followed by another scoring attack, it will be added to the point for the sweep e.g.

Leg sweep without follow up attack ` 1 point.

Leg sweep followed up by punch to the head or body 2 points.

Leg sweep followed up by kick to the body 3 points.

Leg sweep followed up by kick to the head 4 points

No elbow strikes, knee strikes, head butts or kicks below the belt will be allowed - Competitors using such attacks will be disqualified at the discretion of the referee.

Sweeps must be seen to be a sweep and not a kick to the leg.

The back is a valid scoring area.

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Sparring - Continuous Combat Rules

In continuous combat, the motivation moves from scoring points to practical technique and stamina development. Instead of simply scoring points, the bouts are time limited, and the winner will be decided by a panel of judges/referees. As a result, it is no longer just the first strike that is important, as the judges are looking for a wide range of skills, including:

Effective technique

Speed and agility

Continuous balance

Fluid movement

Stamina and fitness

Effort and motivation

Commitment

All strikes are still made with semi-power and, as with all sparring, the object is not to injure your opponent. Remember, control of power is as important as developing power.

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Still thinking about it?

Are you thinking about coming along to one of our Clubs, or maybe your a parent thinking of bringing along your child to try out martial arts.

Check out our new
Kids Section
for all the info. on what benefits martial arts has for kids.

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