Expectations & Guidelines

Students are required to become members of the International Shinkendo-Aikibuken Federation and the Aikido & Aikibujutsu Tanren Kenkyukai. Members are fully entitled to the rights and privileges contained therein. Membership in the ISF/AB is as much a privilege as it is a responsibility. In your actions and deeds you are representing your teacher as well as Obata Kaiso himself. Do not test yourself against other styles without express permission from your instructor.

The goal of Shinkendo and aikido is to develop and harmonize the mind and body. Proficiency in swordsmanship and spiritual development are not sequential achievements; they are interactive and interdependent developments. Strong budo must include spiritual and philosophical study as well as formidable technique. Spirit and technique go hand in hand and must be studied together to achieve wholeness. The study of Shinkendo and aikido is as much a path to understanding the art and strategy of bujutsu and bushido, as it is a path to personal realisation and development. In the study the philosophy, as well as the strategy of the art is of paramount importance.

Devote yourself to tireless practice of the techniques and principles of Shinkendo and Aikido. Strive to embody the 12 precepts of the Kuyo Junikun and the 8 ways of the Hachido. Integrate these teachings and philosophies into your everyday life. Practitioners should aspire to improve the condition of our society and world as well.

It should be the ambition of all practitioners to interact and contribute harmoniously with society and our natural environment (Ji, Ta, Shizen). If these basic principles of budo should be neglected, and only matters of individual achievement and strength are sought after, then true budo cannot be experienced.

Dojo Guidelines

  • Students should notify the instructor of any physical problems.
  • Tuition fees are due on the first day of the month.
  • Students should inform the dojo of absences of one week or more.
  • Students should be on time.
  • Avoid eating or drinking within one hour before class.
  • Never come to training while drunk or intoxicated.
  • Show equal respect for upper as well as lower rank training partners.
  • To show respect for our training space and for ourselves, the dojo should be cleaned before every class.
  • Take initiative to help lower ranks when they need help.
  • Wash your Dogi (uniform) often.
  • Students with long hair should keep their hair braided neatly.
  • Students should keep their nails trimmed (to avoid injury) and feet clean.
  • Leave mobile phones outside the dojo or turned off and in your bag when they must come in with you.
  • If possible, remove all jewellery (necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, etc.) before entering the dojo.
  • Remove your shoes before stepping on to the mat.
  • Bow when entering and leaving the training floor.
  • Always bow to your partner before starting to work out with them.
  • Keep talking to a minimum during class time.
  • Don’t leave the training floor without permission from the instructor in charge.
  • Direct questions and comments to instructors only at proper times during class.
  • The dojo is a place of learning. In order to make good progression, techniques should also be practiced at home.

If you are unsure of what to do in a particular situation, ask a senior student, or simply follow your senior’s lead. Although there seem to be many forms of etiquette to remember, they will come naturally as you continue to train. Please do not be resentful if you are corrected on a point of etiquette, for each one is important to your safety and to the learning experience.