Shorin Ryu Karate-Do Lycoming County

Traditional Okinawan Karate-Do and Kobudo



Student Page

Proper Bowing Etiquette

Why and when should a student bow?

Bowing  is used both as a sign of respect and a greeting. Bows between students is used as a gesture of hello and goodbye between students as well as a sign of mutual respect.

When a student should bow.

1. The first and last bow of every visit occurs at the front door of the school. This bow is directed into the school. This is done for a number of reasons. First off it is used to remind the student that they are entering a place of learning. This bow reminds them to set their personal lives aside for the time they are at the school, to focus their minds, and to address their discipline accordingly. This bow should be done EVERY time the student enters and exits the school.

2. A bow should also be used when first greeting any instructor and or black belt. When a student first enters a room with a black belt in it, the student should bow and say “Osu” followed by the instructor or black belts title. Ex. “Osu Sensei” This bow should be returned by the black belt to the student as a sign of MUTUAL respect and NOT EGO. This is also true when a black belt first enters the room a student is in. The student should again bow to the black belt followed by “Osu Sensei” or the appropriate title. This is also to be returned by the black belt as a show of mutual respect.


3. Students should also bow every time the enter and exit the classroom. This bow is directed towards the American Flag. This is again done as a show of respect and a reminder of where the student is.

4. There is a formal bowing ceremony at the beginning and end of every class to show respect to the American Flag, the instructors, black belts, and fellow students.

5. Students should also bow to each other each time they are to commence and end training with each other. Ex. Bow before and after practicing self defense together, sparring, grappling, etc.

Our Student Creed


 1. Students will bow upon entering and leaving the dojo, and will not leave the dojo floor without first receiving permission from the Sensei in charge. When unavoidably late, or returning to class, the student will enter, bow, move sideways away from the door, kneel, and wait for the Sensei's instructions.

2. Students will behave as gentlemen and as ladies, at all times, inside and outside the dojo.

3. No student will provoke violence, inside or outside the dojo, or allow himself to be provoked into violence, under pain of expulsion from the art of karate for life.

4. Higher belts will aid lower belts in their training. Lower belts will follow the instruction of the higher belts in the dojo.

5. No alcohol will be taken before class. Consuming candy, gum and any other food or drink are also forbidden during class.

6. There will be no sparring without appropriate safety gear, and the express permission of the Sensei. Also, students must ask to use any equipment in the dojo.

7. Students will maintain a serious attitude in the dojo at all times: no profanity or loud talking will be tolerated.


9. Students must comply with the dojo health rules. Personal cleanliness is essential; also, uniforms MUST BE CLEAN AND PRESSED. Fingernails and toenails must be clipped at all times.

10. Students will attend at least one class weekly at a time designated for their instruction. Any

student who is absent from their instruction for a period of over one month, without the understanding of the sensei, can be expelled from the school, without notice.

11. No rings, watches, earrings, necklaces, or other jewelry may be worn during class.

12. Under no circumstances will any student, from white belt to brown belt, teach the art of karate to any person, or persons, without the permission and sanction of their Sensei. Any student who does so teach, can and WILL BE DEGRADED TO THE RANK OF WHITE BELT.


14. Lower belts must keep the dojo clean, (by dusting or mopping the floor, moving out unused equipment). It is up to the higher belts to make sure this rule is enforced.





1. Sparring gear must be worn.

2. Groin protection is required.

3. Intentional and hard contact to the head is forbidden.

4. Light contact to the body is allowed between the top of the sternum down to the belt area, just above the hips.

5. Light contact is a blow that will not cause serious injury. Serious injury is a broken bone, torn ligament, sprain, or internal bleeding. Bruises and brush burns are common injuries.

6. Due to the emotional nature of sparring, any student not showing the proper attitude can be suspended from the activity for a period determined by Sensei.  

7. Safe sparring relies on self-control and respect for partners. Ring etiquette is one of the keys to safety, and is enforced in the same manner that technique rules are, with accompanying penalties. Participants are expected to show respect for their partners and instructors at all times, both inside and outside the ring. Win or lose, good call or bad call, participants are expected to show a positive attitude. Parents of minors are expected to do the same. 


  • 309 W Southern Ave
  • South Williamsport, PA 17702
  • 570-666-3198


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