General Etiquette, guidelines notes and information regarding your training whether in a private lesson, group class, tournament, seminar or visiting another facility.
General Etiquette for classes and lessons:
General notes and info
- Arrive 5mins early to lessons and classes to be sure you are ready to start on time. You are also expected to call it to Mr. Hall's attention if you notice your lesson in danger of running long;
- We DO NOT Bow to People. We Salute people for similar reasons used in the US Military;
- We may bow to Objects such as a Training area or artifact;
- There are exceptions to most every rule, thus on occasions that we do bow to other people, such as in tournament competition, you always keep your eyes focused on the other person and do not look at the floor when bending at the waist;
- Also when we visit another studio or teacher, we follow their customs as best we can and err on the side of being formal, polite and respectful, not failing to use "Sir" and "Ma'am" in particular when speaking to others, especially Black Belts;
- Salute your senior students when you first see them and when you leave them for the day if they are in the area;
- When entering a studio or training facility, find the Owner/Chief Instructor on duty and salute them and introduce yourself as soon as you arrive;
- Be mindful of personal hygiene. Body contact and close proximity work is common in Kenpo, arrive for your workout in a clean uniform, with a clean body and mind. Be aware that you may get very hot and sweaty as training goes on through the day so start the day as clean and fresh as you can. Mr. Hall is particular about this, he may dismiss you if you have made insufficient effort to arrive for training neat and clean;
- If you have an illness or injury, let your instructor know before your training begins;
- If you become injured during training let Mr. Hall, your partner and/or your instructor know immediately;
- Do not wear jewelery with your uniform while training. Earrings, watches, bracelets, rings, et al are dangerous and can cause serious injury. You do not want to strike or scratch your partner with a metal object and you do not want an earring torn out of its place for example either;
- Avoid heavy cologne and perfume; do not arrive for training heavily scented it can irritate some respiratory systems when working in close proximity and it can also irritate others' eyes;
- Avoid heavy makeup, it can rub off on someone's uniform or gear for example;
- Be polite, positive, respectful and attentive during all training and whenever you are in uniform or representing your instructor anywhere in anyway. Failure to do so is cause for terminating your training. You are now a role model. People will look to you as an example inside and outside of training areas;
- Your training partners are your Kenpo family. Treat them all with respect. You are all here to help each other learn and grow;
- If you arrive late for training, report to your instructor immediately and if he or she is busy, stand where you can be seen and present a salute until you are recognized and given further instructions. Do not interrupt a class, lesson or conversation but be sure you are where your instructor can see you, he is probably expecting you and will acknowledge you as soon as is practical;
- NEVER use your knowledge or skill to intimidate someone in any way, the emphasis in Mr. Hall's organization is on Self-Defense;
- When training with a partner always salute them to indicate that you are ready to begin, when they return the salute you can both assume that you are ready to begin what you are working on;
- Always ask the instructor if you have a question. He or she will let you know if you need to save any questions for later;
We bow before entering or leaving the training area or mat for 2 primary reasons:
- To prepare for training or reflect upon the fact that training has ended;
- To reflect upon the fact that many thousands of men and women have worked long and hard to develop the material that you study and to acknowledge the debt that we owe to those who have come before us and have shared their knowledge and skill so that we may enjoy it now.
American Kenpo Black Belts are addressed as Mr., Mrs. or Ms. followed by their last name. You may also say Sir or Ma'am. We do not address our instructors as Sifu, Sensei or other non-English terms except with very rare exceptions.
However, instructors from other schools or systems should be addressed by their preference.