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Articles Home » 剛柔流 Editors Commentary » Reigi Saho-Etiquette-Reishiki
Reigi Saho-Etiquette-Reishiki

This article has been depreciated. Please see the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates

空手道 Reigi Saho-Etiquette-Reishiki

So what is Reigi Saho or Reishiki? Reigi Saho, also known as Reishiki, is the order of Bowing (bowing ceremonies) that open and close class. In terms of definition as applicable to Karatedo; it is general etiquette. This is where Deshi (students) line up according to their particular grade and pay their respect, or offer thanks, for what they are about to learn or have learned.

Over the years in training we've come across many Dojo and have regularly noticed people mumbling out words and phrases (Arilpato homabatamabamen... huh - what?) and stumble through etiquette, formal practices or ceremonies and didn’t know either what they were doing or saying (in Japanese), didn’t understand the meaning behind what they were saying / doing or it had never been explained what etiquette has to do with their safety or standards in their relative school and more importantly when such etiquette was in order. In truth, many martial artists are unaware of Reishiki, Reigi-saho and the proper etiquette of their Dojo or any Ryu Ha.

  • Reishiki-Reigi Saho-Etiquette

I don't know of anyone who actually takes class time in a Dojo to teach the concepts of Reishiki, and I have yet to find a book on the subject. It should also be noted that there is a marked difference between Dojo Reishiki and that used in and to the general public. There are also noted differences between Okinawa and Japan formats of Reishiki. Unfortunately, while we could do an entire essay on the concept of Reishiki, we will attempt to narrow this topic down.

As a starting point, to explain Reishiki to a student, we have to recognize that many Eastern religions are not truely forms of worship. Many Eastern religions are philosophical systems coping with everyday occurrences [an example specific in the Dojo is Taoism]. Some of these philosophical systems included practices that conditioned the body and mind to prepare practicioners for inevitable hard times to come; in terms of budo, preparing a warrior for battle. Over time, practitioners of said systems began to honor the founders of these philosophies, turning them into deities and the principles and philosophies of the systems into doctrine. Historical examples include: Lao Tsu, Bautama (Buhidharma), or Confucius, as the originators of Taoism, Buddhism or Confucianism.

Etiquette in the Dojo is not to place students beneath or above each-other, nor to place instructors on a level higher closer to gods; it is not a mystery, that in Martial Arts there is no secret you'll find when you reach a certain grade, level or license. Reigi-saho / etiquette is to organize the dojo into a functional society, demonstrating discipline, dedication, development, common sense and most of all manners.

Reishiki comes from two Japanese words. The first is “REI” which is defined as: bow, salutation, salute, courtesy, honor and appreciation. The second part of the term is “SHIKI” which is defined as: ceremony, rite or function. Combined the term “Reishiki” can translate as: Ceremonial manners - Etiquette. Some might consider this type of consideration to another human being as being conservatively old fashioned however we could say that the end goal of Rei is rooted into all forms of Budo because any Martial Art without Reishiki is just fighting: ie - Karatedo with respect is just a fight.


A highly structured class in any system of Budo, which includes Gojuryu Karatedo, begins on time with a senior student calling the beginning of class by ordering everyone to line up.

There is a formality to Seiretsu 整列 (lining up) in order of seniority. Kamiza 上座 and Shimoza, Jōseki 上席 and Shimoseki 下席 have importance in maintaining order and resepect for those in attendance and should line up or sit in their appropriate locations.

This means the most junior person is seated closest to the door and the most senior person is seated farthest away from the door [or primary entrance / exit] if possible. .........

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

 

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

 

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

 

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

 

 ....

es, it is a lot of bowing however not every bow applies to every class. Bowing is a way of showing respect thus building both character and disipline. This, expanded format, should just about sum it up for any traditional Dojo, including Aikido, Iaido, Kendo and Judo. We should also note that this ceremony is not to be considered religious in nature, but is an important part of the "Reishiki" which is focused etiquette and is essential to Budo. Any martial art without mutual respect is just a fight. 

 

 

 

 




Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

Article depreciated. See the "Goju Ryu Karatedo Desktop Reference" book for major updates.

Comments
#1 Mushin
on August 11 2005 01:22:30
I think this article is very good!
This kind of tradition and principles shouldn't be lost and should be taught, everywhere, with the same enthusiasm as the kicks and punches and throws are...

Arigato Gozaimashita!
#2 nh goju ryu
on January 20 2006 21:13:30
Nice article!
#3 aleojin
on April 24 2006 20:32:27
I agree/ Karate goes beyond a buch of kicks and punches. It has to do with culture and tradition as well !!!!
#4 Golden Crane
on January 07 2008 21:30:55
Great article!

There is a book that details the traditions and Reishiki discussed here. It is called "In the Dojo" by Dave Lowry.
#5 Once-Upon-A-Yellow-Belt
on July 04 2009 13:10:45
A very excellent article which serves to remind us all about the traditional and high-art centers of our chosen Martial Art style,GoJu Ryu.My time as a student of GoJu Ryu was short(1 yr) but it made a huge impact on me because the "little things" such as courtesy and manners and protocol were given almost as much weight as kicks,blows,blocks and kata.I hope to begin my study of this beautiful and effective style again in the near future.Not to step on any toes here but I think I was probably more proud of my yellow belt in GJR than I was of my brown belt in TKD(high school).THAT`S how hard and serious I worked bettering myself when a traditional GJR student.
#6 4622
on December 19 2010 08:46:08
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