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    Opening Ceremony or Etiquette
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RITSU REI - Standing bow to Sensei (teacher)

SEIZA - As the Sensei sits in seiza (formal sitting position); the class also sits in seiza facing shomen (front) and prepares to start class. The head student calls out:

MOKUSO! - This means, 'close your eyes and meditate' after a period of time, the head student calls out:

KAIMOKU! - This means: 'open your eyes'

ZAREI - Next the class performs three zarai or sitting bows. The head student calls out:

SHOMEN NI REI! - This means: 'bow to the front of the Dojo'. After the class finishes this bow, the Sensei will turn around and the head student will call out:

SENSEI NI REI! - This means, 'bow to the teacher'. As the class bows, the teacher returns the bow. As each person bows, they say: 'onegaishimasu' which means, 'please teach us'

OTAGAI NI REI! - This means 'bow to each other'. Both the teacher and the students will bow to each other at the same time. This is to acknowledge that we are all students of the art of Karate Do.

After the bowing ceremony has been completed the Sensei will indicate that the class should stand up and practice begins.

Karateka bowing image

Ritsu rei (standing bow)

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