Af Liam O’Brien Sensei 7 dan kyoshi
Protocols to Observe in the Practice
The purpose of kyudo is the moral cultivation of the person through honest and
sincere application to the training. As a member of a dojo, the student becomes part of
a training regime where personal indulgences and behaviour are subordinated to the
practice. The value of this regime should be recognised as part of the student’s own
discipline and not misunderstood as something imposed and authoritarian. To help
you develop the right attitude and behaviour for kyudo practice, here are a few
protocols to be observed:
1. Attend all practices that are required and notify the dojo of absences in
advance. Take great care to attend special events such as the opening and
closing of the year, as well as the monthly meetings and special training
2. Always arrive on time to help in the cleaning and the preparation of the
practice area and to be ready to start the training at the designated time
3. Remove shoes and line them up in the correct way (defune). Do not have bare
feet in the practice area
4. On entering the practice area regard it as a dojo and greet your teacher, seniors
and other members. Leave your own opinions and notions outside.
5. If late, seek out the teacher, or senior person responsible for the practice, and
make your apologies.
6. Have a regard for cleanliness and wear dogi or clothing that is appropriate.
Remove all ornaments or decorations that will be a distraction, or compromise
7. Have a regard for your own equipment and that which is on loan. Make sure
that it is clean and properly maintained. Respect the equipment of others.
Treat it as your own.
8. Before changing, the practice area must be prepared first, followed by
stringing the bow and preparing arrows. Check that your equipment (or that
which is on loan) is safe and properly prepared for use.
9. Having changed, gather in the correct way and order to make the formal
greeting to start training. Do not keep the teacher, or person responsible for
leading the practice, waiting.
10. Obey without question the instructions of the teacher and seniors at all times
11. Do not instruct others unless requested to do so, and then apply the instruction
in the correct way. Do not add your own interpretation.
12. Always be alert and consider the safety of others and yourself.
13. Do not talk unnecessarily or in a loud voice
14. Do not proceed to the shooting line, if arrow collectors are waiting.
15. During arrow collection, archers on the shooting line should wait in dozukuri
until instructed to continue and have the responsibility to stop shooting when
safety is an issue.
16. Collect arrows at the appropriate time, following the correct procedure, and do
not spend unnecessary time in the matoba. Remove arrows with care and do
not place on the ground.
17. Do not shoot arrows at a makiwara or target outside of formal supervised
practice and training sessions without the explicit permission of the teacher
18. Do not visit, or train in another dojo without the explicit permission of the
19. When visiting another dojo, do not shoot unless invited to do so, and refrain
from using the rear mato (ouchi) as this is traditionally the target allocated to
the dojo teacher
20. Application for all seminars and examinations must have the approval of the
dojo teacher, and the correct application procedure followed.
21. When visiting an outside event, remember that you represent your dojo, and
behave in an appropriate way.
22. Visitors to the dojo are always welcome. However, because of insurance
cover, and to assure a visit is appropriate, if dojo members wish to bring
someone to visit, please make this request to the secretary in the first instance.
23. Do not purchase equipment without seeking advice. The selection might not
be suitable and out of respect for the dojo, advice should always be sought.
24. For grading and attendance to seminars, ungraded members of the dojo will be
invited to join when the time is right. Graded members should still seek advice
for grading. As dojo members it should not be thought of as a personal choice.