As a beginner you will be shown all the necessary etiquette. There may seem a lot but its not really. Etiquette is used to encourage politeness and for health and safety reasons.
The main things to remember are:
- Always wear something on your feet between the changing room and the mat. Leave your footwear at the side of the mat.
- Remove ALL jewellery and piercings. If rings cannot be removed then they MUST be taped over.
- Bow on entering and leaving the training hall.
- When we line up at the beginning and at the end of the session, the lowest grade sits on the left; the highest grade sits on the right.
- Bow and thank your partner when you have finished training with them.
- Bow and thank your instructor after you have been taught or shown something.
- If in doubt, bow (and bow when everyone else does!).
- If you are late for class, its not a problem: Just wait on the side of the mat until invited on by the instructor.
- If you wish to leave the mat, ask the instructor’s permission.
The last two items are for safety reasons. The instructor needs to know exactly how many people are on the mat at any given time.
There is a lot to take in when you first start aikido. No one will expect you to learn it all straight away. The most important thing is to be willing to learn and to enjoy yourself.