Guidelines, Procedures & Protocols

NSW Kendo Association Guidelines & Protocols

It must be understood that the ZNKR Iai is not static. Each year the highest ranked sensei reviews the forms and occasionally apply small changes, this enables the ZNKR Iai to be a living art and to ensure that the standard is maintained and that its original purpose is not lost.

Here are things to remember when training in ZNKR Seitei Iaido.

  • Show courtesy, respect and honesty towards your sensei and others.
  • Develop confidence through knowledge, honesty and strength.
  • Never use violence for personal gain.
  • Seek perfection of character.

Dojo Etiquette

  • On entering your dojo, pay proper respect to your dojo and to Shomen
  • Footwear to be removed and neatly stored at the entrance
  • Respect the dojo you are training in and it’s instructors
  • On entering a “hosting” dojo, pay proper respect to the dojo, Shomen and it’s instructors
  • Never assume superiority over the hosting dojo and instructors
  • When lining up, the hosting club will line up first in rank order
  • Visitors to line up after the members of the hosting club and then in rank order
  • Head instructors of the visiting dojo to follow the same procedure as above – do not assume head of the line regardless of rank.

Sword Etiquette

  • Swords to be placed correctly in the dojo
  • If swords are being placed on the outside walls then:
    • Kissaki is NOT to be pointed towards Shomen.
    • Tsuka is to be pointed in the direction of Shomen.
    • The blade is to be turned towards the wall
  • If the swords are being placed near the entrance or any doors then:
    • Kissaki is to point away from the entrance and tsuka towards the door.
    • The blade is to face the wall.
  • When walking around the dojo floor during training or grading DO NOT step over a sword, walk around it.

Dojo Safety

  • All swords are to be regularly oiled and serviced by the student/owner as not to lead to accidents due to a badly maintained sword.
  • Anyone unsure of their equipment should inform their sensei immediately.
  • Any inconsistencies in training or other matters between sensei are not to be discussed in front of students.
  • Grading host club sensei can recruit all peoples to help with the setting up on the day.
  • Grading host club will choose non panel representatives to help during gradings (dojo steward etc).
  • All grading panel are to properly attire in Regulation Hakama/Keikogi (black/black or all white) only, as is done on all ZNKR Seitei Iaido gradings in Japan.
  • Swords are to be checked before all gradings by senior graded exponent, any concerns is to be then bought to the immediate attention of the chair on the grading panel.
  • All grades for Iaido can use kendo attire, but when graded to Ik-Kyu, should be in correct attire i.e. black Hakama/black Keikogi.
  • All participants invited on a grading panel must be up to date with the grading checking points for all 12 kata. Revision of checking points by higher grades should be carried out during the weeks leading up to the grading or out of view of candidates.
  • All candidates being tested at a grading should be aware they are being observed from the beginning of the grading, not just the grading.