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Etiquette is a very important part of one's martial arts practice. When people first start out, they often feel uncomfortable with all the ritual and rules that they have to follow. Being uncomfortable often stems from not understanding the role of etiquette in a dojo. Etiquette should be closely followed for several reasons, not the least of which is everyone's safety and learning on the mat. In Japanese society, respect and humility are traits that are held in high esteem especially in a martial arts dojo. Consequently, you should strive to adopt a respectful and humble attitude when practicing aikido. Anger and arrogance are seen as an inability to control one-self. Therefore, these attitudes are to be avoided. There are many aspects to dojo etiquette. Following are basic guidelines that beginners tend to ask about. In general, respect, courtesy, and common sense should prevail. If you are unsure as to how to conduct yourself, watch the senior students, and follow what they do. Be patient, and in time, you will feel more and more at ease with dojo etiquette.

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