Rules and Etiquette

1. Conduct and Expectations

2. Rules

     a. Procedure

     b. Mat Behavior

     c. Hygiene

     d. Clothing

Conduct and Expectations

Character – The first requirement to becoming a practitioner of Judo (judoka) is being of good moral character. Bullies, thugs and those with improper motives will be expelled. Students using Judo improperly anywhere will be expelled from classes.


Class Attendance – We expect students to arrive to class on time and to attend class regularly. Sporadic attendance impedes both learning and progression in rank. Attendance requirements must be met in order for a judoka to advance in rank.


Ethics – We expect all judoka to exemplify the philosophy and discipline of Judo in every aspect of life. Every judoka must be intolerant of unethical behavior and act swiftly to eradicate it by using established ethical procedures. In this way, morality and integrity will remain the fabric of Judo’s core.


Good conduct is a matter of safety and respect for others in an active Judo class. Abide by the rules below at all times.
  • Bowing: You must bow at all of the occasions listed below. This is a matter of respect as well as safety.
(1) to the room when you enter,
(2) to the office when you enter, regardless of whether or not there is someone inside
(3) when you step on or
(4) off the mat,
(5) to the room whenever you exit, and
(6) whenever instructed to do so.
This courtesy is expected from every judoka at all times.

It should also be noted that bowing to black belts in greeting is respectful and customary.

  • While other groups are bowing in or out, stand silently. Do not sit, do not talk, and do not change.
  • Inform the instructor of any injuries before class begins.
  • Do not change in the mat room. Arrive in your gi or change in the locker room–not in the mat room or bathroom. If you are walking from the locker room, make sure your belt is tied before you walk through the RSF. This applies to all belt levels.
  • Always wear shoes to and from the mat. Never wear shoes on the mat.
  • If you are late to class, wait on the side of the mat with your hand raised until a black belt indicates you can step on. Bow before doing so.

Mat Behavior:

  • When you hear “Matte” (mah-tay), stop what you are doing immediately.
  • Always arrange your judogi before lining up, whether for bowing in or out, or before or after randori.
  • For safety reasons, we have a policy that white belts and others who tie a white belt must not use arm-bar submissions during randori. Higher ranks who are working with a beginner must not use arm-bars on them. We will demonstrate arm-bar techniques to beginners so they become familiar with them, however we do not allow their use by white belts during randori. If you have any questions about this please talk to the head instructor for clarification.
  • If you have to leave the mat for any reason, inform a black belt before doing so.
  • If you are injured during class, immediately inform a black belt.
  • If there is a bodily fluid stain (i.e. blood), CLEAN IT UP IMMEDIATELY. This is both for practical (slipping, gross) reasons as well as health hazard reasons.
  • Always ask the instructor before leaving the mat to get water, with the exception of between randori matches or definitive water breaks.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. There are many things going on at once on the mat. You are responsible both for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.
  • Do not play on the mat. Horseplay and fooling around are both disrespectful and dangerous during class.
  • Do not swear or use vulgar language on the mat.
  • Do not eat or drink on the mat.


  • Keep your finger- and toe- nails trimmed
  • Maintain a clean body
  • Tie long hair
  • Keep your judogi clean


  • Wear a uniform to practice. Exception: beginners may wear sweat suits or loose fitting, durable shirts and long pants. When a student determines that he or she wants to continue on with class, then a Judo uniform (judogi) should be purchased.
  • Bring footwear to wear to and from the mat. Practice occurs barefoot.
  • Do not wear jewelry or anything with metal in it on the mat. This includes necklaces, bracelets, rings, piercings, braces containing metal, etc.
  • Wear a clean judogi. Wash it before it shows signs of use.
  • Women: wear a t-shirt underneath your gi. During a competition, only a plain white t-shirt can be worn.  Men are not allowed to wear shirts under their gi during competition.
  • Women should consider wearing a sports bra or appropriate clothing. Men should consider wearing an athletic supporter.