Ojigisuru お辞儀する To Bow

From “Gōjū-Ryū Karate-Dō Desk Reference 剛柔流空手道 机参照: Volume 2: Dōjō Auxiliary, Glossary & Terminology 道場の補助、用語集 と 辞書

Ojigisuru お辞儀する To Bow

Rei o shinai Karate-Dō wa tada notatakaidesu


Karate-Dō without ‘Rei’ is just a fight

All elements of Budō 武道 begin and end with Rei 礼 (a bow). Similar to the brackets of mathematics; Rei 礼 comes in sets of two. If you bow in (Rei 礼 to open a bracket), you must bow out (Rei 礼 to close the bracket). When entering onto the the Dōjō 道場 floor, you bow. When class begins, you bow and when you begin any specific exercise in the Dōjō 道場, you bow. Therefore, you should bow the equal (even) number of times to close out and complete the formula. If you’re not sure whether or not you bowed, bow to start again.


Picture this, during Shinsa 審査 (the exam) your name is called for Kata Shisochin 形四向戰. You approach the demonstration area and bow in (check +1). You then proceed to march to the center of the floor, bow again (check +2) and announce your Kata 形. After the Kata 形 is complete, there is a pause and during the thrill of exhilaration you see the signal of the Shinsa-Kan 審査官 (board of examiners) or Tachi-ai 審査立会 (examination witness) to step back off the floor and you do so. You only bowed ‘in’ two times, once when you entered the floor and the 2nd before the beginning of the Kata 形. Therefore, your performance must have been the march to the center of the floor. This could constitute a failure to the sharpest of examiners in grading or competition.

Rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru


Begin and end with gratitude