Etiquette for visitors

 

Our main role at the “Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau” is to connect foreigners and masters in Okinawa. To avoid any burden on both sides and any financial problem, and after consulting many masters on island that welcome foreign martial artists quite often, we have decided to do the introductions according to the rules below. 

Note that these rules are intended for first time visitors and for foreigners who are neither part nor connected to an Okinawan karate organization.

 

. Tuition fee

According to a survey realized by the Okinawa General Bureau sponsored “Okinawa Sense – Culture related Industry Research Committee” (2010), 35% of dojo that welcome foreigners teach their knowledge for free, 38% teach for a tuition fee of less than 10,000 yen. Only 13% teach for a fee higher than 10,000 yen. Also, 3/4 of training periods in Okinawa vary from 1 to 2 weeks.

Okinawans are by nature kind-hearted people and many are gentlemen. By tradition, karate masters are bushi, not in the sense of mainland Japan samurai but in the sense of gentleman who having mastered their heart have strong moral and are karate experts. Highly proud of being from the cradle of karate, many instruct foreigners for the sake of passing on their art doing it for free.

However, everywhere in the world, paying monthly fee, tuition fee and seminar fee is a common behavior. For us to be able to continue to connect foreigners and masters and to protect the training environment in Okinawa, we ask that the people we introduced to masters pay the following “Sharei-kin” fee to welcoming masters. This is the condition for us to introduce you to local masters as we believe this is the proper courtesy toward the instructor and dojo.

 

One person, up to two weeks training (3 times per week)          10,000 yen
One person, 1 time only training  3,000 yen

 

Please pay this fee on the first day of training, directly to the master.

In some case, the instructor will not accept the money, but remember that welcoming you is not only about straight training and that keeping a dojo or gym opened costs money. Therefore insist for paying. If the master doesn’t accept, you could say “Please accept it as a sign of gratitude for dojo members”.

In case the dojo you are training has already rules regarding tuition fee, please disregard the above rules.

In case you become a member of the dojo or keep visiting the dojo in the future, please consult with the master about the future relation.

Hint: In Okinawa like in Japan, it is impolite to give money directly to someone. When paying the tuition fee, please put the money in an envelope. Note that there is no specific format therefore you don’t need to buy a nice one. Also, as a sign of courtesy, we advise you to bow when giving the envelope. This will prove your good spirit and manners.

 

. Dojo introduction

According to request, we will do our best to introduce you to proper instructors and dojo. This will be done through communicating with the local organizations in Okinawa. Note that it is not well seen to hope from one dojo to the other during the same stay on island. Be aware that this might unable us to do the introduction.

Also, for those related to a mainland Japan organization, please make sure to not create any problem or misunderstanding with your original organization. We request that you let us know about this affiliation when you contact us.

 

3. Accommodation and tourism

In general, there are no accommodations within the dojo. Also, most of instructors in Okinawa have a daily job and teach only in the evenings. Acting as gentleman, do your best to not put any burden on the master. If you need support finding a cheap accommodation and other services like sightseeing, please contact us directly.