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Starting the Class

At the start of the class students will kneel around the mats in a posture called Seiza. We then place our hands together and speak the words:

“Shiken Haramitsu Daikoumyo”

Shee-kin, Ha-rah Mit-soo, Dye-koh-myo

This phrase is a sacred ‘nine-syllable’ buddhist mantra used in Japaneseand can be translated to “Every encounter is sacred and could present the one potential key to the perfection of the great universal enlightenment we seek”.  The ceremony has no religious meaning, but is a way to honour the teacher, each other, and remind us (in a very Japanese way) to pay attention.

After these words we clap twice, bow, clap one once and then bow a final time.


Yahme – Stop
Hajime – Begin
Mawatte – Turn/Change Direction
Suwatte – Sit Down
Tatte – Stand Up

Mae – Forward
Ushero – Backwards
Yoko – Sideways


Ichi – One
Ni – Two
San – Three
Shi/Yon – Four
Go – Five

Ending the Class

At the end of each session we all return to our kneeling posture (Seiza). Before leaving the mats we bow and thank each other using the phrase:

“Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu”

Dough-moh, Ah-ree-gah-toh, Goh-zah-ee-mas

We do this as we bow and then celebrate a wonderful class!