Martial Arts Protocol: Part 2

John Whitman
December 1, 2015


In my previous article we identified why you need an atmosphere of respect and discipline in your school or dojo through protocol.

So how do we go about changing and establishing protocol in your school.

Here are 4 Things students should learn in the dojo:

  1. Respect for authority.
    • This should carry forth outside the dojo to the real would as students interact with parents, teachers, their boss in the workplace and others in position of authority.
    • Students should be saying “Yes Sir, No Sir, Yes Maam, No Maam”
  2. Respect for the dojo.
    • This will carry forth in ways of respecting not only their own property but the property of others as well.
  3. Respect for their fellow students and classmates.
  4. The spirit of martial arts and Krav Maga should be that it is a force for good.
    • Krav Maga is to protect and defend and not to use any martial art for the purpose of being abusive or offensive.
    • Martial artists treat people with dignity and respect.
    • Students should learn this by experience.

Unfortunately it doesn’t all fall on the shoulders of the students. The school owner and instructors need to take on and even bigger role in changing and maintaining school protocol.

Here are some basics that school owners and instructors need to adhere to:

  1. Instructors should be using ranking name. Sensei, Master, Mr. etc.
  2. Exercise the principal of being “friendly” but not “familiar”.
    • This means it is great to be friendly with people to build relationships but keep it superficial. Building deep personal relationships with students never ends well and creates lines of division and speculation both in your ranks and amongst the students.
  3. Bowing in the dojo shows respect for the dojo.
  4. Learning positions – Behavior protocol
    • 2 claps take a knee, rest position, ready position all prepare and condition students to be ready to listen and learn.
  5. Proper attire – What you wear when you are teaching shows respect for yourself and your position.
    • Although there is no real official uniform for Krav, it makes sense that instructors and the school owner should dress the part. Shirts of a different color or design should easily identify instructors.
  6. Make sure that you look good, smell good and behave professionally.
    • If you sweat a lot when you teach then bring a few extra shirts and some deodorant.
    • Keep some mouthwash in the office for between classes. Your breath should not be used as a weapon.
    • Act professionally at all times, students might misinterpret unprofessional joking around with close friends who might train with you.
  7. Cover any unprofessional tats or piercings.
    • You attract what you portray.   Think about the demographic you are trying to attract.

For more information and to watch the video that reviews all the information you just received go to

WRITTEN BY PAUL GARCIA (America's Best Defense)


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