Hanshi Thomas L. Felder

Virtues and Principles

The virtues are recited collectively prior to each training session and our principles are recited at the end of each session. These are the basic elements to help each student maintain proper balance along their journey through life. Students are encouraged to meditate on the virtues and principles prior to and after training for peace of mind and focus. These virtues are added ingredients to our everyday living for positive mental stimuli. Love is our first virtue, as God loves us we should also reflect this love towards others.


  • 1. When entering the dojo the ranking student has the responsibility to assemble a team to clean the floor prior to the beginning of training.
  • 2. When entering or leaving the Dojo, stand at the ready line or point of entry and present the traditional Tensho Goju courtesy. This action represents a mark or respect for the Dojo and the students in the dojo.
  • 3. Late arrivals must approach the line of entry present the courtesy and assume the seiza position until the instructor motions the student to enter the class.
  • 4. If students are on line do not break rank unless the instructor gives permission. Always enter and exit on the left side of the students on line. When leaving a rank take one step backward and move out to the left/right to clear the ranks then move to exit the dojo.
  • 5. Always move quickly in class when instructed to move from one point to the other. Never turn your back when moving. Look over the right should and run backwards to the next point and Yame’.
  • 6. Always address the instructor and seniors by their proper title Mr. /Ms., SENSEI, RENSHI, SHIHAN, KYOSHI, or HANSHI inside the Dojo. In public instructor’s can be addressed as Mr. or Ms., unless otherwise directed.
  • 7. Do not practice KUMITE, or fast movements of Aiki-Jitsu without the presence of an instructor.
  • 8. Do not talk, play, eat, drink, chew gum, or bring anything in the doju except for training articles.
  • 9. All directions, by the instructor, should be obeyed in the Dojo, without question. You will not be asked to do anything that your instructor has not done him/herself already. If you cannot keep up, do the best you can without quickly giving up. Never Quit!
  • 10. Water breaks will be announced by the instructor periodically depending on the level of training. When released return quickly to the training area without talking.
  • 11. Keep fingernails and toenails short and clean.
  • 12. During the free break period there will be no sitting, leaning against the wall, malingering or talking. The dojo is for training and not to waste time.
  • 13. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the Dojo is clean, tidy and safe at all times. Senior students must ensure the dojo is swept and presentable prior to training.
  • 14. Your karate-gi must be neat and washed clean at all times. Your belt should NEVER be washed, only aired dry. It symbolically contains the spirit of your hard training. Black or white sleeveless T-shirts are the only authorized undergarment to be worn under the gi top. Females are encouraged to wear sports bra for support.
  • 15. Do not wear jewelry or watches during training.
  • 16. The official Tensho Goju patch will be awarded to wear at green belt level. This is the official acceptance in the system.
  • 17. Floor assignments are given by the instructor based on belt level and ability. Students of the same rank can stand anywhere within their echelon of rank unless otherwise directed by the instructor. Never fight over a position. Order is our attitude.
  • 18. Attendance is a key factor in the student’s ability to learn and mature in the system. Try not to miss class sessions. However, if this is unavoidable ensure the instructor is made aware of the absence.
  • 19. Safety will always be prevalent in the dojo. Students are required to purchase safety gear for extra protection, such as hand and feet safeties, groin cup and mouth piece. Additional items may be worn as needed. Everyone is a safety advocate, we ask parents and guest to help maintain safety in the visitors sitting area.

Reciting Virtues