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The salute or Rei


The HiThe salute or Rei

In karate salvation is a ritual done at each beginning and end of class. Even though this ritual is not a religious ritual (it is not a prayer), it is no less important. This is the expression of the respect each karateka must have towards the Dojo, Karate (his philosophy, ...), the old Masters and the Master Founder (Master Gichin Funakoshi Karate Shotokan), but also his Sensei (his teacher) and to other students.

In my opinion, he also participates in a certain conditioning. Indeed, it allows you to focus and get into "his karate skin". Even if we never really leave our "karateka skin"; the atmosphere, the concentration as well as the moral code of karateka is clearly reinforced in a Dojo. In the video I take the opportunity to make a small point on what the Dojo and the different ways to greet.

Dojo is the place where you learn the way. "Do" meaning the way and "Jo" meaning the place. It is a place of deep respect. In a dojo should normally be a wall of honor (kamiza) with the representation of the founding Master of the school. As far as I'm concerned, as I practice Shotokan Karate, I should have the picture of Master Funakoshi on my wall of honor, but I shoot my videos from what I call my "Dojo studio", with a green screen behind me and suddenly I do not really have a wall of honor (but the heart is still :-)) On the wall of honor, we can also remember the code of honor of karate: the "Dojo Kun ".
The Dojo is not really like a classic training room. When entering a dojo there is a ceremonial and a particular attitude to adopt. This ceremonial conveys an idea of ​​respect. This respect must be directed both to the place but also to the great masters of karate and the other karatekas with whom one trains.

There are several types of salute:

The Zarei, hi in Seiza:

It is a salute that is done on your knees (in Seiza) at the beginning and end of class.

Start from the Musubi-dachi position (open feet), then place the left knee next to the right heel, then the right knee. Last, the feet must be flat, ie the soles of the feet up. Then we sit on the feet but without crushing and keeping the spine right. For women knees should be glued while for men knees are slightly apart. It's important to always stand up straight.

Then for the salvation proper we bend gently by putting the left hand first and then right hand in front of you. The face must be positioned in the middle of the hands which then form a triangle by sticking the indexes and thumbs. Then we return to the initial position by straightening up, and bringing the right hand on the right thigh, then the left hand on the left thigh. When it comes to execution time, it's important to find the right measure. Indeed, a too fast salute would give an impression of "sloppy" salvation, it is important that we feel the respect in your gesture. It's up to you to find the right rhythm, the right measure, so that your salvation is sincere.

At the beginning and at the end of the class you will make several greetings towards the wall of honor, or the Sempai of the club or your Sensei:

  • Shomen-ni-rei: Greet the founder Gichin Funakoshi (in Shotokan)
  • Sempai ni-rei: Greet the highest-ranking students
  • Seinsei-ni-rei: Greet the Sensei (the teacher)
  • Otagani-ni-rei: Greet other students.

To get up, we start first with the right leg, then the left leg, and we finish in Musubi-Dachi.

The Ritsurei, hello standing:

It corresponds to the standing salute that is made in Musubi-dachi position.

We bend gently forward at about 30 ° then we just straight up. This greeting is every time you go to work with a partner and when you finish working together, or when you enter the tatami mat, etc.

Salvation, if it must be done whenever necessary, must not become an automatic gesture. Indeed it must remain a conscious gesture with a deep mark of respect, honor and sincerity.

There are many variations and ways to greet that have very specific meanings in the Japanese tradition. For example following the inclination of the bust, following if one inclines the head or not, can have different meanings. Most Karate teachers (me first :-)) are not familiar with these various variants that are mostly part of Japanese culture. In my opinion, it is not very serious for us Westerners not to know these subtleties in the traditional salute and I think that the essential thing is especially to salute with the heart.

The most important thing is to greet with your heart!

I have prepared a short video to give you even more details on the salute and the behavior (attitude) that we must have at the Dojo.

That's it, I hope this video you more. What you really need to remember is the attitude you must have at the dojo.

I'm waiting for your comments below!

See you soon,

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  1. Hello Bruno,

    I often watch your videos for the study of different KATAS.

    The demonstrations, explanations make me progress in my karate.

    Best regards.


  2. Hello.

    I am not practicing this sport but I learned a lot of things by browsing and consulting videos and documents for free.
    Bravo Bruno and good luck.
    You honor this sport.


    • Hello Cedric,
      I find your remark very inappropriate and a little beside the plate. This site is completely free with about 70 videos and tons of articles and tips. There are more than 20 000 subscribers who receive tips every day and who also thank me regularly.
      The fact that I made the site Karate3G parallel with paid training does not change the fact that this site is always free.
      Also, where did you see that charging for a service was in opposition to martial art? I am a state-certified teacher and I have not made a wish for poverty. A DEJEPS is the equivalent of a BTS, I do not think that people who have a BTS work for free. Do you work for free? I doubt.
      In short I think I offer enough free to not suffer such a misplaced remark.

      • Hello Fana,

        As I told Cedric, this site is completely free and accessible to all.

        What is the relationship between respect and remuneration?
        When you go to the pool, do you think that the lifeguard is not respectful of you because he is paid? As your gym class, the same ...

        In your work, do you think you would be more respectful to others if your boss did not pay you? If so, be honest with your principles and offer to work for free, in the name of respect.

        In short I do not understand your remarks between the respect and the financial aspect.

        I do not think I asked you for a single penny and yet you have access to all the videos and articles on this site for free. A thank you from you would be more respectful I think these remarks moved. But everyone sees respect where it suits him.

        Good continuation.

  3. Hello,
    I currently practice Shotokai Karate. For my part, at the end of the course we make a salute RitsuRei standing up to the teacher or we only make a Musco, Sensi Rei.

    Is it a real greeting?

    At the beginning of the course, however, there is no salutation except for a start of gymnastics salutation ...

    thank you for your reply

    • Hello,
      Apparently not the ceremonial is not complete, but hey is it or not I do not know. I do not know what motivates your teacher to do that. The important thing I think is above all the heart and the sincerity that we put in it.

    • Salvation is of the heart.
      No need for rituals as Japanese or Chinese culture does.
      We are French



  4. bakary alou traore at

    Me Bruno by following your karate lessons in Mali on the Net, I resume that you remain one of the teacher who teaches us the real classic Shotokan, the one inherited from Me FUNAKOSHI, you teach karate reel, the art of fighting and the art of living well. . .Thanks for always and everyone francophone will be grateful to you.

  5. Bravo Bruno
    It's good to remember the meaning and details of the Dojo salute.
    "Getting into your karateka skin" is exactly that. To mark the respect of the founder, the sensei, the sempai, and to greet each other is to respect oneself and what one does.
    If we do not take this practice seriously, it will not bring enrichment, progression and fulfillment that some practitioners find (and no other oddly ...).
    Thank you for this reminder and these precisions, Bruno.

  6. "Start from the Musubi-dachi position (open feet), then put the left knee next to the right heel and then the right knee. -> of my experience it is rather in judo that one salutes like that. In the shotokan club I went to (5 in all) we put the knee in front of it, not next to the heel. This is one of the reasons why when I started judo I always found myself in front of the line during the salute: p

    • Hello Vincent,

      No it's good as I describe it must be done. Salvation is not unique to every martial art, it should be the same everywhere.
      Your body must stay upright and you descend directly while staying on the same plane. By doing as you explain, it is not good because you lean forward and your body is found in front of the standing position.
      That said if in a club he do like that it is not dramatic. The important thing is the sincerity that we put in salvation.


  7. Hello,
    Greetings are practices from Japan's history. Standing salvation marks the respect and hierarchy between individuals (one bows more than the superior). The shomen is the wall of honor where the photos of honorable people are found. Kamiza means according to certain "seat of the kami" that is to say an altar ("kami" + "za", like za-zen?) . Some okinawaian sensei clap their hands in front of the salvation (called kamis). When "Hotagai" means "reciprocal" according to a dictionary.
    When seated salvation, some explain it by an emperor who would have defined this posture as not conducive to a rapid attack.
    Inheritance, a feudal era where attitudes are very codified because a misinterpreted ambiguity could be fatal.
    In the old days, perhaps the "politeness" and the respect of others, with all its codes, were very respected in order to avoid the particularly violent sanction of the duel. Indeed, the outraged having the choice of the weapons it was rather risky (estimated at 8000 deaths in 10 years at the time of Richelieu, equivalent of two years of insecurity road).

    Japanese who inherit their history

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