Ritsu rei – Standing bow to Sensei
Seiza – Sensei sits (formal sitting position), the class sits in seiza facing shomen and prepares for class. Head student (sempai) calls out:
Mokuso! This means “Close your eyes and Clear your mind!” After about a minute, the sempai student calls out:
Kaimoku! This means: “Open your eyes!”or Mokuso Yame! This means “Finish meditation”
Zarei – Next the class performs three zarei or sitting bows. The head student calls out:
Shomen ni rei! This means “Bow to the front of the dojo.” After the class finishes this bow, the Sensei will turn around and face the class and the head student will call out:
Sensei ni rei! – This means “Bow to the Teacher!” As the class bows to the teacher, the teacher will return the bow. As each student bows, they recite “Onegaishimasu” which means “Please teach me!”
Otagai ni rei! – This means “Bow to each other!” Both the teacher and the students will bow to each other at the same time. This is to acknowledge that we are all students of the art of Karate Do.
At this point the Sensei will indicate that the class should stand up and practice will begin.