At the start of each class we do a procedure called "Bowing in". It includes going into a kneeling position called "Seiza", then closing our eyes for around 20 seconds to clear our mind. After that there is a formal bow to show deep respect to each other.
At the end of the class the class, we repeat the same procedure (we call it "Bowing out"). This allows the knowledge attained to be become more settled within us.
It's important to note that bowing from seiza can conflict with certain religions, so Muslim students allowed to just sit still and then do a standing bow afterwards.
One of the first things that new students learn when they come to class is how to bow. Watch this video to find out exactly how to do it:
Bowing is a sign of respect and happens in the following situations:
If you are new to karate, your Sensei will be particularly impressed when you come to your first class and already know how to bow!