Uchideshi System Rules

Table of Contents

- Definitions and Objectives

- General Guidelines

- Applications



- Duration and Fees

   Registration in the Uchideshi Programme





- Uchideshi Responsabilities


  Cleaning and Maintenance


- Attitude and Conduct





  Television and Music


- Special Cases



  Uchideshi Dai-Sempai

  Injuries and Illness

- Causes of Expulsion

  Drug Use

  Etiquette or Conduct Misbehaviour

- Uchideshi Schedules

- Fees


Definitions and Objectives

The Technical Council of Portugal Aikishuren Dojo (APASD) has approved the beginning of an Uchideshi System at the Aikishurendojo in Portugal.

The purpose of this system or program is to form Aikido practitioners that will become good examples of the embodiment of this Way, in a physical, technical and spiritual way, and enriching their lives and contributing for the future of the Aikido and the society in general.

Uchideshi (lit. resident student) is a special practitioner who lives next to Sensei, and whose daily activity comes to be under his direct orientation, during a certain period of time.

In the case of an uchideshi group, Sensei could designate the eldest to be the uchideshi dai-sempai, who will have the duty to guide and to help the other uchideshi.

General Guidelines

The advantage of living in a dojo as uchideshi is the complete use of all the learning possibilities of the dojo, 24 hours per day, for personal evolution.

The training is not limited to the class, but it continues all the time, while the practitioner searches to renew his own confidence in what it is to be uchideshi and in the training that his doing. This must be a priority during this period. Every small activity, in this context, must be considered a chance for personal growth and a form of embodiment of the art. The individual growth cannot be separate of the well-being of the others and goes along with the application of common-sense, tolerance, perseverance and personal abdication,.

These rules are only a written orientation for discipline principles. The essence of discipline comes from the conscience of each practitioner.




Can apply to this program those who fit in the following points:

1. Practitioners who want to follow a specific plan of study of Aikido in a way to obtain a practical goal: to reach shodan (1º level of black belt), nidan (2º level), etc.

2. Aikido practitioners of other cities that pretend dedicate themselves to learn Aikido during a long period.

3. Foreign Aikido practitioners.

4. Practitioners of other martial arts that wish to deeply study the art of the Aikido for a definite time.

5. College students searching for residence (these candidates will be favoured)

6. Workers who found on the uchideshi system life style, a cheaper way to obtain lodging.



All applicants must submit the following:

1. Resume including a summary of education, profession, trainings of martial arts, etc.

2. Written work on Aikido and declaration of its engagement in the Aikido.

3. Aikido practice insurance from APASD that must be valid during all the period of uchideshi program.

4. Physical ability certification for the practice of vigorous martial arts.

5. Letter of introduction or recognition.

6. Term of responsibility.

7. Application form, with 2 photographs.


Uchideshi Responsabilities


- All uchideshi must wake up at same time and participate in the daily room cleaning.

- Uchideshi must train every day, at least 2 times per day.

- Uchideshi must turn off the lights before 11.00 pm. Only college students can keep the lights on, if for studying.

- College students uchideshi should have a time to study without being disturbed by others, as well as workers also must have time to work without being disturbed.

- During university examinations, dai-sempai uchideshi must organize the duties of toban * so that the students can have advantage study.

(*) Toban: who is on duty (either in kitchen, garden, provisions, etc.)


Cleaning and Maintenance

Uchideshi are responsible for the daily maintenance, tiding and cleaning of all facilities: Kamiza, tatami, dressing room, sanitary, shower, rooms, laundry, front and back entrance of the dojo must be always clean.

Uchideshi must create a daily list for the cleaning and are responsible for sharing the morning tasks, before and after each lesson and before going to sleep. Cleaning teams should be formed to do the major projects of cleaning and facilities maintenance. Twice a year, in May and December, uchideshi must do a general cleaning in accommodations and dojo. In these periods they should be helped by sotodeshi.

  - Kamiza

- Kamidana must be clean all mornings and the water of kamiza changed early in the morning. Kamisama’s flowers must be always pretty; Water of the jars must be changed frequently and the old flowers renewed

- Once a week, on Saturday, uchideshi must replace rice, salt and sake offerings in kamisama.

- Before entering and when leaving the kamidana’s area, all the pupils must bow.

  - Dojo

All uchideshi must help in dojo cleaning and arrive at least 30 minutes before the class.

- Tatami must be swept first and after cleaned with dojo rags, before and after the classes. Then, these rags should be neatly folded, identified and put back in place. If dirty they must be washed and dried.

- Dojo weapons dust must be cleaned every day before and after the classes.

- The floor around tatami must be cleaned every day in the morning or again during the day if necessary and dustbin emptied before each class.

- If there were plants in dojo, uchideshi must verify that they are always well cared for.

- Uchideshi must always put back their weapons after the classes and never use colleagues´ weapons. The Dai-sempai uchideshi must fulfil with this obligation, giving the example to all the other colleagues, uchideshi or not.

- The dojo windows must be cleaned twice a month and always before an important event.

- Once a year, if necessary, uchideshi must paint the walls of accommodations and dojo. At this time they can be helped by other pupils.

  - Kitchen and Dining Room

- AThe kitchen and dining room must be shared by all and always must be kept clean with all equipments and tools in perfect conditions.

- Uchideshi should use a tôban system to prepare and cook their meals. The meal expenses must be collected by the dai-sempai or another uchideshi designated for it.

- While cooking, the fire should not be lighted without being used, and after cooking the gas tap must be closed.

- After meals all uchideshi must help in the cleaning of the dining room and kitchen, washing, drying and stowing away all the dishes. When an uchideshi use a dish or glass, he/she must wash, dry and always stow it away.

- The uchideshi individual supplies must be identified and kept in a specific place. Uchideshi must not use his colleague’s supplies.

- Uchideshi must separate all the garbage produced: Cardboard and paper, glass, batteries, light bulbs, natural compounds, etc. The garbage bins’ area must be kept clean and odour free. Shifts also must be arranged to transport garbage to retrieval points.

- Bio cleaning products must chosen. Uchideshi must avoid animal tested products or those that damage the environment. Also, they should avoid producing toxic waste, or waist not possible to decompose or recycle.

  - Accommodations

- Everyday uchideshi must do turns to clean the sanitary, dressing rooms and showers.

- Each pupil is responsible for keeping his own room always in order and clean. The teacher will check regularly.

- Uchideshi must not touch others’ belongings.

- Personal belongings must be kept tidy and the clothes washed.

  - Personal care

- Uchideshi must be an example of uprightness, always clean and tidy.

- Uchideshi cannot use personal adornments during the trainings or in the accommodations such as necklaces, rings and piercings. Also they must abstain from using perfumes and similar.

- In the classes, they must present themselves clean and upright, nails cut short, and should not smell from feet, body (sweat or alcohol, etc.) or mouth (they must keep a good oral hygiene). Before night classes, they must always brush their teeth and take a shower.

- Uchideshi are obliged to bath at least once a day and before Taijutsu class. Baths should take less than 10 minutes.

- Uchideshi must change the their clothes frequently, always washing, drying and tidying them.

- The bedclothes must be changed once week, on Saturday. If leaving on weekend, they have to change the sheets before leaving, or take them off and use washed ones when coming back. Used sheets and the rest of dirty clothing must be washed, dried and put back in place by the uchideshi.

- Uchideshi must have compulsory vaccines updated.



Uchideshi must help in dojo and facilities administration, guiding the registrations of new uchideshi, offerings to kamisama and organizing koshukai.

Store and Secretariat

- Uchideshi must keep track of the articles for sale and order or ask to dai-sempai if short of stock. They must keep and adequate inventory of this sales.

- Uchideshi must send, receive and distribute all the Dojo correspondence.

- Uchideshi must register the new pupils, keep the class attendance list updated and insert the data in computer each month, as well as helping dai-sempai to make annual reports to the Technical Council and Saito Soke.


Welcoming new pupils and guests

- Uchideshi must know how to welcome new pupils or guests, guiding them in the registration, and/or giving explanations about the Aikido and Aiki Dojo project.

- New pupils must be taught etiquette and Japanese used terms in Aikido. They must also teach them how to prepare themselves for training before classes and how to practice ukemi and shikko.

- Uchideshi must help new pupils to dress the keikogi correctly and teach them to tie the belt in the adequate way.

- Before and after classes these pupils must be guided in dojo tasks.



- Uchideshi must verify if dojo first aid kit is complete and must buy the missing items: If in dojo, ask Sensei for dojo money, if in the accommodations; ask money from toban box to dai-sempai.

- They must also do the distribution of information and guidelines from Sensei.

- If some thing needs to be fixed or made: (a) fix it or make it, (b) arrange somebody qualified to make it.


APASD meetings

- Uchideshi must participate in the meetings such as general-meetings and meetings for preparation of national or international events in Portugal or abroad.

- Uchideshi must make turns to help in the preparation of Kambukai or Technical Council parties and meetings when held at the dojo. After the meeting, they must not repeat to non-attendants the matters discussed.


Attitude and Conduct


- Uchideshi must be polite and nice with the colleagues and the uchideshi dai-sempai. This is a strict rule.

- Uchideshi must always be alert and observe everything that is happening in dojo, making themselves available to help Sensei. If necessary communicate out of the common occurrences to dai-sempai.

- Uchideshi must be quick to perform dojo tasks and to use the remaining time to serve Sensei and advantage training.

- Uchideshi must keep noise to the minimum.



- Aikido practise (ken, jo, taijtusu and shuriken) cannot be done inside uchideshi accommodations (rooms and dining room).

- Besides Aikido the practise of other martial arts inside the Dojo is not allowed. Uchideshi, including dai-sempai, cannot study another martial art besides Aikido, while they are uchideshi. If someone wants to study another martial art can only continue his Aikido study as a sotodeshi.

- Uchideshi can miss one or two classes per week if they need to study for university examinations or help their own family.



- The visitors entrance or permanence is forbidden inside the accommodations and in the Dojo area.

- The entrance or permanence of other practitioners of Aikido is forbidden inside the accommodations unless with license from dai-sempai. Technical Council members can enter, and use and the uchideshi accommodations at their will. Uchideshi dai-sempai must refer these cases when reporting to Sensei.



- Uchideshi must ask permission to dai-sempai and inform the colleagues each time they want or need to leave the Aiki Dojo, informing about the precise period that will be out. They must also inform after coming back. The Aiki Dojo is 6 kilometres far from the next village.

- During holidays long-term uchideshi can go back to their families but they must continue to pay the monthly tuition. In case of koshukai in this period, uchideshi must attend it or, if absent with the family, must get special permission to miss the koshukai.


Television and Music

- Watching Aikido movies during the meals or when drinking alcohol is not allowed. Uchideshi dai-sempai has also the obligation and duty to fulfil with this rule.

- Uchideshi are allowed to watch television, but during the week should only use the television to watch martial arts films and Aikido, or to watch the news, weather forecast and educational programs. They should not leave the television on if no one is in the room. Private televisions or music systems should be in uchideshi own rooms and can be used in free time, if with headphones. Headphones, however, prevent students from being fully alert.



- In the end of the permanence as uchideshi, the pupils must say farewell to Sensei, the dai-sempai and his colleagues with cordiality and leave a gift of at least 25 euros or two bottles of wine (or a sake big one). The wine can be replaced by identical gift in supplies or articles needed in dojo.

- They must check that all fees have being paid and that his sleeping accommodations are tidy and clean.


Special Cases


Uchideshi must participate in all national and international seminars (koshukai) in Portugal.

- Uchideshi must arrive much sooner than sotodeshi and do the dojo and kamiza cleaning. They must prepare the koshukai registration and prepare the attendants list. Most of the times, they will travel with Sensei and serve as otomo.

- At the end of the koshukai they must be the last ones to leave dojo, carefully verifying if dojo is proper and everything tidied up. They must also verify that dojo is closed after leaving.



Many times uchideshi have to follow Sensei as otomo (lit. attendant) and therefore must be available (not applicable to college students or workers).

- otomo must organize Sensei trips, verify if Sensei’s and his own equipment is complete. He must know to fold Sensei‘s keikogi and hakama and should help him carrying the luggage.

- Only Soke (Hitohira Saito Shihan) and Sensei can take uchideshi as otomo.


Uchideshi Dai-sempai

To become uchideshi dai sempai (the elder resident student or the one in charge), the candidate must read and sign an agreement between him and the APASD.

- Uchideshi sempai must give good example of education and affection. He must keep a good relation with Sensei, his sempai, APASD teachers, all practitioners in dojo, uchideshi and neighbours.

- Uchideshi sempai has the obligation of managing the uchideshi life in a harmonious and correct way following Sensei’s guidelines. He must be responsible for keeping all facilities perfect.

- Uchideshi sempai must organize with method all the daily and/or weekly works of the others uchideshi. He must organize uchideshi classes in accordance with their working hours, study or of type of permanence. In that way he must conceive a monthly or annual work plan, submit it to Sensei’s approval and then put it in practice.

- Uchideshi sempai must do the general management of the facilities. Uchideshi sempai must also give responsibilities to others uchideshi and encourage them to help him in these tasks.

- Once a week or in an event case, uchideshi sempai must report to Sensei. He has also the obligation of informing Sensei of all changes in accommodations, such as uchideshi that leave or enter. He must inform Sensei of all extra rules that he feels necessary to establish inside the facilities: He cannot apply new rules without Sensei’s written authorization.

- Uchideshi sempai must keep an accurate accounting of uchideshi tuition payments, facilities expenses and tôban system accounts. He cannot charge more money to uchideshi than that established in the guidelines.

- Uchideshi sempai must participate in tôban system and help to prepare the meals.

- If uchideshi sempai is also a teacher, he cannot try to convince uchideshi to go practise in his own dojo.


Injuries and Illness

- Uchideshi can miss Aikido classes if very sick. In this case uchideshi dai-sempai must inform Sensei and the sick uchideshi must see a doctor. Uchideshi that receive medical prescription from doctor must inform dai-sempai and he must inform Sensei.

- The colleagues of sick uchideshi must make turns to help them during the convalescence.

- Uchideshi that have serious injuries or broken members that prevent them from training, must, according the case, attend the classes wearing keikogi. Their colleagues must help them.

- If, out of disregard, uchideshi delay to heal themselves, they will receive a first warning. If the disease or injuries persist for long, the sick uchideshi must be interned in a hospital or sent back home.


Causes of Expulsion

Attention: All the payments are non-refundable in case of expulsion.

Drug Use

- Smoking and the use of drugs it is completely forbidden within all area of the Dojo. Uchideshi that use drugs or are constantly drunk will be expelled.

- It is forbidden to take alcoholic drinks inside of the accommodations and before classes. When at parties, if an uchideshi is drinking in excess, his friends must help him to stop and remove him from the party..


Etiquette or Conduct Misbehaviour

Uchideshi will be expelled if:

- They fight with each other inside the Aiki Dojo.

- They use improper language with the colleagues, uchideshi dai-sempai or other Senseis.

- Allow visitors inside living quarters without prior license of uchideshi dai-sempai.

- Are absent from Aikido classes without justification.

- Refuse to keep the accommodations clean or refuse participating in cleaning duties with other uchideshi.

- Refuse to cook or help in the confection of meals.

- Are absent from national and international seminars in Portugal.

- They study another martial art besides the Aikido, during the permanence as uchideshi.

- Do not pay tuitions, monthly fees, annual membership or insurance.



Uchideshi Schedules

Uchideshi have the same duties and responsabilities as sotodeshi, but seen that they spend more time at the Dojo they must respect different schedules that sotodeshi can't always follow.

However sotodeshi must be aware of uchideshi schedule, so they can help when needed or leave when necessary (at night time, for instance).


- Awakening: 05h45

- Bedtime: 23h00



- Morning: 06h00

- Afternoon: 17h00

- Saturdays and Sundays: 08h00



- Lunch: 13h00

- Dinner: 21h30


Uchideshi may choose to start tasks earlier. They can't however outlast the defined schedules.

Sotodeshi that have Sensei's permission (teachers and members of technical counsil of APASD don't require permission) may join the uchideshi on their meals, but are obligated to help with clean up afterwards.

Sotodeshi that train jyu keiko(free practice after classes) must always clean tatami before leaving. They must therefore pay special attention to their own schedules and necessities, so that they don't leave work behind for others.

All sotodeshi that share meals with uchideshi and finish early must thank everyone for the meal and wash up after themselves before leaving.


- Jyuugeiko: free practice (before or after classes)

- Sotodeshi: non-resident student

- Soji: cleaning

- Uchideshi: resident student




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