All Kenpo students learn a salutation that, depending on their tradition, may be used at the start and end of class, and before and after every form. The Kenpo salutation has a statement that was to be recited as the salutation was performed. According to the Founder Ed Parker, Sr. the statement was:

We the warriors and scholars come together,
To go forth, back to back to pull our country together,
We are unarmed, we conceal our weapons,
And pray for forgiveness if we are forced to use them.

The purpose of the salutation is to put the student in the correct mind frame as they begin their practice. There are variations from dojo to dojo in how the salutation is performed and what words are spoken with it. A written description of the salutation follows below:

  • From an attention stance, fold your right arm out to right side, elbow bent at 90 degrees, fist up, palm forward at the shoulder joint. Your Left arm straight out to front, hand open, palm forward.
  • Right foot forward into a right twist stance as your left hand comes back to meet right hand in meditating position with left palm over right fist (body turned slightly toward 3:00).
  • As you step forward with your left foot into a left Cat Stance, extend your hands (maintaining same position) to middle of body facing 12:00, arms bent
  • Before stepping back towards 6:00 with your left foot into a right twist stance, open your hands and place your hands back-to-back. As you step back, roll your hands downward and open them palm up making fists as you chamber them at your waist.
  • While stepping to left into Horse Stance, open hands, circle hands outward to side and up over head creating a triangle with your index fingers and thumbs at eye height with your arms extended.
  • As you remain in your horse stance, pull your arms back and make the meditation with left palm folded over right fist at chin height, elbows bent slightly. Continue to pull your hands towards your chest, and when they meet your chest, open both palms together as if praying.
  • As you move your left foot back into an attention stance, extend your arms back to eye level with your hands again making the triangle with index fingers and thumbs. As your feet close together, rotate your arms back to your hips into an attention stance.

Sensei Derek Griffioen demonstrates the Salutation from the front view.

Sensei Derek Griffioen demonstrates the Salutation from the side view.

Another part of etiquette is proper attire. In the dojo, we wear a black uniform. Typically, the uniform has a large crest on the back of the jacket representing the dojo, a smaller crest on the front left breast to represent the discipline at a minimum. And part of wearing the uniform is the correct tying of the belt. Below is a video clip of Sempai Kira Trombley demonstrating the correct tying of the belt. Practice until you are able to tie your belt with your eyes closed.