Glossary of Judo terminology

Rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru (Beginning and ending with a bow of respect)

Rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru (Beginning and ending with a bow of respect)

Judo evolved from Japan's ancient martial arts, and its fundamental spirit is expressed by the phrase, "Rei ni hajimari, rei ni owaru" (Beginning and ending with a bow of respect). Judo contestants bow when entering the dojo for practice or a contest, and then bow again when leaving the dojo. Born in Japan and embraced by the world, the martial art of Judo is also a sport that adheres to strict rules which emphasize propriety. Moreover, Judo depends on the presence of an opponent in order for one to obtain benefit. The friendly competition that occurs in daily practice and in contests is the foundation on which the Judo practitioner perfects himself. In contests, therefore, it is only proper to express one's gratitude to the opponent in the form of a sincere and respectful bow.