Just as any other building or room might have specific areas set out within it, so a dojo may have different areas or sections. The diagram below shows some of the main parts of any jiu jitsu dojo.

  • Shoman - The front of the dojo, this is traditionally the northern wall, or the wall opposite the dojo entrance.
  • Joseki - The right side of the dojo where the most senior students line up.
  • Shimoseki - The left side of the dojo where the most junior students line up.
  • Shimoza - The back of the dojo.
  • Kamiza - Literally the 'seat of gods', this is the position taken up by the instructors and any esteemed guests of the dojo. It does not confer a godlike status on the person(s) taking this position; simply respect.
  • Tatami - The matted area of a dojo - not all dojos have a matted area and not all are square.

Some dojo have a center piece for the shoman side of the dojo. This is called the kamidana, and could display anything from a picture of the founding master of the style, to a display of weaponry. The kamidana and or kamiza (if there is truly a seat) may be set within a recess on the shoman side of the dojo. This recess is known as the tokonoma.