So I showed my requirement sheet - which has many scribbles on it now on the 5th kyu page - and pointed to two options of how to say the beginning 'chant' when we bow.
Well, after asking our 2nd kyu (soon to be 1st), it appeared that both were o.k...which didnt make sense.(You dont do the chant randomly do you?) So I showed our 1st kyu (soon to be shodan) and he said the latter.
And sure enough, my ears were wide open and I listened extremely carefully and the latter won!
Oh, the winner phrase was: Onegaishimasu.
Dont know why I thought it sounded longer before.
Perhaps because no one is in unison and it really is a mumble...like listening to a low rumble of thunder.
I want to say I thank everyone for participating in the thread - Peter I appreciate your detailed explanation - because we are not consistent in how we do things, so knowing what the traditional method of doing/saying things are is quite nice.
With that, I suppose this thread comes to an end - of course it can keep going, but the answer has fully come around along with some nice information to make the whole picture fuller.