Examination Bowing Etiquette
As an introduction I am new to this forum and posting for the first time. I have been training in some form of martial art since the mid 70's. The past 10 years in Aikido. My wife and I moved to a new state and city this past summer. In the process, we joined a new dojo within the same Aikikai affiliation as we had back in our former hometown. Naturally, there were a number of differences in some of the practices and customs at the new dojo. Since we have traveled extensively and had the good fortune of training at various dojo, we've always followed the guidance of "when in Rome do as the Romans!"
Unfortunately we have never observed examinations anywhere other than at our former dojo. We were surprised to learn that the bowing etiquette at our present dojo varied from past experience. This lead to several discussions with Sensei after our first experience observing mudansha exams last fall. I was hoping that this forum might provide a good place to learn of the practices at other dojo.
As with all things relative to etiquette and respect, I defer to the location and Sensei. But this situation has peaked my interest.
Here's my take on the etiquette (without the philosophical or background reasoning):
After being called out by the exam administrator (or panel) one issues an audible acknowledgement (hi) and moves into the center of the mat. Then after a partner is called out, one completes a formal seated bow first to the Shomen, next to the administrator(s) and finally to your partner. At the conclusion of the examination the bowing order is reversed, first to your partner, then the administrator(s) and finally to the Shomen.
I appreciate all comments and thank anyone willing to share your dojo practices in this regard.