Re: Advice on Hombu dojo etiquette
Pretty funny story about the guy taking notes! I sometimes take pcitures at my dojo to post on my blog. I asked the sensei first and apologised. He seemed to accept it. I would never do it at Hombu. Would like to, but...
I go to Hombu in late May with 200 other people practicing at the same time and it is quite hot and humid. And crowded. Like two people to a mat. I hear a lot of "sumimasen" and "gomenasai" and also the occasional "bonk" of two skulls. People are generally pretty gentle with each other, considering the space limitations. The throws are generally more restrained than usual as well.
As a gaijin myself, I just follow the Japanese in my group so as to minimize my "foreigner faux paus" . And, yeah, I noticed that other foreigners were quick to point my transgressions of etiquette. Helpful lot.