Reigi is the protocol of respect and honor that is utilized as one of the fundamental components of karate training. It is derived from the ancient Samurai warrior code of honor known as "Bushido". These codes of honor and respect were mandated in ancient Japan by the emperor. The Samurai warriors were ranked in society as the enforcers of these codes of etiquette and honor. The importance of these protocols were considered so vital to that of Japanese society that violations of the protocol often resulted in the immediate execution of the violator at the time of the offense.
Strict protocols were developed and adopted to the special relationship that exists between a teacher and student. This applied not only to karate and the martial arts but to other Japanese cultural arts such as flower arranging and the tea ceremony as well. Many of these protocols are still followed today in mainstream Japanese society and are learned and practiced in the home at an early age and then reinforced in the academic environment. The following of these protocols and codes of honor by Japanese society as a whole is one reason why Japan has the lowest crime rate in the world. The population density of Japan being what it is makes this an even more impressive statistic.
Traditional karate has its origins in that of the Japanese culture and by following the traditions of honor and respect we preserve the "Art" by following the protocols of Reigi. We also benefit from the discipline by following Reigi as it is designed to strengthen the spirit and creates a highly efficient teaching environment.