The correct bow-in procedure
This section deals with the correct way to run the bowing at the start and end of a class. There is a definite etiqette and students and senseis alike sometimes get confused about where to turn or what to say. Here's the definitive explanation.
The students line up in grade order, with the highest grade in each row to the right, and the lowest to the left. Students without gis are deemed to be a lower grade than white belt students in gis. Technically, graded students who forget their belts, or who are not wearing gis for some reason, should line up below the white belts, but this is down to the sensei's discretion. Black and white belt senseis may line up in front of the class, or in the lines with the students. If they line up with the students, they line up to the right of the highest graded belt, even if they hold a lower grade. If they line up in front of the class, the main sensei stands in the middle, and any additional senseis or sempais line up to his or her left. Because Senseis don't hold a grade in public classes, it doesn't matter who lines up where, apart from the main sensei. However, I would always line my senseis up according to who has attended that class as a sensei for the longest.
Any senseis at the front of the class, initially stand facing the students. The senior sensei in the class will now designate a person to announce the bow-in words. This person would usually be the highest graded sensei or student, but as a courtesy to other senseis or students, you may award this privilege to someone else.
The designated person (announcer) says
* Note. Everybody bows to Kancho whether he is present or not, but you only bow to Shihan if he is actually present.