This in itself is not that critical but then again it begs the question as to whether folks in the training hall are using it correctly. In the form, Kiotsukete, it means something a bit different. It means "be careful" or "take care" or it refers to anyone who might face some kind of danger. Ohhh, that doesn't mean "attention" now does it but is it possible there are two words with the only difference as to spelling in English?
As I do the research I found only one set of characters, i.e. kanji, that speak mostly to paying attention or coming to attention: 注意を払う pay attention !!! But, when I translate it into English, take with a grain of salt here, I get "Chuiwoharau." What the ....? When I punch in the characters above and listen to the Japanese spoken word I do not get kiotsuke or kiotsukete.
注意 - caution, attention, warning, heed, regard, being careful, advice
気持ち - feeling, mood, sensation, temper
注意を払う pay attention !!! good one
注目 - attention, notice, observation
アテンション - attention
着目 - attention
耳目 - attention, eye and ear
So, if I were to take the third one down in bold as correct for attention or pay attention then I would say it is not kiotsuke or kiotsukete. I can also say that the term and meaning may have evolved from a military influence because even in a traditional dojo my suspicion is they don't assume a position that is a military form of attention stance.
If I were to make some assumptions as to the use of this term in a dojo I might think that it means one who practices a system such as karate-jutsu must also be careful or take care or as a notice to the practitioners that this discipline is one that places them in harm's, danger, way so be careful, take care or remain diligently aware of all things at all times. I would then make another assumption that it might be telling the practitioners to focus on training and leave all else in the dressing room for this is a dangerous endeavor requiring your full attention, care and caution in applying knowledge and technique.
This may not be a short, terse and precise definition/meaning but it does cover a lot of the more philosophical aspects of the way, yes? Maybe? Comments?