Our Principles

Alt Image Alt Image
"If every martial artist will meditate deeply on these principles regularly, he or she will grow morally, spiritually, and technically, and will become a more effective agent in the quest to mend the world." Master Teruyuki Okazaki Chairman, International Shotokan Karate Federation
In his book,   Karate-do Kyohan, Gichin Funakoshi expressed his concern that Karate, when misunderstood, can be misused. Clearly he felt an obligation to emphasize fundamental principles that would guide his students toward its correct path, that of self development and peace. Generations later, as we acknowledge Master Funakoshi's place as the father of Karate-Do, we cannot help but feel a sense of gratitude that he took such care in the creation of the 20 principles of Karate, and of life.

The Niju Kun

  • Karate-do begins and ends with rei
    Karate-do wa rei ni hajimari rei ni owaru koto a wasaru na

    空手道は礼に始まり礼に終る事を忘るな

  • There is no first strike in Karate
    ni sente nashi

    空手に先手なし

  • Karate stands on the side of justice
    Karate wa, gi no taske

    空手は義の補け

  • First know yourself, then know others
    Mazu onore o shire, shikashite ta o shire

    先づ自己を知れ而して他を知れ

  • Mentality over technique
    Gijitsu yori shinjitsu

    技術より心術

  • The mind must be set free
    Kokoro wa hanatan koto o yosu

    心は放たん事を要す

  • Calamity springs from carelessness
    Wazawai wa ketai ni seizu

    禍は懈怠に生ず

  • Karate goes beyond the dojo
    Dojo nomino karate to omou na

    道場のみの空手と思ふな

  • Karate is a lifelong pursuit
    Karate-do no shugyo wa isssho de aru

    空手の修業は一生である

  • Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty
    Ara yuru mono o karateka seyo; sokoni myomi ari

    凡ゆるものを空手化せよ其処に妙味あり

  • Karate is like boiling water; without heat, it returns to its tepid state
    Karate Wa Yu No Gotoku Taezu Netsu O Atae Zareba Motono Mizuni Kaeru

    空手は湯の如し絶えず熱度を与えざれば元の水に還る

  • Do not think of winning. Think, rather, of not losing
    Katsu kangae wa motsuna; makenu kangae wa hitsuyo

    勝つ考は持つな負けぬ考は必要

  • Make adjustments according to your opponent
    Tekki ni yotte tenka seyo

    敵に因って轉化せよ

  • The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and fullness
    Tattakai wa kyo-jitsu no soju ikan ni ari

    戦は虚実の操縦如何に在り

  • Think of hands and feet as swords
    Hi to no te-ashi wa ken to omoe

    人の手足を剣と思へ

  • When you step beyond your own gate, you face a million enemies
    Danshi mon o izureba hyakuman no teki ari

    男子門を出づれば百万の敵あり

  • Kamae is for beginners; later, one stands in shizentai
    Kamae wa shoshinsha ni atowa shizentai

    構は初心者に後は自然体

  • Perform kata exactly; actual combat is another matter
    Kata wa tadashiku, jisen wa betsumono

    形は正しく実戦は別物

  • Do not forget the employment of withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique
    Chikara no kyojaku tai no shinshuku waza no kankyu

    力の強弱体の伸縮技の緩急を忘るな

  • Be constantly mindful, diligent, and resourceful, in your pursuit of the Way
    Tsune ni shinen ku fu seyo

    常に思念工夫せよ

  • The 20 principles  espoused in  Master Funakoshi's  Niju Kun are fundamentally and concisely captured in the  Dojo Kun . At the end of each class, we kneel for our closing ceremony. Often we are hot, sweaty and low on energy. We meditate briefly, providing an opportunity to come to the present moment with a clear mind. It is only then that we state the Dojo Kun aloud. 

    Under a senior student's guidance , children repeat the Dojo Kun in English, adults in both Japanese and English. Mindlessly parroting the words is a mistake, and a lost opportunity for enrichment. The Dojo Kun is to be stated from the heart, as it is the distillation of Master Funakoshi's most passionate belief: that Karate is to be used for self development and the betterment of the world.

The Dojo Kun

  • Seek Perfection of Character hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto

    一、人格完成に努むること

  • Be Faithful hitotsu, makoto no michi wo mamoru koto

    一、誠の道を守ること

  • Endeavor to Excel hitotsu, doryōku no seishin wo yashinau koto

    一、努力の精神を養うこと

  • Respect Others hitotsu, reigi wo omonzuru koto

    一、礼儀を重んずること

  • Refrain from Violent Behavior hitotsu, kekki no yū wo imashimuru koto

    一、血気の勇を戒むること

Dojo Kun Calligraphy by Masatoshi Nakayama
Niju Kun Calligraphy by Skinkin Gima

Contact Us !