The Five ‘Dojo Kun’

The Dojo Kun was developed by senior JKA instructors. The Dojo Kun is recited every practice session while kneeling in Seiza.

This process is aimed to instil the right attitude and frame of mind both in and out of the dojo.

Dojo Kun

Dojo Kun:

Hitotsu, Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto
Seek perfection of character

Hitotsu, Makoto no michi o mamoru koto
Be sincere

Hitotsu, Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto
Put maximum effort into everything you do

Hitotsu, Reigi o omonzuru koto
Respect others

Hitotsu, Kekki no yuu o imashimuru koto
Develop self-control

So as to better understand the importance and  implications of the Dojo-Kun, consider for argument’s sake:   ‘The Opposite of the Dojo Kun’ in practice  (Based on a true story…)

  1. Glory in being a big-headed, selfish, inconsiderate, status-seeking and envious ego-maniac
  2. Lie, tell only half truths, be a scheming and deceitful double-face 
  3. Delegate, take it easy, but then deviously claim merit
  4. Mock other people’s efforts, try to raise your standing by attacking and abusing others, be intrusive and offensive
  5. Explode into a tantrum as soon as you are discovered for what you are…

Shoto Nijukun

Before establishing the JKA, Master Funakoshi Gichin laid out 20 Precepts of Karate-Do, which form the foundations of the art.

Within these 20 principles, based heavily on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of the JKA.

Zen Garden

  1. Never forget: Karate begins with Rei and ends with Rei (Rei means courtesy or respect, and is represented in Karate by bowing).
  2. There is no first attack in Karate. 
  3. Karate supports righteousness.
  4. First understand yourself then understand others.
  5. The art of developing the mind is more important than the art of applying technique.
  6. The mind needs to be freed.
  7. Trouble is born of negligence.
  8. Do not think Karate belongs only in the dojo.
  9. Karate training requires a lifetime.
  10. Transform everything into Karate; therein lies its exquisiteness.
  11. Genuine Karate is like hot water; it cools down if you do not keep on heating it.
  12. Do not think of winning; you must think of not losing.
  13. Transform yourself according to the opponent.
  14. The outcome of the fight depends on one’s control.
  15. Imagine one’s arms and legs as swords.
  16. Once you leave the shelter of home there are a million enemies.
  17. Postures are for the beginner; later they are natural positions.
  18. Do the Kata correctly; the real fight is a different matter.
  19. Do not forget control of the dynamics of power, the elasticity of the body, and the speed/ rhythm/ tempo of the techniques.
  20. Always be good at the application of everything that you have learned.



‘The Code of the Samurai’:

Bushido helped the samurai harmonize mind with body, enabling them to maintain a certain calmness, or heijoshin (“ordinary everyday mind”), even in the face of hardship.

Sincerity, kindness, honesty, filial piety and honour all formed part of the core of Bushido, which is the seed from which the Karate Tradition grew.

These attributes, and the wisdom, understanding and peaceful strength they promote, are arguably some of Karate-Do’s greatest benefits.

  1. SEIGI : The right decision and rectitude
  2. YUKI : Bravery and heroism
  3. JIN : Compassion and benevolence to all 
  4. REIGI : Courtesy and right action 
  5. MAKOTO : Truthfulness and utter sincerity
  6. MEIYO : Honour and glory 
  7. CHUGI : Devotion and loyalty  

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