- THE DOJO
- Spoken with
- A Dojo Kun is a verbal
affirmation that is recited by all of the students,
usually at the end of each training session.
- The purpose of the Dojo Kun
is to remind all of the students in the dojo, regardless
of their rank, that the physical, mental, and spiritual
growth that they enjoy as a by product of their karate
training, must also extend beyond the dojo's walls.
- By that I mean, in order to
derive the true benefits of Shotokan karate-do, each
student must take the underlying principals of this art
form and make them a regular part of their daily life.
- The following Dojo Kun is
taken from the 20 Precepts of Master Gichin Funakoshi, it
should be recited out loud one line at a time, first by
the dojo's sensei or senior sempai, and then repeated
immediately afterwards, in unison, by all of the students
in attendance prior to the final bows at the end of each
PERFECTION OF CHARACTER
- BE FAITHFUL
FROM VIOLENT BEHAVIOUR
- And when
you leave your dojo, always be sure and take the meaning
of those words out into the world with you. Because it is
in the every day world that is outside of those four
walls that you train behind each day, that the true
meaning of the dojo kun is truly meant to be practiced.
following explanations set forth the meaning of the Dojo
- 1. Seek
Perfection of Character
- This means that the art of
karate is more than just physical. All beginners,
especially the young, should be taught the importance of
character building through discipline and rigorous
training. For the beginner, the character building
process begins with perfecting techniques through
repetition. The spirit to fight will be achieved as one
gains more confidence through development of stronger
techniques. Train to bring out the spirit, not only to
fight but to overcome personal problems especially in
times of sickness, domestic crisis or business problems.
It is a long path to develop these spiritual values but
once the concept is understood and experienced it will
provide a lifetime benefit of inner strength and peace.
- 2. Be
- To be faithful is a strong
samurai tradition and an extension of the Confucius
influence on the family and martial arts. The faith to be
shown is in your sensei and dojo. The student must always
be faithful to his sensei and follow in much the same way
as a medieval samurai was bound to follow his feudal lord
to the death without hesitation. While this may seem
unusual in the present day, it is unreasonable to expect
a sensei to teach all he knows to a student who is likely
to leave for the slightest reason. The student must prove
his loyalty over the years. The faith and loyalty
extended to the sensei will be rewarded, in that a
greater amount of knowledge and wisdom will be passed on
to the student and this bond between sensei and student
is extremely valuable and is the basis of the learning
- 3. Endeavor
- To endeavor means complete
dedication and commitment necessary to achieve mastery of
the art. In no case is mastery possible without strenuous
effort and sacrifice on the part of the practitioner. The
endeavor must be of a sincere nature and not just
superficial. Serious effort on the part of the student
will be recognized by the sensei who will in turn spend
more time with him or her.
- 4. Respect
- Respect for others is an
important part of the Japanese and Okinawan culture
therefore common to the martial arts. Gichin Funakoshi
stressed that karate begins and ends with etiquette. He
also stated that without courtesy there is no dojo. This
is a reflection of the formal nature of the Japanese
people and may be observed bowing during training as well
as at home or office. Dojo etiquette is well defined. You
bow correctly and show respect in everything you do and
everywhere you go. Respect is extended to all...senseis,
parents, educators, law, deceased, nature, etc.
- 5. Refrain
From Violent Behavior
- A trained fighter is a
person with a fierce competitive spirit and great
strength so it is unfair to use it against an untrained
person. The karate-ka's spirit is unbeatable and must use
his knowledge only for the sake of justice. A person of
character can walk away from a fight because he is in
control of his emotions and is at peace with himself. He
does not have to test his abilities on the street. He
wins without fighting and he will have no regrets because
no one will be injured. Refraining from violent behavior
is hard to explain to many Westerners because of their
environment, or the attitude of winning tournaments, and
they want to do it as quickly as possible which is
against the principles of karate-do and dojo kun. It is
therefore necessary for instructors to constantly remind
the students of the importance of the dojo kun.
- The following is another
example of a Dojo Kun, only this one has the Japanese
terminology included and has been very kindly provided to
me with the kind permission, and courtesy of, Sensei
Charles Gidley, 6th Dan, of British Shotokan Kyogi in
- Seek Perfection of
Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto.
- (To strive for the
perfection of character.)
- Be Faithful
Makato no michi o mamoru koto.
- (To protect/defend the
paths of truth.)
- Endeavor to excel.
Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto.
- (To foster the spirit of
- Respect others
Reigi o omonsuru koto.
- (To honor the principles of
- Refrain from violent
Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto.
- (To guard against impetuous
of when you say the dojo kun,
- or in what
language you speak it,
- say it with
pride and say it like you mean it.
- Part the
clouds - see the way.
objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
- of the
human spirit through physical and mental training."