the dojo kun

jinkaku kansei ni tsutmuru koto
to seek perfection of character

makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
be faithful

dohryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto

reigi wo omonzuru koto
respect others

kekki no yuu wo imashimeru koto
refrain from violent behaviour

the dojo kun, calligraphed above, is a list of five principles that is used in shotokan dojos throughout the world as a guide for students on how to approach their training. it is often found on the wall at dojos, and often the students will recite the dojo kun at the end of the lesson following mokuso. the principles are simple, and apply equally well to life outside the dojo. the five principles are thought to derive from the twenty principles of the niju kun laid out by the founder of modern karate, gichin funakoshi.

the common english translation of the dojo kun is given above together with a guide for the pronounciation in japanese. it is worth noting that the english is not a direct translation of the japanese, but a western adaptation. there are several different translations, which you may hear in different dojos. rob redmond, of the site 24fightingchickens, created this interesting analysis of the translation of the dojo kun (pdf file).

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