the niju kun

niju kun


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

Karate ni sente nashi
There is no first strike in karate

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

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

Gijitsu yori shinjitsu
Mentality over technique

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

Waza wai wa ketai ni seizu
Calamity springs from carelessness

Dojo nomino karate to omou na
Karate goes beyond the dojo

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

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

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

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

Tekki ni yotte tenka seyo
Make adjustments according to your opponent

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

Hi to no te-ashi wa ken to omoe
Think of the opponent's hands and feet as swords

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

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

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

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

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



the niju kun is the list of twenty ('ni' being two, and 'ju' being ten) precepts laid out by gichin funakoshi that are intended to help the student and instructor alike understand the nature of karate and the ultimate goal of karate: the improvement of the self. the simple principles of the dojo kun derive directly from these precepts, and the same ideas can be seen within both. the translations given above are again approximate, and are taken from The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate by Funakoshi (1938). the precepts laid out in the niju kun are more involved and subtle than those of the dojo kun, and require more study to discover their meaning in relation to both karate training and the conduct of the self outside of the dojo.


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