Philosophy of Karate

The Dojokun

The Dojokun is recited at the end of each Karate class and is meant to give students guidance, not only in the Dojo (a place of formal training) but also in their lives outside the Dojo.

Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuro koto!

Seek perfection of character!

Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto!

Be faithful!

Hitotsu! Doryoku no seichin o yashinau koto!


Hitotsu! Reidi o omonzuru koto!

Respect others!

Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto!

Refrain from violent behaviour!

The Nijukun: The Philosophy of Karate

Master Funakoshi developed a philosophy which he believed every Karateka should strive to follow to develop one’s character. He believed that Karate could not only train the body, but also the mind and the spirit, and that students of the art could carry this over into their every day lives.

Karate is not only dojo training

Don’t forget that Karate begins with a bow and ends with a bow.

In Karate, never attack first.

One who practices Karate must follow the way of justice

First you must know yourself. Then you can know others.

Spiritual development is paramount; technical skills are merely means to the end.

You must release your mind

Misfortune is a result of neglect.

Karate is a lifelong training.

Put Karate into everything you do. (Confront your problems with karate spirit)

Karate is like hot water. If you do not give heat constantly it will again become cold.

Do not think you have to win. Think that you do not have to lose.

Victory depends on your ability to tell vulnerable points from invulnerable ones. (Mold yourself according to your opponent)

Move according to your opponent. (The secret in combat resides in directing it)

Consider your and your opponent’s hands and legs as you would sharp swords.

When you leave home, think that millions of opponents are waiting for you. (It is your behaviour which will invite or discourage trouble from them.)

Ready position for beginners and natural position for advanced students.

Kata is one thing. Engaging in a real fight is another. Do not forget:

Strength and weakness of power.

Expansion and contraction of the body.

Slowness and speed of techniques.

Devise at all times.