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 
Endeavour 

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, but 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 erstwhile shotokan website 24fightingchickens, created an interesting analysis of the translation of the dojo kun, shown below.


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