Dojo kun

For the Japanese cartoon character, see Domo-kun.

Dojo kun is a Japanese martial arts term literally meaning (training hall) rules. They are generally posted at the entrance to dojo or at the "front" of the dojo (shomen) and outline behaviour expected and disallowed. In some styles of martial arts they are recited at the end of a class.

Shotokan Karate

Generally accredited to Gichin Funakoshi (but rumoured to have been created by Kanga Sakukawa, an 18th-century Okinawan karate proponent) the Shotokan Karate dojo kun serves as a set of five guiding principles, recited at the end of each training session in most styles, intended to frame the practice within an ethical context.

The five rules are:[1]

一、人格 完成に 努める こと
hitotsu, jinkaku kansei ni tsutomeru koto
jinkaku = personality, kansei = complete (perfect), ni = to, tsutomeru = endeavour
hitotsu, makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
makoto = truth, no = 's, michi = path, wo = with respect to that, mamoru = defend
hitotsu, doryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto
doryoku = effort, no = ’s, seishin = spirit, wo = with respect to that, yashinau = cultivate
hitotsu, reigi wo omonzuru koto
reigi = courtesy, wo = with respect to that, omonzuru = honour
hitotsu, kekki no yū wo imashimuru koto
kekki = vigor (impetuousness), no = of, yu = courage, wo = with respect to that, imashimuru = refrain

The word Hitotsu means "one" or "first" and is prepended to each rule to place it at the same level of importance as the others. The word koto which ends each rule means "thing" and is used as a conjunction between rules. Also, the Japanese no indicates possessiveness and is equivalent to the English 's e.g. doryoku no seishin = effort's spirit = the spirit of effort. wo (and wa) is used to indicate that the preceding element is the subject of the sentence e.g. X wo Y = with respect to X, Y. Finally, the word imashimuru seems archaic, however, it contains the radical 戒 that means admonition and is usually translated as refrain.


Varying translations and interpretations of the dojo kun exist. Each translation differs in the terms used and the interpretations vary regarding the philosophical depth, meaning, and intention.

The population of English karate practitioners has pushed one form of the translation into being the most widely accepted outside Japan. Generally, the English translation states:

A more terse translation is used by the ISKF, IKA and JKA:

The dojo kun also appears in various other martial arts styles, with alterations according to the general precepts of that style.

Goju Ryu

In Goju Ryu the Dojo Kun consists of eight rules and are (in English) as follows:


The dojo kun Ryu-te are, in Japanese, the same as those used in Shotokan. The English translation used is as follows:


In Bushido the Dojo Kun consists of five rules and are (in English) as follows:

Budōkan Karate

In Budōkan Karate the Dojo Kun consists of four rules and are (in English) as follows:


The Dojo kun was derived from Gichin Funakoshi's The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate, or niju kun, by JKA officials.[2] It is used by many as a condensed form of Sensei Funakoshi's 20 precepts.

(the below is someone's opinion. The obvious omission of anything relating to physical practice indicates it is not totally honest): In Shotokan or any other styles, the main purpose of learning karate is

(the below is also someone's opinion): The 3 most important spirits in dojo is

External links


  1. 日本空手松涛連盟(JKS) 道場訓解説
  2. The JKA dojo kun
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