Explanation of the Dojo-kun (道場訓)

The Dojo-kun is designed to inspire personal growth and development through the study of Karate-do. Each student and instructor strive earnestly to attain these goals inside the dojo and in everyday life when interacting with others.

The Dojo Kun in Japanese with the traditional English translation:

Japanese English
HITOTSU: JINKAKU KANSEI NI TSUTOMORU KOTO! BUILD UP AND IMPROVE CHARACTER
HITOTSU: MAKOTO NO MICHI O MAMORU KOTO! BE STRAIGHT AND HONEST
HITOTSU: DORYOKU NO SEICHIN O YASHINAU KOTO! BE PURPOSEFUL
HITOTSU: REIGI O OMONZURU KOTO! RESPECT OTHERS
HITOTSU: KEKKI NO YU O IMASHIMURU KOTO! REFRAIN FROM VIOLENT BEHAVIOR

一、人格完成に努むること
Build up and improve character

The ultimate goal of karate is to seek perfection through intense daily training by cultivating discipline, courtesy and endeavour. The other four principles of the Dojo-kun are the methods of which to achieve the ultimate goal.

一、誠の道を守ること
Be straight and honest

This means to be sincere in everything you do. The true path of honesty lies through words of honour, always kept when given. To earn other people’s confidence, it is fundamental to keep promises and avoid lies.

一、努力の精神を養うこと
Be purposeful.

Try hard in everything you do. You can’t be successful without being diligent. Nothing can be achieved in theory. Therefore, apply all of your efforts to achieve these goals. Here it is important to face what you have decided with great effort.

一、礼儀を重んずること
Respect others

The core of any system and order lies in courtesy and human qualities. Gratitude and respect to your opponent should be the common state of things, being at the same time courteous to yourself. Gratitude will let you draw the opponent’s sympathy and trust from the first glance. True human values emerge out of this courtesy, which, by no means, should be neglected.

一、血気の勇を戒むること
Refrain from violent behaviour.

Humans tend to be egotistical. One may lose temper after a minor incident and lash out at the other. A person might consider such behaviour to be brave and valiant, but in truth is foolish. Those who practice karate and get angry over trivial things will disgrace the name of Karate-do. Anger should never mean that there is no room for a smile.

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