The dojo Kun

The dojo kun is a set of rules that applies to a karateka’s behavior at the dojo, as well as their life. We recite the dojo kun during each class as a reminder to live both humbly and respectfully, to behave with integrity, and to always put forth our best effort.

人格 完成に 努むる こと
Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto.
Strive for betterment of character.

Karate is more than just a way to work out, it’s a character building experience. For the beginner, the process begins with practicing techniques by means of repetition in order to build on a skill set. The road is long and arduous, but karate training teaches students to embody the spirit of perseverance by overcoming the challenges karate training brings. This not only applies to karate, but to life in general.

Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto.
Protect the way of truth.

Guarding and defending the way of truth means that one is expected to embody, teach, and share the “correct path” of improvement and integrity with others and not simply and passively follow it alone. The spirit of karate is about helping each other to improve together, not selfishly working for one’s own interests without considering the welfare of others.

Hitotsu! Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto.
Foster the spirit of effort.

Fostering the spirit of effort requires dedication and commitment to achieving great things in karate. It requires giving our all, no matter the circumstances. In no case is mastery of the art possible without maximum effort and sacrifice.

Hitotsu! Reigi o omonsuru koto.
Respect others.

Respect for others is a very integral part of Japanese culture, and thereby karate. Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan Karate-do, stressed that karate begins and ends with etiquette, and that without courtesy there is no dojo. This rings true in all corners of the dojo, from bowing to your sensei to respecting your classmates and helping them to succeed. This respect of others transcends dojo boundaries and infuses with our day-to-day lives, where we respect our teachers, peers, family, and friends.

Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto.
Guard against impetuous courage.

An individual trained in the art of karate is a lethal weapon, possessing the tools to seriously injure an untrained person. What defines a karate practitioner is his or her character. Guarding against impetuous courage means that no matter what happens to the karateka, they will always remain in control of their emotions and will never use karate maliciously to prove a point, show off, or otherwise.