The rules of the dojo. There are five of these rules that are generally thought to have been passed down from Okinawan Karate masters to the present. The actual creator of these rules is rumored to be Sakugawa, an 18th Century karate enthusiast who lived in Okinawa.

More likely this Dojokun was created by Funakoshi Gichin, but no evidence exists one way or the other.


Shotokan DojoKun


What does that mean?
Read the words from the top down and from right to left. The right-most character says “Kun.” Every line begins with a counter that means “one.” Every line ends with the word koto, which literally means “thing.” This is generally interpreted to mean “Here’s a rule, here’s another rule…”

Hitotsu. Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto
Hitotsu. Makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
Hitotsu. Doryoku no Seishin wo yashinau koto
Hitotsu. Reigi wo omonzuru koto
Hitotsu. Kekki no yu wo imashimuru koto

First. Seek perfection of character
First. Protect the way of the truth
First. Foster the spirit of effort
First. Respect the principles of etiquette and respect others
First. Guard against impetuous courage and refrain from violent behavior.

Ten Eerste. Streef karaktersterkte na
Ten Eerste. Wees betrouwbaar en nauwgezet
Ten Eerste. Probeer steeds opnieuw
Ten Eerste. Heb respect voor de anderen
Ten Eerste. Wees niet gewelddadig

Avant tout. Cultivez la noblesse de l’âme
Avant tout. Prenez la cause de la vérité
Avant tout. Cherchez à vous dépasser
Avant tout. Faites preuve de courtoisie
Avant tout. Abstenez-vous de tout comportement violent

Eins ist. Vervollkommene deinen Charakter
Eins ist. Bewahre den Weg der Aufrichtigkeit
Eins ist. Entfalte den Geist der Bemühung
Eins ist. Sei höflich
Eins ist. Bewahre dich vor übertriebener Leidenschaft