Dōjō Kun

All over the world in JKA karate classes, students kneel down in Seiza at the beginning and at the end. It involves a brief meditation, Mokusou, to focus entirely on one’s practice while the class lasts. The students are expected to clear their minds and leave everything else behind during the class.

At the end of the class after Mokusou, the students recite Dōjō Kun, which is a set of “principles” for a karate practitioner to live by.  Depending on the class, this may be in English or in Japanese.

          Hitotsu, Jinkaku Kansei ni Tsutomuru Koto (Seek perfection of character!)

          Hitotsu, Makoto no Michi o Mamoru Koto (Be faithful!)

          Hitotsu, Doryoku no Seishin o Yashinau Koto (Endeavor in all training!)

          Hitotsu, Reigi o Omonzuru Koto (Be respectful!)

          Hitotsu, Kekki no Yu o Imashimuru Koto (Refrain from violent behaviour!)

In the Japanese version, each Dōjō Kun starts with Hitotsu, which literally means “one”. This is generally interpreted to mean that each of the Dōjō Kun is equally important and therefore they are not numbered in decreasing importance.

The Dōjō Kun is not merely a list of rules for the limited time you spend on the Dōjō floor. Students are expected to practice it both inside and outside of the Dōjō.

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