The dojo kun are a set of five principles given to us by the originator of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funakoshi. These five principles embody the heart and spirit of karate training which should be pursued by the student and endorsed by the teacher.
Hitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto!
One! Seek perfection of character!
Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto!
One! Be faithful!
Hitotsu! Doryoku no seichin o yashinau koto!
Hitotsu! Reigi o omonzuru koto!
One! Respect others!
Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto!
One! Refrain from violent behavior!
In addition to these five basic principles Funakoshi Sensei gave us, he also composed a list of 20 training maxims or concepts which seem to be less reknowned, but nonetheless very important, the Nijyu Kun:
Karate begins and ends with REI. (courtesy)
An offensive attitude does not exist in Karate.
Karate is an aid to justice.
First know yourself and then others.
Spirit is more important than technique.
It is necessary to let KOKORO free (the mind).
Accidents result of neglect.
Karate training is not only in the dojo.
Karate is a lifelong training.
Confront your problems with a Karate spirit.
Karate is like warm water (if you don't heat it constantly, it will cool).
Do not foster the idea of winning neither that of being defeated.
Transform yourself according to your opponent.
The secret of combat resides in the art of directing it.
Think of your arms and legs as swords.
When you leave your home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you (it is your behavior that invites trouble from them).
Beginners must master low stance and posture; natural body positions are for the advanced.
Strive for the perfect form (kata), real combat is something else.
Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, expansion and contraction of the body, and slow and fast techniques.