Twenty Precepts of Karate – Niju Kun

Before he established the Japan Karate Association, Master Funakoshi Gichin laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate, which constitute the foundations of the martial art. In these twenty principles which are heavily based on Bushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of the JKA Karate.

1. Never forget: karate begins with rei and ends with rei (Rei means courtesy or respect, and is represented in karate by bowing)
2. There is no first attack in karate
3. Karate supports righteousness 4. First understand yourself, then understand others 5. The art of developing the mind is more important than the art of applying technique
6. The mind needs to be freed
7. Trouble is born of negligence
8. Do not think karate belongs only in the dojo
9. Karate training requires a lifetime
10. Transform everything into karate; therein lies its exquisiteness

11. Genuine karate is like hot water; it cools down if you do not keep on heating it
12. Do not think of winning; you must think of not losing
13. Transform yourself according to the opponent
14. The outcome of the fight depends on one’s control
15. Imagine one’s arms and legs as swords
16. Once you leave the shelter of home, there are a million enemies
17. Postures are for the beginner; later they are natural positions
18. Do the kata correctly; the real fight is a different matter
19. Do not forget control of the dynamics of power, the elasticity of the body and the speed of the technique
20. Always be good at the application of everything that you have learned.


Training Goals and Precepts

The Dojo Kun are the guiding principles of the dojo (the place where one practices karate), and of karate training in general.
Here is the original Shotokan Dojo Kun established by Gichin Funakoshi:

DojoKunHitotsu! Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto!
Seek perfection of character
Hitotsu! Makoto no michi o mamoru koto!
Be faithful
Hitotsu! Doryuku no seishin o yashinau koto!
Hitotsu! Reigi o omonzuru koto!
Respect others
Hitotsu! Kekki no yu o imashimuru koto!
Refrain from violent behavior