Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Niju and Dojo Kun

Master Funakoshi

The Niju Kun are Funakoshi's 20 guiding principles of Karate, they were written to help the student understand how they should conduct themselves, not only in class but also as human beings where ever their travels may take them.

Below are a couple of ways of saying the same precept.

1. Donot forget that karate-do begins and ends with respect.
   (Respect for ones self and for others)

2. There is no first attack in karate.
   (Does this mean there is no pre-emptive strike in karate, NO it means take action as a last resort)

3. Karate stands on the side of justice.
   (Donot miss use the art of karate for self - gain, vengence, pride, gratification, ego etc.)

4. First conquer yourself before attempting to conquer others.
   (Know your capabilities and those of your enemy, donot become conceited and over confident)

5. Mentality over Technique
   (Spirit first, technique second)

6. The mind must be set free
   (Be ready to release your mind from technique, kata, methods, styles, and any other attachments you may have)

7. Calamity springs from carelessness
   (Misfortune comes out of laziness)

8. Karate goes beyond the dojo
   (Put karate into everything you do)

9. Karate is a life long persuit
   (Train karate like you eat and drink - daily and in all things)

10. Apply the way of karate to all things, therein lies its beauty
   (Put karate into everything you do)

11. Karate is like boiling water without heat it returns to its tepid state.
     (Train on a daily basis so you may advance in the art of karate)

12. Donot think of winning think rather of not losing.
     (Do not think you have to win. Think that you donot have to lose)

13. Make adjustments according to your opponent
     (Move according to your opponent)

14. The outcome of a battle depends on how one handles emptiness and Fulness (weakness and strength)
     (Victory depends on your ability to tell vulnerable points from invulnerable ones)

15. Think of the opponents hands and feet as swords.
     (Consider your opponent's hands and legs as you would sharp swords)

16. When you step beyond your own gate you face a million enemies.
     (When you leave home, think that millions of opponents are waiting for you, be on your guard)

17. Kamae (ready stance) is for begginers, later one stands in shizentai (natural stance)
     (Deep stances for beginners and natural position for advanced students)

18. Perform kata exactly, actual combat is another matter.
     (Kata is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another)

19. Donot forget the employement or withdrawal of power. The extension and contraction of the body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.
(Do not forget
(1)strength and weakness of power,
(2)expansion and contraction of the body,
(3)slowness and speed of techniques)

20. Be consistantly mindful diligent and resourcful in your persuit of the way.
   (Devise at all times)

The Dojo Kun

Senior instructors at the JKA developed the Five Dojo Kun, which every-one studying at the JKA commits to memory. With each practice session at the dojo, students kneel in the seiza position and repeat these five precepts out loud. This process reminds students of the right attitude, frame of mind and virtues to strive for both within the dojo, and outside.

1. Seek perfection of character
2. Endeavor
3. Be faithful
4. Respect others
5. Refrain from violent behaviour